22 Erotische Verhalen – deel 1 | vroege lezers editie

Ola! Ik ben mijn acht boeken aan het publiceren. “22″ is het totale NSFW stuk van mijn oeuvre. Oftewel het beste stuk, as far as I m concerned. Het enige dat nog-nog-nog beter gaat worden is boek 8, Big. Daarin zijn de erotische verhalen autobiografisch. In 22 ook enkele! Maar Big is weer in t Engels, dus misschien wil je dat wel helemaal niet lezen.
Anyway- take it away, het eerste deel van 22 Erotische Verhalen.
En je bent gewaarschuwd.

Rebound

De receptioniste tikt zijn naam en scrollt over haar scherm. Mijn tong trekt droog weg. De harde klank. De droge “g”. De zakelijke klinkers worden weggestoten door de poëzie van de voornaam die ieder groefje van mijn mond kent. Een vintage Facebook foto van een jaarclub. Witte tag bij een donkere jongen in de bekende jaarclubtrui. En ineens had de herinnering een achternaam.
Het tapijt is dun uitgelopen over de oude vloer. Vale plekken van alle voorgangers die hier een bed vonden, een plaats om te schuilen of de armen van een geliefde. Mijn buik staat strak, zenuwachtig. Ik kies voor de trap, in plaats van wiegend van voet tot voet in de stroperige lift te wachten. Zeven dagen vlogen er losse emails over en weer.
“Ben je trouw?” vroeg ik.
En ik mailde een voorstel zonder zijn antwoord af te wachten. De hotmail zweeg en ik dacht dat ik hem kwijt was. Zelfs mijn herinneringen gingen op zwart.
Het tocht fris door de gang. Een verlaten schoonmaakkar blokkeert de smalle doorgang. Uit een kamer klinkt muziek en een stofzuiger. Spierwitte vitrage danst de kamer in op de winterse bries. Nergens zijn de lakens zo lekker koud als in hotels. Het liefst zou ik alle bedden langsgaan, mijn wang tegen ieder vers kussen vleien.
“Zal ik een hotel boeken?” stemde hij in.
“Een goedkoop hotel,” antwoordde ik.
“Goedkoop en gehorig. Zodat we iedere kuch horen, en iedere stap in het trappengat. Dat herinnert ons eraan dat we niet praten.”
De deur lonkt op een kier. Met mijn blik strak naar de drempel laat ik mezelf binnen, zacht en stil, alsof het de kamer van een baby is. Een lichte klik draait het slot in de deur. De lange zwarte jas glijdt van mijn schouders, gladde voering langs mijn blote armen. Een stoel kraakt. Langzame stappen op de zuchtende vloer. Ik klem de hanger op de roede en sluit de kast.
Zijn vingertoppen verkennen mijn ellebogen en wekken de herinnering tot leven; dat ene moment in de douche. Ik had me net afgedroogd. Hij stond achter me en raakte mijn elleboog aan. De grenzen van mijn trouw en van onze afspraak, stonden op scherp. Hij streelt de blauwe aders waar ze bloedprikken. Zijn huidskleur steekt af bij Noord-Europa. Zijn handen glijden naar beneden.
Vingers strengelen in elkaar. Ik knijp zijn handen, en til ze op.
Hoeveel lichamen zijn door deze handen niet bemind! Ik had ze allemaal willen zijn. Iedere borst die hij heeft omvat, iedere buik die hij suggestief langzaam naar beneden heeft gestreeld, de broeksknopen en ritsen die hij voor een ander heeft geopend, de strings waar zijn handen achter gleden.
Zijn rechterhand. Ik lik de duim van de basis naar de top. Misschien gebruikte hij hem bij zijn eerste vriendinnetje, omdat ze het spannend vond en nog geen ervaring had. Als ze op haar rug lag, legde hij zijn hand over haar venusheuvel, terwijl hij haar ondiep bevredigde met deze duim. Ik lik de duim, aanbid de duim, en begraaf mijn gezicht in zijn lichte handpalm.
Zijn wijsvinger en middelvinger. Gezamenlijk lik ik ze van de basis naar de toppen. Mijn tong over de regelmaat van de kussens van de vingerkootjes. Altijd eerst één vinger. Als ze opent en zonder woorden om meer vraagt dan een tweede. Iedere vrouw had ik willen zijn. Dat alle penetraties van deze vingers voor mij waren. Ik lik nog steeds zijn vingers en fantaseer verder over iets dat ik niet kan vragen.
“Ben je wel eens met een man geweest?”
Maar zelfs in mijn fantasie antwoordt hij niet. Ik zie mijn lichaam tussen hem en zijn geliefde. Een driedubbel spiegelbeeld van begeerte.
Ik bijt in zijn pols, voor ik verder ga.
Zijn pink.
Ik lik lange halen van de basis naar de top, en neem de hele vinger even in mijn mond. Ik geef zijn handpalm een laatste kus voor ik naar die ene vinger ga, de laatste. Mijn twijfelende mond zuigt, ik sluit mijn ogen en voel een voorbode van de eenzaamheid van morgen. De ringvinger. Ik lik gebroken beloftes, en ril omdat hij het toestaat.
Ik leg zijn handen op mijn buik, de vingers met het speeksel koud, de andere warm. Ik rek naar boven, naar achter, naar de man die ik nog steeds niet heb gezien. Mijn buik maakt zich uitnodigend lang. Hij trekt een lijn langs de rand van de witte stof, en glijdt naar boven. Hij legt zijn handen over mijn borsten, voelt de tepels. Onze adem stokt. Langzaam knijpt hij. Harder, te hard. Niet uitkleden, niet neuken, niet bevredigen. De pijn van mijn tepels verdrijft de rest.
Ik breng mijn hoofd naar achter en ontvang zijn gezicht in mijn hals. Zijn lippen op mijn huid. Ik draai me om, gesloten ogen. Ik wacht op zijn mond. De eerste kus is met de lippen gesloten.
Gescheiden. Verloofd. Verliefd.
Mijn geest flitst terug in de tijd, dwars door de langste relatie van mijn leven, beukt door de millenniumgrens, naar de late zomer en het hete grasveld vol uitgelaten stemmen. De lange krullenbol met de babyblauwe ogen leunt ontspannen achterover. De slanke donkere jongen glimlacht vanaf een andere groep.
Ik lig op mijn rug op het hotelbed. Zijn gewicht op me, mijn benen slaan om zijn lijf. Mijn kleren verbergen dat ik nat ben, maar zijn opwinding voel ik er door heen. Stugge stof en naden straffen onze geilheid.
Een relatie met de blonde jongen. Mijn reputatie. Angst. Ja, ik had eindeloos veel redenen om geen seks te willen als we speelden, grenzen opzochten. Talloze redenen om dat wat als ontrouw telt, te vermijden. Net zoals hij ze nu heeft.
De blik in zijn ogen. Alsof hij wil praten, uit ons spel stappen omdat het hem teveel wordt. Ik maak onze omhelzing los en breng zijn rechterhand naar de riem. Samen openen we de gesp en broek. Achter het elastiek van zijn onderbroek sluit zijn hand verlossend.
Mijn vingers vlechten zich in zijn korte haar. Ik kus de kleine rimpeltjes bij zijn ooghoeken, streel de platte buik. Met een zucht begraaf ik mijn neus in zijn overhemd en snuif de nieuwe herinnering op. Voor de volgende 20 jaar.

M.

Ze ligt met haar benen opgetrokken op ons bed, en smoort haar giechel met een wijsvinger die ze tussen haar tanden duwt. De harde klik van het pastelgroene doosje. De ring in mijn onervaren vingers. Haar blik volgt iedere beweging. Ze zucht als ik haar schaamlippen spreid en ze schuift onwillekeurig weg bij de koude veeg glijmiddel. Ik hoor in gedachten de kabbelende instructies van de arts en steek het pessarium naar binnen. Even zie ik zijn hand bij haar krullende schaamhaar. Als ik mijn vingers terugtrek zuigt haar kut mij naar binnen.
“We’re supposed to wait two hours.”
Mijn woorden rollen er kwaad uit, de herinnering aan de arts dreunt na. De vinger valt uit haar mond en ze perst haar lippen tot een streepje. Zoals altijd ontging mijn jaloezie haar. Achteraf waren die maanden op de militaire basis de gelukkigste, tot de oorlog uitbrak en ik werd overgeplaatst. Zij was inmiddels 18, maar mijn moeder nam haar in huis, en regelde een baan voor haar. Mannenwerk in de fabriek. Nog geen jaar later werd ze ontdekt door een fotograaf die toevallig langskwam. Mijn vrouw in badpak. Mijn vrouw in bikini. Ze drong door tot de buik van ons schip, altijd aan een ander eind van de wereld.
“There you go, officer.”
De oude Italiaan reikt een platte papieren zak aan door het krappe loket. Ingeklemd tussen de tijdschriften.
“Keep the change,” geef ik de dollar.
De man grijnst dankbaar voor zijn riante fooi en salueert tegen zijn uitgedunde krullen. Merry Christmas. Het grove papier glijdt door mijn eeltige vingers. De tien meter naar mijn auto leg ik met grote passen af. Ik gooi het pakje op de bijrijdersstoel en start de auto. Uit het zicht van de kioskhouder parkeer ik de Ford bij een bushalte en knip mijn alarmlichten aan. Het papier ritselt open en de grote filmster zwaait haar brede lach mijn auto in. Haar ogen zijn samengeknepen tot onschuldige maantjes.
Het sappigste uit Californië sinds de navelsinaasappel.
Onbetwiste liefdesgodin.
Alle varianten op haar maten.
Ik scan de tekst die haar aantrekkingskracht krampachtig probeert te verklaren, haar roze borsten al lonkend vanaf de rechter pagina. Mijn ogen flitsen drie keer heen en terug voor ik kijk. Ze is het echt.

De ventilators ploegen door de zware lucht. De serveerster strijkt met haar notitieblok over haar voorhoofd en herhaalt mijn bestelling voor ze hem opschrijft. Een vrouw met sluike zwarte lokken zoeft langs de andere kant van de ruit naar de ingang van de diner. Haar volle billen schokken heen en weer in strakke lichte jeans. Het is precies 1 uur als ze de deur openduwt. De lucht boven de parkeerplaats trilt. Ik staar. Norma duwt de zonnebril over haar glanzende pony naar achteren. Haar opgewekte glimlach lost op in een speurende blik langs de volle lunchtafels. Ze heeft een zweetplekje in haar witte blouse. Dan zwaait ze opgelucht en huppelt naar mijn tafel. Ik krijg een omhelzing, ze kletst in mijn oren. En met haar uitgelaten postuur nog bengelend aan mijn schouders is het enige wat ik kan bedenken hoe ik haar in het bankje krijg. Mensen kijken. Dadelijk wordt ze nog herkend. Ik zeg drie keer “ So good to see you too,” voor ze van me af is, en haar tas met een voldane zucht in het bankje gooit.
“It’s exactly one o’clock,” merk ik op.
“I thought you were notorious for being late.”
Bleekroze lipstick, zwarte eyeliner en lange zwarte wimpers. Ze lacht schalks terwijl ze in haar tas graait naar een zilveren koker.
“Why would I be late?”
En ze steekt een sigaret tussen haar lippen, terwijl ze haar zoektocht voortzet naar een aansteker. Weer die glimlach terwijl ze in een elegante zwier de sigaret tussen haar wijs- en middelvinger klemt.
“It’s not like I have to dress up as Marilyn Monroe.”
Ze lacht, en krult haar bovenlip een beetje op. De serveerster krijgt nog een glimlach mee, als ze komt voor de bestelling.
“What are you having Jimmie?” vraagt Norma.
Ze excuseert zich bij de serveerster omdat we nog geen keuze hebben gemaakt. Ze rolt haar pasta op een lepel.
“You’re not wearing your wedding ring,” flap ik eruit.
“Would you rather I did?”
Ze drinkt cola, terwijl ze me aan blijft kijken.
“I already wrote you in January,”  gooi ik haar voor de voeten.
“And I’m here now,” laat ze het rietje uit haar mond glippen.
“And I’m not wearing a wedding ring. Unlike you.”
Het kost me moeite mijn ring niet aan te raken, niet te draaien, niet te zuchten, niets uit te leggen.
“You’re a funny girl, Norma,” zeg ik.
Tot mijn ergernis constateer ik dat ik met mijn vingertoppen op het formica trommel.
Ze rijdt voor me en draait van Sunset af, de parkeerplaats op. Ik laat mijn auto achter en check in bij het Beverly Hills. Alsof we een overval plannen, een misdrijf. De adrenaline stuwt door mijn lichaam en tegelijkertijd is mijn geest euforisch helder. Of ik een tv wil? Of ik hulp wil met de bagage? Waar het ontbijt is. Over een paar uur zal ik de sleutel inleveren en liegen dat ik ’s avonds weer terugkom. Ik tel de dollars op de toonbank uit, en de klerk bergt mijn formulier op zonder de valse naam te lezen. Buiten voegt Norma zich met een uitgestreken gezicht bij me en steken we door naar de bungalows. Aan haar arm bungelt een forse leren tas. Ze stopt bij de frisdrankautomaat en koopt twee cola’s. De lage kamer is warm en de  lichtgroene gordijnen hangen muisstil voor de gesloten ramen.
“No airco,”  concludeer ik.
Ze stapt naar binnen, met een lijzige slag in haar heupen. Traag zet ze haar zonnebril af en vouwt hem op in haar handen terwijl ze tevreden rondkijkt.
“Let’s take a shower.”
Haar stem is lager, betoverend. Haar dromerige stemming vult de warme kamer. Ze stapt uit haar hakken en trekt aan de knopen van haar blouse terwijl ze naar de badkamer wiegt. De brede badkamerspiegel verwelkomt haar, de flappen van haar blouse los, witte glanzende bh met forse cups. Onze blikken kruisen elkaar plechtig in de spiegel, en haar zachtheid kaatst over naar mij. Wat is ze klein zonder hakken. Zo anders. Zo hetzelfde als al die jaren geleden. Ik kus haar, ik verwar mezelf, verslik mijn vingers in haar zwarte haren. Haar kirrende antwoord op mijn zoen.
“Please take the wig off,” zeg ik.
Ze lacht, maar als de pruik af is en ze haar platina krullen loswoelt, herken ik haar nog steeds niet. Mijn verlangen tiert als een razende dat ik minder moet denken en meer moet doen. Ik zoen haar opnieuw, en dit keer schuur ik mijn heupen tegen haar jeans als ze kirt. Trek ik de blouse over haar schouders als ze zucht. En verlos ik haar roze borsten uit hun stevige padding terwijl ze mijn naam zegt, in die hallucinerende toonsoort. Ik pak het lichaam uit, iedere bevrijde ronding beweegt wulps in mijn richting. Haar schaamhaar is blond. De bedwelmende geur ontneemt mijn laatste vermogen tot denken.
Het volle ronde lijf in mijn armen zweet, kreunt, maar onthoudt me haar orgasme. Ik schreeuw in de marteling van het terugtrekken, pak mijn pik over in mijn trekkende hand en voor de derde keer die middag spuit ik een lading over haar lichaam in plaats van in haar klaar te komen, samen met haar klaar te komen. Iedere stoot leek haar tot wanhoop te drijven, alsof ze verscheurd werd door verlangens die ik niet meer kon bevredigen.
Ze steekt twee sigaretten op en geeft er één aan mij, samen met een geopend flesje cola.
“You’ve known me all my life, Jimmie,” zegt ze.
Haar kunstmatig lage stem vloekt bij het ronde wulpse lichaam, dat warm onder de klamme lakens ligt.  Ik draai me naar haar toe en duw een hand onder mijn hoofd, leunend. Ik staar naar de ronde vormen van haar voorhoofd, haar kleine neus. Ze glimlacht, zonder haar bovenlip te krullen, maar tot halverwege haar tanden.
“I only knew Norma Jeane,” zeg ik. “I never knew you.”
De helderheid in mijn denken is terug, en ik registreer iedere laatste seconde.
“I never knew you, Marilyn.”

