The Sexual Education Blues
Chapters: Cast | Prelude | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9-31 & Epilogue Available On
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Chapter Six: Roberta and Jeff
When Tiffany walked out, dragging Chuck by an invisible leash, Jeff reacted like most men would have reacted. He tried to make sure the same thing didn't happen to him.
He turned to Roberta.
"What do you think?" he asked. "I kind of agree with Bob. You and I might have some things in common to talk about."
"I don't know what to do," said Roberta, looking around blankly. "I never expected anything like this to happen."
"You want to go swimming?" he asked.
"We're supposed to talk, aren't we?" she responded.
"We can talk standing in cool water," he said.
"Are you sure it would be OK?" she asked.
"Bob called recess," he said, smiling. "You play at recess ... and talk."
Roberta reacted to the word "play" much differently than Jeff had meant it. She'd tried that same exact word with her husband one night, when he was hunched over the computer, researching a company's stock value.
"Come on, baby," she said, standing behind him and running her hands down onto his chest. "You've been in school long enough . It's time for recess ... time to play."
"In a minute," he'd said, ignoring her hands. "You go get ready and I'll be there in a minute."
He'd never shown up. At least not until she'd already fallen asleep, and then he didn't wake her.
She remembered Jeff's appearance from the night before. He looked good in his swim suit, even with the bulge that Tiffany had caused. He had a broad chest, well muscled, and good thighs. He obviously worked out. How could any woman just leave him?
"OK," she said. "I'll meet you at the pool in ten minutes."
The sun felt good on her shoulders and back as she approached the pool. Jeff was already in it, swimming laps. She watched the sun flash off his shoulders as they lifted and twisted, alternating back and forth in a smooth rhythm. She felt guilty for liking to look at him.
She walked down the steps of the shallow end, sinking into the cool water. He kept swimming, not knowing she was there. He didn't lift his face out of the water like she did when she swam. He kept his face down for two strokes, and then turned his head to the side, just far enough that she could hear him take in a breath. He looked like he could go on for hours. When he got to the end of the pool, his head ducked and his body rolled in a tight somersault before his feet hit the end of the pool and shot him off in a strong, streamlined push, his arms out ahead of him. He looked like some sea creature, totally at home in the water.
He did four more circuits before he stopped, in the shallow end, and stood up, looking around.
"There you are," he said, across the pool.
She looked at his wet chest, and felt a tingle in her belly. She couldn't believe she was having these feelings about a complete stranger. She felt guilty about that too.
"You do that very well," she said.
"Swim team in High School," he said, shrugging. "It works off a lot of energy."
"You'll have to teach me how to do that then," she said, before the thought about it.
"You have a lot of frustration to work off?" he asked.
"I guess I do," she admitted.
"It's normal," he said. "We all have frustration to deal with."
"I guess so," she said. "I never thought about it that way. I just try to get through each day."
"So," he said. "What do you want to talk about?"
"I have no idea," she said. "Like I said, I didn't come here planning on talking about this."
"What this?" he asked.
"You know ... sexual feelings."
"Like Bob said, that's what we'll be talking to our students about," he said. "I think it's a good idea."
"I'm not so sure about that," said Roberta, thinking about how she'd been looking at him." Her eyes went to his chest. He'd been swimming hard, but wasn't breathing hard.
Jeff looked at her, question in his gaze.
"It's just that I keep my feelings all bottled up," she said. "It's easier to deal with things if I don't think about them too much."
"You said something about your husband not paying attention to you," he said. "How can things get better if you don't deal with that?"
Jeff felt hypocritical, suddenly. He hadn't dealt with Melanie. He should have gone and gotten her, and dragged her back to their home. He'd never been quite able to figure out why he hadn't done that. He realized it was easier, in a way, to ignore her childishness, than deal with it.
"I don't know what to do about it," said Roberta.
"I confess, that I understand that all too well," he said.
"Are you having problems with your wife?" she asked.
He told her the situation.
"That's terrible!" she gasped. "That's even worse than what Phillip is doing to me!"
"What I feel bad about is that I'm not man enough to keep her at home," he said.
"That's nonsense," said Roberta. "She's just stupid and selfish."
He grinned. "OK, I'm not man enough to overcome stupidity and selfishness."
"You're man enough to be interesting to me, and I'm married," she blurted. She turned around instantly, facing away from him, embarrassed that she'd let that out.
"Thanks," he said softly. "I think you're pretty interesting too."
She turned back to face him, anguish twisting her features. "But that's the point! We're not SUPPOSED to be interested in each other. We're MARRIED!"
"Calm down," said Jeff. "Remember what Bob said. It's a life-long process, and it's natural. That doesn't mean we have to do anything about it."
"I feel guilty for wanting to do something about it," she said, again before she thought. She brought her hands up to cover her flaming face. "I can't believe I said that," she moaned.
"Hey, look," he said brightly. "It's also natural for both of us to be a little frustrated sexually. OK, it's a problem, but surely we can deal with it. We're both adults. Maybe we can talk about it, and figure out ways to get our spouses interested in us again."
"I can't even look you in the eye after what I just said," she moaned into her hands. "At least you aren't lusting after me."
"I didn't say that," he said softly. "I just said we don't have to DO anything about that."
Roberta was rocked to her wet heels by his comment. She felt her nipples stiffen even more, painfully. His rather bland admission that he found her sexually attractive twanged some string in her that was very taut.
"I have to go," she whined.
"Don't do it in the pool," he joked. "At least go to your room to do that."
His abrupt foolishness didn't have quite the effect he'd intended. He'd intended to say something to lessen the tension. But his goofy response only inflamed Roberta even more. He was kind. He cared how she felt. It was obvious in his light-hearted response. She realized, in that moment, that she was out of control, and the panic of that thought made her take her hands away from her face and look at him again.
"I have ... to go," she said, her voice trembling. "I'm about to fall apart."
"I'll walk you to your room," he said calmly.
He got out, jumping from the floor of the pool to the deck in one graceful leap. He held his hands out to her, and she took them automatically. He pulled, and she suddenly felt like she was flying. For a split second, the front of his swim suit was right in front of her face. The bulge there caused something to snap inside her, and she tried to run, pulling one hand from his. Quite suddenly they were both dashing toward her room. Her feet felt the heat of the pavement, and her brain felt his hand, still in hers. Her key was on the cord around her neck, and she reached for it. She was in such a hurry that she just bent over to work the lock, trying to get away from him, and behind the safety of her door, where she'd be alone, and could take a breath.
The door opened and she lunged forward.
But, when she turned to slam the door, she wasn't alone. He was inside, and he was closing the door.
"Nooooo," she wailed.
"Take it easy," he said soothingly.
"You don't understaaaand," she moaned.
Then, suddenly, she was pressed against him, her hungry lips glued to his, hungrily, her hands pulling him against her as their wet bodies slid against each other.
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