Thecuriousmail’s Weblog

THE FEVER OF LIVING — II

Chapter Two:

Sean awoke as he felt another body press against him. He opened his eyes and saw Alison lying naked beside him, her head resting on his chest.

“I imagine myself in so many places,” Alison said quietly. Sean could feel her breath on his chest, and the exciting tentative touch of her hips against his. “Alison . . ” he said hesitatingly, fascinated by the smoothness of her skin, he gently stroked her back. “I can’t believe this is happening,” he said.

“Well you were there,” she said, and kissed him. She moved onto her back.  He was between her legs, leaning over her, taking most of his weight on his arms. He thrusts — intense exquisite pleasure and he moves in and out of her– and groans. She gasps and moves onto him. He keeps thrusting, and she strokes and clenches, moist little hugs. Faster and harder, brighter brighter, flesh and bone, and something else. She feels his warm wetness inside her. For a fleeting moment something truly precious exists, made by and between the two of them, in an instant and of eternity, but it must go, be lost except for a tantalizing after-glow.

Alison and Sean lay side-by-side int he bed, his arm under her shoulders.

“Why did you do that,” he asked.

Alison, about to reply, paused, then said: “I didn’t really. I just thought ‘this is what I’ll do’.”

“I’m so glad that you did.”

“I’m flattered,” replied Alison, but uncertainly.

“I would like to know though.”

“There really isn’t that much to tell. And it just isn’t the right time Sean; can’t you just leave it at that Sean?”

“When would be the right time?” Sean didn’t want to persist –he could see that Alison was becoming upset– but he couldn’t stop himself from pursuing the matter; he hated himself for doing it, yet he continued to do it.

“There may never be a right time,” she said quietly.

Yes, why do I have to do it? Why do I persist? After all, so what if I think I can order everything, what then? Return it to chaos? “What do you want Alison?”

“What do you want Sean?”

“Whatever you want.”

Alison laughed and said: “That’s no answer Sean.”

“No, I suppose it wasn’t. But your question wasn’t very fair. Really, it doesn’t matter what I want.”

“As much as I may think or want. And I’m now not exactly sure of what we’re talking about. But I’ll say this, you’ve got to get your life together; deep down, I really think you just want to be a bum.”

“I’m usually more comfortable letting things happen to me,” said Sean, but thinking that his insistence in some other matters made that laughable.

“You’re just confused Sean.”

“I know, you don’t have to tell me. I’m living it. It’s difficult being assertive when you don’t know what you want.”

Oh I knew I wanted you, he thought. “What are you going to do?”

“Obviously we can’t have any kind of normal relationship.”

“Huh, whatever that might be.”

“And maybe that just goes to show why we can’t.”

“What are you talking about? You know I love you. What does anything else prove?”

“I don’t know, proves something.”

” . . can I help?”

“No, you can’t help Sean.”

“I’ll do whatever you want.”

“Believe me, it wouldn’t help.” Alison sought to placate Sean, but couldn’t commit herself in a way he desired, and she tried to avoid becoming annoyed with him.

Sean wanted Alison to recognize her own reasons for evasion; but that was selfish — he wouldn’t expect it of himself. I hate coincidences, he thought, wavering, random happenstance; he thought he needed to know, he had to be as certain as one ever could.

Alison’s feelings of guilt broadened and deepened; she had assumed the guilt, could not have done what she did without first having established her guilt,  but Sean’s insistence meant she was losing control of it. Is this the only way I can relate, thought Alison? I don’t know what I really feel; even what I should feel. Except that . . he’s my brother! How sick am I?! Sean and I just drifted together; we’ll surely drift apart too. How sad it would be for us to cling to each other. Could we ever then be even sanguine? Earnestly affirm some kind of derelict commitment. I have foolish fantasies of what I would like to happen, of what I would like to be; these caricatures I am familiar with, but my brother as my lover I am not.

“I assume nobody’s home?” said Sean.

“No one’s home.” Alison was going to say: God, do you really think I could do this with her in the house?!

“Are you going out to uni today?”

Alison laughed, but without humour, and then said: “Yes, guess so.”

“I think I’m going to be tripping.”

Alison pointedly ignored that comment, and said: “You’re not going to pass, are you?”

“Is that really so surprising?”

“No, I guess not really. What will do after that?”

“I don’t know, and that doesn’t even surprise me. Get a job I guess. The thing is, I don’t ever feel permanent. No, really.”

“There’s no trick to it Sean. Whatever you’re going to do will be fine. But if you are going to drop out, just be sure that’s really what you want to do.”

“I can always go back later if I want to. . if I’m so stupid to want to. Of anybody, I would’ve thought that you’d understand Alison.”

“I do, I really do Sean. I could have been you.”

“But you’re somehow different?”

“You don’t see what I see Sean. You’ve given up, on lots of things. I haven’t, I can’t and I won’t.”

“Give it time then.”

“But I don’t want to. You’re just, like,  passing through. Or running away. You’ve got to want to be more than just a bum.”

“Free will to the rescue and I get a choice?”

“You’ve as much choice as anyone else Sean, more so in fact because you’re bright.”

“I agree that I’d be less conspicuous if I just knew what to do. Truth is, I’m not certain of anything.” Sean wanted to commit himself to a saving relationship with a woman: his ideal. But he didn’t really understand what it would mean to make such a commitment, and such a commitment to his sister. To Alison he felt he could approach, he could be himself. They had grown up together, had already experienced so much together. Yet he could see he might not be able to disentangle himself from the web of dependency he may weave with someone so familiar.

Sean was remarkably naive, but an innocent-in-default. He thought of himself as corrupted and a corrupter.

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