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Past Perfect

Past Perfect

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A chance encounter with his former fiancée’s sister leads to a swinging good time.

Ten years ago, for five minutes, I was engaged to be married. Until now, that’s the closest I’ve gotten to wedded bliss.

Okay, “five minutes” is an exaggeration, but not a big one. I had just finished grad school in Texas, where I’d been dating Penny, this sweet, sexy, smart young linguistics student. (Our joke was that, she should go teach at the City University of New York, so she could present herself officially as a “CUNY-linguist.”) We’d dated for a couple of years. I’d met her family; she’d met mine. She had two more years to work on her doctoral degree. I’d finished my own and had been applying for teaching jobs around the country.

We’d decided we wanted to stay together, even if we had to live apart for a while because of our professional lives. I think we both imagined that if we married, it would help prevent us from drifting apart. But, really, we were already floating off in separate directions.

We got as far as picking a date. August 18. Then I was offered a job teaching history at a college on the West Coast. I don’t know that you could say whether I broke it off with Penny or vice versa. But it was definitely broken. We’d both somehow realized that, although we were good for each other, we just weren’t right to be married to each other. That August 18, instead of reciting vows, I was on the road, en route to my new life — Penny-less. Meanwhile, she was in London, where she was about to meet the man she would marry three months later. Nope, he wasn’t a Brit. He was an American rock guitarist, part of a band that eventually had a small amount of success. It tore me apart when I heard she’d married, but the sorrow didn’t last as long as I’d guessed it would. I loved my job. I still do.

But I definitely missed the sex with her. Penny had been the best thing that had ever happened to me in the bedroom. She was dark-haired and lithe. She had impeccable breasts, a little on the small side but absolutely beautiful. As for her ass, it was killer: smooth, firm and round. I ached for her flesh like a sailor pines for the sea. I didn’t meet many date-able women during those first months of singlehood. I was too busy with work. I masturbated a lot. (I mean, a lot.) And I also had some stunning young women in my classes who got my juices churning. But I was careful to keep a distance from undergrads, no matter how pretty. How humiliating it would be at 34 to wind up crushing on an 18-year-old.

About six years ago, I met Goldie. A friend of one of my teaching colleagues, she was (and is) something else. She has a law degree and works for the county government. She’s sexy, sassy and funny. God, so funny! I would have fallen for her for her jokes alone. Goldie isn’t her real name, but as a kid, she reminded her grandmother of Goldie Hawn, what with her loopy smile and blonde, pixie haircut. She didn’t grow up to look much like Ms. Hawn, but the nickname stuck. My Goldie is much more full-bodied than the funny lady, with hefty breasts dusted with freckles to match the ones on her arms and shoulders. And as for her legs and buttocks, there’s definitely some “there” there.

We lived in separate residences for the first few years of our relationship. Like me, she had just come out of a fairly heavy relationship. What we found together was much lighter, more easygoing. A friend of hers once asked her, “Are you and Ernie serious?”

“Of course,” she replied, “we’re just not as serious as a heart attack.”

When we finally moved in together, it was more for the sake of convenience than anything else. We chose not to declare ourselves “exclusive.” We had what we called an “understanding.”

I knew that Goldie had a “friend with benefits” in her hometown of Tacoma. When she would visit her family, she was definitely getting some major peen, as the kids would put it. The guy’s name was Bart. She never offered details, but I figured he was some kind of stallion. I saw a Facebook selfie of him once, and he appeared aristocratic and haughty. In fact, “Bart” looked just like somebody named Bart should look.

Was I jealous? Maybe a little. But it didn’t eat me up. And it didn’t last long.

After meeting Goldie, I felt no great desire to have nookie time with anyone else locally. On the other hand, when I went on a mini-sabbatical to Berlin to work on a journal article, I had a one-night stand with this older woman I met in a dank bar. I was pretty drunk that night. The only thing I truly remember is that I wore a bright lime-green condom.

Not long after that, Bart — of all things — came out of the closet. Goldie told me she wasn’t that surprised. “I’d thought for a long time he’d been ‘borrowing’ my favorite dildo,” she said. “Now I’m sure of it.”

Any residual jealousy I had about Goldie’s “stallion” swiftly evaporated.

Then about a year ago, I was walking from the college parking lot up to my office on campus when somebody behind me touched my shoulder.

“Ernie? Is it you?” a woman’s voice asked.

I turned around, and there was Zinnia — Penny’s younger sister.

I’d gotten to know Zinnia quite well in my Penny days. She was so close in appearance to her sister that people asked whether they were twins. Actually, Zinnia was slightly taller than Penny. And she was a bit more athletically built. Her face was fuller, and she had a somewhat brighter smile. I’d been in love with Penny, but I’d had to admit that Zinnia was the hotter of the two, on a strictly physical level. When I was around both of them together, it was almost too much sexiness to bear.

Still marvelling at our unexpected reunion, Zinnia explained that her husband, Craig, had accepted a position as technical director for the theater department at the university. She, meanwhile, had found part-time work at the writing lab. We both had to run, but we made a date to have coffee later in the week. We embraced tightly, and she kissed me on the cheek before we went our separate ways.

When I told Goldie about Zinnia that night, she was intrigued. Over the years, she’d heard all about Penny and her family, but she’d never met any of them. She suggested we invite Zinnia and Craig to dinner.

“She’s your ex-lover’s pretty sister — of course I want a good look at the bitch,” she joked. “I’ll hose off the mud flaps on the welcome wagon, and we’ll have a little weenie roast in her honor.”

That night, after I slipped into bed with Goldie, I guess I must have kissed her more passionately than usual.

“Did the ‘pretty sister’ get you all hot and bothered?” she taunted.

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

She dove under the covers and began sucking my dick. It was already erect, waiting for her.

As we screwed, she kept snickering, amused to no end and convinced I’d been turned on by thoughts of Zinnia. She was right, of course, but I didn’t want to admit it.

We both got very aggressive as we fucked each other. Finally, with a loud groan, I shot my cream deep inside her warm, wet snatch, my whole groin and belly tingling. I was able to do something that night I hadn’t done in a long time: I kept my spent dick inside her until it stirred again, ready to go another round, which didn’t take long.

Later, towelling down after a quick shower, I couldn’t avoid Goldie’s jibes.

“Please relay my thanks to Zinnia for stoking the fire here tonight.”

“Christ. Don’t go there, Goldie.”

“Don’t run away from it, babe,” she said. “Own your lust. Nobody’s broken any contracts here.”

I said nothing. I just kept towelling down my hair.

“I do think,” she added, “that her parents are nuts. I have never heard of any human being on earth named Zinnia. Rose? Sure. Even Daisy. A little on the hippie-dippie side, true. But Zinnia? Are you kidding? Was ‘Chrysanthemum’ taken, or what?”

A few days later I met up with Zinnia at the food commons for a late afternoon coffee. Craig was to join us after he finished his workout at the college gym. It was a warm day, and Zinnia wore a silky, purple-and-orange blouse that showed off her toned arms and elegant neck. We talked more about how she’d met and married Craig. Then I told her about Goldie.

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