The day I met Julia, I was alone. On a cloudy, dull, cool, damp early spring day in Manhattan, I was mindlessly walking up one of the busiest streets in the world among the hookers, pimps, honking taxis, busy shoppers and theatre people hurrying every which way, but I was alone. As I trod up Broadway towards Central Park, I was numb to all the sounds that surrounded me.
It had been four years since Frank had died, but his presence still haunted me daily. I was doing, of all things, the laundry, when I got the call.
“Is Frank Ketchum your husband?”
“Y-y-yes, is there something wrong?”
“Mrs. Ketchum, this is Sgt Cochrane of the N.Y.P.D. I’m awfully sorry to have to tell you that your husband has been in a serious accident and has been taken to the Lennox Hill Hospital on East 77 th Street.”
By the time I arrived at the hospital, he was already dead. A senseless accident of a driver in a hurry running a red light destroyed two lives in the same second, leaving one dead and one walking dead.
We had been married for three years after a whirlwind courtship of only six months after meeting each other at a mutual friend’s party. It had been a rather tedious affair and after just meeting and chatting casually with him, he could see I was looking for an excuse to sneak out. So he suggested we go around the corner to a little bar and have a drink by ourselves. I remember being a little hesitant in accepting the invitation but there was something about him that put me at ease and feeling quite comfortable. So I agreed, and it turned out to be the best decision of my thirty two years. I know it sounds corny but he really was the love of my life, a perfect compliment to my existence.
We couldn’t have been more different if we had planned it. As a corporate lawyer, I represented some very high power clients. Consequently, life was not always a bed of roses. Depending on what I happened to be working on at the time, I could be a bear to be around. Often tense and on edge, I would spend days in my own little world trying to work out complex legal problems, at the same time endure constant pressure from the partners of the firm with whom I was associated.
As a veterinarian doctor, he was as gentle and considerate to the people he interacted with as he was with the animals he treated. Possessing an extremely high I.Q., he had the ability to listen at length to my ramblings, see through complex problems, then more times than not, offer a solution which cut to the heart of the matter. His biggest attribute, though, was his sense of humour, which he often used masterfully to diffuse tense situations. In a heart beat it was all taken away and my life completely destroyed.
So on that particular day, as I trudged down Broadway under a cloud of despair, unaware of the throngs of people around me, there came a voice.
“Excuse me… please… excuse me!”
I turned to see a woman with a quizzical look on her face staring at me.
“I’m sorry,” she continued, “but could you direct me to the Disney store, I believe it’s around here somewhere?”
“Yes,” I uttered, “it’s just down the street a few blocks, I think.” Then I turned around and as I pointed in the direction that I had been walking, added, “just down that way, I’m sure of it.”
With that she smiled and said, “Oh thanks so much,” and took off down the street.
At the time, I didn’t give it a second thought, but had I been asked, I most likely wouldn’t have been able to describe her. Later that afternoon, the strangest thing happened.
I had to drop off some documents not far from where we had first encountered each other, when again, I heard, “Oh, hello again.”
This time I was a little more cognisant of my surroundings and looked up to see the same woman walking beside me carrying a couple of packages.
“Thanks for the directions,” she said, “I’m ever so grateful. I found the place with no trouble, thanks to you.”
“Oh,” I replied, “I’m glad.”
She kind of hesitated and it seemed as if she was not sure of what to do or say, when without any preamble she just blurted out, “Look, I know this is awfully forward of me, but would you mind if I bought you a coffee as a way of thank you?”
“Oh, you don’t have to do that,” I said, “I’m sure you must be busy and I really do have to go.”
“No, really,” she continued, “I’m new in this city. I have nowhere to go right now and would love to buy you a coffee... or a drink if you prefer.”
With that, I looked at her and for the first time really saw her. I guessed she was at best a few years older than I was, probably in her early forties. At a couple of inches taller, she was dressed in a forest green full length raincoat, with the collar turned up. She had strikingly sharp features with long, very well coiffed, auburn hair with a little dark green tam tilted to one side on her head.
To this day, I have no idea what possessed me to accept a stranger’s invitation, but without any thought or sound reasoning, I said, “Well, I guess there wouldn’t be any harm in a quick drink. There is a little lounge just around the corner on 55 th street. It’s just up this way a few blocks,” as I pointed up the street.
We walked in silence to the bar, were greeted by a waiter and shown to a little table in the corner of the room in close proximity to the window looking out onto the street. As she took off her coat and threw it over one of the chairs, I noticed how she moved. All her actions were deliberate with a well defined grace and confidence. This was a lady who knew who she was, in control of most situations presented to her.
