“I’ve Always Been Your Woman” by Pietra Dunmore

Issue 24 / Winter 2021 / Special Issue: Pleasure

We walked towards his dorm and stood near the entrance, silent. His hands touched my face, slowly going down my neck and shoulders. Then he stopped and butted his forehead against mine, looking at me. I looked right back at him. “You wanna come in?”

I followed him in the dark, past the kitchen and community space to his door. His grey walled room had an old television set with an antenna, but not much else. There was a black milk crate that functioned as a makeshift bookcase balanced on top of a wooden dresser, empty vodka bottles the floor, a metal folding chair surrounded by spray paint cans in the corner.

“I’ve never had anybody else in my room.”

“Glad to be the first,” I said. Nothing in his space proved that I existed or even that he himself slept there. I don’t know what made me look. I knew there probably wouldn’t be any noticeable signs of him in my place, but I knew where they were. At least one: a handwritten poem with his notes and suggestions scrawled in blue ink in one of my drawers.

“What you thinking ‘bout, Woman?”

“Why I ran away when you told me how you felt.”

“And?” Rhetoric gave me a long stare and looked down at my legs dangling inches from the carpet.

“I don’t know,” I said. We both were facing the window that overlooked the football field, my shoulder pressed against his. “I couldn’t trust my emotions at that time.”

I moved away from the edge of the bed, and tucked my legs beneath me. Rhetoric took his bag off the bed and placed it in the corner of the room. He sat back on the bed and reached his hands out to touch my face. “I draw you all the time, but I can’t get your face right.” His fingertips traced my brow bone then leisurely traveled down my cheek, circling my lips and down the side of my neck.

“Are you looking at me like an artist now?”

“No. I am not.” Then he kissed me. I closed my eyes and breathed him in, trying my best to dismiss my nerves. His roommates were at some frat party, probably wouldn’t be back that night.

The brightness of the full moon shone through his window, as he touched my body with his fingers. Rhetoric’s hands and lips glided from the curve of my breast to the length of my leg, tracing each line, curve, and crevice with his fingertips. Rhetoric’s fingers toyed with the elastic of my underwear, pinching the fabric up and away from my skin. His left hand disappeared underneath, exploring. Rhetoric’s mouth was by my ear. “Tell me if you want me to stop.” His finger went inside. I closed my eyes as his lips pressed on my neck. My body responded. Rhetoric moved onto his side, his left hand still inside me as his right pushed my knees apart. His fingers delved inside me, creating small circles around my clitoris. My back began to arch as I felt pressure build between my thighs.

“Do you want to do this? You don’t have to if—”

I kissed him and removed my panties with one hand, sliding them to the floor with my foot.

Rhetoric groped in the dark and found a condom. I nervously looked down as I listened to him open the wrapper with his teeth and unroll it on his penis. I suddenly couldn’t look him in the eye, unsure if things would change after tonight. Rhetoric leaned over and began kissing me again his hands at my waist. I felt him hard between my legs. My hand led him inside. I moaned at the fluidity of the motion, the feeling of penetration. He sucked on my lips as my fingers dug into his back, my body seemingly collapsing as I came.

“You know you my Woman, right?” He asked, looking into my face, and holding my head in the palms of his hands. I studied the shape of his face, the thickness of his locs, noted the placement of his eyes, the outline of his lips, the beard that surrounded them.

“I’ve always been your Woman.”

He smiled and kissed me; I closed my eyes, and was lost.

 

 

Pietra Dunmore writes short stories, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Her writing has appeared in OyeDrum, For Women That Roar, Penumbra: Literary and Art Journal, Causeway Lit, Hippocampus Magazine, The Journal of New Jersey Poets, and Rigorous.

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