Chapter 31 – Sisters

After the first few short chapters of love after my divorce, I realized that I could possibly find love again. If I met someone I thought might be my true soul mate and we spent years together, I would consider living with her. I thought if by some miracle they came up with a cure, I might even get married again. I was flip-flopping on the commitment and love thing. I had hope, but then again, I never thought I would survive, or have a life partner again. But, with each new chapter of love, and time, the crack in my heart was healing. I didn’t know it, at the time, but it was.

I started to believe even more, as I picked up my camera again. I was shooting like I did when I was a younger man. All the interaction with women gave me even more confidence. Then it started. Everyone I knew was trying to set me up with someone. It was obvious to them that I was heartbroken. They wanted to help me through these rough times. I was shocked when some of my friend’s wives’ and my children’s friend’s mothers, were throwing themselves at me. I couldn’t understand their thinking. I would never fool around with a married woman, period.

Then a family member set me up with her best friend’s sister, not realizing that I had been in a serious chapter of love with her best friend, decades earlier. She never told my family that we were involved. She wanted to keep it that way for some reason. I had not spoken to her in years, although I saw her occasionally. I knew she had gotten married and had children. Clearly, there was no future for us. But maybe there could be with her sister. At that point, the more absurd the possibility, the less fear I had of the opportunity. As I thought more about it, the full ramifications set in. I was being set-up with a woman who was the sister of my former lover, a woman I would have married in a heartbeat, if she had wanted me and I was not in such a wild stage of my life at the time. I was confused. This was a bit of a moral dilemma.

When I was with the older sister, I was a teenager dabbling in photography. I never forgot our affair. Nor did I forget just how much I loved her. When we were kids, she and her family were close to my family.. I never spoke to her much. So, when she called and asked me to photograph her, I was surprised. I had known her most of her life, but had no idea she blossomed into such a beautiful young lady. But, she was not only calling about a photo-shoot, she was flirting and giggling. It didn’t take long for me to agree to help her with her portfolio. I was living in New York City and had not yet started the relationship with my neighbor, so I was still looking for love. I just moved from Thompson Street to the Upper East Side by Central Park. I was making great money and having the time of my life.

The first time we shot she was more than willing to take her clothes off. That was not unusual, as she was also an artist and most artists are also very carefree. Perhaps, she was trying to seduce me. I was never quite sure. I was on my best behavior since she was a family friend. At first I was just interested in creating abstract nudes and experimenting. She was affectionate, intelligent and well spoken. She also had a great sense of humor. She followed my directions incredibly well, even though I was a fledgling photographer. We shot everywhere. We shot in bathtubs and at the beach. We shot on sand dunes even though it was freezing! In addition to the nude shots she posed in various outfits. She looked incredibly exotic and mysterious in traditional kimonos.

Her creative instincts were spot on. I loved working with her. I spent hundreds of dollars on film and hundreds more on processing, without even giving it a thought. When the slides came back from the lab, we met a local place called The Wine Gallery. At one point, I was a waiter and bartender there, so I knew the staff. They were cool and gave us our space. The setting was unique. The booths were antiques taken from old church confessionals. They offered a great deal of privacy. It was a naughty place to look at nude photographs, especially given the origins of the seating.

Back then there was no instant gratification as with today’s digital photography. You had to wait days or even a week to have your film processed. A lot depended on the film choice and how much you were willing to pay to get the film developed quickly. I paid a premium to get them processed and messengered back the next day.

As it turned out, the confessional was the perfect spot. We drank wine and looked at the art we created in pretty much total privacy. After we went through quite a few of the photographs, I went to my car to get fresh batteries for the slide viewer. When I came back, something had changed. She was no longer looking at me as an artist. She wanted me. It was very clear. She kept touching my hands while laughing and giggling. It was both erotic and adorable. She invited me to her car to see some additional photographs she had in a makeshift portfolio. Within minutes we climbed into the back seat. It was a, freezing cold, winter night, so the heat was blasting. It was so hot in the car that the leather seats were sweating and the foggy windows had streaks of water running down them. We spent hours in that back seat and obviously, we were doing a lot more then reviewing her portfolio. I never understood how the car didn’t run out of gas. From that night on, we went out quite frequently. For some reason, she did not want anyone in my family to know.

I honored her request for privacy even though I was falling in love with her. Eventually, we started meeting at hotels in Cold Spring Harbor, her house and in my new penthouse in New York City. She was so much more comfortable with her body and sex than I was. She was one of the most erotic women I had ever known, even to this day. She was a different kind of lover. She wanted it in ways I had never considered previously. Frankly, in a place most women do not want to go. She said she preferred it there. Since I played guitar, my fingers were quite strong so I could fully satisfy her demands. For me, it was a completely different experience. Beyond that, there was nothing she did not want to do, or try, or experiment with. Despite the incredible chapter of love, we were engaged in, when my family started to get suspicious, she wanted to end it. It made no sense to me. Apparently, she had become one of my sisters’ best friends; only I thought they had lost contact years earlier.

For her, they were experimental hook-ups. For me, it was love. My idea of love has nothing to do with getting along with a person, as I got along with just about everyone. It’s a karma thing. I also believe that you cannot love anyone, unless you love yourself first and everyone else. It’s a spiritual thing. Even when I was very young I knew I could not be with someone sexually unless I gave my heart to her. But giving one’s heart is both a curse and a blessing. The more one loves, the more pain one feels at the end of each chapter. Even functional MRI’s have proven that now.

