An Angel of Mercy
“500 channels, and nothing but Christmas specials on…”
Ken Dix flipped through the TV guide at a moderate pace, finding nothing but disappointment at every turn. As it was Christmas Eve, every show was a mushy feel-good romp spouting lines about family and goodwill to others. None of that spoke to Ken in the slightest.
“Ken?” a voice came from the kitchen.
“What’s up, Mom?”
“I’ve got my hands full with making everything for dinner tonight, but I’m going to run short on a couple of ingredients,” Helen Dix said, poking her head into the living room. “Can you run to the store real quick for me please?”
“Sure thing,” Ken replied, seeing as he had nothing better to do.
“Great, thank you. I made a list on the counter for you. The store should be open for another hour or two. The main things would be the eggs; I don’t have enough to finish my famous chess pie. If they have tea by the gallon, grab one sweet and one unsweet. The rest are great if you find them, but not essential.”
“Got it,” Ken said as he took the list from the counter.
Heading out to his car, Ken cranked up his Honda Civic and pulled out of the driveway. As he made his way into town, Ken reflected on his current situation. Though he loved his mom, being home for the holidays was always nerve-wracking for him. His hometown of Alpharetta, Georgia was crawling with former high school classmates of his, people he’d just as soon never see again. But up at MIT, he was actually among peers that he could relate to on an intellectual level. Not that he’d made that many friends up there. As a nineteen-year-old freshman, he was still stuck in the same boring math and science classes as everyone else. He couldn’t wait until he could start his health sciences training. Maybe then he could meet some decent people, perhaps of the female variety.
Ken soon arrived in the parking lot of the local Kroger. It was soon obvious that the place was packed with last-minute shoppers, all trying to find that one final ingredient they were missing. Locking his car, Ken sauntered into the store, grabbing a shopping basket along the way. He found the shelves of the store well picked over, striking out on the nonessential items on his mom’s list. Making his way to the drinks aisle, he was pleased to see that the store was keeping the gallon jugs of tea well stocked for the holidays, and picked up a pair.
Ken soon arrived in the refrigerated section of the store. Almost every shelf was empty, but he did manage to find one last carton of six eggs, just what his mom needed. Depositing the carton in his shopping basket, Ken made his way back to the front of the store, checking out in the express lane. He gripped the shopping bags tightly, being careful that the eggs weren’t harmed from the swinging of the bags. Arriving back in the parking lot, he was pleasantly surprised to see one of his former classmates, Jacqueline Brown. As he approached, she saw him coming.
“Ken? Kenneth Dix?”
She was extremely pretty, as was befitting one of the most popular girls in school, and kept her sandy-brown hair cut just below her jawline. Her soft, warm facial features and bubbly personality belied the sharp intellect hiding underneath. She and Ken had been partners a few times in various subjects, and he had helped craft her entrance essay to the University of Washington. This earned her a full ride scholarship. In spite of her popularity, they had worked well together, and Ken even dared to call her a friend, at least in his own mind. They had never hung out on a social basis; her circle of friends would never have let her live that down. Still, times had changed. They were both out of high school, after all. What could it hurt to ask?
“Jacqueline? Wow, I never thought I’d see you back here. Thought you escaped to cooler climates?”
“Yeah, Seattle is nice, but nothing beats Christmas at home,” she replied, adjusting her UW sweatshirt. “You back for the same reason?”
“Uh huh. Mom pretty much insisted. She won’t settle for anything less than a full family gathering on Christmas Eve. I’m just grabbing a few last things for her. But yeah, it’s great seeing you again. You, uh, you look good.”
“Um… thanks,” she replied with hesitation.
“I’m, uh, gonna be home for a couple of weeks. Would you want to, I don’t know, hang out sometime? Maybe grab a bite to eat? My treat.”
“Well, Ken, that’s sweet of you to ask…” she said almost to herself. As she paused, her eyes suddenly lit up as if she had gotten an idea. “Alright! Here, let me give you my number.” She scribbled a series of digits down on a scrap piece of paper, writing her name next to them. “I’ll, um, talk to you later, I guess?”
Ken couldn’t believe it; he had actually done it! He had asked out the prettiest girl he had ever known! Moreover, she had given him her number! Things were definitely looking up.
“Dick!” a voice behind them yelled.
Ken turned, immediately recognizing Jason Brown, Jacqueline’s fraternal twin brother, along with his two flunkies, Brian and Barrett Sullivan. Jason had been the star quarterback at his high school, and the Sullivan boys were his best offensive linemen. They often served as his muscle off the football field, as well. Ken was intimately familiar with these three, as they had made it their mission in high school to make his life a living hell. Being stuffed in lockers, having his wallet stolen, all were commonplace with them. The three approached, attempting to appear imposing, which they were from the perspective of the ever-scrawny Ken.
“I’ve got nothing to say to you guys,” Ken muttered as they approached.
“Well I’ve got something to say to you, Mr. Kenny Dick,” Jason growled.
“Just shut up and leave me alone,” Ken replied, his blood boiling at the use of Jason’s longtime nickname for him.
“No! YOU shut the fuck up and listen!” Jason said, grabbing Ken by the collar of his t-shirt and flinging him against his car. In the process, Ken dropped his shopping bags, the jugs of tea landing directly on the egg carton.
“Jason! Stop it!” Jacqueline protested.
Undeterred, Jason threatened. “Listen fuckwad, you stay the hell away from my sister!”
“She’s an adult, dickhead! She can have anyone she wants as a friend!” Ken protested.
“YOU don’t belong on the same PLANET as her! You’re nothin’! A pathetic sack of guts your dumbass mother decided to give a name to! Know what? Just do us all a favor and drop dead!”
Enraged at the insult to his mom, Ken swung a wild haymaker at his assailant, but Jason was more than ready, pinning Ken’s arm back against his car. Jason then delivered a crushing punch to Ken’s gut, dropping him down to his knees. Before leaving, Jason knelt down next to his gasping victim.
“Next time, I won’t be so nice. Next time… I might just kill you myself. See ya around. Dick.” Turning to his sister, Jason said, “Come on, time to go home.”
Jacqueline looked down at the pitiful form of Ken before muttering, “Sorry, Ken.”
The trio of boys sauntered off across the parking lot, laughing and high-fiving at their antics. Jacqueline followed right behind them. Ken picked himself up and inspected his groceries, discovering the crushed eggs in his bag. Swearing and cursing, he grabbed the misshapen carton and went to throw it in a nearby trash can.
“No chess pie tonight…”
As Ken returned to his car and began his drive home, Jason and his flunkies watched on from his car, still pleased with their efforts.
“You shouldn’t have done that,” Jacqueline said in a lecturing tone.
Jason turned to face his sister. “I do what I gotta do, Jacqueline. That fuckwad has no business gettin’ friendly with you. He needs to learn his place.”
“Be that as it may, I can take care of myself,” she replied firmly.
“Take care of yourself? Wait… you didn’t?”
“I did. Jason, someday you’ll learn that there are more subtle and effective ways to ward off undesirables. Trust me, Ken won’t bother me ever again.”
Upon arriving back home, Ken couldn’t bring himself to tell his mom about the incident with the eggs. He instead told her that the store had run out altogether. She had spent many sleepless nights in the past worrying about the constant bullying her son was subjected to in school. Ken didn’t want to give her anything else to worry about. By this time, has uncles had started arriving, and the living room was soon filled with the sounds of football games. In Ken’s mind, these were no more thought provoking that the mindless Christmas specials he had found earlier. Ken went up to his room to take a hot shower, as well as get some alone time in the process. As he stripped down, he saw a bruise beginning to form on his stomach from Jason’s punch. He winced in pain as he touched the tender skin.
Shit… that’s not going away for a while.
Ken took some Tylenol for the pain before stepping into the shower. The hot water helped relax his body, and the steam gradually built up, clearing his mind a bit. He finished after a while and, after making sure his door was shut, flopped facedown onto his bed. After laying there for around an hour or so, his mom finally called him down to rejoin the family for dinner.
