Of Hope Lost and Found Ch. 03

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My love for Glen grew over the years. At some point, I realized that the mushy love songs I heard on the radio were starting to make sense. I could relate to those romantic feelings at times. My commitment to Glen came first, but love was there on the heels of commitment. By our fifth anniversary, I felt more strongly attached to him and more deeply in love with him than ever before.

It was around that time that Daddy died after a stroke. It was sudden and sad and very, very hard. I lost that most formative of presences from my life, but having Glen made that transition bearable. It was like Mama said: Daddy stuck around until he knew I was in good hands, then he felt free to leave. Irwin and his family were looking to move at that time, and mama asked them to move into the old house with her. They had a home and she had family close by- it worked out well.

I had completed my Master’s Degree in Social Work and had moved right along towards a PhD. Glen supported me all the way- financially, emotionally- whatever I needed, he supplied. He continued as a Pastor, taking over more of the church responsibilities when Pastor Ed passed away. His new responsibilities left more of the Horton House work to me. Balancing that job and my PhD studies made for a busy few years.

Kids never entered the picture- not that we were preventing that. And goodness knows we had enough sex to ensure that there was the opportunity for something to catch. But for whatever reason, I never conceived. There were seasons of sadness and grief over that, but there was also the recognition that if we had kids, we wouldn’t be able to do keep doing all the good things we loved doing.

And yes, the sex was frequent and it was good. It just got better and better as we got to know each other’s body. Glen was patient and considerate and he never ceased to talk about how sexy I was. For my part, I grew to love his face and everything attached to it. As he moved into his 40’s, his body softened up and he put on a little weight around the middle. His balding was impossible to hide and flecks of white began appearing in his beard.

One evening, we were in our marriage bed after being apart for a week. I was on top of Glen, trying to grind myself to a much-needed cum. Glen was looking up at me with his silly smile, and I knew from experience that he was probably just admiring the way my boobs jiggled when I was in that position. He put his hands up to them, cupping the and pressing them gently into my rib cage. He knew I liked that, and when his palms started twisting a little, the friction added that last touch I needed. I stayed upright through my cum, trembling and convulsing and giving Glen a little show. As much as he preferred to hold me during sex from beginning to end, he did appreciate getting to see my body react sometimes.

As I lowered myself down onto him and slowed my breathing, he slowly thrust up into me and said, “You’re just as beautiful now as you were 10 years ago when I met you.”

“You have to say that, dear. I’d strangle you otherwise.”

“But I mean it. Your body is still exciting and perfect and amazing. I wish I did a better job makingmybody something you could enjoy.”

“Oh, love, you don’t need to worry about that. I’m more attracted to you now than I was when we got married.”

“So you say, but you must have some odd tastes for that to be true. This old body has lost most of its aesthetic value over the years.”

I straightened back up and began undulating my hips, helping him to get the fuller strokes he liked so much. “Honey, I did not marry you because I wanted something pretty to look at. You’re handsome enough that I don’t mind looking at you- don’t mind at all. But that’snotwhat makes your body so physically andsexuallyattractive to me.” I pushed down hard on him as I said the wordsexuallyand Glen grunted in appreciation.

“What’s the big attraction, then?” he asked, addressing my breasts more than my face. I smiled.

“Because no matter how your body looks, Ilovewhat it does to me.” With that, I leaned down and began kissing him. I let Glen take over thrusting, knowing he would prefer that as he got closer. He broke our kiss and said between breaths, “If it’s even half as good as whatyourbody does tome, then I can totally understand that sentiment.” I just laughed through closed lips, holding on to my lover’s body as he finally found his release in me.

*******

A few years later, I completed my doctoral dissertation, secured my PhD, and quickly found a position as a professor. It was at a university a few hours away, but I was able to arrange my schedule so that I would be there for 3 days and 2 nights every week during the school year. That lasted a year, but the commute was too taxing. A position at the school near my home was opening, and I was able to get on the short list for that job. When I described to them how my role at the Horton House could be used as a long-term internship and research opportunity for students in the Sociology Department, I knew I was offering something no other sarıyer escort candidate had.