Eventually, we stopped seeing each other and our relationship faded, despite the fact I was in love with her. She was one of the women I would have married if we kept seeing each other. I was so naïve back then. I had no idea that women were using me for sex. I had no confidence. I always thought women would only have sex with men they loved. I was young and fell in love with just about every girl I was with, no matter how long or short the relationship. I was as naïve as a puppy.

That is why it was such a mystery, years later, to be set-up with her younger sister. I learned that she was also coming off a ten plus year relationship. Rumor had it that she was even more heartbroken than I was. At the very least, her wounds were fresher, but the betrayal was just as deep. Both of our families were worried, knowing we were depressed and heartbroken. Eventually I was introduced to her. I asked if she would like to join me to see Billy Joel on New Year’s Eve. She loved Billy Joel and was excited about the evening. It perked her up. She seemed to be very flattered and happy. I thought she knew that I was in love with her sister decades earlier, but didn’t think it mattered. It was an old chapter of love that didn’t seem to mean much to her older sister. In fact, she acted as if it never happened. All I ever got from her was a polite hello and some routine chitchat. So, I simply thought it had to be trivial to her. Why would she take part in setting me up with her younger sister otherwise?

We spoke on the telephone quite a bit before the concert. We had floor level seats, on top of it being New Year’s Eve! She was charming and charismatic, just like her older sister. She had the same exotic look and calming sound to her voice; it was a bit of déjà vu. She worked for the executives of one of the largest software companies on Long Island. She was very smart. After a few calls, during which we bared our hearts, we started to become friends and both found sanctuary in our conversations. On New Year’s Eve, she got the flu. She was vomiting all day long. Clearly, she would not be able to make the concert. I was devastated. I had started to enjoy her giggly and witty ways. She was evoking many memories from my chapter of love with her sister. I was probably confusing some of my feelings for her, with the love I had shared with her older sister. I didn’t realize it at the time.

I went to the concert without her. I held my cell phone up for most of the concert so she could hear it live. She thought that was a very kind thing to do. She said she couldn’t wait to see me. She didn’t know how sick I was and since she was trying to escape her own depression, I never told her. Ten years was a long time for her to invest in her recently ended relationship. She shared with me how dangerously depressed she became when another year went by without an engagement. So as much as she had loved him, she was leaving him and it was killing her inside. When we eventually did go out, we shared our stories and wound up crying on each other’s shoulders. The tears turned into hugs, which turned into kisses, which turned into much more. What started out as an introduction to attend a single concert together was turning into a new chapter of love. Both of our broken hearts were healing with love from each other. She was so much like her older sister. It was a bit surreal. We started to get together regularly. Easing her heartache was helping me overcome my own. We were both escaping the misery of our mutual realities. We were doing so in each other’s arms and much more.

I threw myself into the relationship, not even thinking that it would turn into anything. It was however, turning into something significant. At the time, we were going at it quite a bit, but she could never orgasm. I thought it was because of my heart condition and how difficult it was for me to go at it fast and hard. I had become a much gentler lover. I don’t know if she was just trying to make me feel ok about her not cuming, or if her claim of never having had an orgasm was true. Not having an orgasm by age thirty was sad in and of itself. It was that sadness, that broken wing, that was making me fall in love with her. I recognized the feeling. She was not the first I had fallen into “rescue love” with. I had mistaken that sorrow and sadness for love so many times in my life.

We tried and tried! I went down on her for so long my jawbone hurt and my tongue cramped up. But, I just kept going and taking verbal cues from her. I tried everything in my repertoire. No matter how hard I tried, or how long I lasted, it was impossible. She could not cum and I was close to having a heart attack trying.

Eventually her older sister told her about us. She sabotaged our relationship. I think she was jealous, even though she was married. Our private chapter of love, decades earlier, became the reason she told everyone why she didn’t want us to see each other. Her actions made me think she was secretly in love with me. I had no idea. If I did, I never would have started to date her younger sister. Although we were falling in love, we knew we had to stop seeing each other. She was upset with me because I hadn’t told her about my experience with her sister. I thought she had to have known. We had to think of her sister’s feelings above our own. Before long and after many heartfelt goodbyes, she asked for and got a job transfer to Europe. I never saw her again. I have seen her older sister quite frequently since, but never discussed either of the relationships. It was strange to have loved two sisters, two decades apart.

Some chapters you remember by the love, others you remember by the loss of love. This would be one of those chapters. It was a short but steamy chapter and it helped me through one of the worst times of my life. Eventually, she did tell me that she loved me. She left me the cd we listened to every time we made love, “You’re My Home,” by Billy Joel. It was one of her favorites. She told me it expressed the way she felt when she was with me. I don’t know if I would have survived without the love she gave me at one of the most critical times of my life. In return, I gave her love at a pivotal point of her life. For that I am grateful.

From Facebook, I learned that she married and settled in Europe. I was happy she found love. I don’t know how it was possible, but I fell in love with both exotic sisters, twenty years apart. I will always have a place in my heart for them both. I certainly hope they have a place in their heart for me. I truly loved them both.