Taking his seat at the table, Ken glanced around the room at his various family members. His mom had two older brothers, Lee and Stan. Though Lee was tall and still relatively youthful looking at forty-five, Stan was shorter and beginning to bald as he approached fifty. Still, both of them had one notable thing in common as far as Ken was concerned: they were both still jocks at heart. Ken had never known his father; it had always just been him and his mom. He could tell that his uncles tried to be male role models for him, but their efforts were usually ill-conceived attempts to “man him up.” Never once did they understand his introverted tendencies, and always tried to get him to be more of a people person. After a while, Ken stopped paying their advice any attention.
It was striking to Ken how similar Lee and Stan’s families were. They had both married beautiful, blonde cheerleaders, and now both had sixteen-year-old daughters, both of whom were among the most popular girls in school. It all sickened Ken; they were just perpetuating the stereotype of pretty and popular being the be-all, end-all in life. As the family ate, Ken remained silent for the most part. The adults were engrossed in discussions about their jobs, and the two daughters were giggling and playing on their phones the entire time. None of this was relevant to Ken.
“You know, I saw something interesting today,” Lee said as dessert was being brought out. “I was at Kroger filling up my car, and saw you in the main parking lot, Ken. Looked like you were, uh, havin’ some words with a few guys out there.”
Shit! He saw that?!
Not wanting to worry his mom, Ken replied, “It… it was nothing.”
“Nothing, eh? Is that why that punk punched you in the gut?”
With a worried look on her face, Helen asked, “Ken, sweetie, what is he talking about?” She walked around the table to Ken’s seat and lifted up his shirt, seeing the bruise on his abdomen. “Was it that Jason boy again?”
“Mom, just let it go.”
“No! Ken, you know I worry about you!”
“You worry about ME?! I think you need to worry more about your brother!” Ken shouted, his anger exploding at last. “Right, Uncle Lee? Come on, you see your own nephew being ganged up on in a parking lot, yet you do nothing to help him out?!”
“A man’s gotta learn to fight his own battles,” Lee replied in a calm voice.
“No. You want to know what a man does? A man sticks up for his FAMILY! No. Matter. What! You stood there and watched your own nephew get beaten up. That says a hell of a lot more about you than it does me. And if that’s family… I don’t want any part of this one.”
Without a word, Ken stood and left the dining room. He then grabbed his MIT hoodie and headed for the front door. As he was about to get into his car and drive off, he saw to his frustration that his uncles’ cars were parked in the driveway behind him, blocking him in. Cursing under his breath, he prepared to leave on foot.
“Ken! Come back inside, please!” Helen called after him, running down the driveway.
“No. I’ve got to go out… clear my head…”
“Ken, it’s Christmas Eve. Please, come be with your family.”
“Mom, aside from you, not a single person in that house feels like family to me,” Ken replied coldly. “I’ll… I’ll call you after while…”
Ken walked off into the cold Georgia night, not knowing for sure where to go or what to do. Nobody else was out, as they were all at home with their families. Remembering the square in historic downtown Alpharetta, he decided to head in that direction. Maybe the quiet walk would do him some good.
Arriving in the town square, Ken walked along the sidewalks for a bit, peering into the darkened windows of the various shops and restaurants. Everything looked so different to him with everyone gone for the day; it all seemed so peaceful. As he continued to walk, he soon saw City Hall in the distance. In front of the building was a large green space, which was teeming with a surprising amount of activity for it being Christmas Eve. Ken moved closer, now spying a large gathering of people sitting on picnic blankets, all bundled up in coats and hats. Ahead of them, a large screen projected the classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life.
Though Ken was never into the Christmas cheer, as it were, he felt strangely drawn to watch a few minutes of the film from a distance. He soon began to regret that decision, as the movie had reached the point where George Baily had an arrest warrant out for him, lashing out at his family in anger. Watching him get drunk and punched in a bar fight, Ken began to feel sick with anger. Despite all his efforts to help better the world around him, the universe conspired against George Baily… just as it seemed to be conspiring against Ken. Unable to watch a moment more, he turned and walked into the nearby park.
Again alone with his thoughts, Ken sat on a bench near the fountain in the center of the park. He contemplated many things, as he often did in solitude. He thought about his piss poor excuse for a family, intent on changing him into what they say he should be. If only they could love him as he is. He thought about Jason Brown, a perpetual asshole that managed to get all the beautiful women his heart desired. If only the universe would serve up his just desserts, rather than conspiring against Ken. Sighing in frustration, he stuffed his freezing hands into his jeans pockets.
Feeling the scrap of paper still in his pocket, Ken suddenly felt a glimmer of hope in an otherwise dreary day. He needed something, anything to lift his spirits, and hearing her kind, sweet voice might just do it. Hell, he didn’t even care anymore if she was interested in him in a romantic sense; he just needed someone to listen and understand him. Digging out his phone, he dialed the number. After a single ring, a message began to play, seeming to be read by a game show host.
“Congratulations! You’ve reached Live 95.5 FM’s world-famous Loser Line! Live 95.5; featuring the best entertainment in Seattle! If you’ve reached this message, you have attempted to hit on a girl WAY out of your league! That poor young lady wants nothing to do with you, but you just couldn’t help creeping on her! That’s where we come in! Now you know what a loser you really are! So leave the girl alone, loser! You’re doing everyone a favor! If you’d like to leave a message for the world-famous Loser Line, begin speaking at the tone! BEEEEP!”
Ken hung up the phone in quiet disbelief. How could he have been so wrong about Jacqueline? They had worked so well together in school, and he even considered her a friend! She always spoke so kindly to him, how could this have happened? Was she really as nasty and shallow as her dumbass brother? Was she really just that good of an actress? As he pondered all this, Ken’s rage finally exploded out of him.
“That two-faced bitch! Who the fuck does she think she is?! I trusted her! Hell, she would never have gotten a full scholarship without my help! All I ever did was LIKE her! And after all that, she doesn’t even have the decency to turn me down to my face?! WHAT THE FUCKING HELL?!”
Slumping back down onto the park bench, every thought that entered Ken’s mind brought him lower. Jason was an ass, but then again, he didn’t know how to act any different. Uncle Lee was a moron, but then again, he had no malicious intent. But Jacqueline… she was the last straw. He had trusted her, opened up to her, and she repaid him by committing the single most cruel and senseless act Ken could ever imagine. Everything was crashing down around him. As he continued to sulk, Jason’s words entered into his mind once more.
“I should just do everyone a favor and drop dead… is that what you want, Jacqueline? Seems like you agree with your brother, or you wouldn’t have given me that number.”
Ken reached into his pocket, withdrawing a folding knife. It had been a high school graduation present to him from his grandfather, before he passed a few months later. A far cry from the typical Swiss Army knife, he unfolded the shiny, four-inch blade, which stood in beautiful contrast to the wooden handle. Inscribed in the wood were Ken’s initials. He had not used it for anything yet, never had any need to. As he stared at his reflection in the blade, Ken kept replaying Jason’s words in his mind.
“Maybe that’s not such a bad idea…”
Just as Ken took a firm grip on the handle, preparing to take the knife to his throat, an unfamiliar voice came from off to the side.
Gabrielle Libertine relaxed in a lawn chair, savoring the crisp, cold air of Christmas Eve. This was her favorite time of the year, and being able to enjoy an outdoor showing of her favorite Christmas film, It’s a Wonderful Life, made it even better. It all fit in perfectly with her life philosophy: live for happiness. Not only her own, but as much as could be had for the world around her too.
“You want the moon? Just say the word, and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.”
“Oh, Jimmy Stewart, you charmer you…” Gabby sighed.
Soon, her emotions welled up as the hopeless romantic that was George Bailey began to succumb to the pressures and injustices of life. He had blamed his own uncle for destroying their business, lashed out at his wife and children in anger, and gone crawling to his hated rival for a loan. The hardest scenes for her to watch were always the bar fight and the car crash. Still, she always stuck it out. The best was yet to come.
Just as George stood atop the bridge, Gabby caught sight of something out of the corner of her eye. A young man of about nineteen or twenty was watching the movie from a distance away, leaning against a tree near the road. His face twisted in angst as he saw the pain on display in the film, and he soon spun around, walking into the nearby park. Gabby couldn’t explain why, but something compelled her to follow him and make sure he was ok.