I was living a good life. I was teaching something I was passionate about, I was working in a ministry that I cared about, and I shared my life with a husband that I respected and loved. I lived happily in that state for several years, until one event pushed me onto the path that would determine my future.

Late one winter evening, Glen called me from his office at the church. He asked me to hurry over- he needed help with someone. We lived only a block away, so a few minutes later, I was sitting next to a bruised and bloody young woman. She had been hit several times in the face and was not warmly dressed. She had been on the street, running from her husband, and when she saw the light on at the church, she came looking for help. Glen knew well enough not to be alone with a woman, even at the church, so he called me.

The young lady refused to let us call the police, though I very nearly did so against her wishes. Once she had calmed down and was sipping on a mug of hot chocolate, she told us a little of her story. She had been arguing with her husband. It was nothing new- they fought a lot. He spent money they didn’t have, he suspected her of being unfaithful- it was nothing we hadn’t heard from a lot of girls at the House.

“I told him I was leaving. I finally had enough. I told him that a real man wouldn’t treat me the way he was. Wouldn’t say the things he did. A-a-a-nd…” she started choking up again. I motioned for Glen to get me another box of tissues to replace the one that was almost gone. As he handed it to me, she continued.

“And he told me he could show me what a real man was like. I tried to run out the door, but he knocked me over…and he kicked me.” She gingerly touched the side of her face, where a large bruise had formed.

“He…he pulled off my pants and made me…he forced me to…he hurt me…” Just as she was about to cry, her eyes glazed over and her voice lost emotion. It was like she had disconnected to protect herself. I’d seen it before.

“He raped you,” I said.

“No…no…he’s my husband…we’re married…”

“It can still be rape, dear.” Glen sat behind his desk, his eyes closed, probably in prayer or deliberation. He knew he shouldn’t be too involved in this conversation.

“But when I cried, he hit me. He kept yelling, ‘Who’s a real man now, bitch?’ And when he finished, he just stood up like nothing had happened and said, ‘Don’t talk any more shit like that again, you hear?’ And when I could get up again, I just walked out the door. I didn’t know where I was going, but I just wanted to get away.”

“You’ve come to the right place, dear…what can I call you?”

“Hope. My name is Hope.”

“That’s a lovely name, Hope. Will you let us help you?”

“Can I just stay the night somewhere, just until he calms down?”

“We can do better than that, Hope. We can get you away from him and help you be safe.”

“No…I…I shouldn’t do that. He just needs to calm down. I shouldn’t have said some of those things.”

It took some convincing to get her to agree that it wasn’t her fault that she’d been beaten and raped, but no amount of convincing would get her to talk to the police or to consider leaving her husband. We took her into our home that night- the Horton House was bound by some laws that wouldn’t let us bring people in without a formal process. She stayed the night, and I tended to her injuries as best as I could. In the morning we had a nice breakfast and she seemed happy. Were it not for the bruises and cuts on her face, you wouldn’t have had any inkling of the trauma she had just gone through.

We pleaded with her to stay for a few days, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She seemed embarrassed that she had even come by at all. In the morning, she went home, not even allowing us to walk her back. I gave her a coat to wear, and we gave her an address card for the church. On the back I wrote my name and phone numbers- home, Horton House, and campus office- making her promise to call if she needed help again.

After she left, Glen and I talked for a while about it. There was a battered women’s shelter further in the city, about 7 or 8 miles away. But in the neighborhoods around us, there was such a great need. Couldn’t we do something here, locally? Couldn’t we do something, or several things, to help these womenbeforesome of them ended up in jail…or worse? As usual, I had the ideas and Glen would find ways to make them work. As visions and plans and possibilities rolled off the top of my head, Glen would assess their feasibility. Some of them could actually work, he thought. They were dreams for another day- for something to consider down the road.

A week later, we got a visit that would jump start those plans. It was another late evening, and I was at Glen’s office in the church, doing some reading while I waited for him to close up for the night. We heard knocking on the glass esenyurt escort door. I glanced down the hallway and saw a police officer. I called to Glen, and he got to the door just after I had opened it.

