Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Alchemist’s corner.
This experiment is one conducted by someone you may already be familiar with – an apprentice alchemist that is already a master of sorts with a style and magic that is all his own – @EdTheAlchemyst (formerly known as @Edgothboy) who tells me is it inspired by @skepticalsasha and is concerned with influences; our nature; the things that make us what we are.
You’ll be seeing a lot more of his experiments in the weeks to come as Edwin officially joins me here in the corner.
Read. Enjoy. Be generous with your comment offerings. See you on the other side.
“Do you smoke in real life?”
It seemed a harmless enough question. He sat with his back to her, lips pursed around the end of a cigarette, sucking deeply. He held the smoke in his chest and waited before blowing out hazy rings.
“She used to say, there are only one of two things to do, after sex. If its really bad, you cuddle so she feels loved. If its really good, you congratulate yourself with a cigarette.”
She didn’t feel very flattered that he was smoking and not cuddling. She suspected cuddling wouldn’t have made her feel terrible either way. Instead another question nagged at her.
“According to who?”
He took another drag and blew. He didn’t answer. She sat up, gathered the duvet around her waist like cream-coloured mulch and reached for him. But she didn’t touch him. It didn’t feel like she was allowed to. Instead she stared at the scar on his shoulder and the smoothness of his skin and regretted letting him talk her into his bed.
“Who makes these rules?” she thought aloud.
“The rules work.” He said, more to himself than her.
“I don’t think they do.” She replied.
He turned to her and smirked. “After all your shakara, you’re in my bed, are you not?”
“Only because I wanted to.”
In her head it had sounded like something someone in control would say, but thrown out to the air, it didn’t sound very convincing. He didn’t think she was convincing either. He stubbed his cigarette on the used condom wrapper that lay atop the vanity table and crawled onto the bed. His hand wormed its way under the duvet and up her thighs. He found her a little too quickly and she felt herself spasm around him. He smiled as a gasp escaped her and her fingers dug into the rumpled bed sheets under her.
“I can make you squeal like a piglet if I want. I know your body better than you ever will. If I want to, I can awaken things inside you, that will make you find God all over again and lose him shortly after. I can make you curse your parents just so I don’t stop touching you. You’re not the first feminist I have trained to respect men and you won’t be the last.”
“Please stop.” She croaked, his statement had broken his spell. She was a psychology major not a feminist.
He smirked and took his hand out from under the duvet and ran them beneath his nose, inhaling deeply.
“You smell better than most of the women I have been with.”
She dragged the duvet up to her chest and crossed her legs underneath her, shame washing all over her. Her eyes scanned the room for her clothes, they were everywhere like abstract art; draped over the table, underneath the chair, hung on the door. She was usually so anally retentive about these things, clothes folded carefully and kept in a heap by the bed, in case she needed to get dressed in a hurry. His whimsy had infected her, and for the first time in years she’d totally invested in the experience. But she had noticed his silence, watched his eyes trained on her; unclouded by the phenomenal sex they were sharing.
“How many women have you been with?” She asked.
“More than enough to know what you want, even when you don’t.”
His answer didn’t satisfy her. “Double digits, triple?”
He caught her gaze, daring her to judge him as he dragged out each syllable.
“One- hun- dred- and- for- tee- two.”
It shocked her to hear him say it so proudly even though she’d heard of him from more than a dozen women, three of them friends. They all swore of his prowess and his ways.
The things he will do to you ehn, you won’t even believe he’s only 22.
She had laughed at their exaggerated stories and protested when they joked that soon she too would be giving some uninitiated girl an anecdote similar to the one they were giving her. She was fascinated but had no intentions of sleeping with him.
“It’s just for this psychology paper and you girls know I don’t sleep with younger men” were her excuses. They seemed so valid then.
“Do they love you?”
He laughed bitterly. “ Isn’t that what you women do? Make everything about love?”
“Did you love any of them?”
His answer came tentatively. “A… few.”
The way he said it reminded her of something her first boyfriend used to say. Multiply a girl’s body count by three, and divide for boys.
“Is she the one who made you this way?”
His voice rose with righteous anger. “She’s better than all of you, She saved me from becoming one of a selfish prick or worse, a 30 year old virgin with no idea of how to treat women. She was a goddess, put my face to that vagina and taught me how it worked. Made me a real man.”
She answered him with silence, she knew what to ask next, but there was no simple way to phrase it.
“Why didn’t you stay with her?” She asked instead.
“Everyone else didn’t understand.”
The thought came to her unbidden. It made sense, his obsession with older women, his need to dominate and humiliate them, his sexual idiosyncrasies. It was the only logical explanation but it left a vile taste in on her tongue.
“How old was she?”
How old were you?”
“Every man should know how to handle a woman. Its never too early to learn.” He said defiantly.
She waited patiently, half wishing he wouldn’t answer. But she knew he would, it was how the ‘goddess’ had taught him to be a man.
“I am not ashamed to say it. I was 14.”