Collecting her lawn chair, she walked along the perimeter of the green space, soon arriving at the entrance to the park. As she went, she began to hear angry shouting up ahead of her; it sounded like the young man was in distress. After a few minutes, she came upon the fountain situated in the center of the park. On a bench sat the man from earlier, appearing to be deep in thought. By the glow of the lamppost, Gabby could now get a good look at him. He appeared to be of average height, maybe 5’7”, and had shaggy black hair that seemed a bit unkempt. Still, it’s color shone in the light of the park, and his white skin provided for quite a striking appearance. A pair of black horn-rimmed glasses framed his face, which combined with his red MIT hoodie to project a very specific image into Gabby’s mind. He had to be incredibly intelligent.
As she studied him, she saw the young man pull an object out of the pocket of his jeans. Catching a glimpse of something reflective, she could now see that he was holding a small folding knife. Gabby tensed up and wondered if she should run, but soon decided against it; he didn’t seem to have even noticed her presence. In fact, the way he looked at the knife was quite unsettling. It was as if he saw that little blade as his best friend in the world. She knew the look in his eyes. She knew what would happen in a moment if she did nothing. Taking a deep breath, Gabby decided to act.
Ken was startled by the unfamiliar voice. Looking up, he now saw a woman in her early twenties standing across the way. She gazed at him with intent, but for what reason he did not know. Looking back at her, Ken’s typical awkwardness began to kick in, as he could see that she was quite beautiful. Dressed warmly in a black winter coat and blue jeans, she wore a grey knit cap over her long blonde hair. Upon first glance, she appeared to be of some sort of Scandinavian descent, or perhaps German, though Ken couldn’t be sure. His mouth went dry as he tried to find the words to speak.
“Everything ok?” she asked.
“Uh… f-fine. W-why do you, um… why do you ask?”
Smiling, she replied, “I saw you over on the green, watching the movie. By the look on your face, you were having a tough time with it. When I saw you walk off towards the park, I felt I should come and see if anything was wrong.”
“N-no, nothing’s wrong…”
“Good. Then I shouldn’t be concerned about the way you’re looking at that knife of yours, right?”
Shaking his head, Ken answered, “I’m not going to hurt you. Promise.”
“That’s not what I’m concerned about.”
“Wha… what do you mean?” Ken asked, his eyes growing wide.
“I’ve seen that look before,” she said, taking a couple of steps closer. “I am, sadly, all too familiar with it. You were about to hurt yourself, weren’t you?”
“You don’t know a thing about me, lady,” Ken muttered, preparing to leave.
“I don’t have to know anything about you to be concerned,” she fired back.
“Concerned,” Ken snorted. “How could you be concerned about me? You don’t even know me!”
“Easily rectified. Gabrielle Libertine. My friends call me Gabby,” she said, sticking out her hand with a warm smile. When he didn’t respond, she smirked and continued, “This is the part where you tell me your name.”
Sighing, he replied, “Ken. Ken Dix.”
“A pleasure, Ken,” she said as they shook hands.
“So… Gabrielle, eh? You supposed to be my Clarence or something?”
With a playful gasp, she responded, “Oh my God! Does that mean you’re Jimmy Stewart?! I’ve had the biggest crush on you for YEARS!!!”
Ken gave a nervous laugh. “Alright, alright, I walked into that one. But in all seriousness.”
“No, I’m not a Guardian Angel or the Word of God or anything like that. Just an average person like you.” Motioning to the bench, she asked, “May I?”
“S-sure, I guess,” Ken answered, scooting to the edge.
“Thanks.” Taking a seat, she continued, “So tell me this, Ken: why would you want to hurt, maybe kill yourself?”
His face twisted in pain. “You don’t want to know…”
“I do. Believe me, I do.”
Sighing with reluctance, Ken relented and began to tell Gabby of the events of the day. He started with Jacqueline and Jason, then the confrontation with his uncle, and finally the fake phone number showing Jacqueline’s true colors. Through it all, Gabby sat in silence, maintaining eye contact and nodding whenever appropriate. At last, he finished his story, and Gabby could feel her heart breaking within her chest.
“Ken… I’m so sorry. I can feel the pain in your voice. No one deserves what you’ve gone through today. I know it’s of little help, but I do understand what you’re going through.”
“Understand?” Ken said, incredulous. “How could a girl like you understand any of this? I mean, look at you. You’re gorgeous, and I bet you’ve always been popular. Just like Jacqueline. Just like Jason. Just like Uncle Lee. None of you could ever imagine the world I live in.”
With a stern look on her face, she replied, “I’m going to choose to let that slide, considering everything you’ve told me. Still, you need to know that what you just said was quite hurtful. Almost as hurtful as the things that have been said to you today.”
Ken recoiled. He knew she was right. “I’m… I’m sorry. You’re right; I should never have said that. You’ve been nothing but nice to me tonight…”
“Apology accepted,” Gabby said with a smile. “Humility is a rare trait in men these days. Hang on to that.”
Ken thought she might be mocking him, but bit his tongue nonetheless. He had already insulted her once, and he wasn’t going to chance a second time.
Seeking to turn the conversation to happier topics, she asked, “MIT, huh? You’re an awful long way from home, aren’t you?”
“Huh? Oh, the hoodie. Yeah, I’m a freshman there this year, just home on break right now.”
“Health sciences. I want to go to medical school after MIT, though I’m still figuring out a specialty.”
“Plenty of time to decide that. I’m sure you’ll find the right career path,” she said with a grin.
As nice as it was to talk about a familiar topic, a few things still bugged Ken’s mind to no end. “I still can’t figure it out… why would Jacqueline do this?”
Frowning, Gabby replied, “Some people are cruel. Often the ones that are the cruelest disguise it with a kind, warm public demeanor. Jacqueline sounds like she fits that mold to a T.”
“And she hid it all that time while we were in school?”
“You were useful at the time, in her mind. She wasn’t going to chance losing that. Once she got what she needed, she had no more reason to hide her true feelings.”
“Yeah, but still. Why be all friendly to me in the store?”
“In her twisted mind, she probably felt she was doing you a favor. She wanted to ensure you never tried to contact her again. To a cruel person like her… that’s her idea of doing you a kindness,” Gabby replied sadly. “We just have to hope that there’s enough real kindness in this world to counteract such cruelty.”
Now noticing a silver cross hanging from her neck, Ken pointed to it and asked, “I guess this the part where you start lecturing me about suicide? That I’m being selfish and trying to go against God’s plan?”
“No,” she replied with simplicity.
“No. Ken, I meant it when I said that I’ve seen that look before. I know better than most that suicidal thoughts are rarely that simple. There’s no switch that can turn them off. It’s a tide that must be turned back, bit by bit.”
Stunned, Ken started to see that this woman understood what was important in life. Realizing he still had the knife in his hand, he folded it closed and put it back in his pocket.
“Bit by bit,” she said with a smile. “My car’s around the corner. Is there somewhere I can take you? Where do you live?”
“I’m not going home. Not yet,” Ken replied. “Not with my uncles still there…”
“No problem. I’m not going to force you.” Thinking a moment, she continued, “It’s pretty cold out here. Why don’t you come back to my place for a bit?”
“That’s… unnecessary. I’m fine on my own.”
“Nice try, but no cigar,” she said. “I’m not leaving you alone with that knife, mister. And I’m certainly not leaving you alone on Christmas Eve. Nobody should be alone for the holidays.”
“Thanks, but… won’t your husband mind?”
“He would, if I were married.”
“Nope, just my townhouse and me. Pretty cozy, all things considered. No problems with you coming over, but I do have one condition.”
“And what’s that?”
Smirking, Gabby replied, “You call your mom right now and tell her you’re ok.”
Hesitating a moment, Ken soon relented. “Fine.” Tapping his phone, Ken waited as it rang. “Hey Mom, it’s me… Yeah, I’m ok… No, seriously. I’m fine… Yeah I’m just hanging with a friend. I probably won’t be back ‘til tomorrow… I will… Love you too… Bye.”
“See? Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?” Gabby teased him.
Eying her, Ken asked. “You’re seriously ok with bringing me to your home?”
Taking his hand, Gabby led him to her car.