Naima’s verlangen

Het was begonnen toen Naima ziek was en Rachid iedere ochtend haar ijlende lichaam op de zij rolde. Hij schoof de meisjesboxer naar beneden die hij haar de avond ervoor na het wassen had aangetrokken. Zwijgend spreidde hij haar billen. Ze reageerde nooit op het koude puntje van de thermometer. Iedere dag 39 graden. Rachid zette yoghurtdrank en biscuitjes op het nachtkastje voor hij naar zijn werk ging.
Op vrijdag sloeg hij het gebed in de moskee over, en haastte zich direct naar huis. Lange bruine benen. Blote voeten met lichte nagels. In haar roze spaghettihemdje was Naima bezig haar koffer uit te pakken, die na de reis naar haar ouders geplunderd onder haar ziekbed was geëindigd. Strakke broeken, sokken, ondergoed in de kledingkast. Sjaals, tuniekjes en de T-shirts met lange mouw bleven in de koffer achter. Ze ritste hem dicht en schopte de koffer terug onder het bed.
“Ik voel me weer een stuk beter.”
Haar grote mond straalde. In haar ogen hing nog de hitte van haar verhoging. Rachid verschoonde de lakens toen Naima zelf haar douche nam. Ze sliep nog veel en ze gingen nog niet naar het strand.
Hij had zijn jas al aan, laptoptas al over de schouder, toen zij hem riep. De deur van de slaapkamer stond op een kier. Zijn vraag wat er was en de opmerking dat hij weg moest bleven onder de kapstok hangen.
Haar rug lag naar hem toe, haar ogen dicht. Weifelend ging hij op de bedrand zitten, kuchte een keer en legde zijn autosleutels naast de tissues. De thermometer lag weer in het medicijnkastje. Hij sloeg het dunne dekbed open. Zijn vingertoppen streken over de kuiltjes van haar onderrug. Ze droeg een kleine string die ze gisteravond niet aanhad toen ze naar bed ging. Samen met Naima hield hij zijn adem in en trok de dunne bandjes over haar heupen. Halverwege haar dijen. Kietelend langs haar knieholtes en haar slanke enkels. Over de wreven met hennarode bloemen. Hij legde de string naast zijn sleutels en spreidde haar billen. Ze trok haar knieën iets verder op. De plooitjes van haar anus. De rondingen van haar lippen. Rachid glimlachte bij de kleine haartjes die hij niet had weggeschoren de dagen dat hij haar waste. Hij streelde de haartjes, het gleufje van haar lippen, en duwde zijn vinger iets dieper. Ze was nat. Naima smoorde een zucht in haar kussen.
Iedere ochtend herhaalde zich het ritueel. Als ze ver bij de bedrand vandaan lag, ging hij achter haar liggen. Als ze al bloot was neukte hij haar direct, na een kleine inspectie of ze nat genoeg was. Als hij glijmiddel op het nachtkastje vond, vingerde hij haar uitgebreid, waarbij ze haar kronkelingen en haar kreunen ternauwernood onderdrukte.
Sindsdien kookte Naima iedere dag recepten die Rachid nooit eerder had geproefd. Ze ging niet meer naar vriendinnen, en kocht dvd’s die ze samen met Rachid keek. Als hij haar benaderde dan pijpte ze hem kreunend, op haar knieën voor de bank. Maar haar gemaakte geilheid vloekte bij de herinneringen aan de ochtend, met haar mond gevangen in een slapend zuchtje.
Als hij haar ‘s avonds nam en haar orgasme niet kwam, weggepoetst achter pornografisch gehijg, dacht Rachid aan de ochtend waarin haar hoogtepunt bleef hangen in onderdrukt kreunen en onuitgesproken verlangen. Rachid liet hun oude sekspatronen varen en stond ‘s ochtends ruim op tijd op. Hij maakte nooit de fout hun nieuwe manier van vrijen te bespreken.
De zon was al naar de andere kant van het huis verschoven maar de slaapkamer was nog steeds warm. De witte gordijnen hingen roerloos voor de open ramen. Ruziënde kinderstemmen op straat. Iemand wilde haar fiets niet delen. Rachid kwam schoon uit de douche, en Naima lag op bed. Het bikinibroekje zat los om haar billen. Het strikje van haar topje rustte tussen de egaal gebruinde schouderbladen. Ze bewoog niet. Zijn natte handdoek viel zacht op de grond. Rachid maakte het strikje op haar rug los, het strikje in haar nek. Haar zwarte haar voelde klam en koel aan. Daarna trok hij aan de koordjes met de kraaltjes op haar heupen. Haar billen waren wintercaramel, niet het diepe bruin van de rest van haar lichaam. Hij meende haar adem te horen. Op het kastje stond glijmiddel, maar dat kon nog van vanmorgen zijn. Rachid legde haar benen iets breder.
Het lichtblauwe touwtje zat helemaal tussen haar lippen. Zou ze vergeten zijn dat ze ongesteld was geworden? Wilde ze dat hij het eruit haalde? Vertwijfeld tuurde hij naar haar blote billen en streelde haar droge gladde lippen alsof zij het antwoord wisten.
Een minimaal knikje van haar heupen.
Rachid knipperde met zijn ogen, hield zijn hand stil, om er zeker van te zijn dat hij het niet had verbeeld. Maar haar lome lichaam zweeg als ervoor. Het knoopje in het touwtje was nog steeds droog. Rachid begon de welvingen van haar dijen te strelen. Kneedde haar billen. Legde zijn handen eroverheen en liet zijn duimen er tussen glijden. Hij masseerde stevig. Voor het eerst voelde hij hoe ze haar billen dwingend in zijn handen duwde. Het zachte vlees volgde zijn masserende bewegingen en ze kreunde toen hij zijn duimen naar haar anus liet glijden. Hij beet haar, zoende en likte haar voor hij het glijmiddel van het nachtkastje pakte. Met zijn rechterhand spreidde hij haar anus voor hij zijn linkerwijsvinger bij haar naar binnenduwde. Hij wachtte tot het ongecontroleerde knijpen ophield.
Laat je gaan.
Geef je over.
Naima.
Naima.
 Hij sprak zonder zichzelf te horen. In opperste concentratie duwde hij een tweede vinger naar binnen.
Rachid, ik durf niet.
Naima, ik ben het.

Rachid voelde haar verkrampen op haar eigen woorden, en weer ontspannen bij de zijne. Hij legde een kussen onder haar heupen voor hij in haar kwam.
Haar kreun van geilheid toen hij binnendrong.
Van pijn toen hij stootte.
Haar heupen kantelden, hieven, plakten tegen zijn stoten. Ze vermorzelde een kussen in een omhelzing tegen haar lichte borsten.
 Rachid.
Rachid.
 Hij schoof zijn hand onder haar en voelde een ongekende hitte tussen haar schaamlippen. Hij duwde, cirkelde. Voelde haar vocht tegen zijn ballen. langs zijn vingers. Als haar heupen vroegen, gaf hij. Als zij zijn naam zei, fluisterde hij de hare. Diep in haar bekken spande alles samen, ze klemde haar dijen tegen hem aan. Een paar keer trok hij bijna helemaal terug, en gleed dan weer diep in haar. Hij voelde haar orgasme verlengen onder zijn stoten, onder zijn hand. Tot ze passief en zwaar stil viel onder zijn gewicht. Haar adem was snel en gejaagd. Haar hartslag galmde onder zijn klamme borst. Hij kuste de eerste tranen weg voor ze het laken raakten.

Lang geleden

“Tweehonderd,” zegt ze. “En dat is voor een half uur.”
Een hongerige grijns trekt over zijn gezicht.
“Ik wil alles met je doen. Hoe duur is dat?”
“Niet alles is te koop.”
Stiltes. Bedragen worden verhoogd, verlaagd. Onverstoorbaar zit hij op de bedrand, leunt achterover. Zijn handen duwen kuilen in de matras.
“Je moet van tevoren betalen.”
Traag komt zijn grote lijf in beweging. Hij pakt het colbert van de stoel, steekt zijn hand in de binnenzak, en telt uit een stapel wat hij nodig heeft. Het bed zucht als hij opstaat. Met drie stappen staat hij bij haar.
“Je gaat er lekker hard voor werken.”
Hij tikt de opgevouwen biljetten langs haar neus en schenkt een whiskey in voor zichzelf. Handtas op het kleine bureau, jas eroverheen. Ze legt twee condooms naast het nachtlampje. Rimpels trekken over haar voorhoofd en ze perst haar lippen samen.
“Waarom vroeg u naar mij?”
Haar gespannen blik strak op de sprei. In het gedempte licht glinsteren de naden. De man zet zijn glas naast haar condooms en komt achter haar staan. Haar schouders bibberen onder zijn aanraking. Hij streelt haar fragiele armen door de doorschijnende stof van haar mouwen. Zijn pik hard tegen haar billen.
“Hoe lang is het geleden?”
Hij graait de blouse uit haar rok en masseert haar buik. Hebberig.
“Vier maanden,” snikt ze. “Alstublieft….”
Hij streelt over de dunne witte streepjes aan de zijkant van haar platte buik.
“Je bent nu weer van mij,” zegt hij.
Knijpend, duwend, cirkelend glijdt zijn hand lager. Hij draait haar om. Nog voor ze oogcontact kan maken zit hij op zijn knieën voor haar. Geërgerd zoekt hij naar de rits. Ze schrikt als de rok bij haar enkels valt. Hij duwt zijn tong tegen het kant van haar slipje, trekt het stukje stof naar beneden. Haar stevige venusheuvel geeft mee onder zijn kusjes. Hij tilt een hak over het rokje, plaatst haar voeten wijder. Lichtroze nagels zoeken houvast in zijn asblonde haar. Ellebogen om haar heupen, grote handen houden haar vast, overeind, terwijl zijn tong zijn weg zoekt tussen haar dijen. Ze kreunt. Smekende, onverstaanbare woorden die op haar volle lippen blijven hangen. Hard trekken aan zijn haar.
“Je bent zo gespannen als een rietje.”
Hij streelt het dunne streepje schaamhaar.
De badmat onder zijn knieën is drijfnat. Bij iedere beweging van haar lichaam klotst het water over de lage badrand. Rommelig opgestoken haar, natte lokken plakken in haar hals. Haar tenen zoeken houvast op de kraan, en haar knieholte piept over de lage badrand bij elke beweging van zijn vingers. Zwaar ademende drijvende borsten. Zijn vingers dringen binnen. Heel even haar groene ogen, voor ze zich in zichzelf opsluit. Hij kijkt naar de gesloten zwarte eyeliner en glimlacht.
Hij droogt haar af. Achterkant. Omdraaien. Voorkant. Hij spreidt haar lippen en dept ertussen met een hoekje van de badstof. Ze is weer begonnen met trillen.
Zijn borsthaar tegen haar klamme borsten.
Hij duwt haar op haar rug in het midden van het bed. Zijn zoenen zijn dominant, haar polsen worstelen in de matras. Ze draait haar hoofd af, protesteert, schopt. Hij grijpt haar gezicht met één hand vast, en dwingt haar blik naar hem toe.
“Je gaat me nu pijpen.”
Zijn groene ogen houden de hare vast, vegen iedere uitdrukking van zijn en haar gezicht.
“Geen gespartel meer, geen gezeur. Desnoods doe je het huilend, maar je doet het.”
Het slanke lichaam is stil gevallen tegen het bed, hij laat haar los. Ze grijpt getergd haar eigen polsen, trekt weg als hij haar bovenarm grijpt, maar hij is te sterk. Ruw duwt hij haar hoofd naar beneden. Ze neemt hem in haar mond. Haar snikken schokken na in haar lippen, in haar tong, in haar ronde rug. Geknield als een snikkende geisha naast hem op het bed. Hij komt half omhoog, en aait behoedzaam over haar schouders, over de natte plukken in haar haar. Hij aait de kleine billen die in de kommetjes van haar voeten liggen.Het tempo van haar hand en mond kalmeren tot een regelmatige langzame slag. De eikel glimt met speeksel en verdwijnt als ze de volle lengte weer in zich neemt. Kleine tik tegen haar billen voor hij op zijn rug gaat liggen.
“Kom hier.”
Rimpels in haar voorhoofd.
“Ik durf het niet. Nog niet. Echt.”
Het manlijke gezicht grijnst zijn glimlach.
“Je hoeft het niet te durven, je hoeft het alleen maar te doen.”
De frons tussen haar wenkbrauwen is nog niet weg als ze haar heupen naar hem toe draait. Hij reikt zijn tong omhoog naar haar toe. Een schok door haar lichaam. De tong penetreert haar, likt haar. Af en toe gromt hij goedkeurend, of gebiedt haar beter te pijpen.
“Doorgaan.”
De tong gaat weg. Onderzoekende harde vingers. Ze kreunt als hij haar opent. Dan duwt hij haar dijen weg, trekt haar omhoog en zoent de tong die naar hem smaakt. Ze wil nog iets zeggen maar zijn eikel is al tegen haar aan. Hij stoot in haar. Ze siddert en bijt haar onderlip. De grote handen om haar hoofd dwingen hem aan te kijken. Maar het is niet meer nodig. De groene ogen vullen zich met prevelende woorden. In slow motion spreidt ze haar slanke benen en heft haar heupen naar hem toe. Hij verstaat de prevelende woorden, en stoot diep in haar.
Ze vraagt vergiffenis.

