Water is a novel by Jeff Rosenplot
Sometimes the best past is a dead one.


We all have a past.

Some things, we show the world.
Others, we hide so far down even
we forget them.

When Mia met Sean, it was like
an explosion.
Together, they found each other.
And then they found the darkness.
Mia tried to forget.
And then she tried everything else.

But your first great love, it never really lets you go.

At the edge of the world, at the edge of the map, here there be dragons.
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In many ways, it was symbiotic. Their generation was raised on porn and sexting, both devoid of human contact. For Mia, it was all about emotional anonymity. She knew his name, though. She wasn’t an animal.

The kid was hung—Jesus, was he. Mia had no idea how he could walk. She had a knack for finding the big ones. It wasn’t always shoe size. Sometimes you just had to go with confidence. A guy with a big cock, especially a younger guy, had a certain swagger. Later, when guys got older, money and a powerful job could replicate it. But twenty-five and under? Confidence was a dead giveaway.

Mia hated the word “cock”. She hated the guys who relied on them. And she hated the fact that she knew the difference. But this wasn’t about a cerebral connection. This was about something that was designed to remain quite different.

Heusten’s had been the preeminent department store in Seattle almost since there was a Seattle. Their flagship store at State and Market was a cultural and physical landmark. The mammoth building took up four square blocks. In its heyday, there’d been a skating rink in the basement. Now, the basement was locked off and the seventh and eighth floors were relegated to storage. Some people snuck up to get high. Mia snuck up to get fucked.

His name was Cody. He’d sold TV’s on the fourth floor for about six months. Brown hair cut short, broad chest and strong arms, lean stomach and a perpetual, almost retarded grin. He played lacrosse at UW, was studying business admin, and Mia couldn’t care less about any of it.

She closed the door to the small, empty office on the eighth floor. Cody was wearing cheap dress slacks. She undid his belt and button, unzipped his fly and pulled his pants and boxers to his knees. She took him in her hands, manipulated him confidently and wrapped her lips around him. He tasted salty—they all did—but in a moment all she could taste was heat, and all she could feel was the familiar heavy thickness as she ran her tongue and lips over him. Cody made a low moan in his throat. These guys never had much to say. All of the ridiculous dialogue they’d heard in porn, none of it played out in real life. Cody was going to be a grunter. She’d had grunters. Even a crier. Cody put a hand on top of Mia’s head, guiding her. She followed his lead. It was cute when they thought they were in control.

She liked the empty office on the eighth floor for two reasons—the window and the isolation. Although it was dingy, the window was one of the few spots on the eighth floor that still let in natural light. Even on the wettest of Seattle days, the gray grime that passed for sunlight made her feel less trapped. The room was also at the farthest corner of the massive building, far from anyone who had made it to the eighth floor to get high. Mia liked to scream.

It was never about connection. Precisely the opposite. There was no kissing. There was no foreplay. She sucked their cocks simply for expedience. She hated the word “cock”. But in this case, in this place, it was the only honest word.

Mia ran her hand along the length of him. The heat of it and the size of it made her drop her own hand under her skirt. She was already wet, had been since they’d stepped through the stairwell door. Mia ran the tips of her fingers across her damp underwear. The rustle of the fabric against her made her shudder. She closed her eyes. If she wasn’t careful, she wouldn’t need him. But doing it herself wasn’t why she was up here.

It was never about connection, but it was about connecting. There was a difference. Anonymity and intimacy in the same moment. And that was where it all came together. It was on her terms. She made the rules. She was in charge.

Mia stood up and fumbled with her purse. It fell of the desk and spilled onto the floor. She bent down and rooted for a condom. She found one by touch and ripped the package with her teeth. She unrolled the latex over Cody’s cock. The condom ended about three-quarters of the way down, but Mia was certain there was no way she was going to accommodate the whole thing, anyway. She stood up, pulled down her underwear and bent face down over the edge of the desk.

“I want to see your face,” Cody said.

Mia shook her head and didn’t turn around. “That’s not how it’s done, sport.”

“Even if it’s what I want?” he asked.

“Just fuck me,” Mia said, with just the right amount of pleading in her voice. He hesitated for a second, and then she felt his hands lift the fabric of her skirt over her hips. Young guys like Cody, it didn’t take much to make them forget about romance. God bless internet porn.