They had found a young woman on the street not far away. It was Hope- raped and beaten. She was wearing my coat and clutching the card we’d given her. As it later turned out, her husband had pulled the same stunt again, even more violently. She left, intending to either find a phone and call us or walk to the church- no one knew. She’d sustained a severe head injury and was confused. She didn’t make it far, passing out on the sidewalk. To a passer-by, she looked like another homeless person. Someone at a bus stop saw the blood on her face and called the police. She had no I.D. on her, the only clue was our church’s card with my name and phone numbers on it.

We asked to go see her, but the officer looked at us sadly and said she hadn’t even made it to the hospital. Hope had died- alone and without anyone to help her. I was angry and Glen wept. We didn’t know her last name and could only give the officer a general idea of what area she lived in. We later learned that we had given them enough to go on, and they found, arrested, and finally charged the husband. But it was too late for Hope.

Over the next year, Glen arranged for the church to move into a smaller building more suited to its size and the church itself was converted into a battered women’s shelter. And that was the beginning of Hope’s Advocate- a place that could advocate for women like Hope- a place to be a listening ear but also their voice. We absorbed the work of the Horton House and networked well enough to become the “go-to” place for police, social workers and other churches to send women in need. Glen had a good reputation in the community, and we became a place that people knew they could trust.

It was such a big undertaking that Glen devoted his full time to it, with some help from me, of course. From the moment it opened its doors, Hope’s Advocate felt like the thing we had been working towards for our whole lives together. As individuals and as a couple, we had been prepared for exactly this, and it was the job that would occupy Glen for the rest of his life.

*******

The rest of his life, however, turned out to be not very long. Hope’s Advocate had been up and running for only a few years when I noticed something was wrong with Glen. Only in his mid-50’s, he started spacing out. He started feeling numb on one side, and he began losing his balance. The doctors did their thing and found a tumor in his brain stem. Long story short, he was facing a few months of slowly losing his ability to move. It would be painless, quick, and unstoppable. A second and third opinion confirmed the diagnosis.

I was in my mid 40’s, enjoying the exciting phase of a new and worthwhile venture. I was experiencing the fruit of years of study and labor and preparation and I was seeing results in our community that I had only dreamed about when I was in college. But the only thing that mattered was that my husband, whom I loved dearly, would be dying soon.

Glen handled it as only he could- with jokes and comforting words and a happy resignation to his fate. Watching us process it, you would have thoughtIwas the one dying. But really, life without Glen was more frightening to me than death itself. I didn’t know who I was without him.

Shortly after the diagnosis, we were at home one evening and I asked Glen what he wanted to do before he died. It was late spring, so it was a convenient time to resign from my job at the university. I didn’t want to think too much about it, but I would probably need to take over for Glen once he was gone. We were told we could probably expect about a month of slightly reduced functionality before he wouldn’t be able to get out anymore. I wondered if there was any traveling or adventuring that he wanted to do in that time.

With a weary smile, he told me, “All I want to do is make love to my stunning young bride for as long as that’s possible and make sure that she is going to be well-cared-for after I’m gone.”

“Typical man. I’m giving you a blank check for anything you can imagine to do, and you just want to have sex,” I tried to joke. He laughed softly with me.

“It’s not just the sex, Dottie. It’s…it’s celebrating the life I’ve had…and still have…with you. Sex for me is the best way to do that, because I’m such a human creature. I need that tangible feeling.”

Then I said, “I’ll see what I can do about finding a stunning young bride, but you may have to settle for me.”

Glen leaned in and kissed me, then said, “Dottie, the more I know you, the more beautiful you become.”

“Well,” I responded, “if you’re going to sweet talk me…” I stood up and unbuttoned my shirt. Glen watched in eager fascination as I slipped out of my bra and pushed my pants down past my hips. As I stepped out of them, Glen reached out from his chair and grabbed me. Pulling me towards avrupa yakası escort himself, he started kissing my stomach and ribs. Pulling me onto his lap, he kissed my breasts and collarbone.

I knew I wasn’t the woman he had met 20 years earlier. My breasts were beginning to sag, a little extra weight lingered around my waist, my skin had lost the smooth flawlessness of youth. But the sparkle in his eyes when he watched me undress always convinced me- more so than words ever could- that he was still enraptured with my beauty, such as it was.