The drive had been silent for the most part. Ken was still trying to comprehend everything that was happening. Who was this woman? Why would she go to such great lengths for a stranger she didn’t even know? Gabby seemed to pick up on this, refraining from prodding him for any further conversation. She could tell he was still processing the events of the day. Soon, they arrived at her townhouse complex and pulled into her garage.
“Come on in, make yourself at home,” she said as she turned on the lights. “Can I offer you something to drink? Coffee? Hot chocolate?”
“Hot chocolate sounds good, thanks.”
“Comin’ right up!”
As she hung her hat and jacket up on a rack, Ken couldn’t help but stare. He now saw that she wasn’t just a pretty face; her entire body was sublime. She wore a tight burgundy sweater and a pair of tight, form-fitting jeans. This ensemble only served to accent her body even further. Her hourglass figure was delectable, her slim waist contrasting with her curvy hips and ample bust. She was also just as tall as him, perhaps a bit taller, with legs for miles. Though Ken had fantasized about some of his classmates, none of them could come anywhere close to Gabby. She was a woman, not a girl, and in the prime of her life no less.
“Here you go,” she said, handing Ken a mug.
After blowing on the hot drink, he took a sip, feeling the warm liquid spreading through his body. “Thanks,” he sighed.
“No problem,” she replied with a smile. “Come on, let’s go relax in the den.”
She led him into an intimate area with a sofa and a loveseat. The only illumination came from the twinkling multicolored lights on her Christmas tree in the corner. As Ken took in the relaxing surroundings, smelling the delicious scent of her Frazier fir tree, Gabby stepped over to the fireplace opposite the sofa. Flipping a switch, she soon had a comfortable fire roaring from the gas logs. She then sat on the sofa, placing her mug on the side table and patting the spot next to her.
“Come sit. I promise I don’t bite,” she said with a playful grin.
“Um, ok…” he mumbled, scooting as close to the armrest as he could to give Gabby plenty of space.
“Tell me about MIT,” she inquired. “You mentioned you want to go into health sciences. Does that include medical school?”
“Uh, yeah with any luck. Harvard would be my top choice, but I don’t know if I could afford it. But assuming so, my dream has always been to be a brain surgeon.”
“Brain surgeon?! That’s so cool! They’re like… the most badass of all the badass doctors! Not just surgeons, brain surgeons!” Gabby gushed.
“It’s, uh, not that big a deal,” Ken replied as he blushed with embarrassment.
“Well, I could totally see you as a brain surgeon. Don’t ever give up on it.”
“So, what then for you, Dr. Dix? What happens once you reach your dream?”
Ken began to feel a strange amount of comfort with this woman, and started to open up to her. “Honestly… I don’t know. I mean even if I become a brain surgeon, I’m still hopeless around girls. Maybe Jason’s right. I’m gonna die a virgin…” Realizing what he had confessed to her, he turned to Gabby and blurted out, “Not that it’s your problem, or anything. S-sorry, I just… I shouldn’t have gone that far…”
Gabby just smiled and moved closer to him, brushing her hand against his arm.
“Don’t worry about it. You have goals, both personal and professional, but aren’t sure exactly how to achieve them. So you’re a virgin. That’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and it’s healthy to express your anxiety about it. That can help you overcome your fears. In all seriousness, I think you underestimate yourself, Ken.”
“Of course,” Gabby replied. “You’re smart, considerate, polite, you even held the car door for me earlier! Any girl you’d want to be with is gonna swoon at traits like that. I can also tell that you still think of yourself as unattractive, but I disagree. You wear glasses, yes, but that doesn’t make you a dork. Your hair is a little shaggy, but not greasy or anything. You may not have a tan, but your skin complexion is damn near flawless. You have nothing to be ashamed of, be it your looks or your personality.”
“You’re about the only woman who thinks so,” he sighed.
“Doubtful, but if it’s that big a worry for you, I can give you a couple of pointers, if you like.”
“Um, o-ok I guess.”
“Great! Ok, so you definitely give off the ‘geek’ vibe, but that’s not a bad thing. Don’t fight it; own it.”
“Well, you can make just some slight alterations to your outward appearance that can change the way others see you. For example, you could switch to wire-framed glasses instead of your horn-rimmed ones. Your hair is a great color, and would do well in a short, clean-cut style, if I do say so myself. You can also change out your usual t-shirts for some casual polo shirts.”
“So… the secret to getting women to notice me is to change who I am?” Ken asked, feeling more than a little offended.
Cocking her eyebrow, Gabby replied, “Are you saying your glasses, hair length, and shirt choices define who you are?”
“Oh, uh… fair point,” Ken conceded.
“See? Humility. Such a rare quality these days,” Gabby said with a grin. “To be honest, all the changes I suggested are things my brother did a couple of years back. He was a complete geek, maybe even bigger than you. The poor boy was helpless around the fairer sex. But after he made these changes, he no longer came off as the socially awkward geek. He came off as a self-assured, confident geek, one who loves himself for who he is. I see that potential in you, Ken.” Grabbing her iPad from the side table, she pulled up a couple of pictures for him. “See? Here’s before. And here’s after.”
“Woah,” Ken marveled. He could see the drastic difference. The guy hadn’t done anything to make himself stronger or bulkier, nothing to increase his manliness, but the things he did change just popped in all the right ways. Was it really that simple?
“That’s great and all, but can new clothes and a haircut get rid of social awkwardness? I still don’t have even a shred of confidence around women,” Ken said.
“They can help, but a change in your mental confidence is completely based on your willpower. You have to love yourself as much as you want others to love you. If you don’t, everyone else will pick up on it.”
“Knew there was a catch…”
Gabby bit her lip in frustration. There had to be a way she could give him the confidence boost he needed to love himself, but how? Getting one somewhat crazy idea, she moved closer to Ken.
“I’m guessing from your previous statements that… you’ve never kissed a girl before. Is that right Ken?”
Poor Ken Dix didn’t even know what had hit him. Here he was, sitting with the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on, and the unthinkable was beginning to happen. She was moving closer, running her fingers through his hair, and now wanted to know if he’d ever been kissed! This was too much, way beyond any of his hottest dreams. Unable to find the words to respond, he managed to slowly nod his head.
“Close your eyes,” she instructed in her sweet voice. When he only blinked in reply, she whispered, “Close… your eyes, Ken. Trust me.”
Guided by an unseen force, Ken felt compelled to obey her. His eyes finally fluttered closed, and his breathing became more labored in anticipation of what was to come. A small part of him doubted that she was being truthful, thinking that she’d fake him out just like Jacqueline had. Those doubts were soon quashed as he felt the warm sensation of Gabby’s face leaning close to his. He could feel her breathing. He could smell her perfume. If there was a God, Ken prayed then and there that He could make this incredible moment last forever.
After what felt like eons, Gabby finally released their building tension and touched her lips to Ken’s. Her kiss was soft at first, allowing him to savor the new sensations he was feeling. Ken was so terrified and excited all at once that he could barely even move his lips in reply. Not that it mattered to Gabby. She had expected his fear, and made sure to keep her technique simple yet enjoyable. After around thirty seconds, she withdrew at last, her face aglow in the Christmas tree light.
“Wow,” Ken managed to mutter as he opened his eyes. He soon noticed that he couldn’t see Gabby at all; his glasses had fogged up from their kiss.
“Here, let’s just take these off,” Gabby said with a giggle. She slipped his glasses off and laid them on her side table. “Now then, since we’ve gotten your first kiss out of the way, ready to really dive in?”
“Dive in to what?” Ken asked, his nerves beginning to fray.
“Kissing, silly! You do know there’s much more to it than what we just did, right?”
“Of course! Look, one day you’ll get the prime opportunity to kiss a special lady, and I want you to be ready when that chance comes.”
“I… I don’t want to just be a charity case,” Ken replied. “If you do this-”
“It will only be because I want to. Promise,” Gabby replied, finishing his thought. “Now, your first lesson in kissing: making the move. I’m a young, attractive woman who has been making eye contact with you all night and finding every excuse in the book to touch you. You may not realize it, but when a woman does that, it means she’s ready for you to make the move. Try it on me, just like I did.”
