Imagining my Surprise is an exploration of attraction and narrative blindness. I love it when narrators don’t know what’s going on. – Malinov
Imagining my Surprise
by Lord Malinov
Cindy aroused me, that first day, when Nancy brought her new friend by the house. There is something seductive in that woman’s eyes, a sultriness that tempted me the moment I saw her. I remember, I was sitting at my desk, poring over some equations when my wife knocked on the study door and asked me if I knew where the spade was. I didn’t even know we had one, and mumbled incoherently, lost in quadratic remainders.
“Ted,” Nancy said, a note of complaint in her voice, “was that a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’?” I looked up from my page of symbols and saw the dark woman standing just beyond my fair wife. As quickly, I forgot Nancy’s question.
“No,” I said, shaking my distraction.
“Well,” said Nancy, “I’m home. We’ll be in the garden.”
She had probably mentioned Cindy before, but I didn’t pay much attention to names of people I hadn’t met, so I had no idea who she was. I tried to re-immerse myself in the trap-door formula, but found my thoughts lingering on Cindy, a brief impression which had fixed itself firmly in my mind’s eye. She had been standing in the shadows, and there is nothing really exceptional about her beauty, except that she struck me as simply lovely. I closed my book and headed into the kitchen to fix a drink, and then, noticing the sunshine, decided to take a look in the garden.
The two women knelt in the dirt, laughing, digging a shallow trough in the soil.
“Flowers?” I asked.
“I gave Nancy some strawberry plants,” said Cindy. “Mine are overtaking the space I have, and when she mentioned how much she loves strawberries, well, we went out and dug some up.”
“Mmm,” I said, admiringly, “I love them, too. How long before I can step out back and pluck a fresh berry?”
“Not until next year,” said Nancy, placing the first plant into the hole. “I want to put some raspberry bushes over against that,” she said to Cindy, pointing toward the cedar fence.
“I love your garden,” said Cindy, looking up to smile at me. My heart fluttered, suddenly excited by that look in her eyes. She leaned back on a her arms, pulling her t-shirt tight around her right breast, a perfect fruit in its own right. Her long, lean legs stretched out over the dirt, unafraid to feel the earth on her bare skin. Her shorts fell loose around her tanned thighs, and I found myself trying to spy panties in the slight gap.
After that sunny day, Cindy dropped by the house regularly, and with each encounter, I found myself more occupied with thoughts of her, in part because she was just an attractive woman, but also because of that seductive look in her eyes, accompanied by a constant leering smile which seemed to invite me to make some move. Nancy never paid the slightest bit of attention to her friend’s forwardness, a blindness which slowly eroded any caution in my developing fantasies. By the time the summer began to fade into fall, I thought about Cindy, almost constantly.
The three of us had dinner together on a Wednesday night, nothing special, Cindy just happened to drop by the house and Nancy asked her to stay. As we ate our garden salad, I caught Cindy’s eye, and all at once, I knew I had to have her, and that she wanted me to have her, and that nothing on earth was going to stop us. The dinner passed almost in silence. Tension gripped us all.
I went to the office the next day and sat at my desk all morning in a dreamy state somewhere between fantasy, indecision and madness. After lunch, I called home, hoping a few words from Nancy would dispel my uneasy heart. After three rings, I hung up the phone. I couldn’t talk to her. I called Cindy’s number. Madness had infected me completely.
I almost sighed with relief when no one answered. As I hung up the phone, I realized I had no idea what to say to Cindy. If she was thinking what I thought she was, I could do a dance of love between her thighs, and probably ruin the marriage I had no reason to destroy. If she wasn’t, she would probably tell Nancy, and I’d ruin the marriage, just the same.
My gun had jammed, and I’d been spared the crime I had so poorly planned.
When I returned home that night, I wanted to make it all up to Nancy. She would never know what I hadn’t done, but I was going to give her all the love she deserved, including the love I had almost wasted on another. I found her in the kitchen. As I embraced her, she seemed to shy away.
“I’ve been thinking about you,” I said. “I called, but . . .”
“I was at Cindy’s,” she blurted out, her voice trembling.
“Yes,” Nancy said, and as quickly started cutting vegetables.
My blood burned through my veins. I tried to tell myself there were a thousand logical explanations, but I could only think of one. I had never known Nancy to lie to me, and never imagined she could ever be unfaithful, but now I faced a colder reality.
I knew I should have just said something, but I couldn’t. Nancy seemed so upset that to begin accusing seemed too cruel. Besides, how could I explain the fact that I had called her best friend’s house?
There was more to it, I think, than just wanting to catch my wife red-handed in an affair. I loved her deeply, but I was still caught in a state of infatuation for Cindy. I think part of me wanted to justify my own feeling of guilt, so I could indulge myself in a revenge that suited the crime better than just yelling and divorce. If Nancy were cheating on me, fine, I thought, then I can sleep with Cindy.
I’m ashamed to admit it, but I set a trap for my wife. I invented a business dinner for the next Thursday night. I talked about it all week, telling Nancy how much I was dreading it, anticipating the possible promotions that might result, diving into my papers every night to plan every contingency I might encounter.
Late Thursday afternoon, I called home. By this time, I believed Nancy would lie to me.
“So, how are you going to spend your evening alone?”
“Cindy’s coming over. We’ll probably go to a movie, or maybe do some shopping. What time will you be back?”
“Not before nine,” I lied. “Maybe later.”
“Well,” she said. “Good luck.”
“Yeah,” I replied coolly. “Thanks, sweetheart.”