She sat down in the chair adjacent to me with a little nervous giggle, but with a warm smile, and she said, “Oh my goodness, we don’t even know each other’s names. I’m Julia.”
“Hi, I’m Lacey,” I answered, while extending my hand.
We ordered drinks and discovering that we had much in common, and we sat there for over two hours spilling out our lives to each other. As we talked, I felt months of oppression, sadness and guilt dissolve from my entire being.
I learned that Julia owned a string of small coffee shops in the state of Pennsylvania and had come to New York to visit her sister and attend her niece’s birthday party, hence wanting to find the Disney Store. She had also taken a small apartment on the upper west side for the sole purpose of staying in town to explore the possibility of branching out and opening another store in Manhattan.
Over the course of the next couple of months and well into the fall, we saw each other frequently. We went to shows, the opera, festivals, out to dinner quite a lot and often would just share each other’s company at my place, spending quiet evenings talking.
As I was starting to get back into my work, I also realized that being with Julia was not only a tonic but it seemed to satisfy some missing part of my life. I found myself wanting to be with her at certain times of the day, or if we had arranged something, really looking forward to seeing her.
One evening, out of nowhere, she asked me, “You know Lacey, we’ve talked a lot of your marriage, of Frank and his tragic death. But you’ve never once asked me about my love life, why at this point of my life I’ve never married or even seemed to date anyone. Don’t you think that strange?”
Catching me completely off guard, I replied, “Well Julia, I guess I figured it was none of my business, or maybe the subject just never came up. I… I… don’t know,” I stammered. With a hollow laugh and a nervous twitch of my mouth, I said, “Maybe you’re gay and just didn’t want to tell me… ha ha.”
Then with a straight face, and a serious look in her eyes, she said, “Would it make any difference to our relationship if I was?”
“N-n-no, of course not,” I shot back. But in truth, I wasn’t very confident with that answer.
“Tell me Lacey, have you ever been with a woman… in that way, I mean?”
“Me. Oh heavens no, why would you even ask that?” I said, not at all being very comfortable with where this conversation was heading.
She must have picked up some negative vibes from me, because at that, she got up and went into the kitchen. She brought out another bottle of wine, asked me something totally unrelated to that subject and the rest of the evening was spent discussing trivial matters. I went home and put the whole exchange completely out of my mind.
We didn’t see each other for a couple of weeks, and then one Friday evening after dinning out, we went back to her place to watch a DVD. We had polished off a good bottle of Pinot Noir and were just relaxing in the living room watching the movie.
When Julia came back from the kitchen, she sat down beside me on the sofa, which was strange, but I don’t remember thinking anything of it at the time. I also don’t remember who initiated it, but I found myself leaning against her and just feeling very secure and comfortable. She put her arm around me, and we snuggled in close together. I don’t recall at the start feeling any sexual attraction, just the comfort of being with a very good friend. She began to stroke my hair and ran her fingers over my shoulder.
Then her hand came up to my cheek, and she must have paused for a reaction from me. When there was none, she cupped her hand around my chin and, turning my face toward her, she looked right into my eyes, bent down and ever so softly and pressed her closed mouth against mine.
Taken completely by surprise, I jerked my head back and screamed, “My God, Julia, what ever are you doing?”
“Oh God, Lacey, you must know how I feel about you, how we’ve grown so close over the past few months.”
“Yes but, b-b-but I never imagined this.”
“But... Oh Lacey, I’m so sorry,” she uttered, as her eyes dropped to the floor. Then looked up at me and added, “I thought you felt the same way about me.”
At that point something extraordinary happened. As she said that, it hit me like a thunderbolt. Yes, I did feel that way about her. I guess I didn’t realize it, or wouldn’t admit it to myself, but now would have to admit that I was in love with her. At the same time I never in my wildest imagination considered anything of a sexual nature between us.
I looked straight at her and said, “Julia, I’m frightened. Yes, I do love you… I think. No, I know I do. But I’ve never done anything like this… I mean I’ve never… Oh I don’t know what I mean. Right now I feel… Oh Heavens! I don’t know… I guess I’m terrified about doing the wrong thing and losing you, or giving in but not knowing how to please you. I don’t know, I just don’t know, this is all so very confusing.”
Then without any warning I started sobbing.
With that acquiescence, she took my face in both of her hands and with extreme tenderness, slowly brought my face to hers, gently kissing my lips.
As our lips melded together, my whole existence took flight. I felt as if I was floating above the sofa looking down at us from afar. I sensed her hands leaving my face, then her arms enveloping me. As she pulled me to her and our bodies became one, my heart began beating so strong I could feel my pulse in my neck.