Heimwee

 Ik ga je iets vragen dat ik je niet mag vragen.     
Ook nu, tien lange, verwarrende dagen na haar toezegging kan hij nog terug. De smog en het laatste schemerlicht hangen als een zware deken over de stad. Het grote raam omhoog geschoven. Zijn dunne pantalon plakt aan de gladde verf van de brede vensterbank. Hij houdt het ijskoude bierflesje tegen zijn voorhoofd. Het ruime Victoriaanse appartement, de statige buurt. Zelfs het grote park dat achter hun huis begon had haar goedkeuring niet kunnen wegdragen.
“Een stad is geen plaats voor kinderen om op te groeien.”
“Het is vlak bij het ziekenhuis, ik zal meer tijd voor jou hebben.”
Ze slikte de leugen, werd zwanger. In het grote bed baarde zij hun zoon, twee jaar later hun dochter. Zomerkinderen. De deuren naar het grote terras stonden open zonder een briesje te vangen. Geen vroedvrouw. Die hebben ze hier niet eens. Hij kietelt zijn lichte handpalm met zijn vingertoppen.
Zacht gerinkel van de bel. Met een schok schrikt hij uit zijn herinneringen, op blote voeten naar de voordeur. De videobewaking filmt een zonnebril in opgestoken donkere haar. Vluchtig werpt ze een blik op de straat achter zich. Hij drukt op de knop met de sleutel.
De oude lift galmt door het marmeren trappenhuis. Met een glimlach schuift ze de traliedeur open. Hij glimlacht terug. Ze loopt langs hem het appartement in. Met haar hakken is ze even groot las hij, en ze ruikt naar l’Eau d’Issey.
“Tu es très belle.”
Hij schrikt van zijn eigen accent.
“Merci. But zyou don’t speak French.”
Gladde bruine borst door de v-hals van zijn overhemd, kort zwart haar, opgerolde mouwen, trouwring. Ze knikt.
“Would you like something to drink?”
Zijn stem is weer stabiel.
Koelkast met kindertekeningen. Morfine in de deur. Twee glazen en een fles champagne. Zij is op de loungebank gaan zitten. De psychedelische print van haar zomerjurk kleurt bij de schilderijen. Een doffe plop. Hij vangt de golf op met het glas.
“Thank you.”
Hij spreekt iets met haar door. Geeft haar een optie die ze weigert.
“I vant you. And it iz good for everybody.”
Dezelfde koele zakelijkheid als Juliette. Een steek van opwinding tussen zijn benen. Hij legt zijn hand op haar dij en streelt haar hitte. Hij zet haar glas weg voordat hij haar voorzichtig kust.
De geur van het parfum en haar jonge gezonde lichaam bedwelmen hem. Zijn begeerte zuigt haar mee. Ze zoenen gretig terwijl knoopjes open gaan, kledingstukken uit. Een zucht van verlichting als hun huid elkaar raakt. Haar rondingen en zijn hardheid op de grote loungebank.
“Your skin………you’re so beautiful.”
Hij streelt de sproetjes tussen haar schouderbladen. Zoent haar blanke buik. Schaamteloos opent hij haar benen, bewondert haar zachte heuvel, spreidt haar lippen. Ze kreunt als hij zijn vingers in haar brengt. Haar eerste orgasme. Ze kent zijn naam. Nog natrillend rolt ze op haar zij, haar benen opgetrokken. Hij zoent de zweetpareltjes op haar onderrug, daalt af, likt tussen haar billen. Haar moeheid verdwijnt als ze opnieuw zijn vingers voelt.
Zij voor hem op haar knieën. Haar heupen naar achteren en haar lange haar los over haar schouders. Ze voelt zijn ogen over haar lichaam gaan terwijl ze hem afzuigt. Soms raakt hij heel licht haar schouders aan, of veegt haar lokken uit haar gezicht. Ze steekt haar tong uitnodigend uit als hij klaarkomt. Roze blos op haar wangen.
Zijn lange lijf tegen haar aan, tussen haar benen. Zijn handen zijn overal, knijpen haar vlees. Zijn pik stoot naar binnen en ze kreunt, wil hem net zo graag als hij haar. Hij knijpt tot zijn handen pijn doen en haar billen beurs zijn. Orgasmen wisselen elkaar af. Zij zuigt hem als hij zacht is. Hij likt zijn en haar vocht uit haar. Zijn herinneringen vullen zich met geur, smaak, warmte. Als ze op haar buik draait, neemt hij haar van achter. Hij begraaft zijn neus in haar haar en huilt.
De witte loungebank, twee in elkaar gestrengelde lijven. Het paarse jurkje ligt op de grond in de felle ochtendzon. Het geluid van de eenzame nachtbus of taxi gaat over in het drukke verkeer van de nieuwe dag.

<3

Deel 2 van 22 Erotische Verhalen zet ik ook op Twitter and my Facebook.

Dutch American Diary – All Episodes

SB Boekomslagen DAD kleinMy gift to you! All the posts that create the novel Dutch American Diary. Alternative title The Birth of a Cougar should that last word ring a bell ;)
Dutch American Diary is the autobiographical sequel to my Dutch novel Mango (click for immediate access)

Episode 1
Nathan and New Benjamin
Just give me drugs!

Episode 2
Magic
Hit Me

Episode 3
The Break-up

Episode 4
Secrets

Episode 5
Failure
Goodnight Benjamin

Episode 6
Bubbles
Whore

Episode 7 
Goddess 
The Caramel Months

The sequel to Dutch American Diary is book 4 LS Diary, which I will start posting early september. Book 3 are Dutch erotic stories, 22 Erotische Verhalen. These will be posted the upcoming days.

All my posts are announced on Twitter and Facebook.

Dutch American Diary. Episode 7 (last one) (happy ending)

And when I say “happy ending” I mean in bed with men half your age. Although I guess there would be more options. In theory.
<3
My name is LS Harteveld, I make yoga videos and I’m publishing my Wait Worth 8!
Dutch American Diary is the autobiographical sequel to my Dutch novel Mango (click for immediate access)

G o d d e s s

Sunday March 15, 2009

Yesterday, 5.45 pm. I was cycling to Marieke’s with a back-pack filled with food and a plastic bag with pastry dangling from my handle bars. Suddenly, I noticed the high heels in front of me. A woman hurrying over the side walk. Round hips objecting to the rush, wrapped in a long tight skirt. My hands grabbed the handle bars and I stopped peddling. The slow pace did not avoid LARA – THE BITCH FROM HELL and me waiting at the same traffic light.
“This is how I usually run into Nathan,” I smiled wryly, nodding to the big building across the street.
The front door opened, Nathan stepped out. His hair in a short cut, wearing an expensive black sweater over a white shirt. The beautiful clothes waved to Lara. His face twisted into a grin when he saw me next to her.
“This is weird,” Lara said.
In a very long silence we waited until the traffic light turned green.
“Have a nice evening,” I lied.
“You too,” she cursed me back.
I put my hand up to Nathan when I passed him. He smiled and greeted me back. Looking amazingly, insanely, godthisissounfair good. High heeled Lara. Smart dressed Nathan. New haircuts to match their new lives. Pulling off the life they both wanted. An immaculate relationship and the promise of a wonderful Saturday evening out. Who would have thought this golden couple had committed such a capital betrayal just a week ago?
 He does not love you Lara.
She does not love you Nathan.
 Did my ideas about how cold, fake and businesslike their arrangement is, have the opportunity to jump on their carefully crafted outfits, in the short moments we were so close? Because their thoughts jumped on me:
 Why can’t you just be happy for us?
Why do you think this is all about you?
We’re not going to wait for your blessing.
Look at how much fun we’re having.
 But there was one thing I heard that I didn’t trust even though it was clearer than the others. Seductive, delusional and in Nathan’s West coast accent.
 Did you believe even for a moment I did not want you anymore?

Tuesday March 17      

There’s a story about an Indian Guru, who taught in the Netherlands in the seventies and eighties. One of his student’s wrote a book on all the things she learned from him. His knowledge. Her book.
“Are you not angry with her?” his other students asked.
The Guru laughed.
“Why should I be angry?” he asked.
“She may have stolen the milk, but I still have the cow.”
That’s how I feel today. Nathan and Lara have stolen the milk. That’s all. They have stolen something they could not produce themselves. But my absence will be felt. I am the ghost following them on dates. A shadow haunting the streets of this city. I am the third voice that reasons in their arguments and whispers in the dark when they share their sexual secrets.

Thursday March 19
Novel

At 6pm, I finished my novel Mango. My Dutch debut. A two and a half year long project is finally finished. Mango is about fear, lust and love. A sexual history told in scenes, from the Africa of my childhood to the gay scene in Amsterdam. Although it’s far from an autobiography I did write in Nathan, the charming first lover after 14 years. Jeroen, the college sweetheart. Jonathan, the first love. And of course Real Benjamin, a bi-sexual novel character. I sent an email announcing the birth of Mango to friends and family. They had suffered through my whining and promising and years of me not finishing my bestseller. Now it’s finished. Let’s start selling.

Recuperation day
Saturday April 18
       

I had a plan for April. Still on a high from completing my novel, and maybe a little affected by the first sunbeams of spring, I drew up a list.
1. Write a proposal for Mango and send it out to publishers.
2. Teach great classes. Sparkly new, well prepared, themed and exciting.
3. Every day yoga with countless inversions, backbends and other industrial strength yoga that will turn me into a Yoga Goddess!!!
4. Meet new boyfriend. To facilitate this – recite the following mantra daily: I, Lauren, now welcome the man I have longed for all my life.
Beforehand, with all these fantastic things waiting to happen, I loved April!
Well, until I got sick anyway. It started the day I saw the picture of Real Benjamin on the internet. I was shocked at how normal he looked and at how eager I had been to see this. I was crossing boundaries, years, and the mysteries that once separated him from me. It was as if the 1991 version of me (Internet? What’s that??) had time travelled, and got vertigo from the high tech world she encountered. A world where Benjamin, the boy she knew so little of, and didn’t even realize she was in love with, was a mid-thirty business man, making insane amounts of euros.
“He’s making what?” the Dutch guilder version of me would then ask.
Real Benjamin’s picture brought me out of balance. Sore throat first. Then sliding downhill on a five day scale from coughing, to sneezing, to snotty. On Wednesday evening I found myself hanging over the toilet bowl throwing up the small I have to at least eat something beet root salad I called dinner. After that the broccoli salad I had for lunch came out too. Then all the chocolate eggs.
That’s when I decided I really was sick. I cancelled all classes, closed the curtains and left my bed-on-couch only to feed the cats. The only thing that happened according to schedule was that the thermometer kept insisting that I didn’t have a bad fever. It was not even above 38 degrees. Today, after 48 hours on the couch, I feel better. I’m all geared up to edit my novel, to meet my new boyfriend, perfect my house, and turn into a Yoga Goddess. The strongest hurdle will be the kilo of Easter eggs that remain from a party I threw last Monday. But I don’t think a Yoga Goddess would be scared of a kilo of chocolate. She would eat as she pleases and still look gorgeous.
So this Yoga Goddess is going to hit the yoga mat and looks forward to sculpting herself into a happy glowing girl. A wide smiling bombshell writer. A sensual, must-have girlfriend, who will make someone very, very happy. I hope he likes chocolate eggs as much as I do.

Tuesday April 21

A Goddess. I know what she looks like. I know because I was her in 1991. The year I met Real Benjamin. A lean, sculpted, 19 year old blonde. Today I took out my diaries and calendars from 1991.
Who was this mystical creature?
What were her habits?
In a college calendar I found a note from Jeroen on how to get to his house. Neither one of us knew we would fall crazy in love a year later and spend the next 14 years together. I also discovered that I was sick frequently, in exactly the same manner as I am now: Sore throat. Difficulty swallowing. So, this current twice in two month cold, must be a sign that I’m on my way to being youthful again! Since my late twenties until recently, I never got sick.
The second revelation was that the 19 year old version of me was unapologetically sexual. There are confessions on how much I missed sex when my then boyfriend Joep was away for a few weeks. Also on how I’m naked because it’s so hot in my attic room. I decided to masturbate “because it’s the only thing that makes me stop thinking about sex”. That is so cute!
About Real Benjamin? The old diaries did not speak of him. A shameful month long silence in a perfectly up-to-date diary.
But I did find a trace of my true feelings, in an odd habit: three weeks after Real Benjamin and I spent a whole night talking, flirting and sharing a shower, I suddenly started counting the number of times Joep and I had sex. Two, my Filofax says on a Wednesday. One, the following Friday.
Numbers. Clinically counting how good my sex life was. Denying, pushing away the longing for Benjamin with every fuck. A Benjamin I don’t really remember talking to, aside from that night. We would casually greet when we shared a class.
Or was there more?
I found my autographed ticket from a Lenny Kravitz concert. December 1991, a few months after Real Benjamin and I hung out together. It’s the concert I used for a scene in my novel.
“Oh, I know you went there,” Real Benjamin emailed me some time ago.
We were sending a few emails back and forth about my book.
“I remember you telling me how you met Lenny Kravitz.”
Lenny Kravitz kneeling down and talking to me in the posh hotel lobby? And Real Benjamin knew about this?
Apparently, in 1991 I was so sure of myself I seduced Benjamin into sharing a shower with me on our first encounter. So eloquent I managed to talk to him despite being crazy in love. And so sexy I was hit on by a larger-than-life rock star. Pretty impressive. In fact, it sounds to me like the traits of a genuine Goddess indeed.

It’s raining men
Tuesday May 12           

Last week I ran into Nathan and we shared a few funny emails, despite him being with da ho. On Friday I saw Antonio, the hot Argentinian, at a party. He brought his girlfriend, we growled at each other. Last Saturday Jeroen rang my doorbell to bring me my mail, despite his new girlfriend forbidding contact.
“And now I get an email from Jonathan,” I tell Marieke.
Jonathan is my ex from when I was 16. Until a few years ago I would have committed a felony for his attention.
“What did he want?” Marieke asked.
“Sex?”
I nodded.
“The charm of his new girlfriend must be wearing off.”
“Why don’t you ask the Universe for single guys?” Marieke asked.
“You’re supposed to be a Goddess.”
I shook my head.            
 “I can’t ask for someone to be single. What if I break up a relationship?”
And then something odd happened. I saw a ravine, I knew I was dreaming. Jump, and be free. Jump, and learn to fly or wake up trying. My voice was so calm and low I didn’t recognize it as my own:
“I, Lauren, now welcome the man I have longed for all my life. He is single and crazy in love with me.”
 A solemn silence followed.
“That sounded so real, it scared me,” Marieke said.
“Who did you think off?”
“Noa and New Benjamin.”
“Noa!” she smiled. “What’s his last name again?”
I gave it to her. Marieke started browsing Hyves. Probably looking for the page devoted to him and his girlfriend. Hearts and sweet words and sun bathed pictures.
“Fuck!”
I look up.
“What?”
“She’s gone. The girl isn’t there. He’s single!” Marieke exclaimed.
Neutral pictures of Noa smiling. Noa is single.

Wednesday May 13

Wrote an email to Noa.
“I am afraid to ask, but I would love to see you one more time. Even if it’s just to feel; nothing’s there. Noa was just doing his work.”

