Untitled Part II
by Danny Tippit
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The next ten minutes stretched for an eternity. Jimmy didn’t know if he was thankful for that or ungrateful that life was giving him a conscience all of a sudden. Was it a conscience or was it complete disinterest in Pauline? Still yet he was amazed this discussion was still going on. Does he need Pauline’s physical approval? And if so, why? Better yet, is it Pauline’s approval or just anyone’s approval? With each question that cropped up in his mind, Jimmy followed it with another one and another one. What seemed like hours of philosophizing was interrupted by Pauline’s familiar knock on his front door.
The ten minutes had finally passed, but Jimmy almost felt inclined to continue his deep pontification about why he was feeling so empty inside. He desired some company, but he couldn’t think of anyone who would satisfy this loneliness he was experiencing.
Feeling too apathetic to answer the door, Jimmy hollers from his living room couch, “COME IN!” Before he could even finish his yelling, the door was shut and locked.
“Jimmy it’s me, Pauline. Of course you know that because you weren’t expecting anyone else. Right?” Pauline suddenly felt a sense of restlessness in her bowels, but being the determined, undaunted woman that she is, Pauline quickly shrugged off her insecurities. As she entered the room expecting to see Jimmy as an eager little kid excited to get his run of the candy store, she was instead welcomed by a somber and doleful excuse for a man.
“Hey Jimmy!” Pauline’s tone was as uplifting as she could muster. She hoped the tone he had on the phone had changed by the time she got to his apartment.
“What’s up?” Jimmy wanted to say more and express his delight to see Pauline, but he wasn’t sure he was all that delighted. Jimmy was never a person to hide his feelings either, which sometimes led people to think rude of him at first impression.
“Wow! I expected a little more anticipation from you since you called me, but I am encouraged by the challenge. How can I cheer you up?” Pauline had a reason for being over at Jimmy’s and she desired him as much as he desired her, or so she thought. She wasn’t going to make waste of this opportunity to have what little bit of Jimmy she was allowed.
“I’m okay. Just tired I guess. Long day at work. But I’m glad you are here. You wanna watch a movie or something?” Jimmy tries to deflect from the reason Pauline is really there. He doesn’t understand why he is doing it, but he can’t rally anymore energy for more than a lame explanation.
Not willing to be deterred from her objective Pauline locates herself on the couch close enough to Jimmy her hips actually rub against his as she sits down. She places her left arm around Jimmy’s shoulders and begins to pass her fingers through his fine sable-colored hair. Pauline leans over and whispers into his ear why she came over and what she would really like to do.
Jimmy drew back. He was dumbfounded at himself. Any other time this would have happened he would have done with Pauline as he wished. She would have wanted that, but Jimmy couldn’t get over this reluctance to take part in what now was feeling like the only thing he could label it, SIN. Again a resounding “WHAT” rang in his head. He never thought about sin, never discussed sin, and as a matter of fact his idea of sin was left up to the murderers, rapists, and child molesters. Those people sinned. Those were the people God hated. That was about all he got out of his parents' old church when he was living with them. Fire and brimstone sermons was all the preacher from the old Methodist church ever handed down to the congregation. God hates this and God hates that. All he heard was how much God hated things and people. Jimmy decided years ago he didn’t care to be involved with a God that hated so much.
But what was the motivation to bring about this consciousness of sin? And because of it Pauline is going to be crushed emotionally because of this inexplicable attack of a guilty conscience. Jimmy has never pulled away from Pauline before. As a matter of fact they have never really argued, disagreed, or had any other confrontations in the time they have known each other. They have either been good friends, in a brief relationship, or in a 'friends with benefits status the entire time.
As he continued to ponder it more deeply he had an epiphany. Pauline has never disagreed, yelled, gotten mad, or expressed any feeling towards him other than care, support, kindness and love. How did he miss that and why is this all being revealed to him right now? Jimmy humorously associated these mad notions and ideas he was having with a premature mid-life crisis. He would soon learn how mistaken he was as to the source of all of these conflicting emotions.
“Jimmy?" No answer. "Jimmy?" Still no response. "James Anthony Swinson?” That brought Jimmy back from his pensive mood.
“Are you okay? I mean… I’m sorry. Do you want me to go?” Pauline was about in tears. She didn’t know what to do. She never considered that Jimmy would not want her entirely.
“Huh... no, no, no. I don't want you to go. I just have a lot on my mind.” Trying to shake off this burdensome feeling, Jimmy cracks a nearly genuine smile to comfort Pauline. He senses that Pauline is on the verge of a breakdown. All of a sudden Jimmy has a deep awareness of his feelings for Pauline. This vulnerability is something he has never experienced from her or from himself. “Why don’t we just sit and enjoy a movie together. Is that okay with you?”
Relieved that Jimmy doesn’t want her to leave, Pauline again welcomes any time she can enjoy with him. She relaxes her advances and unwinds at his side. Then something unexpected happens, Jimmy wraps his arm around her shoulders, pulls her in close to his side, and they watch an entire movie.
For the next couple of hours Jimmy and Pauline relish in the fact that there is no pressure on either one of them to perform. They settle in together breathing deeper in their souls recognizing a turn in their relationship. Neither one talks about it, largely because they don’t understand it completely yet. But they will very soon.
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