Mimicking Ken, Gabby closed her eyes, waiting for the moment that Ken would kiss her once more. He leaned in as she had done, trying to take his time and not rush anything. As he was about to kiss her, he remembered that agonizing wait when he could sense her almost on top of him. Pausing mere centimeters from her lips, he allowed the tension to build up for a few moments. Soon, a huge smile began to form on Gabby’s lips; she was enjoying this, and he hadn’t even touched her yet! Ken collected his courage and finally met her lips with his, moving them ever so slightly as he kissed her. He only had his instincts to guide him, but she didn’t seem to mind one bit.
“Mmm… that was very nice,” Gabby whispered as they parted. “Good job in mimicking my technique. Let’s try one more. This time, lick your lips just a bit before you kiss me, and try to let our mouths fit together like a puzzle. You can take my lower lip between yours, or I can take your lip between mine. Tilting your head to the side a bit is also a natural position. The possibilities are almost endless. When you’re ready, don’t be afraid to put your tongue in my mouth. In the future, you’ll want to be careful about doing this too soon, but for our purposes tonight, go right ahead.”
Ken did as she instructed, and found that the increased moisture to be quite pleasant. It allowed each of their lips to slide along the other’s with little effort. All too soon, he felt Gabby take his lower lip in hers, sucking lightly and even nibbling for an instant. After she did this a second time, Ken took the hint and reciprocated in kind, eliciting a contented murmur from Gabby. As their kissing became more passionate, he could no longer resist the urge to taste this gorgeous woman. Still tentative, he pressed his tongue against the crease of her lips, which parted to allow him entry. Though he didn’t know what to do once he was in, he soon found himself enthralled in Gabby’s passions. Her tongue danced with his, exploring his mouth in a slow, methodical fashion. This gave him the perfect gauge to judge his own efforts by. After nearly twenty minutes of making out, they finally separated, their faces flushed from the experience.
“Holy shit…” Ken sighed.
“You, my friend, are one quick study. The next girl that kisses you may well get addicted and refuse to let you go,” Gabby agreed with a playful grin. Leaning back on the sofa, she reached down and unbuttoned the top button of her jeans, asking, “You ready to learn something else?”
In spite of his hardening cock, Ken couldn’t help but feel like he was doing something he shouldn’t. “Look, you seriously don’t have to-”
“I want to,” she said with confidence. “Ken, you are such a sweet, special guy, and I want to show you that. I want to prove to you how lucky a girl I would be to have a guy like you.”
Would be? What’s that supposed to mean?
“I’ve never made love to a virgin, Ken,” she continued. “But I know what I love in bed, and I think I can help you get quite good at this. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, but if you’ll allow me, I’d love nothing more than to take your virginity tonight.”
Ken was torn. This woman certainly drove him crazy, but part of him worried this was all an elaborate setup. Women never came on to him like this, let alone one this beautiful! Then again, she hadn’t balked in the slightest in kissing him. Hell, she had even encouraged him to French kiss her. In spite of the fact that he had every reason to be distrusting after Jacqueline’s message, he recognized that she had shown him nothing but kindness and patience. He didn’t believe in destiny or fate, but if there was a moment in which he was supposed to lose his virginity, this had to be it.
“Ok… I want to,” he whispered.
“I’m glad,” she replied with a warm smile.
Fumbling with his belt, he said, “I guess I’d better-”
“There’s plenty of time, Ken,” Gabby reassured him. “If we do this, I want to do it right. I want to show you the proper way to take a girl around the world. That starts with what we were doing earlier, only this time, you can start removing my clothes in the process.”
As Ken leaned in and resumed their kissing, Gabby guided his hands lower and slipped them underneath her sweater. He spent a few moments enjoying the warm sensation of skin-to-skin contact before tugging her sweater up. They separated for a moment so that Gabby could finish peeling her top off, revealing a simple, black silk bra. As they continued making out, Ken reached behind her, trying to decipher the key to unhooking the ever-hated bra.
“Want some advice?” Gabby asked with a slight giggle.
“Sure,” Ken signed, beginning to get frustrated.
“Feel for the crease, then slip one finger under and one finger over. Squeeze together and rub your fingers until it unhooks.”
Concentrating, Ken did as she instructed. The clasp itself was easy to find, and her descriptions were spot on. To his surprise, it only took one unsuccessful attempt before he managed to snap the garment open.
“Impressive,” Gabby marveled.
“Thanks, but that was all you. I’d be lost without your instructions.”
“You’re a natural student; you take direction well. Ready for the next lesson?”
“Oh yeah,” Ken said with anticipation.
“Your kissing skills have grown by leaps and bounds in just a few minutes. Now you should remember that you don’t have to kiss just my lips. My cheeks, my neck, my shoulders… my entire body is your playground. Few things turn a woman on more than a man whose only desire is to worship every inch of her form.”
With that, Gabby shrugged her shoulders and slipped her bra off, revealing her ample D-cup breasts to Ken. He was utterly speechless at the sight he now beheld. They were not only large, but quite perky as well. Her tiny pink nipples, already hard from their making out, were the perfect accent to Gabby’s most notable assets. As he drank her in, he felt her guide his hand towards her, reaching him out to touch her breast. It barely fit into his hand, yet it was so soft and warm that it felt like it just belonged there. Taking a deep breath, Ken now reached in with both of his hands, squeezing her tits together and exploring every inch of their surface. Remembering her words from a moment ago, he leaned in once more and began to kiss his way from her lips down to her chest.
“Yes… just like that…” she cooed.
Arriving at the valley of her bosom, he made his way to one side, kissing her breast while also stimulating her nipple with his finger.
“That’s so good, Ken… ooh, you can suck on them too,” she whispered with encouragement.
Ken’s heart leapt at her suggestion, and he moved to take one of her tiny nipples in his mouth. He sucked with eagerness at first, but Gabby soon coaxed him to go slower.
“Careful there… be gentle…”
“Quite alright, they’re just a bit sensitive,” she said with a sweet giggle.
Ken spent quite some time lapping at her breasts, alternating sides every so often. At first, Gabby advised him on when to change so as not to over stimulate one side or the other. Soon, though, Ken was moving back and forth all on his own, driving her wild with lust in the process. After several minutes of this, she lifted his head up, a wicked grin on her face.
“Ready for the big reveal?” she asked, lowering the zipper of her jeans.
“Uh… uh huh.”
Lifting her hips up, Gabby slipped her jeans over her curvy ass and down her long legs before kicking them off with her boots. She then turned to recline back on the sofa, spreading her legs a tiny bit. The smoldering come hither look she gave Ken was enough to bring any man to his knees.
“Come on, Ken… you’ve got a Christmas present to open.”
Ken’s mouth went dry as he stared at her black thong panties, mesmerized in disbelief by what was about to happen. With trembling hands, he slipped his fingers into her waistband and slid the silky garment off, revealing Gabby’s shaven pussy at last. In that moment, Ken had completely forgotten that he was still wearing all his clothes.
“I just love the way you’re looking at me,” Gabby breathed, breaking his trance. “It’s like you won the lottery or something.”
“I… think I did.”
“So sweet. Now then, time to learn how to really make a woman happy. Most women are at least willing to engage in oral sex, but you always need to give at least as much as you receive. It’s only polite. And there’s no better way to make a woman want to suck your cock… than to eat her pussy without prompting. With that said…”
Gabby now spread her legs wide for him, beckoning him to explore her delectable womanhood. Following a trail she laid with her fingers, Ken began to kiss his way up her leg and inner thigh. After repeating the action on her other leg, he arrived at her soaked pussy, breathing in the musky aroma seeping from within her.
“Spread my lips, Ken,” Gabby whispered.
Using a gentle touch, he did as she asked, gazing deep into her slick tunnel. He soon leaned forward, touching his tongue to the folds of her labia. She tasted different than he had expected, perhaps a bit salty, but nothing unpleasant in Ken’s mind. He continued to taste and tease her lips for a few moments, and she began to squirm and writhe under him in pleasure.
“Oh, yes… that’s just right, Ken… you can move a little higher, too. See that little bump there? That’s my clit. She’s sensitive, but if you pay enough attention to her… something good is bound to happen.”