Friday May 15

Maybe my Goddess Yoga is paying off after all. I am fine with Noa not responding. I praise myself for sending the email. I did what I needed to do to make sure something would happen if it was meant to be. So, it’s not meant to be! Even better then, to have this out of the way.

Saturday May 16

News on New Benjamin! He is going to study in my city after the Summer! Benjamin lives with his girlfriend in a nearby city, so he’ll probably ride trains between home and University, and have a bicycle here in town. How exciting to have New Benjamin peddling around on his bike to run into!

Sunday May 31
Pentecost

There’s a three day festival in town and that’s where I spotted New Benjamin! I’m typing here with a blush on my cheeks. Adrenaline pumping through my body. I am so ashamed… I giggled like a school girl and I just had to point out Benjamin to Marieke. What if he heard that? No way of telling if he saw me too. As Marieke walked back, trying to catch a glimpse of his face, I leaned on a post pretending to be texting. New Benjamin walked straight past me. In the dark, under the trees. I could have touched him if I had extended my hand. Him, or the brunette walking right behind him. Yeah, brunette. The rest of the group were young too. She jumped on the backseat as he cycled off. And his girlfriend? The girl he lives with? She’s blond…. So, who was the girl with him? Did Benjamin’s relationship crush to pieces when I did my He is single affirmation too?

Monday June 1             

I sent an email to New Benjamin apologizing for my completely immature behavior.
“I wasn’t prepared to run into you again. From now on I will act completely normal when I see you.”
It was nice to write him, even though I know he will not write back.

Saturday June 6          

Nathalie took me out. We had such a great time. I slept over at her place and this morning I looked in her life size mirror. My body is really starting to shape up from two months of daily yoga. So, I thought nothing could get to me today. For the first time since February, I accompanied Nathalie to the gym. That’s where her colleague told me that Benjamin’s relationship is officially over. Has been for weeks. New Benjamin, my former yoga student, who got a full blown written love-confession from me in February, is single, and didn’t contact me? And just like Noa, he left my recent email unanswered too.
Tonight I prayed. Lit candles, stared into the flame and recited the first mantra that came to mind. Life is easy. Life is easy. Life is easy.

Healthy Goddess
Sunday June 7                              

I didn’t lose more than two pounds. My thighs are not the size zero pillars I had hoped for. My Goddess program has brought me many men but I am still at zero when it comes to having a boyfriend. The daily yoga regime and all the rejuvenating thinking did heal me from PMS cramps and tingle pee though. Got the test back as well. The burning sensations were never due to an STD.

Silence
Monday June 8            

My life is simple but empty. I kind of like it here. I write. I teach. I do yoga, once or twice a day depending on my teaching schedule. During the week I see Marieke, who saturates and satisfies all my needs for company so thoroughly that I can go through an entire weekend without feeling lonely. I don’t think my life has ever been this free of excitement. And it’s completely nice this way.

The birth of Valentino
Tuesday June 9            

When I started writing this diary I had no idea where it would lead. But now I do. I started writing the sequel to Mango: Fudge. It will be a Dutch novel, based on this diary. I am creating new story lines, tying events together and rewriting scenes and chapters. I am even doing research on the psyche of Italian men, emphasizing Nathan’s, Luca’s and New Benjamin’s shared background. New Benjamin got a new name too; Valentino. The mocha colored 19 year old, with the black shiny hair and the Italian features. Valentino. Real Benjamin incarnated.
I never got my man. The brown bellies and caramel chunk-like six packs, were never mine to touch. I never got the chance to redo my past with Benjamin, or to fight the demons that frightened me so much. I don’t think I ever will.

Wednesday June 10

One year ago. I had never worked at a gym but was hired to sub teach for someone who had left for India. The students were still chatting about the sabbatical of their former instructor and I was figuring out how the audio system worked. It was at that moment that Valentino walked in.
“Hi,” he smiled.
The floor started to slide. My class evaporated. My hands dropped the cd and cd cover. They crashed onto the floor.
“I’m sorry,” I apologized.
“I’m new here”.
“That’s okay,” Valentino said.
“It’s my first class too.”

T h e  C a r a m e l   M o n t h s

July 2009: Salvatore
Musician/ surfer from South America         

My first dominant lover. I was eager to keep him and be play-raped for the rest of my life but Salvatore refused my marriage proposal and kept looking for ‘The One’. Or at least someone who didn’t openly question lifelong relationships the way I did.

Ground Zero 
Monday August 3       

Even if I had known beforehand that my ugly wishes, vengeful fantasies, and solid belief in karma would all come true, I could not have predicted that it would feel so good. Because it does. Did. I was allowed to feel euphoria, anger, and grief in the presence of the one who caused it all; Nathan. I ran into him last night on my way back from teaching. He was dragging a suitcase over the sidewalk and making his way back home from the station. I was cycling back from class in the opposite direction, towards the station. I greeted him; got three kisses, and told him I was surprised he still lived here. I didn’t say:
“I thought you would have moved to the suburbs with the bitch from hell.”
No need to be openly hostile. Nathan would know what my thoughts are on Lara and their relationship (Relationship? Pact!). We sat down and talked.
Nathan appeared beaten, unhappy, and his eyes filled with tears several times. I turned my head away. He discretely wiped his eyes dry. Lara obviously had him by the balls. His lack of self-esteem and nervous speech gave him a vulnerable appearance which I’d not seen before. I threw my legs over his lap and patted his hair, in a (I hope) comforting way. He shivered and seemed to like it.
“Lara told me you said she didn’t love me,” he admitted.
I didn’t say anything.
“Do you think she loves me?” Nathan asked again.
“She can be so cold sometimes.”
“I always hoped the two of you would make each other’s lives miserable.” I answered.
“Well, she’s doing a great job, I can tell you that.”
Nathan’s shaky voice left a shameful silence.
 Does Lara love me?
Why is she cruel?

These were the exact same questions I used to ask myself about Nathan. Nathan has found his own Tyler Durden, and it has destroyed him. No more King Solomon.  Everything that would have made him an interesting husband, is gone. I didn’t know revenge would taste so sweet.

Saturday August 22 

I saw Noa!!!!
Beautiful, brown, God-what-magic-we-have Noa. I ran into him at the Caribbean Festival. It was our February rendezvous all over again. The same fear that he wouldn’t like me. His wide accepting smile. The way our hands touched, locked.
“You have to work, I’ll leave you alone,” I gently pulled back.
Noa never answered my Ascension Day email when he was single.
“I liked what you wrote about me,” Noa rushed.
His hands leaped towards mine.
“You have a way with words. I like your writing.”
We were holding hands again, and staring into each other’s eyes.
When I came home I checked his Hyves page. He’s not single anymore. He’s back with his ex. But at least I know he still likes me. It wasn’t just my imagination, it was right there.

September : Nubian Prince
Economy student of East African descent

 Bright, young, and super cute. We knew each other from Nathalie’s gym. This was the first time for me to be with a much younger man. Nubian Prince is 20, three months younger than Valentino (=New Benjamin). It was exactly as good as I hoped for. Better.

October: The virgin
Indian/ Indonesian.

 The answer is: of course we did. Often.

The End
Monday Morning, November 23       

It was still early and Marieke dozed off every two minutes on my couch. I checked my email for reservations for my morning yoga class. As I opened the box one name stood out.
“You will never believe who emailed me!” I yelled.
Valentino replied to February’s email. There was an apology for the really late reply. A question about yoga and kickboxing. And a request to start classes with me again. He ends with a kiss.
“Guess who has a new frie-hend!!” Marieke teased.
“I told you celibacy was a stupid plan!”
For the first time in our friendship I jumped on her and tickled her until she threw me on the floor.
One email, two online chats and five hours of teaching later, I ring Valentino’s front doorbell. It’s on my way home from the studio. I have passed by this place countless times, without knowing who moved here a few months ago.
“There you are,” Valentino opens the door.
Smaller than I remember. He wears Uggs and heavy designer glasses, like a model posing as a student.
“You look good,” he mirrors my thoughts.
His beauty is intimidating. I nod and start to climb up. A hall way. A large kitchen. A spacious room with designer furniture and a huge flat screen TV.
“You have a beautiful place here,” I admire it.
“And that bed!”
Three pillows wide and covered with high quality linen.
“I suppose with the amount of traffic you have going on here, it’s worth the investment, huh?”
“Oh come on, not that much! What do you think of me?”
I laugh.
“Be honest. How many women did you have since your break up?”
Valentino starts to count in May, but gets lost in June.
“I worked in a bar,” he explains the memory loss.
“Oh well, it’s not like we kept in touch or anything. They don’t really count.”
“I bet your ex had a different definition,” I snap.
Valentino cheated on her often. Just like Nathan on his ex.
“Oh come on!’ he laughs at my frustration.
“You were the one dating someone who was involved. That American.”
Valentino opens the bottle of wine and pours the glasses.
“Why didn’t you tell me you liked me?” he asks.
My mind searches for all the clues I gave.  The blushing email. The festival email.
“My girlfriend checked up on me. She probably threw them out,” Valentino explains.
“All I knew was that you didn’t want to come up.”
“You really wanted to have sex that day?”
I ask in disbelief, vividly remembering the day with the dog-walking.
“On the unmade bed of you and your girlfriend?”
“We could have picked the couch,” he smiles.
 I fell in love with you when you entered my class.
 I wanted sex when I invited you up.
 I got so hot when you showed me your belly.
Valentino and I take turns confessing, as we drink wine on the couch.
I lightly touch his arm, he leaves it unanswered. The couch is barely wide enough to hold two adults.
“Do you ever touch women?” I ask.
“Aside from when you fuck them I mean.  This may be why nothing ever happened between us.”
Valentino sighs. His mouth chews over the words before he chooses them.
“I never take the risk of being rejected.”
I take his hand and let my fingers slide over his palm, his unexpectedly warm skin. He does not pull back. I rest my head on his shoulder, his breath touches my face. His warm fingers caress my cheek, linger at my lips and then he kisses me. Gently. As our tongues meet, our arms and legs interlace slowly. My muscles relax under his touch, my mouth welcomes his tongue. A playful bite on my lip pulls out a moan. His hands slide in my top and free my breasts. Heavy and sedated by the wine our bodies make their way around each other. My legs part lazily under his exploring touches. An unexpected shiver awakens me: His fingers finding my wetness.
“Don’t,” I draw back.
An image of M50’s cold shoulder after sex.
Images of me collapsed on the kitchen floor crying over Nathan. The Virgin treating me on a dodgy MSN break-up. Every pain and rejection from three years of dating brutally invades the moment that I finally lie in Valentino’s arms.
“You’re wet…” Valentino looks at me puzzled.
His eyes soft. His glasses on the table where I left them.
“Just don’t,” I insist.
3? 6? 12? How many women did he have unprotected sex with in June? In silence the fingers retreat. We lie down on the king size bed and our bodies continue their slow embrace. I lick the strong muscles of his chest. He sucks the softness of my breasts. His mixed-race skin alluring and warm, caressing my porcelain body. Every ten minutes his hands slide in my pants, and I instruct them out. A returning step in our dance. Valentino circles his palm over my belly.
“Do you know I’ve masturbated thinking of you?” he confesses.
His head rests in his hand as he leans on one elbow.
“Yesterday. This morning too. ”
I smile.
“I never could. Not with you. Felt too guilty because you were my student.”
“Then do it now.”
His voice a seductive whisper. I raise my eyebrows.
“You want me to masturbate now?”
“Yes. If I can’ t touch you there, then touch yourself.”
He takes my wrist and directs my hand behind my jeans and string. Instinctively I press into the wetness, moan, circle. In one move, Valentino takes my jeans down to my knees. Suddenly his warm hand presses mine, pushing, increasing pressure. We both groan as we see my fingertips slide in. I slowly take my hand away, and he simultaneously pushes his fingers in. A wave of pleasure, as he enters. I arch my back, moan. He slides out and back in again, and I stop thinking. Then my eyes start burning. I close them tighter, but the tears wet my eyelashes. I don’t want to lose you again.
 “Stop. Please. You have to stop.”
The fingers stop their pleasure and the flow of emotion dries up. The tears don’t leave my eyes. I open them and my gaze meets his.
“This is different for me,” I excuse myself.
“Sex. It’s different for me, than for you.”
He smiles.
“That’s what I am beginning to find out, yes”
I pull my pants up.
Valentino kisses me, and pulls our half-naked bodies together again.
“Guess you’re not going to give me a blowjob then either?”
The house has become quiet. The iPod is not playing anymore. A speeding car chases over the street. My stomach rumbles, craving for some food.
“What time is it?” Valentino asks.
I check my mobile phone and let out a little scream.
“This, you are not going to believe.” I show him the screen.
Nathan has texted me at 23.55.  Nathan, the man who profited the most from my crush on Valentino, contacts me on our first night together.
“Tonight anything is possible, ” I beam.
“You know, I think we have a good influence on each other,” I chatter on, as I collect my things. My energy levels rocket, even though it’s 3 am.
“And you know, as long as we are clear that I am not your teacher, but a friend, I can teach you yoga. Get you in shape for your fight. So what do you say? Yoga Boot camp starts tomorrow.”
Valentino slides off the bed and pulls his shirt back on.
“I have to study tomorrow. Hit the books. No boot camp for me.”
With utmost concentration he starts to roll a cigarette. A sudden cold fills the air and creeps under my skin. My chest tightens, squeezing the air out of my lungs. In silence, I slide back into my clothes and find my socks under the couch. I feel nauseous and nearly faint as I come back up. I turn away from Valentino, hiding my tears, zip up my bag and tighten my coat. I breathe deeply and wipe my eyes with my sleeve before I turn. My weak smile kisses Valentino, his lips dry and cool against my lips.
“Thank you,” I whisper.
Right before the tears start to flow I wish him goodnight, pull the door behind me, and climb down the stairs.
 Goodnight Benjamin.