As his lips traveled all around my upper body, I cherished each kiss. The finality of death forced me to focus on and appreciate each moment. Soon there would be no more kisses. But until then, I would get drunk on them.

I yanked Glen’s shirt off of him and panted impatiently, “Pants off.” He stood, forcing me off his lap, and we were quickly naked. I looked at the kitchen table, but thought better of it. I wanted comfort. Glen was one step ahead of me, and he pulled me onto the bed. As we rubbed our bodies together, lips moving along familiar paths, I put my hand on the spot here his head met his neck. I thought about the horrible thing growing inside there and how it had silently and quickly overturned our lives. I couldn’t stop the tears.

Glen just held me tight and shushed me, soothing me. Not wanting to let cancer ruin the good moments we had left, I rebelled against the desire to curl up in a ball and cry myself to sleep. Taking Glen’s cock in my hand, I massaged it to full strength, then rolled onto my back. Glen rolled with me, letting me line him up with my slit. I wasn’t as wet as I needed to be, but Glen’s tip at my entrance moved gently, prodding me, inviting me. I kissed him and focused on his hands that were gently massaging my breasts.

Before I knew it, his crown was past my entrance. With small motions in and out, Glen coaxed enough arousal from me to push the rest of the way in. I felt my walls spread out to receive him. I wanted him deeper that day, so I raised my legs up to wrap around his back. Locking my ankles together, I felt him slide in just…a bit…more. That little bit more evoked a soft groan from both of us.

Glen pulled back and held himself with just his tip at my entrance, then after a few seconds he pushed in again. Holding deep inside me, he found my lips and started kissing me again. His arms were wrapped around me, one hand on my hip and another under me, gripping my shoulder. He pulled back again, lingering at my entrance, moving his tip around just the slightest bit. Then pushing in again, deep, slow, firm. Feeling my walls yield to him, knowing that my back was arching out of instinct. He continued that until I was hypnotized by it. Such a slow… drawn out… sensual… constant… rhythm. I was loving it. There was no urgency, just a steady pushing, holding, pulling, and waiting.

“Glen, dear, when you said you wanted to make love to me as long as possible, I didn’t think you meant all in one night…not that I’m complaining.”

He half laughed, his face next to mine. Still thrusting slowly, though a little faster, he responded, “Just a little longer, my love. This is my favorite thing in the world. The one thing I can’t bear giving up- not just the physical act. It’s you. I never feel so completely close to you as I do when we’re like this. And that moment of entering you, that’s the highlight of any day. Feeling your body welcome mine, knowing we’re uniquely and completely joined. It’s the closest thing to heaven that I know here on earth. A feeling of absolute welcome and belonging and love.”

I was ready to cry when he spoke of heaven, but his movements sped up a little more, and I responded with some of my own. Putting my feet flat on the bed, I raised my hips a little and felt the welcome friction of his body pressing my clit between us. Our bodies automatically adjusting, responding to silent requests until we found just the right way for him to thrust while I pressed against him. I started feeling my body storing up the tension that would soon need to be released.

“Baby…baby it’s feeling good,” I whimpered. “Baby can you wait another minute? I’m close, baby.” Glen was pushing faster, but he responded by slowing down and holding close, letting me find the contact I needed. It took less than a minute, and I dropped my hips back to the bed when I was overtaken by the colors and chills and uncontrolled moaning of my cum. My hands gripped his arms that were strong around me, and I tried to look up at his eyes. My body betrayed me, though, and I could only spasm and look wildly around, a victim of my own great pleasure.

Once I was well into my orgasm, Glen sped up again. He held deep a few times, enjoying the way my walls milked him. Despite being so close, it still took him a few more minutes of frenzied thrusting to cum. I worried he might overdo it, but he kept mumbling, “So close…so close…Oh, Dottie, I’m so close…” He pulled out to the tip one more time and did a dozen shallow thrusts. His sounds raised in pitch until he pushed all the way back in, one last time, and released. He cried out, “Oooh-ho-oooo, Yes!” when he finally swelled inside me. I wondered how many times I had felt that intimate sensation of his seed filling me, and I mourned to think that the remaining number of times I would feel it would be far too few.

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