After she released me, she silently stood, took my hand in hers and led me down the hallway to the bedroom. It was like walking in a dream. I was completely aware of what was happening and where we were going, but had no inclination or desire to question or resist.
Once inside the room, she slowly undressed me as I stood frozen to the floor, unable to do anything but stare straight ahead. She unbuttoned my blouse and slipped it off my shoulders. As it fell to the floor, she unzipped my skirt and held me while I, as if in a trance, stepped out of it. Next came the bra and panties. Then, guiding me to the bed, she gently pushed me so that I was sitting on the edge. She then pulled up my ankles and swinging them onto the bed, managed to get me into a lying position in the middle of the bed.
She then undressed herself and lay down beside me. She cradled my face with her hand and we began kissing. Slowly at first, then as I could feel her searching my mouth with her tongue, I reciprocated and ran my tongue around the inside of her mouth. I could feel her hand on my breast, gently rubbing, then squeezing, and then tweaking my nipple, which had already become very hard and erect. At that point I was aware of how much I wanted her. I wanted all of her. I wanted her to completely devour me to the point of stealing my very soul.
Suddenly her warm moist lips were around my nipple, and as my head was spinning my body tingled all over. I could hear myself softly moaning with desire and pleasure. As she continued to kiss both my breasts, her hand ran down my stomach and settled between my inner thighs.
“Oh God, touch me,” I whispered.
“Please, please Julia. Now, touch me now.”
Her hand came up and I could feel her fingers part my lips.
“Yes, yes, there… oh my God!”
She wet her fingers with my juices and began rubbing my clitoris. Ever so slowly at first and then with two fingers, she gradually rubbed faster. Just when I thought I would scream with uncontrollable desire, I felt her fingers slip between my lips deep into my vagina, while her thumb massaged my hood.
I knew I was going to orgasm and she must have sensed it also, because just as I was about to cry out she put her leg over mine and forced herself between my thighs. She positioned herself so that her thigh was rubbing against my clitoris and aroused herself by rubbing against me. Extending her arms up and around me, she held me so close I could feel our hearts beating and hear our mutual gasping for air. Then together our bodies went rigid. All at once we both cried out together and for what seemed an eternity, we held each other absolutely motionless, frozen in time.
After a few moments, without saying a word, she separated herself from me, and pulling on my shoulder, rolled me over onto my stomach. With a feathery touch she began massaging my back. Starting at my neck and gradually working her way down to my bum, she kneaded my skin and worked the muscles. Oh God, it felt so good!
Bringing herself closer to me, she began kissing the back of my neck. Then slowly navigating her way down with kisses, she rubbed and licked her tongue against my skin.
The sensation sent shivers all down my body. As she reached my bum, she turned me over. Once I was fully on my back, she softly ran her hands over my thighs and gently spread my legs. Oh Jesus… I could feel her breath against my still very wet, overly sensitive vaginal lips. The first sensation of her tongue against my lips caused me to cry out, “Ah-ah-oh my God in heaven… Julia… ”
She wrapped her arms under and around my legs until her hands were resting on my abdomen just above my pubic hair. As she ever so lovingly played with my yearning lips, she soothingly rubbed my flowing juices over my hood. The more she licked and rubbed, the more I quivered. Just as I was about to explode, she would stop, pull her head away and caress my belly with her soft hands. As my breathing returned to normal, she would then resume her manipulations of controlling my arousal. She repeated this cycle I can’t remember exactly how many times; it just seemed to go on forever.
The last time she brought me to the brink, the edge of ecstasy, I screamed out and arched my back so hard, I’m sure I must have completely smothered her face with my soaking pussy.
After we lay there for a few minutes and let our bodies, mine especially, come back down from the cloud we had been on, all I could say was, “Oh fuck, Julia!”
She let out a loud giggle at my rare choice of words, but then lovingly caressed me and held me very tight.
The rest of that evening was spent repeating the experience. Over the years we have spent together, she has taught me so much, not only about making love, but how to be a contributing human being again. After my years of wandering aimlessly, thinking I would never live a normal life, she showed me the way to become a contributing human being. She renewed my confidence in myself and basically taught me how to live again.
I never forgot about Frank. He will always be a very important part of my life, but with Julia I have spent the last fifteen years in complete contentment. You never know what life holds for you and sometimes when things seem as though they just can’t get any worse, you just have to press on and hope and have faith. For me, I was one of the lucky ones to find the sunshine on the other side of some very dark clouds.
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with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.
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