He tilted his head upwards a bit, running his tongue along her lips as he arrived at her clit. Flicking the nub a couple of times, he was surprised at just how strong Gabby’s reaction was. Ken liked that. She was having the time of her life, and it was all because of him. Feeling a twinge of confidence, he redoubled his efforts and began lapping at her clit again and again, never giving her a chance to rest.
“Yes… yes, that’s fucking incredible!” she cried out.
As Gabby’s hips began to buck, Ken looped his arms around her thighs on instinct, helping her to remain still. He continued his worshipping of her womanhood, savoring every drop of her juices as she squirmed and squealed in delight. Soon, he began to sense that her thrashing was reaching a crescendo and an ultimate plateau. He received almost immediate verbal confirmation of this.
“Holy shit… FUCK that’s awesome! Oh, Ken don’t stop… don’t… stop… please don’t stop don’t stop don’t stoAAAAAAAAAH!!!”
Ken knew in an academic sense that women could achieve powerful orgasms. Still, he had never actually seen it happen, let alone experienced it by his hand, or rather his tongue. Yet lying beneath him was the most beautiful woman he had ever met in his life, and she was becoming even more beautiful by the second as her body erupted in ecstasy. The look of pleasure on her face as her eyes fluttered closed was awe-inspiring. A few final licks to her pussy, and she gently pushed his face away from her crotch.
“That’s quite enough… but oh so wonderful…” she sighed. “You’re a natural, Ken.”
“T-thanks. That’s… got to be the hottest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Seeing you lose control like that, it was surreal.”
“So sweet,” she said, sitting up straight on the sofa. “For all your supposed awkwardness, you sure know how to pay a girl a compliment.” She leaned forward, planting a long, slow kiss on his lips. As they parted, she whispered, “Ready for your due reward?”
With a slight gasp, he replied, “Oh, hell yes…”
Gabby stood from the sofa, smiling the entire time. Reaching behind the armrest of the sofa, she pulled out a dark blue sleeping bag and began to spread it out on the thick rug in front of the fire.
“It’s a tradition,” she explained, seeing the look of confusion on Ken’s face. “When I was a little girl, I swore I’d catch Santa in the act by sleeping next to the tree. He’d never be able to sneak past me. Well, my parents told me to go for it, but that it wouldn’t work; he’s too good. Sure enough, he had come and gone the next morning. He even left a note next to my pillow that said, ‘Nice try, Gabby. Merry Christmas.’ Ever since then, I’ve slept by the tree every Christmas Eve.”
“Love it,” Ken grinned.
By now, she had finished spreading the sleeping bag out on the floor and affixed a couple of pillows at the head for them. As it was designed for one person, she had opened it completely and laid it out flat, making it large enough for two to lie on. Seeing what she was doing, Ken grabbed a large throw blanket from the sofa to cover up with.
“Why, thank you,” she said. “But don’t you think you’re a bit overdressed?”
“Huh?” Ken had been so entranced with Gabby’s naked body that he’d forgotten that he was still wearing his clothes. “Oh, uh, I guess so.”
“Can I help with that?” she asked with a mischievous grin.
Gabby sauntered over to him, wrapping him in a warm hug as they stood next to the fireplace. After kissing his lips, she moved to his cheek and neck, just as he had done to her before. As she began to drive him crazy, she slipped her fingers into his t-shirt and pulled it off of him, exposing his bare chest to her. Now with a new playground to explore, Gabby continued from where she left off. She first lingered around his neck and shoulders, then down his chest before finally reaching his stomach. As she knelt before him, she unbuckled his belt and slid his jeans and boxers down to his ankles, freeing his rock hard cock at last.
Ken was not large my most standards, being only about five inches in length at full staff, but to Gabby he was perfect. She had no hesitation as she began to lightly stroke his length in her hand, and soon began to take him in her mouth bit-by-bit. Ken was in blissful agony; not only was he receiving is first blowjob, but he also had to keep from exploding too soon, all while concentrating on standing still. She sucked him for a few seconds more before releasing him.
“If you get close, let me know, ok? I want this inside my pussy, too.”
Ken could only nod in reply. She soon resumed her pleasuring of his member, sucking him with gleeful determination. He had been so good to her tonight; she only wanted to reward his efforts. Slowing her pace, she gazed up at him with her smoldering eyes, her pretty face framed by her long blonde hair. As Ken began to lose himself in her beauty, he also felt a familiar bubbling up in the pit of his stomach. Though he panicked for a moment, he soon had the presence of mind to tap Gabby on the forehead.
“I t-think you’d better slow down,” he stammered.
Releasing his cock from her mouth with a pop, Gabby grinned and replied, “Good. Because I think it’s time for me to take your virginity.”
After switching off the gas logs, she stretched out on the open sleeping bag and held part of the blanket up, beckoning Ken to slide in with her. He did so with eagerness, though was still nervous as hell; he had no idea what he was doing! Sensing his doubts, Gabby spoke with soft confidence and reassurance.
“Let’s go you on top to start. That way you can control it so you don’t go off too soon. Honestly, though, don’t worry about stamina. You’ve already lasted through one of my blowjobs, which is no small feat, if I do say so myself. You ready?”
“Um, yeah… I think so. But do we need any… protection? I don’t have a condom or anything.”
With a warm smile, she replied, “Don’t ever change, Ken. Sweet, humble, and considerate, that’s what you are. I don’t have any diseases per my last doctor’s visit two months ago, and I know you’re a virgin so I don’t think there’s any concern.”
“That’s good. But… what if you get pregnant? I’m not sure I’d be able to pull out in time.”
“Well,” she paused, her smile becoming more bittersweet. “It’s a long story, but trust me when I say that there’s no risk of me becoming pregnant. We’re clear to let loose with this, as long as you’re comfortable with that, of course.”
“I am. I just… wanted to be sure.”
“Thank you, Ken. Now, if you please, my pussy is aching for your cock, and you’d best make her happy.”
Positioning his pelvic region between her legs, Ken attempted to push into her, but his slick cock merely grazed the surface before slipping up to her belly. Gabby just smiled and reached down, taking a gentle grip on his cock with her hand and guiding him to the entrance of her pussy. Feeling a bit of give, he followed his instincts and penetrated her at long last, his virginity melting away in the process. She was divine, far tighter than Ken had ever imagined in his wildest dreams and fantasies.
“Oh Ken… that’s just where you belong,” she cooed in satisfaction.
“Holy fuck… so tight…” he could only reply.
Ken began to thrust in and out of her, keeping his tempo moderate at the start to get a feel for how sensitive he was. The sensations of making love to this goddess were only enhanced by the look of sheer enjoyment in Gabby’s eyes. He prayed that he would be able to last and enjoy it all, even if only for a few minutes. As he continued thrusting into her, Gabby began to get a mischievous look in her eyes.
“You’re thinking something,” Ken observed.
“Uh huh. Wanna learn a trick that’ll drive any girl nuts?”
“Come up on your knees and keep your torso straight up. Try to get to where you can keep yourself inside me without having to balance on your arms.”
“Like this?” he asked, relaxing back on his folded knees.
“Exactly. You can also stretch my leg out against your chest to help you balance.”
“Very nice,” he said as he followed her instructions.
“Yep, but that’s not the trick. This is the trick. Use your hand… and masturbate me while you fuck me.”
Ken at first wasn’t sure if he had heard correctly, but Gabby soon confirmed that he had when she took his hand and slid it down her thigh towards her slit. Once there, he reacquainted himself with her womanhood, finding her clit with little effort. Gabby’s reaction was immediate. Her eyes bulged and her arms began to flail about in ecstasy. This only spurred Ken on further, as he upped the tempo of his thrusts while continuing to jack her off. Gabby was in such pleasure that she couldn’t even form words. Nothing but incoherent babbling came from her mouth. Finally, her long-awaited orgasm arrived, and Gabby screamed into her pillow at the top of her lungs. Meanwhile, Ken had the pleasure of experiencing what would become his favorite part of lovemaking: a woman’s pussy erupting in climax around his cock.
“Oh my god… that… was awesome,” he marveled.
“Uh huh… you’re fucking amazing, Ken…”
“Thanks to you,” he grinned, slowing his thrusts to allow her to recover.
“I just gave pointers. You executed… to perfection, I may add.”
“My knees are about to give out, though.”
