Şubat 22, 2024

Just Pretty Glass

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“We just need to do our check in, Claire. How’s the suicidal ideation been?”

“It’s been, well… mostly passive. Some days dipping back towards active. The psychiatrist upped my dosage again, so really hoping that’ll take care of it.”

“Up to 450 mg then? You know that’s the highest dosage they’ll prescribe.”

“I do. Yeah. Which is why I’m also still here.”

“And you feel like this has been helping? It doesn’t usually seem like you want to be here. You’re generally fairly resistant to, well, anything I suggest. Do you actually want to be here?”

“He wants me here. I want a time machine, but since I don’t have one of those, and really with the kids it’s not like I’d use one anyway- so yeah, yes, I want to be here, I guess.”

“You mean Robert? He thinks our sessions have been helping?”

“Well, being a psychologist himself, I don’t think he can really fathom any other answer. And we… just mentally I’m kinda—”


I should be more careful about that vent. Designed to help distribute air throughout this antiquated office building, the damn thing pops open whenever the heat or air comes on. Doubt the woman leasing the office next door wanted me listening in on her teletherapy session. Didn’t sound terribly interesting, anyway. Not like listening to her masturbate mid-afternoon, almost like clockwork every Tuesday and Thursday. She seemed like a nice enough girl, always smiling, always quick with a ‘good morning’ or a ‘nice weather, huh?’ You’d never know she daydreamed about not being alive anymore.

She seemed fine when I practically ran into her earlier, almost stepping on her bare feet. Of course she had aggressively colorful socks on, no big surprise there. I’d asked her about her lack of shoes, only slightly chastising her for it. My incredulousness being the main issue. We run into one another every few weeks, there are only a couple of us up on the fifth floor after all. It’s my law office, her personal office with whatever she did, and then there’s an architectural firm that takes up the rest of the floor.

Her cheeks reddened as she answered me, practically laughing her words, “I’m definitely not, not trying to wear in some new hiking shoes, and not having a very good go of it.” I’d never seen someone so quick to blush. Shaking my head at her, I just went about my business.

At least that’s what I was trying to do when her therapy session started. There’s usually not a peep out of her office. Other than around 2:30 when I hear her little purring mewls go on for a few minutes, accompanied by something with a small motor, obviously some kind of vibrator. Her noises go on for a bit up until a long, exaggerated sigh and the click of whatever she’s using being turned off. I know I come off like a perv, I get it, but it gets me a little hot knowing what she’s doing on the other side of the wall. She’s cute enough, after all. And my god, that woman’s tits….

That’s what I was actually thinking about, or those, sorting through my mail, using the dangerously sharp letter opener my fiancée had recently gifted me, when the fucking thing slipped and sliced up into my inner forearm. I’d told her it was an actual, effectual dagger. Letter openers have no business being that sharp. But she’d pouted and bitched about me being ungrateful, so I brought the damn thing in.

“Marie!” I called to my secretary. Sweetest old lady, though I didn’t expect her to be much help in a crisis.

“Yes, Bri…oh dear lord! What have you done?! I’ll call 911!”

“Stop that! The hospital is five minutes away. We’ll wrap it up and you’ll just drive me.”

“I didn’t drive in today! Sal dropped me off!”

Fuck me.

I couldn’t drive myself like this. Marie couldn’t drive stick. And I was still bleeding all over the damn place. “Get the first aid kit, would you?”

“Hon, I don’t think a handful of band aids is gonna cut it.” I scowled at her, mostly pissed that she was right. “Oh, I know!” she squeaked. And without explaining herself, she zipped off. I rolled my sleeve up even further and grabbed at some tissues, trying to sop up some of the blood freely flowing from me, or at least stop it from getting on anything important.

A moment later I heard the usually bubbly voice of my office neighbor, Claire, grilling my secretary for information that the woman simply didn’t have. “Well, here he is in any case.” Still without her shoes, she’d brought over a briefcase sized first-aid kit.

“Oh,” she practically laughed that word out too after glancing at my arm.

“Something funny?” I snapped, my patience draining faster than my blood.

