It had been raining all day. A band of severe thunderstorms swept in eastward off the lake. The air grew heavy; a warm breeze preceded each new downfall. Inside, they listened to the radio, a favorite new pastime. Raindrops clattered against the windowpanes when the downpours were at their heaviest. Flashes of lightning accompanied rumblings of thunder, distant at first, then closer and, in time, distant again as each cell moved off.
“Do you still want to read more of my poems?” Janet asked.
Joseph nodded and smiled.
“C’mon, I keep them up in my room.”
She skipped up the stairs ahead of him. Joseph arrived on the upper landing pausing at the doorway to her room. He inched forward, taking note of the scent of her favorite perfume, the stuffed animals and dolls positioned neatly atop her dresser and the two posters on the wall across from her bed.
He found Janet on her hands and knees, partway under the bed like some burrowing gopher. When she came out she held several tattered composition notebooks she had squirreled away under there. She stood clutching the books close to her body.
She motioned for Joseph to sit with her on the edge of her bed. She seemed unsure as to whether she wanted to carry through with her offer. Joseph sat down, finding her mattress girlishly soft. Janet held the books out and he took them.
“If you laugh at me, I’ll never speak to you again, I swear.” An idle threat, she knew she’d never be able to carry out.
“Can’t I laugh if I think they’re funny?”
“See!” Her reaction was girlish. She hopped to her feet, placed her hands on her hips and stamped one foot on the floor. Punching him hard in his arm, she tried to yank the notebooks away but his grip wouldn’t allow it. When Joseph realized she was serious he offered the books back to her.
“Indian giver,” he teased.
“No, go ahead. You can read them.”
As he opened the first book, Janet shimmied away to the head of the bed. She picked up one of her pillows and held it in front of her body like a shield. She bit on the edge of the pillowcase, anxious for his reaction.
She passed time focusing on the pitter-patter of the rain on the roof as Joseph read the book (cover to cover). He found a wonderful mixture of lighthearted, teenage observances told in short, melodic verse about things like dragonflies, sleeping cats and sad eyed puppies. Other, longer pieces were more mature, encompassing deep, emotional feelings like the dream of falling in love or the heartache of losing someone very near and dear. The poems seemed to sing to him from the thin blue lines on which they were written.
“Just a lot of silly girl stuff, huh?” she asked.
He looked back at her over his shoulder. “Some of it is, yes. But all of them are really wonderful, even the silly ones. I’ll bet you could have these published in a book someday.”
He put the notebook on the bed, inched closer to Janet and took her into his arms. He kissed her deeply. Joseph gently moved her down flat on the bed, and (then) positioned himself almost on top of her.
They took a big risk. If Vince came home early and discovered them, there was no telling what he might do. They were both beyond caring.
Joseph slid a hand down along the small of her back passed her waist until he cupped the cheek of her backside, He pulled her closer to him. Janet reached under his shirt seeking out his scar. She traced it gently with her fingertips to show that it was just another part of his body she wanted to explore.
Joseph fumbled with the button of Janet’s shorts. He managed to get it open but had difficulty making further progress. Janet lifted her lower body off the bed. She reached down with both hands, to slide her shorts and panties down along her legs, to her ankles where she shook them off with her feet. She trembled when Joseph touched her bare abdomen. His slow, tentative manner made it clear that he hadn’t much experience with other girls. That made this magic moment even more magical.
Her body tensed. Joseph was about to find out that she wasn’t a virgin. How would he react? What would he think about her?
But, in what felt like the very next heartbeat, he was there, touching that private part of her body she willingly shared with him. Emboldened by her reactions, Joseph moved a finger inside her. Flames of passion heated their blood. Janet welcomed his explorations.
They paused long enough for each of them to get fully undressed and Joseph once again took control in a delicate, loving manner. He raised himself over her naked body. Janet bent her knees and parted her legs to receive him. She closed her eyes as he moved downward to penetrate her. Joseph moved with slow easy thrusts and Janet reacted in kind until they were moving in a fluid motion, almost in sync with the rhythm of the rain still falling outside.
Janet gave in to her passion allowing herself to moan as her body reached a shuddering orgasm. Joseph moved toward climax. It took every ounce of effort he could muster to pull away from Janet’s body at the last possible second.
The young lovers lay spent and breathless for what seemed like a long time. When they gained some sense of composure, Janet got up and left the bedroom. She returned with a washcloth wet with warm water and a little bit of soap. She washed him without saying a word. The rain had stopped by the time they got dressed to go downstairs. They were sitting together on the porch when Vince got home.