“Well isn’t that excellent timing… because I wanna ride you now.”
Disengaging from him, Gabby gave Ken a playful push to the side, landing him flat on his back. Before he could even think of retaliating, she had already clambered on top of him and was rubbing her slick entrance against his cock. If she wasn’t careful she might have made him blow his load right then and there, but she backed off in time, planting a deep kiss on his lips. As their tongues danced, she positioned his head against her and lowered herself onto him. Ken moaned into her mouth at the reintroduction of her wonderful tunnel. Their mouths parted as she arrived at the base of his cock, and she sat up straight to give him an unobstructed view of her glorious breasts.
Rather than bounce on him full force, Gabby used a smooth, firm grinding motion on his cock. After all, they were on a sleeping bag on the floor, rather than a proper bed. Ken couldn’t help but reach up and take her jiggling globes in his hands, squeezing them and tweaking her nipples a bit. This only encouraged Gabby further, now exploring every inch of his cock with her velvety pussy. She rode him for all she was worth, no longer trying to extend their session, but actively working to send him over the edge. Ken, perhaps picking up on this, tried to coax her to slow down.
“G-Gabby, you’d better slow… oh shit… down. I’m not gonna-”
“I don’t care. Give it to me,” she replied in a husky voice.
“Huh? But I haven’t even gone ten minutes? Aren’t guys supposed to be able to last?”
Gabby smiled at him. “Ken, you’ve been wonderful tonight. You kissed me like I was the only woman in the world, ate my pussy, and survived one of my world-famous blowjobs. Believe me, you're no slouch. You’ve lasted Ken, and made me orgasm twice in the process!” She leaned closer, whispering in his ear, “Cum for me, right in my pussy. I want it. I need it. Please don’t hold back. Give it all… to me.”
That did it. Her masterful motions combined with her seductive voice were too much for poor Ken to handle. As she planted her lips firmly on his, he thrust his last into her and began to spray his seed into Gabby’s pussy. Though he had masturbated many times, none of his orgasms were ever this long or powerful; it was unreal. As he finally came down from his high, Ken’s cock began to soften inside her pussy, slipping out after a few seconds.
“That was… amazing…” he sighed, feeling the call of sleep washing over him.
“Nuh uh! No you don’t, Ken!” Gabby replied with a playful slap.
“There’s one more thing for you to learn: the art of pillow talk. Trust me, Ken. You stay awake and talk to a woman after sex, and you show her she’s more than just a piece of ass,” she said, rolling off to lie next to him.
“Guess that makes sense,” he mused, rubbing his eyes to stay awake. “Well you asked me all about myself, and I was about to do the same when, uh… all this happened.”
“Not complaining are you?” she asked with a grin as she laid her head on his shoulder.
“Hell no! Still, what about Gabby? What makes her tick?”
“Well, my family is the biggest part of my life, in all honesty. With Mom, Dad, plus two big brothers and a little sister, there’s a lot of love to go around. We’ve always been tight.”
“Oh yeah! You mentioned earlier about not being alone on Christmas Eve, yet you would have been alone if we hadn’t met. What’s up with that?”
Gabby replied, “We’re kinda spread across the southeast right now. One brother works in Birmingham, another in Nashville. My sister is visiting a sorority sister up in South Carolina. Mom and Dad live near here, but have been traveling. They were supposed to get in today, but their flight got delayed. Won’t be seeing them until after lunch tomorrow. Still, we should have everyone together by the day after Christmas.”
“Always good,” Ken smiled, wishing his own family was a close as Gabby’s. Noticing the silver cross still hanging from her neck, he asked, “I guess you’re pretty religious, too?”
“Very much so. Born and raised Catholic.”
“Yet, you’re not at mass?”
“Extenuating circumstances,” she replied, a slight grimace on her face.
“Sorry, didn’t mean for that to come out harsh. No judgment from me, promise. My mom’s always been religious, but it just never spoke to me. I mean, how can a supposedly loving God allow such evil acts in the world He created?”
Gabby looked up, calm confidence in her eyes. “Sometimes bad things happen to good people. That doesn’t mean God causes those bad things to happen. In all things, I believe God works for good. Even in the worst situations imaginable, God manages to cause some amount of good to come from them.”
“You really believe that?” Ken asked.
“With every fiber of my being. It’s what keeps me going.”
“Well, you’re the first that’s been able to answer me that question in a way that makes sense. No ‘it’s all in God’s plan’ or ‘you must not love God enough’ or any such nonsense. You… you get it.”
Lying there in silence for a few minutes, Ken finally found the courage to ask the question he was afraid to know the answer to.
“Will I ever see you again?”
A long pause, then Gabby replied, “No.”
“Why? I know I go to school in Massachusetts, but I’d be a fool to give up on an incredible woman like you. Why can’t we give it a shot?”
With a sigh, she answered, “Because there’s something you don’t know about me.” Taking his face in her hands and gazing deep into his eyes, she continued, “I’m dying, Ken.”
He blinked twice, uncertain if he had heard her right. “Dying?”
“I have… a rare and aggressive form of grade IV brain cancer. The doctors diagnosed me about two months ago. I have less than six months to live. They said they could treat it, but it would only buy me another year at best. Even if it were successful, I’d be so weak from the chemo that I wouldn’t be able to do much of anything. So, I opted for a powerful regiment of pain management and resolved to live what time I have left to the fullest. Experience all I can, spread as much joy as I can…”
“This explains everything,” Ken realized. “Why you weren’t scared of me in the park, even with me holding a knife. Why you didn’t hesitate to invite me to your home. Why there was no concern of you getting pregnant…”
“And why we can’t be together, as much as I want it. Ken, I meant what I said earlier. If I could spend any amount of time, and especially years with a guy like you, I would be so lucky and blessed. You’re a wonderful person, and you’re going to make some girl happy beyond belief someday. Whoever she is, wherever she may be… I envy her.”
“I just wish it could be you.”
“I know, Ken, but you don’t deserve that. You don’t deserve to fall head-over-heels in love with a girl that you know will be dead in a few short months. In another lifetime, maybe we could have been soul mates. But God seems to have other plans…”
“Gabby, how can you still believe in God through all this? You said that He works all things for good, but what good can come of this?”
She collected her courage, deciding to tell him her darkest secret, one that not even her own family knew. “About a month ago, I was in a really bad spot. I still believed in God, but couldn’t believe He would put me through such pain and suffering. I had dreams, hopes, plans… but all for naught. I got low. So low that, one night, I almost did… what you almost did.”
“Take the easy way out?”
“Exactly. I nearly went through with it, but at the last moment decided to sleep on it. That night, I had a dream. Someone, I don’t know who, was speaking to me. ‘Your life still has meaning. You still have a purpose.’ That’s what they told me. There’s no way that was a coincidence. When I woke up, I promised myself I’d find that purpose for my life. Tonight, I may have done just that.”
“What do you mean?” Ken asked.
“Ken, if I had killed myself, I wouldn’t have only been responsible for my own death. I’d have also been responsible for yours. I wouldn’t have been there to talk to you and convince you there was a better way.”
“That’s one way of looking at it, I guess,” Ken mused, pondering her realization.
“There’s more, Ken. You’re going to be a brain surgeon. I have no doubt about that. If I’m not there tonight, how many lives are lost in the future because Dr. Ken Dix isn’t around to save them? How many children have their lives snuffed out from you not being there to ward off the hand of Death? You are going to help so many people in your life, Ken. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.”
“And all that is worth the horrible death you’re destined for?”
“Absolutely,” she replied without hesitation.
Shaking his head, Ken said, “You’re a far better human being than I am…”
Kissing him lightly on the cheek, Gabby whispered, “Don’t sell yourself short. You had a moment of weakness, but walked back from the brink. Doesn’t matter how or why, the fact is you didn’t go through with it. Hang on to that.”
“So there’s one thing that still confuses me.”
“With you being as religious as you are, I still don’t get why you aren’t at mass tonight? It’s Christmas Eve, after all.”