“Oh, no! I’m so sorry!” Something pitiful flashed across her eyes. I’d seen it before in my line of work, before I settled on contract law. But it didn’t make sense. Unless she was terrified of blood. She wouldn’t have laughed like she had if that was the case. Whatever it was, she recovered quickly enough. https://sokkan.org “Miss Marie made it sound like you’d nearly cut your arm off. That’s all. I didn’t mean to make light of anything. I’m sorry.”

Setting her oversized first aid kit down, she quickly moved a bunch of my papers, without asking, and placed what looked like a damn puppy pad down on my desk. Placing my arm over it, she examined it for all of two seconds before grabbing a stack of gauze and pressing it down on the wound, firmly. She seemed to know what she was doing well enough, and I felt as though I’d lost enough blood. Marie seemed to trust her.

“You’ll be okay, I promise. Pretty clean cut, thankfully. It just looks like a lot more blood than it really is. You are probably going to have a little scar when everything is said and done though. How’s the pain?” Still holding my arm securely, she looked up at me and really held my gaze for the first time since I’d scared her. She always seemed a bit squirrely, never really holding my gaze at all. But this time she clearly had a purpose. As stupid as it sounds, I didn’t even care. She’d always looked away from me so quickly, I’d never actually noticed before. She had the deepest blue eyes; it was almost unsettling the way the depths of the ocean were studying me.

“Your pupils seem fine. Shock wouldn’t really be my first thought, but better to check in than find out. Though I don’t think it bodes well for a lawyer to have lost his tongue.”

Marie chuckled from the other room and we both turned toward the tittering intrusion. Intrinsically I knew what my secretary was thinking. I imagine Claire did as well. It wasn’t difficult, especially given Marie’s tone as she informed me that, “The ambulance is on its way, boss!”

“I told you not to call them!”

“What were you going to do? Walk?! Ha! I can’t go with you though, hon. Sal won’t have a clue what’s going on. You know him and—”

“I can go.” Little Miss Bubbly chirped up before I could say anything. “Oh, but Miss Marie, hold this just so, would ya? Nice and tight, but not too tight. I need to put those shoes back on.”

They traded places as I objected to the whole ordeal. I wasn’t an infant; I didn’t need a handler or whatever. Besides, I’d call Liz and she’d be over soon enough.

Marie leaned in as I shook my head at the both of them, fuming. “Watch out for that one, Brian. She’s the real deal. You’ll fall for her in a heartbeat.”

“Marie, you know I’m engaged. And I’m pretty sure she’s married.”

“What’s that got to do with it? I was married when I met my Sal. It’s not a death certificate, dear. It doesn’t have to be permanent. Sometimes you fall in love with someone you shouldn’t at just the wrong time. You’d never find that deep, true love without wading through all that other crap first. That’s just life, hon. It ain’t fair and it ain’t pretty.

“Don’t you roll your eyes at me, young man! Love… is like a diamond in a heaping pile of horse shit. It might not be worth it to everyone, not until they actually get to it. And plenty of people don’t even try for it, instead getting distracted and settling for nothing but pretty glass. Believe me, hon, real diamonds, they shine different for ya.”

Before I could tell her how shit she was with her analogy, Claire came back in, shoes and all, chatting it up with a couple of paramedics. She grabbed my jacket for me and everything else Marie told her I’d want. Meanwhile Marie began handling everything, canceling my appointments, getting ahold of Liz, all that. I didn’t seem to have much say in it. A quick four minute drive later and we were at the hospital. An hour later a doctor was finally seeing me. Another hour after that and Liz finally showed up.

The whole time Claire proved surprisingly pleasant company, even as I kept insisting she could go. We played chess on her phone and somehow that damn woman beat me two out of three times, with me only letting her win one of the times. She snuck me in some snacks, even when the nurses said the doc would want to see me first. I was starving and didn’t really give a shit. I just needed a few stitches, after all. The damn thing had already stopped bleeding! I could have just gone home.

Turns out Claire had taken a bunch of first aid courses when she first became a mom. The idea of not knowing how to help them if she could had freaked her out. From then on she’d always had an ample first aid kit nearby. She even took this crazy intensive wilderness first aid course. Her love for her kids and sharing the natural world with them was palpable. It shone brightly through her eyes and the way her face and hands would become animated as she excitedly talked about camping, trekking, kayaking with them, even as she cursed her new hiking shoes. She just seemed so… alive.