He entered her slowly, almost gingerly. Mia moaned as she felt herself open to accommodate him. She ground her hips against him, drawing him deeper and deeper into her. In a few moments he got the idea. Soft and gentle was for his girlfriend. He grunted as he thrust himself forward. Mia’s head rolled back. She made a sound somewhere between a moan and a cry. Cody took the cue. He grabbed her hips and pounded her. Mia braced her feet flat against the floor. She cried out, a stream-of-consciousness barrage of fuckmefuckmefuckmefuckme. She felt her first orgasm a few tiny inches away, and she raced toward it. Mia pounded her hands on the desk and screamed as the wave broke and buried her under it. Cody grabbed her brown hair, pulled her head backward. Mia felt the undertow of a second orgasm building. Cody’s cock was alternately painful and erotic—the pain was what made it worthwhile. It let her know she was still capable of feeling something. And he made her feel.

Mia knew he was done as the sound of his breathing became more desperate. She felt a third orgasm building, the distant rumble of a train down the tracks.

“Not yet,” Mia said.

“I’m close,” he whispered.

“Not yet,” Mia repeated. “Hold it.”

She focused on the sensation of him inside her, against her and filling her, the feeling of his hands in her hair, tugging on her, penetrating her and that’s when the big one hit, and she screamed and she felt him come, too, the rhythmic pounding pulse of his second heartbeat. It was in that moment that she missed the feel of it cumming inside her, the warmth, the fullness. But that sensation belonged to one person only. And the lack of it was what kept this separate. It had to be separate. That part of her belonged to him. It always would. Despite everything.

Cody pulled out and Mia stood up. She pulled up her underwear and bent down to gather the contents of her purse. Out of the corner of her eye, she watched Cody take off the condom. He pulled up his boxers and pants, and tried unsuccessfully to hide what was left of his erection. Mia zipped up her purse and stood up. She caught Cody’s gaze.

“What should I do with this?” he asked, holding up the used condom.

“Find a garbage can,” Mia said, as if she was talking to an idiot. “I’m not your fucking mother.”

Cody shook his head. “So, I mean, what should we—”

“We don’t do anything,” Mia said. “This was fun, you done good, but this doesn’t make me your special girl now. We’re not going steady or whatever you people call it now.”

“I just thought—”

“Don’t think,” Mia replied. Cody stared at her for a moment, trying to formulate the words that would sum up the disappointment he’d never expected to feel. A part of Mia empathized with him. It was what they all felt. They’d been conditioned to crave the anonymity of porn sex, but once they had it they realized what they were missing. To them, to Cody, its hollowness surprised him. For Mia, the hollowness was the experience. For a moment Mia thought Cody might cry. She hated when they did that. It made her realize how young they really were.

“Hey, you’ve got one helluva story to tell your friends, huh?” Mia said.

Cody shrugged. “I guess,” he said.

Mia shook her head. She was on the verge of apologizing to him. What the hell was wrong with her?

“You better get back out on the floor,” Mia said softly.

Cody’s wide, young eyes stared at her a moment longer, and then he turned and disappeared out the office door. Mia stared after his emptiness long after his footsteps had disappeared and the stairway door had slammed shut.

She wiped a tear from the corner of her eye. She stared down at the tear on her finger for a moment, mystified. I’m emotional about this now, she thought. Mia rooted through her purse and found her crumpled pack of Marlboro Lights. She didn’t smoke much anymore, but kept a pack around just in case. She’d held onto this one for about three months.

Mia walked across the small office and cracked the window. The familiar wet dog smell of downtown Seattle wafted in. She lit a cigarette and closed her eyes against the disorienting head rush. Her vagina still throbbed from her orgasms, and from the size of him. Instead of a warm afterglow, though, she felt cold. It had been like that recently, maybe the last three, four times. More like a compulsion than a desire. She’d never thought about it that way. She’d never had to. She was in control. It was all about control, after all. Maybe her heart wasn’t in it anymore. She laughed. Her heart not being in it was kinda’ the point.

Maybe she was changing. Maybe she already had changed. Didn’t need it anymore. Mia closed her eyes and tried to picture that life. This had always been her life. No, not always. But long enough to seem like always. The hole it filled was almost as big as the hole it would leave if she gave it up. She needed it, plain and simple. And she needed to remember to appreciate it. Otherwise it was just a compulsion, and she was just another fucking addict like those wasteoids in the church basements.

Mia took a final drag on her smoke and tossed the butt out the open window. It hissed on its way down, doused by the rain. I’m not crazy, she thought. I’m a lot of things. Just not that.
excerpt from the novel "Here There Be Dragons" ©2015 Jeff Rosenplot
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