<3

I will now feed Dutch American Diary and Mango to the printing funnel at my self-publisher.
My next online book will be a Dutch one again: 22 Erotische Verhalen.
22 Erotische Verhalen will also be published on Twitter and my Facebook.
Dutch American Diary will be continued online in book 4: LS Diary

Dutch American Diary. Episode 6| early readers edition

Do you know the Secret Diaries of Adrian Mole?
It’s a successful series that started in the eighties. He was 13 3/4 years old, as the cover immediately informed us. It has sequels well into adulthood.
When the following turn of events took place, I realized my life and therefor my diary, were mimicking the Mole diaries:
I had informed the reader about stuff people were doing behind my back.
I was devastated at the time, but knew this was diarist’s gold and Dutch American Diary would be the best diary I would ever write.
Seven years later, I still stand by that conclusion.
And just like Adrian, that will not keep me from writing six more.
<3
My name is LS Harteveld, I make yoga videos and I’m publishing my Wait Worth 8!
Dutch American Diary is the autobiographical sequel to my Dutch novel Mango (click for immediate access)

B u b b l e s

Friday February 27, 2009

No more gym. No more Benjamin.
“I’m so happy you’re ready to move on,” Nathalie concluded.
To celebrate my resignation, my friends took me to a Singles Night in a club.
“Even you won’t find guys in relationships here,” Marieke said, as she took care of my registration for speed dating. She put me in the under 30 group. Meanwhile I looked up to the second floor.  There was 25 meters of thick air and a stair case between me and a rangy black bartender. He threw me a glance with Benjamin brown Bambi eyes.
“Marieke, I’ll be right back.”
A minute later me and Bambi were smiling, staring and admiring each other’s teeth.
“Hi,” he finally said.
“You are really beautiful,” I replied.
The words came out by themselves, like pink bubbles that would taste like strawberry if you’d let them pop on your lips.
“I spotted you from all the way down there.”
Every word sounded pink, sweet flavored and bouncing. I studied the floor.
“I noticed you too! Even when you were standing all the way down there!”
His words too were like candy colored bubbles. Glowing blue with silver sparkles.
“You have a great smile.”
“It’s a miracle that my teeth are in one line,” I revealed.
“I still suck my thumb.”
“That’s cute, ” he sighed as he reached me his hand.
“My name is Noa.”
Noa. There are neutral names, there are names that “grow on you” and there are names that just win you over quicker than bubbles can pop. Noa.
“Does Noa have a girlfriend?”
A huge, floating, shining bubble. Completely transparent.
“Yes I do,” he answered.
I bit my lip.
“I should have known.”
“She looks a bit like you,” he continued.
“Maybe, you should have been here two years ago. Where were you?”
Two years ago. Before Benjamin. Before Nathan. Before Luca and M50. Early 2007, when the unavailable poet and a handful of rejections had knocked all the fun out of being single.
“I can’t remember where I was two years ago,” I lied to Noa.
He was rinsing beer glasses. A pink towel draped over his shoulder. The black t-shirt revealed thin but sculpted arms.
“But I do remember that I was single, yes”
“Do you need to drive?” he asked, as he looked up through thick black eye lashes.
I didn’t go to speed-dating but stayed with Noa who made me cocktails. We talked about music and our hands touched as he served me my drink. He told me where he was from and leaned towards me because the music was so loud. We talked about work and our arms touched every time he walked close by or collected my empty glass. But he kept a distance. He never insinuated that he would cheat or that he had multiple girlfriends.
“Drinks are on the house. Be safe,” he said goodbye.

Sunday night March 1

This morning I woke up to the sight of Noa looking at me. His head resting on a pillow next to mine.
“You really do suck your thumb,” he welcomed me.
I half-heartedly tried to fight the fantasy off and go back to sleep, but couldn’t stop fantasizing about Noa. When I took a shower, I got clean from Noa devoting himself to soaping me up and washing every inch of my body. I found his Hyves profile with photos. Under that t-shirt, slender Noa had been hiding a six-pack! Before noon I had imagined Noa taking me, in every corner of my house and seriously questioned my feelings for Benjamin. I had never imagined having sex with him.
Should I be happy that within four days of cutting ties with Benjamin I have these feelings for someone else? Or should I feel bad that I again managed to pick a guy with a girlfriend? 

Thursday March 5

Jesus – fuck! Nathalie just called and told me New Benjamin was at the gym. And he said that yes, he knew I had left “because she sent me an email.”
“I am sorry to tell you this but he actually looked a little pale.” Nathalie said.
Pale? As in sick pale? Why the fuck did my yoga teacher send me an embarrassing email pale? I have not written her back because she is scary pale?
I am going to do a strong revision of this diary, to erase the last pieces of recognizable identification. To make sure that every quote he gave me, everything that he holds dear and all that he shared, is given back to him: where it belongs.
The people here in this book all know I am writing this. It’s an occupational hazard of hanging out with me. Benjamin is not one of those informed ones: he is simply someone who paid his gym membership. I should have understood all this when he did not respond to the blushing email, and stopped coming on Tuesdays. Should have got the message when on he arrived so late that he had an excuse to pass me and join his girlfriend upstairs immediately. And last Sunday when despite his promise he did not show up at all.
Poor Benjamin! And filthy me.

Saturday night March 7

 I want you to hit me as hard as you can.
A few hours ago, I thought I was past the Tyler Durden bullshit phenomenon. Past my unhealthy relationship with Nathan, in which I took the pain and humiliation of being toyed with. No more schizophrenic Americans for me. It had been bubbles and Bambis and innocent young brown men for months. Well guess again.
I want you to hit me as hard as you can.
I suppose pain hurts the most if you don’t see it coming. If this had been fiction it would have been too thick.

5 p.m.

I send Lara an email on a new book idea I’ve been working on. A teacher falling for her student and being drawn to a very unreliable man named Nathan.
“The working title is Voldemort and the Half-blood Prince. Unfortunately, the story line has dropped dead! I will have to wait until the characters start moving again.”
Before the night was over, I would find out that the pieces had been doing some serious moving behind my back.

7.30  p.m.

I am riding the bus wondering if I can ask Lara how Nathan is doing. Last time we saw each other, in early January, we barely spoke of him, but I am kind of curious. I know asking Lara’s access to Nathan, as her colleague and friend, puts me at risk of a second-hand Nathan addiction.

8 p.m.

Lara opens the door for me. We happily greet each other.
“Oh my God! You look decent!” I exclaim. And I know that I probably insult her, but seeing my sex bomb friend cut off her sexy hair, is simply a point where I am passed being polite.
“I know,” she smiles. “I look like a house mum!”
I study her, suddenly realizing I haven’t heard about her sex love life for months.
“Did you really do a one eighty and throw in the towel regarding your sex life too?”
She looks at me in a strange combination of a serious face and a naughty smile.
“Let’s get drinks first she says,” as she walks us to the kitchen.
“What’s this?” I ask, as I also force her into making me tea because I have to work tomorrow and want to be fresh.
“You’ve never been secretive about your sex life.”
“Oh trust me,” she insists. “We need drinks first.”
My mind comes up with the two most logical scenarios.
“You’re either pregnant or your dating Nathan.”
She doesn’t answer.
“We really need alcohol.”
“What???” I scream.
“Is it Nathan? “

10  p.m.

I hold Lara in my arms. This is our farewell. I have told her that I don’t want to see her anymore. Not just because I am angry or confused, because those emotions may disappear, but because I cannot have Nathan in my life, in her house, as her boyfriend. The jealousy would mutilate me into an evil life-form.
“Think of it this way,” I comfort her.
“You now have Nathan in your life to take care of you, and if he ever breaks up with you, I will get you through those first 48 hours. Just like you did for me.”
But she thinks he’s The One, yet admits that she is not completely in love.
“I still have my boundaries in place.”
It’s now 1 a.m.  I’m done writing. You know, every time I wrote about Nathan and Lara in the past few months I thought:
“I have to write in some of the quotes Nathan and Lara gave me on each other. They are sexually repulsed by each other!”
But I forgot to write them down. According to Lara, it was Pandora who beat everyone to it. Nathan’s girlfriend wasn’t even completely done kicking him out, when Pandora suggested to Nathan he should now date Lara since “the two of you have sex together anyway. The whole company knows.”        
“But we didn’t! We really didn’t!”
Lara interrupted her story, before she continued.
Lara told me, Nathan didn’t start pursuing her until January. With the excuse of not having any friends (they were all his ex-lovers, or friends of his ex-girlfriend) he started hanging out at her place. And then nothing happened till February.
“I did not know how you would respond,” she admitted.
“I thought it could go either way, with you either being okay with it, or breaking up with me.”
Being okay with it?
Okay with sending her texts at Christmas about how much I still miss Nathan and her ignoring those?
Okay with her ignoring my emails in January where I described how much it still hurts, and she leaving them unanswered?
Okay with me making excuses for her (“She is right to ignore me, I ask too much attention.”) and then finding out that she cannot comfort me regarding Nathan because she herself is the new woman at Nathan’s side?
I was still recovering from Nathan and instead of being there for me she spent her time housing and entertaining him. She didn’t say she couldn’t be his friend anymore. She didn’t make him suffer the consequences for having hurt and walked all over everyone he knows here. Oh no! She left my needs unanswered. Didn’t even bother to call off the friendship and devoted herself to sucking Nathan’s cock releasing him of his dire needs. I can’t write anymore.
For some reason, people find Lara attractive.
He’s not my type.
I couldn’t live with all his cheating.
 Sentences from Lara and Nathan press themselves out of my unconsciousness right into the bare light of tonight’s turn of events. It’s months after the break up. Months after our last email. I will never know why Nathan is doing this.
Is it because he wants to cut the last tie I have to him? Because he wants to rob me from my best friend? Or because he really believes Lara is the Wife and Woman that will make him into the faithful, loyal man he “really is”? Or is Nathan’s affair with Lara as meaningless as all the others.  As Lara always puts it, they “are simply there because he can”.
 Oh come on. You are so much more attractive than Lara. Look at how thin you are.
And Nathan snuggled his hands underneath my cloths and cupped his hands around my waistline.
 You and I just fit together perfectly.
 Nathan is fucking my best friend. Welcome to Fight Club.

W h o r e

 Sunday March 8, 2009

He kissed me first. His fingers touched my pussy first. I sucked that cock first. He told me he loved me – first. Or did he?   What were the exact words Lara used yesterday?
 I did consider not telling you. I mean, it’s not like you would have found out.
Lara, last year in November, when I saw Nathan to collect my things:
Oh really, he was wearing work clothes, and he didn’t say who he went to after work?
 Lara, last Summer:
I know Nathan would fuck without a condom when given the chance.
 From last night to a year back. Bits of conversations pop up, leave and then I forget them. I forget the pieces of the puzzle but I don’t forget the big picture that they lead up to: I have been screwed over big time, by my best friend and my ex-lover. Maybe they had sex occasionally or often for as long as I’ve known them both. The promiscuous twins. All in a day’s work for them. Images of that cramped office kitchen. Lara’s skirt pulled up. The copier spilling papers. He takes her during those crazy 12 hour work days. The office building deserted.

Sunday March 8
midnight

Dear Lara and Nathan,

If you are reading this, then you have found this manuscript, the diary of your betrayal. So, say what you have on your mind! Defend yourselves. Tell me where I took liberties with the truth. Illustrate why you were worth my love and trust, and why it is my own distorted view that you committed high treason on me.
Lara!
Show us how your cold and calculated behavior is acceptable in a three year long friendship? That I have come off lightly because…how was it that you put it the Saturday night when I left? “Well it’s not like I dated Nathan when you were together.” Spoken like a trooper, Lara. I am sure you have a lot more things to say in your own defense.
You too Nathan!
Any words to mark the occasion? Maybe that 18 months, 300 emails, and hours on the phone do not count as a relationship. Or that we never had a sexual relationship because we never fucked. Maybe you should milk that last bit: how you heroically did not fuck me on the night we spent together at your apartment. Charm and strangle us with your excuses. Enlighten the reader, and foremost me, with your illuminating view.
PS: I just got a very interesting email from Lara in which she stresses that she believes in monogamy and marriage. WTF? You had sex with over a 100 men and you’re DIVORCED!

Sunday – Monday
1.30 a.m.

Just woke up from a dream where I am beating Lara. I lash out, swinging my right arm from left to right. My bent arm unravelling like a whip. The back of my hand giving a heavy blow to her jaw. It was the only way to shut her up from sharing how good and intimate Nathan’s lovemaking was.
“He touched my pussy so slowly and tenderly. Just the outside. It was fantastic!”
No Lara that’s how he touched my pussy. Because I was vulnerable and had not been with a new man for 14 years. I bet my life that you and Nathan FUCKED the first time you did anything. I don’t want to hear that he touched you in the same way he touched me.
Shut up!

Monday March 9

 You will see me with that woman at Albert Heijn.
 Nathan’s words in November. The full meaning of what Nathan was trying to tell me sinks in.
 Oh come on. The whole company knows the two of you are having sex.
Pandora’s staggering assumption pounds my head.
I have a new pallet of emotions, like a box of unfamiliar crayons. Hate. Despise. Loathing. Repulsion. They are not even real crayons. Like Damien Hirst, I find myself painting with blood and sperm. Photographing with urine. Sculpting with shit. The drains are clogged and the urine on the floor is already irritating the soles of my feet. The sewer filled with airborne viruses that my lungs already breathe. My hands are stained with dirt and there is no soap and water to clean them. In my mouth the taste of blood. No exit anywhere to be found.
Although I know all these emotions are threatening my health, I will not panic for being stuck here. I will not visualize myself swimming in the ocean, bathing in the sun, or in any other way tricking myself into believing I am somewhere else. A new set of emotions.
Who knew I could feel so much rage? Who could believe that a woman, no more than 10 days ago spoke words that were so loving that they turned to pink bubbles, could hate so passionately? Writing and expressing myself with whatever raw and filthy material is at hand. I am trapped in a sewer of thoughts.

Tuesday Night March 10
11 p.m.

When I cycled to class I felt like crying, choked up, alone, needy. I did not in any way feel like I was fit to give something to anyone else, let alone teach two packed classes. 50 People were counting on me for a yoga class.
So, I reached for my proven method of religious experience, and prayed to Real Benjamin. After I was done explaining why I felt so horrible, I prayed to be able to teach and give these people what they came for. God lived up to his reputation. I did not break down and gave good classes too.

Wednesday March 11
10 a.m.

Got an email from Lara. It was a reply to the one I’d sent her yesterday. I informed her that since Saturday the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place. That with half clues and a well-documented past, I was coming closer to the full extent of her deceit. This may explain why her answer contained a completely new version of the way things happened. She now told me that Nathan confessed his feelings for her this year, in October.
“I swear nothing happened when you were dating Nathan, or when he was dating anyone else. But I know you probably won’t believe me.”
She might have completed that sentence with: “since I have been lying to you for five months and Saturday’s version was also filled with lies.”
According to this new second version of hers, in October she listened to his confession and then made him “prove” he was serious, she made him wait.
 Wait? Bullshit! Lara you’re so full of fucking crap every word stinks of your betrayal!
Lara now believes Nathan will not treat her the way he has with others. She assured me she would never have done “it” if she thought he was not the right one. She describes wanting to find out if Nathan is the One, by how serious he is. She does not mention her own feelings. Later in the email she says she “trusts him” and that she “sees this working out”. What poverty. What a passionless, loveless, business arrangement. Anything to shut up that hormone driven, child craving biological clock of hers.

11.30 p.m.