Liz finally showed up and just kind of dismissed Claire, basically thanking her for her service and shooing her out the door. I was beyond indignant bursa eskort with Liz, for a few reasons. “Elizabeth, you will give her a ride back to the office. You should have been here two hours ago. What have you been doing?!”

Claire didn’t seem to care for confrontation, no matter where it came from or who it was directed at. “Brian, it’s fine! I’m fine, really. After all, I still need to get used to these shoes!” She again laughed it off, but I could see her still hobbling in a bit of pain. Any was still too much. I exchanged a few terse words with Liz, but she refused to yield. I was beyond livid.

Claire called her goodbyes from the hall, having given us some space. “It really is fine! I’ll see you around, okay? Take care!”


Claire was only in her office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That Thursday I sent her an egregiously large Thank You bouquet.

“Brian! What the hell?!” she called out with false exasperation from next door. I was with a client and couldn’t believe how difficult it was to keep a straight face. Thinking about Liz helped.

After my client left I popped over to see her quick. On a whim I didn’t leave it at that. “Hey, would you like to grab some lunch? On me, of course- as a thank you for your help and for wasting your time on Tuesday.”

“The flowers are already way, way more than enough. And you didn’t waste my time, I love playing chess! But if you’d like to grab lunch, for the sake of grabbing lunch, I’m down.”

That’s how it began.

That’s how I found my diamond, shining, stuck in a pile of horse shit.

For months we had lunch together every Tuesday and Thursday. I started making sure that vent was closed well before her therapy sessions on Tuesdays. And before too long I began scheduling myself breaks between 2:30 and 3, on both days. Not exactly my proudest moments. But the more I got to know her, the more I really got to see her shine, the more I wanted her, really wanted her.

I should have seen it then, how this was all going to shake out. One way or another.

She was married, but she didn’t talk about him much. At least, not if she could help it. When she did he was more of a side effect. She took the kids to the zoo, and he was there. They went on vacation, and he had a miserable time. Her and the kids went on some adventure in the great outdoors, and he was more than happy to head into work to get caught up on notes. That sort of thing. She never seemed to really be putting him down though. As alive as she always seemed, when he came up, that kind of fizzled, sputtered. At the time I thought he just wasn’t as present as she would have liked.

We became one another’s confidants, or so I thought. Nothing was off the table, no matter how it pained me. I was grateful I had a decent poker face. Definitely saved me from giving myself away at times.

“You two really have sex every day?”

“We have contact every day. Like a blowjob, hand job, but yeah, usually sex-sex.”

“I am so jealous of your husband.” If only she knew how sincerely I meant that. Naturally, she took what understanding would be acceptable.

She explained plainly enough, but her words felt somewhat cold. “We had a rough patch after we were done having kids. One of the things he advises his couples to do is to go thirty days with contact every single day, no exceptions, to help build intimacy.” It almost seemed as if she resented some part of what she was saying. I just didn’t know what part and didn’t know where to push, or if that would even be wise. “I guess we just got into the habit of it.” Her tone warmed and changed completely as she confessed, “It certainly suits my libido well enough.”

“And you still…” She quirked her head at me inquisitively, waiting for me to finish my thought. A thought I’d rather die than finish aloud. I couldn’t imagine her oaf of a husband fucking her every damn night (I sure as shit didn’t want that visual) and her still masturbating in her office like clockwork. “You still find it useful then? To build intimacy, that is. I’m kind of impressed.”

“Yeah, I mean. He’s been pretty open to trying things, sexually, considering his background. Very religious family and all that. And it does seem to help with his anger issues.” She smirked as she looked down at her lunch, thinking about something she clearly wasn’t about to say. Then of course she changed the focus back to me, again.

“What about you? How often are Liz and Brian getting it on? Being engaged, I imagine you two go at it at least multiple times a—”

“We aren’t. Not anymore. I broke it off last week.”

“Fucking hell, Brian! Why didn’t you tell me?”

Shrugging I shook my own unspoken truths away. “I’ve known for a while it wasn’t working out. Better to cut my losses before getting all tangled up and attached legally, right?”

“Ha! You have no idea!” I awkwardly grinned and narrowed my eyes. That was the most orhangazi escort negative she’d ever been about marriage, or anything really. I was desperate to know more. “I’m sorry, that was insensitive of me. How are you feeling? Can I help with anything?”