“Well… shortly after my diagnosis, I had a falling out with Father Maxwell. He was comforting at first, but soon began trying to convince me to allow him to pray over me for healing. He said that my tumor ‘was not unlike that of a demon needing to be exorcised.’ That hurt me deeply. If I had let him pray over me for healing, yet was not healed, the logical argument could be made that God refused to listen! Good people get sick and are cut down too soon, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t pray hard enough or that they didn’t love God enough. After those conversations… I couldn’t take anything that man said seriously. I’ve made my peace with God; that’s more than enough for me.”
Nodding, Ken replied, “I think you made the right call, and that’s not just ‘cause I’m a religious cynic. Your reasons make perfect sense.”
Gabby smiled and snuggled up in the crook of his arm, pulling the blanket over them in the process. “Thank you, Ken. For everything. I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have met you tonight.”
Kissing her on the forehead, he whispered, “Merry Christmas, Gabby.”
Gabby awoke on Christmas morning feeling surprisingly cold. Turning over, she saw that the other side of the sleeping bag was now empty; Ken had already gone, it seemed. As she rubbed her eyes awake, she found a piece of paper on his pillow with a note written on it.
I’m so sorry for leaving before you woke up, but I think it will be less painful this way for both of us. I’m guessing from your statements last night that you’ve fallen for me, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t crazy for you. As much as I want us to be together, deep down I know you’re right. It’s just not meant for this lifetime.
I want to thank you for giving this religious cynic the most valuable insights on God that he’s ever heard in his life. I have a lot to mull over and some serious questions to ask myself about the man I want to become. Though I never said it out loud, I’m so sorry that I considered killing myself. It was selfish and shortsighted of me. Thanks to you, I realize that now.
Gabrielle Libertine, you are truly one of God’s gifts to mankind. For me, you’re an Angel of Mercy; descended from on high at just the moment I needed you most. I promise you, from this day on, I will never again consider killing myself. You have my word of honor. In your memory, I am now devoted to finding my purpose in life. I do want to help people. I do want to save lives. I do want to find a special girl to spend my life with. And thanks to you, I still can. Thank you for everything, Gabby. I pray that your life will be full of joy and happiness.
All my love, Kenneth Dix.
P.S. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Tears of joy streamed down her face as she read his message. Gabby had hoped that her efforts might in some small way have an impact on Ken, but to see such immediate effects was more than she could have ever hoped for. To bring about such direct improvements in a young man’s life was truly the greatest purpose she could ever imagine in her life. She no longer had any doubt in her mind; this was God’s intention all along. Perhaps she had lost the love of her life, but she had also saved the love of her life, giving him a second chance at love in the process.
“Merry Christmas, Ken. God speed,” she whispered, kissing her fingers and touching them to the paper.
The sound of a phone ringing from the sofa interrupted her thoughts. Reaching over, Gabby saw that it was her mom.
“Hey Mom! Merry Christmas… Yes, I slept in front of the tree… Oh, your flight’s already here? Awesome! Lemmie get dressed, and I’ll come get you guys… Love you too. Bye.”
Ken pulled up to his mom’s house in a taxi around seven that morning. Before he was even halfway up the driveway, Helen was already running out to meet him, wrapping him in a tight hug.
“Ken! Thank God you’re alright!”
“I’m fine, Mom. No worries.”
Taking his hand, she said, “Come on, Uncle Lee wants to talk to you. He’s up in your room.”
Ken climbed the stairs in relative silence, pondering what sort of conversation awaited him. Arriving at his room, he entered, closing the door behind him. Uncle Lee sat at his desk chair.
The two eyed each other for several seconds, the tension growing in the room.
“Mom said you want to talk to me,” Ken said, sitting on his bed.
“Yeah, I do. Ken… I was a real ass yesterday.”
“That’s not really fair-”
“No. No, it is. You were right about everything. A real man stands up for his family, lends a hand to someone being ganged up on. Truth is… I was afraid to get involved yesterday. I was afraid if I did… you’d never learn to be self-sufficient. Fact is I was a coward. Plain and simple.”
Sitting for a moment, Ken replied, “It’s alright, Uncle Lee. We’re still family, after all.”
“Glad to hear you say that,” Lee said, rising to shake his nephew’s hand. “Now, as my apology, how ‘bout you and I pay a visit to this Jason character? Make sure he knows what’s what.”
“That’s… really kind of you, Uncle Lee, but I’m not interested.”
“Jason Brown’s a fucking dumbass!” Ken said with a laugh. “He’s peaked in his life; even he knows that. It’s all downhill for him from here on out. Me? I’m going places. Hell, I’m on scholarship at MIT, aiming to go to Harvard Medical in a few years. Why should I care what a stupid jock thinks of me?”
Lee studied his face for a few moments. “There’s something different about you, Ken. You’ve got this look in your eye. ‘I don’t know where I’ll end up, but wherever it is, I’m going to be kicking ass’. That’s what it says to me. What’s up? What did you do last night?”
Thinking of Gabby, Ken smiled and answered, “Just… took some time alone, found a bit of peace and quiet. That’s where I do my best thinking. It let me put things into perspective, figure out what’s most important to me.”
“Huh. Well whatever you did, I like the results. Still as smart as ever… but somehow more confident.”
“So what was Jason so hot about anyhow?”
“Ah, he had seen me talking to his sister, Jacqueline. She and I had been partners a lot in school, and I stopped to chat when I saw her in the parking lot. He didn’t like that.”
“Seems like none of his fuckin’ business…”
“Yeah, but she’s just as mean as he is, deep down. She’s just really good at hiding it until the opportune moment… for her, of course,” Ken explained.
“She shot ya down in the worst possible way, eh?” Lee realized.
“Yeah,” Ken said, recalling his lowest moment from last night. “Her loss, though.”
“Damn right, it is! Come on, we got presents to open,” Lee said jovially, leading the way down the stairs.
“Come on, Tiffany. It’s this way.”
“Where are we going, Ken? What’s so important that we have to wait until tomorrow to leave for our honeymoon?”
“You’ll see. It’s just up ahead. Besides, all our patients are in good hands with Dr. Nguyen. We’ve got all the time in the world.”
“Always the hopeless romantic.”
Ken clutched the hand of the gorgeous redhead following him, running his finger along the rings on her left hand as they went. The pair remained careful, always watching where they stepped, as several tree roots popped up from the ground along the trail. Finally, they reached their destination.
“Here she is,” Ken said.
The couple stood in front of a headstone, simple yet beautiful in its design. Tiffany, still confused, began to read the words carved on it.
“Gabrielle Dorothy Libertine. February 10, 1993 – April 29, 2017. Loving daughter, sister, and friend. An Angel of Mercy. Ken… who is this?”
“Well… I’ve told you about the night I almost killed myself. Remember how I said that there’s more to the story, but I wasn’t ready to tell you yet?”
“She’s the rest of the story, Tiff. Ten years ago, to this very day, Gabby arrived at the moment I needed her most… and saved my life. If it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t be here today. I’d have done it. She had no skin in the game and was going to die of cancer a few months later, but she felt called to help me nonetheless.”
Turning to the headstone, he continued, “Gabby… It’s me, Ken. I did it. I did everything you said I would. Became a brain surgeon, save the lives of kids every day… and I met the love of my life. This is Tiffany Sanders, or Tiffany Dix, as of yesterday. We met at Harvard. We practice medicine together, we help people… she’s everything I’ve ever wanted. And because of everything you did for me… I made it. You saved my life, showed me what worth I had, encouraged me to find God’s purpose for my life, hell you even took my virginity. Gabby, no words could ever express my gratitude for you. All I can say is… thank you.”
Moved to tears, Tiffany collapsed to her knees, touching the letters on the headstone with her fingers. “You… saved my husband’s life? You would spend what little time you had left on Earth helping him? My God… miracles do happen, after all. I… I love him, Gabrielle. I love him with all my heart. He completes me. Ken’s always had his doubts, but I know there is a God. I know there is a Heaven. And if everything Ken said is true… that’s exactly where you are today. Please, watch over us. One day, I plan to thank you in person.”
Ken rested a gentle hand on her shoulder, comforting her. Tiffany began to rise to her feet, wrapping her husband in a long embrace. They shared a long, tender kiss, thinking of nothing but each other. At long last, they parted, their eyes locked together.
“You ready to start our life together?” Ken asked.
“Yeah… more than ever.”