I drove home at once and parked in the church lot a few blocks from our house. I wanted to be there to see whatever was going to happen. My whole body trembled as I walked toward our house. I hid in the thick hedges that flanked the end, and settled uncomfortably to lean against the wall, crouching.
After half an hour, I felt like a complete idiot. I realized my trap was ill conceived, that while I might catch some Casanova who dropped by for an evening rendezvous, there were a thousand other scenes that would leave me sitting underneath an azalea in the dirt, oblivious to my wife’s guilt or innocence. I finally pulled myself out of the bushes and jumped over the fence with a clatter.
I walked bent over, to keep my body below the deck railing, hoping the neighbors wouldn’t see me sneaking up on my own house. I peeked into the family room. Nancy wasn’t in sight. I crept over to the dining room window, and again, found no one. I slipped into the back door as quietly as I could. I never realized how much noise is unavoidable in opening and closing a door, but no one called out, no one screamed. My heart pounded and I headed toward the stairs. The noisy whir of a hair dryer let me know I was safe for the moment. I opened the door to the hall closet and slipped inside to huddle under our long winter coats. I tried to slow my anxious breath, comforting myself that I was safe for the time being. I felt insane.
If Nancy was drying her hair, that meant she had showered and that meant she was grooming herself, all of which served to increase my suspicion. I sat in the dark, burning in the heat as I imagined Nancy with some other guy, fuming at the humiliation of her betrayal, despairing at the years of delight that were torn crashing against the shoals of this cruel shore. The wool of Nancy’s long overcoat stifled me until I could hardly breathe. I distracted myself with lusty fantasies of Cindy, feeling righteous in my imagined debauchery with my new mistress, taken by right in the midst of Nancy’s cruel betrayal. The doorbell rang. I sat up, feeling the ache of my trapped posture.
Footsteps knocked a light rhythm down the stairs. “Hey, Cindy,” Nancy said as the door swung open. “Come on inside.”
“Wow, Nancy,” said Cindy after the light smack of a friendly kiss. “You look fantastic.”
“C’mon,” said Nancy, her voice bubbling with delight, “I’m dying to show you what I did this afternoon.” Their voices trailed down the hallway. I sat trapped, huddling in my stifling cave of coats and boots.
Time passed at a dull pace which made it impossible to even estimate the duration. I felt slightly ashamed of myself. Nancy said Cindy was coming over and she had. Hopefully they’d go to a movie so I could escape without any risk of causing a scene. I waited.
“Show me, then,” said Cindy’s voice, approaching. I felt a quick pulse of panic, afraid fate would conspire against me and the closet door would suddenly lurch open. I held my breath, freezing stiff. The girls bounded upstairs.
“This is so stupid,” I muttered after another fifteen minutes or so went by. I finally resolved to take a chance, take the three steps out of the closet and out the front door, and get myself out of this uncomfortable, undignified position. Maybe Nancy had cheated on me, but with each passing moment, it seemed less likely. I was taking too many chances, without even one good reason.
I listened at the door, cautiously, anxious to avoid a fatal mistake in the last few seconds of my stupidity. Silence. I opened the door slowly, peering out, my eyes burned by the hundred watts of our living room light. I stepped out onto the marble foyer. I peeked upstairs. I heard a low moan.
I knew the sound intimately. It was Nancy’s. I had heard it a thousand times, but never at such a distance. I started up the stairs, too curious for caution. The sound grew heavier, louder. Our bedroom door stood slightly ajar. I approached, unbelieving and drawn. Pale hands wove into Cindy’s dark brown hair, pulling her down between Nancy’s thighs. Throaty, low moans echoed through the room.
My cock nearly tore through my trousers, such was my amazement at the scene before me. My jaw dropped open, amazed. Nancy arched her back, lifting herself to meet Cindy’s kiss with her cunt. Nancy yanked at her blouse, tearing a button in her anxious desire to knead her own breasts. Mesmerized, I opened my fly and pulled out my stick and started jacking myself furiously. Cindy stood up and stripped. Nancy’s pussy dripped, spread wide and waiting.
Cindy’s ass was divine. Her cunt was delectable. Her tits were magnificent. Nancy caressed and teased and patted and fondled and squeezed and licked every bit of her friend with an ecstatic admiration, while enduring the same devotions to her own beautiful flesh. My prick screamed at the constant invitations of swollen slippery labia, of tongues and hard nipples, hungrily begging me to indulge myself in this feminine feast. But I stood wide-eyed and watched, stroking myself in a fit of passion, wondering at the vision before me, unwilling to risk the dream by pinching reality awake.
A moment of love paused.
“What is it?” asked Cindy, quietly.
“I can’t help but feel guilty,” said Nancy. “I think Ted has become suspicious.”
“You think he knows?”
“No,” said Nancy. “But it might be better if he did. I’m afraid he thinks I’m doing something worse than I am. Except this is, well, I’m not sure this is better.”
“C’mon,” said Cindy with a playful giggle. “You know this is better.”
“Yeah, but I wish I didn’t have to lie.”
“Well, what time is he coming back?”
“Cindy! Could you do that?”
“Yeah, but more importantly, could you?”
“Yeah, I mean, I guess so, it would be hot, wouldn’t it?”
“Yeah,” said Cindy, leaning back, teasing her pussy while she thought. “That would be hot.”
“He’ll be back after nine.”
“Cool,” said Cindy. “Let’s think up some way to surprise him.”
With that, I slowly backed away, dashed down the stairs and silently slipped out the door. Walking back to my car, I imagined my surprise.