“No, no. I’m fine. Let’s agree I have no idea. So you, you fill me in, Claire.”

“You don’t want to hear me bitch. That’s… no one likes to hear someone be negative like that.” She smiled through whatever she was really thinking. In that moment, seeing her empty, distant smile, I would have given anything to have been able to just hold her.

We’d brought take out back to her office that day. The Chinese place we liked didn’t have air conditioning, but they did have flies- plenty of them. Best not to think on that one too long. Her office was more or less decked out like a messy living room with too many stacks of books and reports and articles piled dangerously high. She was a biographer by trade, only working part-time to be a more present mom. Robert’s idea, but she was grateful for it. Her whole space was comfortable, and familiar.

As I sat across from her, wishing I could just hold her while she ruminated on the idea that no one cared about her problems, it occurred to me that maybe I actually could just hold her. Friends do that all the time, hug, embrace- platonically.

“I care about you, Claire. You know that, right?”

“Oh, of course! I didn’t mean to imply anything. It’s just… Debbie Downer isn’t exactly someone you want to really get to know, or keep knowing, right? Everyone gets the blues at times. It’s just boring, bitching crap, anyway.”

I wanted to scream- Do you really wonder why you fantasize about death, even while being on the highest effective dose of medication for major depressive disorder? Does your husband? Or your fucking therapist?!

Her demeanor changed completely for the rest of lunch. She wasn’t Claire anymore. She was this vapid, happy valley girl that I didn’t recognize. It killed me, but not as much as I could see it killing her, dimming her. Normally when I needed to head back, I just kind of ducked out quick. This time I dawdled, savoring my time with her. When I really had to go, I wrapped the woman in a great big bear hug, holding her close to me, hoping against hope that she understood and knew that I really did care.

When I heard her breath catch, felt more than heard really, I let her go, just enough to pull back and see her face. “Claire, I really do care about you, okay?” I could see the tears threatening to fall. She hated to cry in front of people. I hugged her again, a quick embrace before kissing her cheek. It was only meant as a friendly gesture of comfort. Then I didn’t move away. Her skin was so soft and warm against my lips. I don’t think I’d ever known a truer craving until that moment.

Our bodies were still pressed to one another, still flush in the embrace. I felt her shudder against me, against my touch, her chest against mine. Those little vibrations of hers definitely didn’t help matters, but it did pull me from my reveries. And I pulled my lips from her cheek. Fuck, I couldn’t wait until 2:30.

She could though. For the first time since I started being a creep, listening in on her ‘self-love’ sessions, I joined in. Usually I wouldn’t partake for a variety of reasons, plenty of them professional. But I couldn’t get her out of my head. I figured draining my balls might help, who knows? I sent Marie home early since I only had one client later in the afternoon. The machine could pick up whatever else might be an issue. And then I locked the office doors.

I didn’t want anything competing with her. Like clockwork, she started just on time. She might have been a bit bawdier with her little whimpers this time, but I might have been imagining that too, wishful thinking. I didn’t waste any time. Grabbing my cock, closing my eyes, imagining her, not playing with herself with whatever she had over there, but giving herself to me. Her wavy hair framing her pleasure ridden face as I rocked her body with the force of my own, her ample breasts mimicking the motion, how warm and tight her pussy would feel grabbing my—.

Before I could even really get going I heard her familiar, muffled crescendo. She made short work of taking care of herself; I knew she wouldn’t take long today. Somewhat disappointed, but with my imagination still running wild and my aching hard dick still in hand, I kept stroking myself. I’m not the type to leave a job half-done, after all. I was also a little taken with the whole situation. She’d never once given any kind of sign that I was more than a lunch buddy to her. But something about earlier had gotten her going, clearly. Her image still in mind, or more accurately, the image of me fucking her still in mind, I was getting close quickly.

I grabbed for the tissues, preparing, when I heard it. Much more clearly than usual, a vibrator turning on. Somehow louder, or stronger. I don’t know how it sounded so different, but it did. My immediate guess was either freshly charged or new batteries. And she was definitely louder this time. She sounded so different, so much clearer, some sick part of me even thought about recording her.