It is surreal to go over all those conversations I’ve had with Lara the past months. The most eerie ones are the ones from Saturday. I was calm but talked a lot. An endless stream of words effectively blocked what my instinct was saying, screaming, yelling:
She’s a Bitch! Get out of here!
There was no room in my mind to process the possibility that my best friend was a bitch. Topic after topic smothered my suspicions.
“Do you too feel special with Nathan?”
I asked her the night of her confession. I have never felt so loved and desired as in his arms.
“He’s American,” she agreed.
“He really is doing the typical American thing.”
I raised my eyebrows. I had never heard that all American men took you in their arms with a sigh as if they had been longing for this moment for ages. That they could passionately kiss for hours, fully clothed. Unraveling your sexual fantasies. American men had, as far as I knew, not been known to master the fine art of playing a woman’s lust like she was the ocean; riding her waves of excitement, releasing her to calm her down, only to then increase his grip again and push her to excitement.
No.
I don’t think I ever heard that about American men.
“So, the way Nathan behaves, and what I liked so much, and what surprised me so much, that’s what all American men do?”
The thought that there were 160 million more men like Nathan was appealing.
“Oh yeah,” Lara said.
“He makes you feel special.”
I nodded. Exactly.
“I mean holding the door open for you,” Lara continued.
I don’t think Lara noticed that this wasn’t exactly the characteristic that I was still in seventh heaven over. Although I do remember I allowed Nathan to be courteous, because I did not want to hurt him by pointing out that he looked insincere. Apparently, he had found a more appreciative audience in Lara.
“The little things you know. Holding doors. Helping with your coat. Dutch men never do that. They may be little things, but they matter.”
And then she got the only romantic look on her face for the whole evening. I nodded again. I think it was at this time that I realized that whatever she was going to get out of Nathan, she would never enjoy him as much as I had.

Thursday March 12

Nathan’s lease ends April 1st. I am sure he’ll move to suburbia with her. Oh well, I suppose her residence is just one of the many things he falsely claimed to never agree to.

Friday March 13

The day I found out I was right about male masturbation all along, I got a reasonable sex offer before noon, my blood was declared clean by two sources, and I was sent to a mental health service. But let me start at the beginning.
I made my way to the GP way too early. The slight tingles when urinating had not disappeared during a 6 week period, and she agreed to help me further. I didn’t tell her that I would insist on a full blown STD test.
My aids phobia is, at this stage in my life, reasonably stable. I no longer panic over getting killed. Unfortunately, I now feel overly responsible for the men I have sex with. From my own research I know about a handful of common but never tested for viruses that one may carry without having symptoms. So instead of the previous fear of being with a potential biohazard, I basically feel I am a biohazard. After Nathan’s blowjobs and 2.5 months of tingle pee, I feel unfit to share myself with anybody. Let alone something as cute and innocent as those twentyish that I appear to be into. Sitting at the doctor’s desk I told her my concerns. Unfortunately, the doctor was so concerned with my phobia that she referred me to a psychologist. And she didn’t want to test me.
“But I have complaints and I had sex last year,” I objected.
“That is the problem,” she insisted.
“You did not have sex last year. You are completely clear.”
We settled for Chlamydia, gonorrhea. And I refused to get my head checked.
After the doctor, I went teaching. In the studio I hurt my toe on one of the large mineral rocks that decorates the floor. My blood stained the yoga blanket from David, the studio owner. He always leaves his mat for his colleagues to use. After class, David came to pick me up for coffee, and found his freshly rinsed cloth drying on the heating. He was surprised. When I told him why I was forced to wash it, he was downright disappointed that I had taken the blood off.
“You should have left it! It would be like the shroud of Turin!”
His enthusiasm for everything that comes from me, brought a smile to my face.
“Let’s go for that coffee, David.”
So we had coffee, and I shared that I have a new pallet of lethal emotions since Lara’s deceit.
“I have dreams about Lara where I take her head off. Then I wake up, sorry to realize she’s still alive.”
No matter what I said, he found it all to be equally admirable, pure and honest.
“And stop worrying about your emotions being harmful for your students,” he insisted.
“If a time comes when you should not teach, you will know. Like when you left the Gym because of Benjamin. Despite your death wishes and your hate, you have taught fine this week.”
David is a 50 year old yoga teacher. He has large classes, a gigantic studio and multiple sex partners who make him overly confident.
“The offer to become my yogic mistress still stands,” he assured me.
We talked about me not having sex with him, took a detour, and the subject turned to male masturbation. He wasn’t a fan.
“It’s so disgusting really. The restlessness, the buildup throughout the day and then to finally masturbate and get it over with. The moment I have my orgasm I’m disgusted. Yes, it’s disgusting”
I looked at him wide eyed.
“No, David!” I insisted.
“What’s disgusting is to use a woman for that.”
He agreed the disgust was indeed not exclusive to masturbation. It had happened with women too. Not very often, but still. That made me cringe. A man having sex and then being disgusted?
M50. Luca.
Their silent turn down after sex was deafening.
Suddenly I saw how David’s story pointed towards the true difference between my other lovers on one hand and M50 and Luca on the other. Both M50 and Luca, the two men who introduced me to the raw world of being turned down after sex, didn’t like to masturbate. They thought it was poor substitute. They even “saved themselves” if we were planning a date. A habit I instinctively hated. Then my thoughts drifted to New Benjamin.
 It was a hot summer day so we took our coffee outside. Sitting with our backs lazily against the building, our legs stretched out in front of us. Both wearing flip flops with our yoga pants. I was secretly admiring Benjamin’s beautiful brown feet. A few weeks earlier I had removed an infected splinter from Benjamin’s heel. This ailment was usually fixed by his Mom, but since he had moved out and was now living with his girlfriend, the splinter had stayed untreated. With my always present first aid kit and a warning that I had no medical training, I helped him out. He was lying down on his belly and underwent the treatment stoically. It was the first and only time we got so close. Now I was simply back to admiring from a distance.
 “Benjamin. I have a very inappropriate question for you. It’s just something I am curious about. Can I ask it?”
The sun still warm and shining. His eyes still closed, his face serene. He was not wearing sun glasses. He never did.
“Sure. Shoot.”
“Well..” I started.
“I know you are very young and you have a girlfriend, so maybe, but……. How often do you masturbate?”
“You are evil!” he laughed and turned his wide sun lit grin towards me.
“Does that mean “often”?” I offered.
“Maybe,” he smiled.
We sat silently for a while. Happy silent. Like when you’re both completely satisfied and don’t want to disturb it.
“And you?” he asked.
“Often too?”
I grinned.
“Half as often”
He laughed out loud.
“That’s still a lot!”
“Exactly,” I concluded.

<3

Part 7 of Dutch American Diary will also be published on Twitter and my Facebook.

Dutch American Diary. Episode 5| early readers edition

What happens if you go to Paris with a broken heart (don’t), move out after living with your ex (do), or run into beautiful men half your age (definitely would). Interesting fact to this episode: both Antonio (under a different name) as well as Dita have made it to my Dutch erotic stories. 22 Erotische Verhalen, will be published when Dutch American Diary is finished, most likely next week
<3
My name is LS Harteveld, I make yoga videos and I’m publishing my Wait Worth 8!
Dutch American Diary is the autobiographical sequel to my Dutch novel Mango (click for immediate access)

F a i l u r e

Sunday November 23, 2008

My physical boundaries are fading. My thoughts are scattered. My sense of self is dissolving after that Tuesday in the gym when Nathalie and the brunette got involved in the ‘Benjamin Situation’. It is driving me nuts all over again. Am I a bad teacher for having fallen for my student?
With the pain from Nathan so fresh, I can’t afford to doubt myself professionally. I will focus on rebuilding some much needed confidence.

Tuesday December 9

For 18 months Lara had the questionable pleasure of being the only friend who knew who my troubled lover Nathan was. She saw Nathan at work on a daily basis. So whenever Nathan shut me out and I felt lonely, she would make sure to tell me something about him. Like what his favorite lunch was or how he behaved in meetings. Trivial things but they made life so much better. And now there’s Benjamin. Or more correctly; now there isn’t. Every Tuesday I walk into the gym lounge after class only to find Benjamin is not there. Nathalie, the manager of the gym, listens to my stories with endless patience and warmth. She still sees Benjamin every day herself.
“Baby, he loved being around you!”
She remembers those Summer months when he was there every Tuesday.
“He listened to every word you said. I just never saw that you liked him too!”
I remember that. Nathalie always thought my smiles and sexual signals were meant for the 40 year old fitness instructor, which even lead to some uncomfortable hook-up situations.
“I liked Benjamin right from my first class,” I say.
“Well, then why aren’t you after him?” she asks.
“He has a girlfriend,” I remind her.
Both Benjamin and his girl work out at her gym. Nathalie sighs.
“You’re much more fun to be around,” she defends me.
“His girlfriend never smiles.”
“Nathalie, I can’t go after Benjamin,” I say.
“I can’t talk to him since he’s never here on Tuesday. I can’t email him, since he doesn’t respond. He doesn’t want me.”

Tuesday December 16

I was meditating today when it hit me. I can’t teach that student I don’t like. If I consider myself unfit to teach Benjamin because I’m completely into him, the only logical consequence is that I’m also unfit to teach people who rub me up the wrong way. My professional scope only works within certain boundaries: the boundaries of my own emotions. I confronted the student and told him I could not teach him. Thought up an elegant reason. It was still hard but it was the right decision.

Saturday December 27

Over the Christmas holiday the last layer of my self-esteem slowly, but inevitably, started to peel away. I had successfully finished a trimester of classes and hadn’t fallen back to the helpless level of my first 48 hour Crying Desperately State. The whole trimester had gone fine with lots of great ideas, new projects and content students. Long gone seemed the day when I had to cancel classes because I was crawling on the kitchen floor in complete misery. I had effectively pushed the pain away although of course am fully aware I will one day have to let her in again.
My first day off last week took me to Paris, on a wonderful trip with my mother and sister. It was there that the vacuum of not working started to fill itself with repressed grief, forgotten memories and melancholy. Not drip by drip. More like the sea closing in on the land. Creeping up dangerously close with every wave. That’s when everything became Nathan. I went to see Notre Dame, but saw Nathan in every bearded Jesus. A George Clooney movie threw Nathan in all his womanizing glory right in my face. When I found a much sought after book, at an English second hand bookshop, it held an unpleasant surprise for me: a love affair with a handsome, masculine American named Nathan. “Nathan’s lovemaking awakened in me the search to a higher form of sex,” the author testified. He was only one of many lovers, but for someone who by now saw signs of Nathan in everything ranging from croissants to cappuccino toppings, his name was a beacon shining from the tattered page of my first edition print.
I pushed aside the books, the signs. Ignored everything the best I could and made an effort to not be totally unpleasant company during the trip. I also attended our big family Christmas brunch. I ate, I laughed and coped by reducing my feelings to jokes about being love sick. Early in the evening of the 25th of December, home alone, I suddenly felt everything. Not just the knot in my stomach which was by now almost a week old, but also the loneliness, the missing, the yearning. The Big Absence in my life that was Nathan. The pressure in my chest that had built and built and the inability to cry. I felt an unexplainable urge to talk to Nathan, cursed myself for this ridiculous wish and wrote an email none the less. About the beard. Clooney. Melancholy. A wish for his Christmas that I hoped he was in love and happy. Which was not a lie. I mean: I don’t want to hear that he dumped me because he prefers being unhappy and horribly alone, now do I?
The computer zoomed in the background as I spent my days alone. When the inbox beeped it were messages from students.
No Nathan.
No tears.
The knot grew even more but refused to spill it’s grief in a liberating cry.
Today when I came home from my walk I found Nathan’s reply in my in-box.
“Was that you?” he opened.
“Was that you I just saw on the city square?”
My heart made a jump. We had been so close! He had seen me walking! I am sure if I had worn glasses I would have seen him, but how wonderful that he had now finally seen me. After all those times when I had recognized him first. He must have written the email immediately when he got home. Then he stepped over the event like you’d step over paying a dime too much for a beer.
“Ah well….” he finished, as he jumped to the next paragraph. He wrote to me with a distant friendliness that I imagine a doctor would have when he tells his patients it will be all right but that we must all have faith.
“Yes, I am happy,” he assured me.
“May the New Year bring you the same happiness and you find what you are looking for.”
His words released the grief. I started to cry. Badly. Just as nasty as in October and the hurt really hit me in the face just as strongly. Desperately, I cried and cried. The same questions ran in my head with no one to ask them to. Why does this hurt so badly? Why does he not love me? I managed to not find myself crawling, but otherwise I didn’t do this any better than last time.
I understand now why I needed to email him. Because in his absence and in my attempt to lead a normal life, I reconstructed Hope from shattered bits and pieces. From old emails that I re-read. From words that he once said. From forgotten promises, from touches that have long gone cold and from the warm feeling I get every time I think of him. I needed Nathan to liberate me from that lie and feel the pain that it’s over. It’s very well possible I may need to hear it again. Taking a few more rounds of hope versus reality. Until finally I can accept that Nathan doesn’t want me and it’s over.

News Year’s night     
2.00 a.m.

The year of goodbyes. Would that be an appropriate title for 2008? M50, Luca, Nathan, Jeroen. In orderly fashion my affairs end “first in – last out”. With Jeroen, my long term partner and long term ex as well, ties of 16 years are broken. I have found a house and his new girlfriend wants us to cut ties. Those of friendship included. Our Christmas holidays are spent packing, dividing cutlery and cats.

G o o d n i g h t  B e n j a m i n

New Home      
Saturday January 10, 2009  

Week one in my new home. Lara came by. I was happy to have her here. She never visited when I was living with Jeroen, but she now took the time to come and check out my new apartment. She brought me a really nice yoga book from America. We talked about Nathan, and she referred to some of my emails. When the conversation turned to new lovers I asked her if she thought I could fall in love with Dutch men again. Blond, Caucasian, born and raised here. She shook her head.
“Why not?” I asked. “Until two years ago I could. There was the blond poet, remember?”
“Yes, but that was before,” she said.
“Before what?”
“Nathan. The poet was before Nathan.”
So there it was. Despite the fact she had not bothered to contact me during my holidays of drama, had ignored most of my emails and texts, she apparently paid enough attention to conclude that Nathan was leaving an imprint time would not heal. There was now a Before Nathan and an After Nathan and I could never go back.

The way it is
Tuesday January 13  

For the second Tuesday in a row, I cycled to the studio from my new house. Just like my previous house, the shortest route to the yoga studio is still past Nathan’s house! The fact that I get so excited about it does indicate that I’m still not over him, but I don’t care. I even saw him today. Just a glimpse. He didn’t see me but it was nice.

