Flint and I meet again, two metres apart, in the garden. This time, I bring strawberries, cream and Van Gilse Kaneelsuiker, a cinnamon sugar I discovered in Amsterdam and stocked up on the last time I was there. The sun beats down. He’s wearing a black vest and leopard print shirt; I’m in an oversized shirt dress that’s whipped up by the breeze in a series of Marilyn Monroe moments.
He hands me a cappuccino from a takeaway that’s open just down the road from my flat. We talk, dipping the ripe berries into cream and trying not to let the juice drip. I think about the last time we ate strawberries together: he crushed them between my legs and licked away the juice, pouring Champagne over my breasts and kissing them clean.
It’s been ten weeks since we touched one another.
I’m in a better place, mentally, having spent time without work reconnecting with myself and what I enjoy. Long runs, hot baths, reading, yoga, pilates and naps. My mind feels more peaceful than it has in some time. The one thing I ache for – physically ache, in my clit, my ovaries, my fingertips – is human touch.
Mainly, seeing Flint in person eases a little weight from my shoulders. The nature of my particular mental illness makes implied abandonment incredibly difficult, and with the government forbidding couples who don’t live together from seeing each other, this mandated rejection often crowds my brain. The handful of hours we see each other, chat shit, flirt and laugh are a small tonic.
It’s also very nice to simply see his face. Unclouded by the filters of a screen or a photo. Just there, all handsome.
There have been rumours of more lockdown relaxation; I’ve heard the next stage will allow different households to meet indoors instead of six feet apart in an open space. The thought alone makes my nipples hard.
Without wanting to discard the meaningful conversation we’re having, I’m absolutely desperate to talk about sex. I’m about to pipe up, apologetically, when Flint, apparently reading my mind, says,
‘Do you want to go into that sheltered bit and show me your pants?’
Immediate shockwaves to my clit.
There’s an area at the corner of the garden that was once a garage or a storage area, but it’s now graffitied and littered. Sure, it’s sheltered, but the double decker bus that draws up every five or ten minutes has a direct view.
I feel like a showgirl or a burlesque performer, but with any poise or elegance overshadowed by lust. I start to unbutton the dress, but he mimes flicking its skirts up instead. So I do, and watch him grin.
‘Turn around,’ he asks. The dom/sub vibe is just what I need, plus he knows how much I like being half-dressed or naked while he’s fully clothed. I flash my blue Les Girls Les Boys briefs and I know my ass looks good. Sometimes there’s nothing to do all day but squat.
Back to him miming in the openness of the garden, while I take instruction in the shade. This time he’s unbuttoning a shirt. He knows I’m braless.
Slowly, I remove each black button from its restraint, inch by inch. It feels so silly and so tender, being outside in the sun showing my boyfriend my tits. Ways of getting off when you have to stay a bed’s length from one another.
He says, ‘Perfect’ or ‘Beautiful’ or something similar. I’ve been naked a lot more in my flat these days, partly because of the heat and partly because I’m growing accustomed to my body. I take nudes frequently; less frequently sending them to Flint. Learning to unhate yourself takes time.
We return to the strawberries. I tell him I’d wanted to talk about sex before he’d initiated my impromptu striptease.
‘Well go on then.’
I talk about how I envisioned our first night back together when touch isn’t outlawed by pandemic’s creeping rules. I see two options.
One: It has to be animalistic. He opens his door and the magnetism is overwhelming: an invisible months-long build-up pitching us together. Scrabbling in his hallway, tripping over shoes and bookcases and bikes and him hoisting me up against a wall, pulling my dress aside and being rough and deliberate and unruly. Me offering my neck, him biting, sucking, scratching. Pulling hair. Uncontrolled and messy in a way that makes me wet to think about it.
Two: It has to be restrained. A normal night with a takeaway, a bottle of wine, maybe a movie. Tension building unspeakably, the air crackling with electricity. ‘Shall we go to bed?’ one of us says. Then, in the dark of his room, we rediscover each other: teasing and releasing through position after position. The vibrator passed from body to body. Friction stretching like elastic before we both break.
Flint has his own ideas.
‘It’ll need to be immediate,’ he says. ‘When you get to my door.’
‘What would you like me to wear?’
‘Something easy to remove.’
‘I think we should be naked the rest of the night. We’ll get in some food that’s easy to eat, stuff we can pick at. Drinking wine. Stopping throughout the evening to go down on each other. Relaxing and savouring the second build-up.’
Then we’ll go to bed, intentionally this time. And that’s when we’ll get the vibrator involved. Buzzing and rolling, and me climbing him to feel every inch of him against every inch of me. My breath on his neck, his chest, his cock. His fingers grabbing, stroking, slapping. His voice low and deep telling me my pussy feels amazing. Swallowing his cock and hearing his breath hitch.
The prospect of cumming in front of him, in real time this time, seems unreal. Something so insurmountable before feels suddenly achievable, and I am nervous, flushed and turned on.
‘I’m going to go now,’ Flint says. ‘Because I want you to go upstairs and think about that scenario and use your vibrator.’
I cum twice in less than ten minutes.