Unpacking the past
Friday January 16      

I have been living here for two weeks now. Friends have visited. I’ve taught classes. Little drama’s like broken heating (with snow outside), and a gas leak have been survived without much emotional turmoil. I’m living alone for the first time in years. This apartment should feel like the crown on my singlehood, the reward for having the courage to break up after almost 14 years. I should be euphoric over having made the right choice, or suffering from deep regret for making the wrong one. But everything goes by me. I am numbed down by a to-do list, which has only one, yet seemingly impossible task: unpack boxes and organize everything I have been hoarding. Day in day out, going through all the traces of 36 years of living.
I found a pair of wooden shoes! Pink, with pastel flower prints and my birth date on them. The bottom and sides are worn down and reveal the stance of my toddler feet toddling through my birth village. Needless to say I didn’t throw them away.
Shells collected from beaches around the world? They stay too.
The shirt I wore the last time I saw my father alive. I fold it and store it between my diaries.
I found a children’s book, dated on my departure from Africa. It is signed by a boy in his own handwriting and an inscription written by his mother.
“Thank you for all the wonderful hours of play.”
Wonderful hours of play indeed. Him and me playing doctor even made it to my first novel Mango.
But I also found stuff from a more recent date. The Saturday after I had my night with Nathan I bought expensive massage oil and even more expensive condoms. They are still packed in the little bag from the sex shop. I notice I don’t throw them away. I never use condoms bought for one man with another man, so this can only mean one thing: I’m still hoping for sex with Nathan.
Maybe my mind would have been able to close it all sooner if instead of the weeks of silence he had given me a book with an inscription:
Thank you for all the wonderful hours of play.”

Prayers
Sunday January 19    

Unpacking my final boxes I found a book on women and spiritual sex. It was marked April ‘07. I was feeling lonely at the time. My 14 year long relationship with Jeroen had been over for six months yet I was still unkissed and felt rejected. The young poet was one of the men that didn’t work out. It didn’t look like I was going to have any sex any time soon. In the beginning of this role model book, I wrote a prayer in rhyme in three verses. One verse for a God. One verse for a Goddess. And one to set the man free. The one who had rejected me, which at that time was the poet. I repeated the three versed prayer like a mantra, day in day out. My feelings for the poet faded at staggering speed and three weeks later I met Nathan.
I am going to pray again. That exact same prayer but with Nathan’s name in it, as the man to be set free. And I will have my eye out for that wonderful new man The Universe will bring me.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Friday January 30     

Went to see the new Brad Pitt with Roxy. We celebrated the 18th Anniversary of our friendship. Having an 18th anniversary with someone you don’t consider a childhood friend, makes you feel old and wrinkly. The movie too was about aging. Brad Pitt starts off as an old man, and gets younger as he “ages”.
“Let’s hope it doesn’t take hours before he drops to the gorgeous age,” she  prayed.
But it did. All that time waiting for Pitt to get gorgeous, left a lot of opportunity to think about aging.
The strongest reminder about the devastating effects of time didn’t come from the director, the script or the guys from CGI, but from a supporting actress, Julia Ormond. I knew her from 1994’s Legends of the Fall where she plays a blushing virgin. I always envied her for her beauty and the fact that she got to sleep with Brad Pitt. On screen, and some say off screen as well. But I didn’t envy this 2009 version of Julia at all.
She was no longer a leading lady, but a supporting actress glued to her mother’s death bed for the entire film. Vertical lines cut from her nose to the corners of her mouth. If the women I once envied are now old, then where does that leave me?
Slowly scenes went by, the love story unfolded. A tragedy where two people who love each other very much, can never really be together. I compared my own love life to the screen. Was my love for Nathan in the movie? No, there were no Nathans there. None of the actors looked like him. Suddenly I felt healed and peaceful. The pain for Nathan was over. He was a memory, a character in my novel and this diary, but he was not a storyline that would haunt me until the end of days.
Final scene.
The highly elderly woman lies on her death bed. She thinks about the love of her life. The one who was always in her head, even though he was only in her life for a short while. She is alone. There is a storm outside. She turns her face to the dark, rainy window, and closes her eyes to die. As always before she goes to sleep, she thinks of him. Her lips whisper the words for the love of her life, one last time before she dies.
“Goodnight Benjamin” 

Argentinian / New Benjamin
Sunday February 1     

A lot can happen in 24 hours, and a lot did. Yet now, in bed after my evening classes, I realize nothing has changed. I have taken an exciting ride, but going round in a circle, bringing me to exactly where I left off.
It all began yesterday evening when by chance, luck and a series of fortunate events, I found myself at a bubbling party with dazzling international PhD students. Dita was the only one there who I actually knew. This appeared to be true for everyone there: everybody knew Dita. She was standing next to me, in her flaming red top. It had long sleeves, but kept her arms exposed at the same time, which I thought was quite an accomplishment.
“Tell me, gwhat kind of men do you like?” Dita asked.
Her dark curls were dancing around her Spanish features as she scanned the room for someone who would interest me.
“Unreliable ones,” I answered.
“That leave a string of broken hearts behind.”
To which she snapped her fingers.
“Antonio!” she summoned a twenty something Argentinian over.
And there I was! Flirting for the first time since Nathan broke up with me. With an Argentinian named Antonio. As we chatted away I found myself wondering if Antonio would be a good kisser and what it would be like to make love to him. Which is not the same as falling in love, but since I still consider myself to be on the road to heartache recovery, it was a milestone. I was putting myself out there, back on the market. Filled with pride I went home and slept like a baby.
On my way back from teaching my morning class I made a brief stop at the Gym. I still don’t have internet in my new home and use public computers. While I was going through my emails Benjamin suddenly appeared and greeted me. The mixed race skin lighter, due to the short Winter days. His hair a shorter cut than last year but still covering his ears and waving around his face. His smooth face was a little more masculine, which made him even more attractive.  Benjamin asked me how I was doing and I told him that I was on the mend from a broken heart.
“Yesterday I flirted with a hot Argentinian. It was the first time since my evil American broke up with me.”
“You were back with the American?” he asked, a clear young voice.
“I had no idea things between the two of you had flared up again.”
“They did. Last summer. But he broke up with me last October.”
Benjamin nodded, and shook his head at the same time. He probably wouldn’t even remember a heartbreak if it occurred last week, let alone last October.
“Well good luck!”
He gave me an encouraging smile. With the dimples in his cheeks. Oh God.
“G-Good luck with what?” I stuttered.
“Good luck with the flirting. The Argentinian, right?”
The Argentinian? Next to Benjamin every man looks like an onion. Benjamin went back to his training and this time no one saw me blush.

Facing Benjamin
Friday February 6      

OMG. How did I manage to miss this? Next to Benjamin every man looks like an onion. How on Earth did I ever think last year’s dramas were about Nathan? The affair with Nathan was a decoy. A play. A stage. I was in love with Nathan but I already decided even in the midst of our warm lap-sitting session in March that I could no longer be with him while he was still involved. So then why did I return? Why did I get caught up in daily emails with Nathan leading to our secret rendezvous at the beach? And why did I get so terribly burned in October when he dumped me? Because of Benjamin. Benjamin and the staggering number of reasons why wanting him was wrong.
Benjamin was involved. No-No Number 1.
Benjamin is only 19 years old. No-No Number 2.
And counting No-No Number 3: Benjamin was trusted to my care, the infamous “teacher dating student”.  Nathan was of course no walk in the park since he was also involved, but hooking up with the dark wizard would be merely a rerun of mistakes made the year before. Giving our affair a second run could hardly count as a new mistake, since it had already taken place.
What is clear to me today, is that I didn’t hook up with Nathan because I could not resist Nathan, but because I could not resist Benjamin. The only way to keep my distance with Benjamin, was by focusing on Nathan.
Writing Nathan.
Flirting with Nathan.
And ultimately being heart-broken by Nathan.
My miserable break-up with Nathan would never have occurred if I had somehow found a way to get with, around or away from Benjamin.
Run Forrest! Run!

Saturday night February 21

Everything in my body hurts. My shoulders and upper back feel tight, compressed. I can’t even cross my arms. My knee hurts. I wonder when that ailment is ever going to heal. An egg shaped bruise on my butt cheek still reminds me I fell down the stairs a month ago because I had no carpet on the slippery wooden stairs. My gums are infected. I am afraid a tooth that has needed surgery twice will die on me. An endless list of old familiar ailments, blend with a cold. I cough and sneeze the entire day. I anticipated my body would respond a little more gratefully after Monday’s decision, instead of throwing itself in a passive aggressive tantrum of burning, squeaking, and sniveling.
So. Monday’s decision: I am quitting at the gym.
I don’t want to be occupied for another 8 months of secretive cat and mouse playing with New Benjamin.  When I’m at the gym, the only thing I can think about is him.
The reception with the scanner that registers his entry every evening, sometimes just hours after I’ve left. The yoga space where he made his appearance on June 10th 2008. The empty couch in the lounge when he’s not there to chat with me after class. The bench-press area, where I usually encounter him when he’s working out. The pile of Lost and Found where I left his towel from the blushing incident. The internet computer where he found me a few times.
“I have to go work out,” he said after our hellos, the last time he ran into me.
He still had his coat on and the gym would close in 60 minutes.
“Will you be here every Sunday?” he inquired.
“I will next week,” I said truthfully.
“Oh great! Well then, I’ll see you next Sunday okay?”
Yes Benjamin. That would be nice. Except of course he didn’t show up that Sunday. The moment of disappointment while checking my emails in A Gym Without Him I decided something had to change.
Within 24 hours I handed in my resignation. I would stop teaching at the gym in two weeks. I felt light and happy and completely inspired for having taken control over my own life. At least I did, until aches and pains demanded all my attention and effectively erased feelings of joy and liberation.

Tuesday February 24

Today was my big day at the gym: my final class that brought me New Benjamin all those months ago. He himself was not there of course. Still barely able to breathe with my cold I used a cd with instructions. The students were fine with it and followed my example. After class I had my final post-class lounge session with Nathalie. At home I wrote a short email to New Benjamin explaining my leave.

Wednesday February 25

I’m so happy that I just had to turn on my computer, open this file, and make this entry to share! Ever since that email to new Benjamin has been sent, I live in a light ecstatic haze. I fly over my keyboard writing the novel that had been suffering from neglect for months. I dance through daily yoga sessions. I’ve released my desk of its pile of junk, so now the top can make its debut appearance in my new house. My choice to turn away from New Benjamin was more a fake it till you make it act; after all – what reason did I have to believe that an available man would come along to be in love with?
How did I know I wasn’t supposed to settle for being second best? The moment I sent that email such a wave of energy came over me, washing away every doubt. There will be. There will be such a man. No explanations. No games. No cheating. Wow.

<3

Part 6 of Dutch American Diary will also be published on Twitter and my Facebook

 

 

Dutch American Diary. Episode 4| early readers edition

This is one of those eerie chapters that’s so weird to read back for me!
Especially since I know what turn things will take.. But so will you! I m on a roll publishing like a mofo, and follow up chapters will be here fast!! Expect stunning drama and a happy end for the protagonist, and karma slaying all the bad guys. And girls. Oh, did I just give a spoiler? ;)
<3
My name is LS Harteveld, I make yoga videos and I’m publishing my Wait Worth 8!
Dutch American Diary is the autobiographical sequel to my Dutch novel Mango (click for immediate access)

S e c r e t s


Friday November 7, 2008

Spent the evening at Lara’s. She’s my best friend and Nathan’s colleague. When Nathan was still abroad, she avoided talking to him. By the time he returned she didn’t tell him the whole truth about how devastated I was after the break-up. She quoted herself saying to Nathan:
“For the sake of your ego not blowing out of control, I’m not going to tell you exactly how miserable Lauren was. But sitting next to someone who has just had the ground whipped out from underneath her is no fun at all.”
Nathan was surprised. He hadn’t thought that “I was that much in love with him”. What does he think? That I have sleeping bags all over town? That I offer green card marriages to every stranger?

Wednesday November 12

Today is the day: I am going to see Nathan. We’ll meet in a bar after my last class. He promised to be in bad shape; in a dare to not shave over a week and his skin broke out. I hope he’s really ugly.

Night, 0.30 a.m.

Nathan walked in like he’d just won the lead in Jesus Christ Superstar. A Broadway version where they know just who to cast in order to get bums on seats. So no, the beard did not put me off. Nor did the “break out” for that matter (scratch on the forehead). Nor did his work clothes, which gave away that he’d not been home. He didn’t say who he was with (how mysterious). His talk was anxious, it rained unfinished sentences. He fiddled with his limbs the whole time, which actually calmed me down. My nerves disappeared and I entered a blissful Zen like state. “Zen in love”.
So my musical hero and I made an effort to converse, without me saying something that would make him withdraw and with him avoiding anything that could make me cry. The result was something as uninteresting as discussing Harry Potter books without using the words Magic or Voldemort. Beating around the bush made us equally bored as annoyed. We dropped the small talk and proceeded on slippery ground: a discussion about settling down. If he can do that or not?
“Well, in your case settling down wouldn’t be that hard,” I stated.
“You lie and cheat. Just keep that up for a really long time and you’re re-settled.”
“That was harsh,” Nathan said.
“But I guess I deserve it.”
“The real question is if you can be with a woman without wanting to fight her all the time. Without wanting to rebel or beg her to give you boundaries. That’s my question. Even for a week?”
He assured me that that is what he wants. He wants to be so crazy about a girl that he would set his own boundaries and would never rebel against her. I took a deep breath and in an out of my depth attempt to “fake it till you make it” I assured him that I hoped to one day see him with that girl. The girl he loved so much that he would be able to have an honest and loving relationship.
“Maybe I’ll see you and that girl at Albert Heijn playing hide and seek in the aisles.”
Meanwhile my inner-Zen screamed:
“Why with someone else? Why can’t you just love me?”
2007. Lara’s apartment. I knew the infamous Nathan would make his appearance but for some reason I thought he’d be an overweight, balding guy hitting forty and a midlife crisis. In retrospect, I don’t know where I got that idea. Nathan was known for his affairs and slightly obese men with self-esteem issues do not exactly draw crowds of women. A cheating man needs to bring something if he intends to trick you into loving his very taken ass. And he did. Nathan brought his good looks, every man wanted to be him and he raised the interest of every woman there. The evening ended with Nathan and me alone for hours. Giggling, joking and sharing secrets. We touched each other’s hands and knees for no particular reason aside from the fact that we were both longing to touch. At the end of the evening he took me in his arms. I rested my head on his shoulder. I had not been this close to a new man in fourteen years and felt alive. I enjoyed, tasted and lingered over every second.
“I will not kiss you tonight,” I said.
“Next time.”
His lips kissed my bare shoulder.
“I would love that, Beautiful,” he said as our lips explored each other’s face, skin and lips but didn’t lock.
“God, I would.”
He looked in my eyes. Neither one of us would ever fail to mark, memorize and rejoice in the sensual pacing of first times of our love affair.  Now it was 18 months later. This was Our Last Time.
After the bar, we picked up the sleeping bag at his apartment. I asked him for a hug, the same way I had done all that time ago.
“Of course babe”.
“Remember you can only hurt us because we love you so much,” I said still in the safety of his arms.
“We are all crazy about you and we want to keep you in our lives, but we can’t.”
“I promise I will find that girl and you will see me at Albert Heijn,” he replied.
And I couldn’t figure out if he actually thought I was so light hearted about it or that he wanted to push me away.
“Love her in secret for a while okay?” I replied. “I am not ready for that yet.”
“Fair enough,” were Nathan’s last words.
He was wearing the same khaki T-shirt as in the model-turned-correspondent photo that I’d stared at over a zillion times, envisioning him being my boyfriend. The beautiful, interesting, American with the Italian looks. Having this man, in this T shirt, showing me out of his apartment and out of his life was nothing short of a horror story. Things had gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Thursday November 13

I woke up in the middle of the night with one question. It pressed on my chest with a piercing urgency that refused to respond to reason, such as Do you know what hour it is? or How is that relevant? The question was:
“Lauren, what happened with Nathan in the 24 hours after you slept at his house?”
Now, in broad daylight, I agree. Whoever asked me that question had a point. That it is indeed relevant. If everything had been normal, Nathan would have emailed, texted or called me. Yet he didn’t for ten days and only after I’d sent him two. Was his withdrawal indeed a ten day process? Or is it more likely that something triggered it in the pivotal 24 hours after I left? That Saturday night when his colleague Pandora took him to town? Or maybe on the Sunday when the company clan, including Lara, went frisbeeing? What happened in the first 24 hours after my departure that caused Nathan to drop out? Maybe Lara knows? That first week, my questions as to his whereabouts made her uncomfortable. She was angry at Nathan, yet seemed to avoid me as well. Maybe she knew something was wrong before I did. Tomorrow night I’m seeing Lara. I’ll ask her. If she doesn’t know, I am going to ask Nathan. I want to know the whole story. 

Saturday November 15

“He was just way too comfortable.” Lara conclusively sips on a Margarita through a straw.
“He thrives on negativity. I mean come-on!”
Lara makes no secret that she thinks the whole Nathan just hasn’t found the right Albert Heijn girl is the biggest load of bullshit in the history of dating. Nathan invited me because he was scared to sleep alone and when he saw he could do it he lost interest. At least that’s her version of the story. Despite my hallucinogenic midnight awakenings she doesn’t think anything spectacular happened in the first 24 hours.
“We were all so done with him at conference.”
She shakes her head.
“He kept bragging about how many girls had given him their number.”
“Well at least he uses condoms,” I say.
Although, I realize the mental damage he does is probably more threatening. But Lara shakes the straw out of her mouth.
“I’m pretty sure he’d do it without given the chance.”
I think of oral sex with Nathan. The sweetness of my drink. The sweet taste of Nathan’s precum.

Tuesday November 18

Happy! New Benjamin was at the gym again. The last time he actually took my yoga class was in August. He only does fitness now. Benjamin was still busy with his work-out when things in the lounge were already getting a bit heated.
“I’ve never been to the sauna here,” I chuckled.
“Are people like nude in there?”
“Just on the same-sex hours,” Nathalie the gym manager answered.
A sassy brunette in her early twenties joined us in the lounge.
“You should try the sauna too, you know,” the brunette said to me, as sort of an introduction.
Her cheeks were still pink. She was talking from experience.
“Were you alone in the sauna?” Nathalie asked the brunette.
She threw me a glance and added:
“Was Ben-ja-min with you in the sauna?”
To hear his name and sauna in one sentence had a surprisingly real life sauna effect on me. I cursed myself for wearing a wool jumper.  Then New Benjamin walked in.
“Hey Benjamin,” Nathalie greeted him.
“Were you in the sauna?”
At this time I started to get suspicious that Nathalie may be aware of my internal chemistry.
I started working at the gym in June. All throughout Summer Nathalie never seemed to pick up on my feelings. She even tried to tie me to JD, a blond half-God fitness instructor. She thought I was into him.
“You always smile and talk about sex when he’s here.”
I had no interest in JD but was in fact flirting with Benjamin who was sitting at my other side, a connection she never made.
Benjamin sat down for a sports drink. The brunette got me a coffee and our quartet laughed itself through a few slightly suggestive topics. Nathalie managed to drop the words sauna, nudity and Benjamin’s name countless times but I was still holding up okay. No one seemed to notice that I liked Benjamin. As in, beyond-belief liked him. As in, the way Nathan would attentively put it for me:
“Oh, you don’t like the kid, you looove him.”
That kind-o-like.
“I have to leave now,” Benjamin said.
“Need to be in college at two. Going home to take a shower.”
He nicked one last apple. I saw the apple. A shower. Clothes. No clothes. I guiltily shook off the images. When I opened my eyes I suddenly felt very sad. Benjamin disappeared at the corner of the street. Nathalie picked something off his abandoned seat.
“Look! Benjamin left you a souvenir.”
A sweaty, bright white towel landed on my lap. If I had still been fifteen Jon Bon Jovi’s sweaty towel wouldn’t have made a bigger impact than this. Nor would it have brought out a bigger teenage blush.
“Iwwwwhavetogetthisback.” I stuttered, fire-alarm red.
“Oh my God!” Nathalie exclaimed. “You really are into him!”
I was too stunned to reply:
“And oh my God, you really are picking up!”
I was so totally not cool. My ego felt more bruised than after eighteen months of Nathan’s punishing love affair. My confidence more roughly stabbed than by the five minute break up call. If someone had offered me a rock, I would have crawled under it to die. The manager now knew my secret: I’m in love with my yoga student who is more than 16 years younger than me and has a girlfriend. There was no way to turn it around. And my secret was also known by the twenty something brunette. I could already see her opening a conversation with Benjamin:
“Sooooo… do you know your yoga teacher has a huge crush on you?”
I didn’t blame her. Who could resist talking to Benjamin especially having such an interesting hook?
I caressed and fondled the towel on my lap. I had to make sure Benjamin heard about this incident from me.
“I will mail him to pick it up at the lost and found”
I left the lounge and crawled behind a computer. The damp towel sitting next to the keyboard, as a good luck token. After the message I closed my Hotmail and hurdled over to the lost and found basket. I parted with the towel, placing it on top of abandoned sports pants, shoes and other things that even the rightful owners would have trouble seeing the value of.
“So what did you write?” Nathalie asked, when I returned to the lounge.
“I told him he could pick up his towel at the lost and found. I asked him to stop leaving his sports towels behind because they make me blush.”
“That’s a nice way to put it,” she agreed after a short silence.
“Do you think he’ll write back?”
I shook my head.
“Benjamin isn’t much of a writer. At least not to me, anyway.”
He won’t like my email and he won’t write back. Benjamin would have known how to keep a secret.

 

Part 5 of Dutch American Diary will also be published on Twitter and my Facebook

Dutch American Diary. Episode 3| early readers edition

Unbelievable fact to this episode:
That moment you break up and start a relationship with a ghost. True story!
<3
My name is LS Harteveld, I make yoga videos and I’m publishing my Wait Worth 8!
Dutch American Diary is the autobiographical sequel to my Dutch novel Mango (click for immediate access)

T  h  e   B r e a k – u p

Saturday October 18, 2008

Still in bed, I texted Nathan first thing this morning. Will you please take the time to break up with me properly? I still have hope and hope doesn’t have an end date. You need to use strong measures. He texted me back in the afternoon saying that I was right and that he would have to let me go. He’d call tonight to talk properly. So I know he’ll break up with me, yet I find myself looking forward to finally hearing his voice. Even if it is to say things I don’t want to hear. The moment of connection is all I can think about, not that he intends to push me out for good.

9 p.m.

I was practicing yoga when Nathan called. It was 18.41. He asked how I was doing.
“What do you think?” I answered.
“Fair enough.” he said.
Then I asked him how he was and he gave me the name of a village in England. Apparently he was still abroad.
“I’ve been doing not too bad.”
That was when I knew 100% for sure he was serious about the break up. So he did ‘the talk’. Not the same feelings for you. Don’t want that kind of relationship. Value our friendship and our bodies are just perfect together but… I can’t give you my heart.
I told him I thought his feelings towards me had changed when his girlfriend broke up with him. I asked him if I was right but didn’t get a straight answer. Nor did I get an answer as to why I had to go now that he was single. Although he did admit that being single had something to do with it. He must have known I was devastated but I managed not to cry. I wanted to hear his voice, stay with him and be with him but was hurt that he wanted me gone. I couldn’t think of anything better to do than say bye.
“Well Nathan. I guess this is goodbye.”
Neither of us spoke. Silence.
“Bye-bye.”
I said, and disconnected the line. The screen of my cell phone informed me, Nathan: 5 minutes 40 seconds. What had taken 18 months to build and grow had taken less than 6 minutes to destroy. Then I started to cry.

9.30 p.m.

Three hours ago Nathan broke up with me but it feels like an eternity. This morning I was still “with Nathan”. This morning there was still hope. Four hours ago there was still hope. Now there is nothing. The thought of not seeing or being with him for the rest of my life devastates me. That night three weeks ago, in his new apartment, everything felt so new and fresh. Like our love affair could finally start to blossom. Now I know that night was not the beginning of anything. It was the end.

11 p.m.

Still haven’t eaten. Nor drunk. I am clueless as to what to do with myself. Walked around the house crying. Crawled on hands and knees on the kitchen floor, crying. Screamed. Crying.

11.30 p.m.

I don’t want to go to bed. I don’t want to close the last day of my life when I woke up thinking there was still something that would qualify as “Nathan and me.” I don’t want to wake up tomorrow. I don’t want to wake up realizing that my tight belly and feelings of sorrow are not due to a dream. Nathan is gone and I am alone.

Sunday October 19

When I took my first shower after the break up I cried. I don’t know what depressed me more; the thought that Nathan would never touch this body again or the idea that, in my despair, denial and God knows what, I would sooner or later let another man touch me. Nathan is the last man who touched me and I so want to keep it that way. I don’t care if he has other lovers. I don’t want them for me. I could have missed Luca and M50. It would have meant not having sex at all for the past year. If I had realized how much I still wanted Nathan, yes, I should have refrained from it. Now I will wait until this sadness finally leaves me. Suddenly I cry again. It’s the thought that all those emails will remain unread for years because they are too painful. Right now I still know them by heart. Fuck. I miss him.

Wednesday October 22

Yesterday, I didn’t cry all day. Even started teaching again. I cancelled all classes Sunday and Monday because I was a mess. But yesterday I taught three classes and they were actually really great. When I came home I had tea, grapes and cookies.  I got so tired I couldn’t get off the couch. Jeroen, my ex and current roommate, threw his sleeping bag over me and tucked me in. I didn’t take off my jeans or brush my teeth.
“Remind me to ask Lara to get my sleeping bag back from Nathan,” were my last words as I dozed off to a dreamless sleep.
Lara is my best friend and Nathan’s colleague. She can get it back for me.

Sunday October 26

Still going strong. It becomes a bit of a bore! I keep thinking I must be seriously repressing stuff. Maybe two days of non-stop crying was so traumatic that I’ve effectively blocked all feelings since. Which although practical on weekdays (enables me to go to work) must be very unhealthy in the long run. So yesterday morning I thought it was time for a reality check. I texted Nathan to see if he was back in the country so I could get my sleeping bag. I said I hadn’t cried in days and wanted to get this over with. He replied that he was still abroad and that I should not spend time crying.
“I’m not worth it, babe.”
Why does Nathan’s “I’m not worth it”, or Lara’s “He’s not worth it” feel like they are saying “he just doesn’t give a shit about you”? Either way, since Nathan was apparently unavailable to see me and remind me of my broken heart, I decided to enjoy my good spirits. Had a lovely weekend, went to the movies with a friend, spent some time alone. Was simply very happy.

Tuesday October 28

Yesterday I prayed. I wasn’t miserable, or helpless or anything but I felt a prayer was a good thing to do. I have so much energy inside me. I am sizzling with potential and think it’s important to make good choices and receive some blessings in the areas of money, housing and love. I still live with Jeroen (we broke up two years ago), don’t have a steady income at age 36 and just got dumped by a man with whom I was terribly in love. I think I qualify for some guidance.  I never pray to God in the sense of The absolute highest power though. That God is like the hospital; you really have no reason being there unless you’re very sick. I usually go for Indian Gods. To me they seem more appropriate for everyday stuff, although I know that’s just because I wasn’t brought up with them. I’ve also prayed to at least three ancient Greek Goddesses but that didn’t work. Maybe they were all dead.
Yesterday, for the first time, I prayed to the 19 year old Real Benjamin. Real Benjamin was in my life in 1991, when we were both 19 years old. He matured to a successful professional and is secure in finance, personal life and housing. It’s fair enough to pray to him.
“Benjamin I need your help.”
I prayed to the 19 year old Real Benjamin, a man who is now 36 so he exists only in my head.
“I am reluctant to spend the money on the apartments that I want because I think I should be making more money first.”
“You will be okay. You will make more money,” the ghost of Real Benjamin said.
“And my body,” I moved to the next topic of my plea.
“It’s back to 64.5 kilos. I yo-yo up and down!”
“Don’t use the scales’” he said.
I could feel the presence strongly now. Hear his voice.
“But then I’m afraid I’ll get fat,” I replied.
Although I did find it a little stupid to reason with a God I created myself.
“No you won’t get fat. I will take care of your weight. Trust me.”
And then I closed with one thing. The Thing. The only area in my life that I don’t trust anybody else with yet.
“Benjamin, it’s so hard to believe that I will have new lovers one day. I miss Nathan. I don’t want anybody else.”
I was lying on my side and Real Benjamin was spooning behind me. He stroked my hair gently.
“It’s okay. Be sad. You don’t have to worry about new lovers now.”
“Benjamin, will you send me a sign tomorrow? So that I know that this is real?”
“I will,” he said.
Although he was behind me, I could hear in his voice there was a smile on his lips.
And there it was! The sign! This morning, after my morning yoga class, for the first time in two months New Benjamin walked in. The modern day very alive version of my fading memory. The walking, talking sign that there is a God! Sweet, brown, 19 year old NEW Benjamin with his dazzling smile. Every cell in me smiled back and got happy. We laughed and had coffee. I felt lighter than I had in weeks. I knew that Real Benjamin was there for me and maybe this New Benjamin was too.

Tuesday November 4

New Benjamin was there again just like last week! Stopping by at the gym during my coffee break. Thirty blessed minutes of chatting and laughing with New Benjamin while secretly admiring the cute dimples in his cheeks. If I’m ever going to do something completely irresponsible I know what caused it. Benjamin and I talked about his weekends. He was partying a lot. Music. Drugs. Drinking.
“Sometimes my friends show me pictures of who I was with but I can’t remember.”
In silence I prayed that he would get through this phase of his life safely. And then I saw that I was a hypocrite. I am an overbearing 36 year old woman who loves him way too much. The potential damage I can cause is far greater than drugs or alcohol can do.

 

Part 4 of Dutch American Diary will also be published on Twitter and my Facebook