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TOSIN SILVERDAM SHORT STORY CHALLENGE: STORY 4

A short story written by Ibeh Emmanuel…

The question on my Boyfriend’s birthday is always: What do you get for the man who has nothing? My Bf isn’t a shopper; he buys food and, Accessories. He recently declared that he has enough pants to last the rest of his life. When I asked about his intentions regarding a drawer containing dozens of stray socks, he said his heirs would sort it out. For his 18th birthday, I had my eye on a vintage watch. It would complement his tattered sweaters and declare to the world that he is, in fact, employed. But when I mention this to him, he balks. He says that what he really wants isn’t a good, but a service: a threesome with me and another woman.This isn’t exactly surprising. He’d voiced the fantasy before. So had practically every guy I’d ever dated. But this time I say yes. Maybe it’s the moral weight of the big birthday and the fact that he never asks for anything. Or Maybe Na Bcos Say I No Get Money For stainless-steel Rolex Watch. Maybe, as a journalist, I can’t resist a deadline, or I pity him heading into Adult age consigned to sleeping with the same woman (me) for the rest of his life. And maybe, just maybe, it’s because I fancy the idea myself.Indeed, the idea of a threesome is so exotic that for a few weeks, it just sits there. I occasionally mention the name of a female friend. “Would she be acceptable?” “Absolutely,” he says. It turns out that all of my girlfriends and practically all the Exes of his friends would potentially make the cut, including the Ugly Ones. Although I’m a novice, I’m pretty sure that getting someone we know would be a mistake. There’s the enormous potential for awkwardness. And I don’t want someone creating a wedge in our cozy twosome. I’m envisioning this as a onetime deal. Anyway, I wouldn’t know whom to ask. My Bf and his friends can chat over a beer about getting two women into bed. Heck, that’s Adult movie. But middle-class straight girls don’t tend to compare same-S£x fantasies. It’s hard to know who’d be tempted and who’d be appalled.we tell some friends about the planned birthday “present.” One of them, a single British banker who’s nearing 20 herself, grimaces and goes silent. “You look horrified,” I say. “Yes, I mean, I just think it’s extraordinary!” she says, blushing. A candidate soon emerges. She’s a friend of a friend I’ve met at dinner parties but whose name I can never remember. By chance she’s seated behind us at a concert, with a man who appears to be her date. For the first time, I notice that she’s quite pretty. She’s tall and thin, with a little ballerina’s waist. And I’m pretty sure she’s sassy. “How about her?” I whisper to my BF. “Yes!” he says, too loudly. After the concert, the four of us chat. I make firm eye contact with the woman (who I’ve figured out is named Emma), act fascinated by her comments on the music, and wait for my window to suggest that she and I meet for lunch. She seems flattered. A few days later, we exchange e-mails and make plans to have Thai food. I get gussied up, and am pleased to see when I arrive that she has, too. Does she know that she’s on a date? Usually I’m so self-absorbed that my companion could be bleeding to death and I might not notice. But the pursuit of the threesome has made me more attentive. Over soup, I listen carefully to Emma and quickly understand something that would have taken me years to notice: Under a pond of sassiness is a lagoon of insecurity. She clings to boyfriends who mistreat her, convinced that she doesn’t deserve them. I’d mistaken tall for self-possessed. This probably means that she’s too emotionally fragile for a threesome, but I decide to broach the topic anyway, at least to get some practice. I do it under the guise of exchanging girly confidences, saying, “You won’t believe what my BF wants for his birthday.” I tell her that I’ve agreed to it in principle but that I haven’t yet found the third.I think she gets that I’m propositioning her, but instead of taking the bait, she becomes the Cassandra of threesomes. She describes the rogue ex-boyfriend who pressured her to go to bed with him and his other lover, and the friends of hers who swapped partners and never swapped back. She says that I’ll be scarred by images of my BF doing unspeakable things to another woman. “And what if it’s someone who’s incredibly hot? How could you possibly handle that?” she asks, a bit insultingly. Not only is Emma out of the running, she seems to be morphing into that most dreaded of creatures: the friend. She talks of future lunch dates at other Asian restaurants. I’m suddenly sympathetic to those male “friends” of mine who disappeared when I got engaged. Why stick around?  “You’re in charge, OK?” she says. Me? We’re both relieved when my husband arrives. They introduce themselves. He’s immediately very physical with her, which breaks the ice. We have a sort of group hug, and then we agree that he can take off both of our dresses. My first surprise is that women are allowed to wear jewelry in bed. N. even keeps her large hoop earrings on. My second is that a threesome is so, well, Sekxual. I’d focused so much on the logistics and the catering that I had forgotten we were all going to be Unclad. My third surprise is that, when you’re detail-oriented like me, threesomes are confusing. You quickly lose track of who’s at which stage. There’s a lot of ambiguous moaning. My BF tells me afterward that he got a little lost, too. But after maybe 40 minutes, I lose interest. I wonder whether I might check my e-mail. N. is really quite beautiful, but seeing versions of my own lady parts on her feels vaguely incestuous. Although it’s all new, it’s too familiar. By contrast, I find my FB extremely appealing. Part of what I like about men, I realize, are the differences between us. I try to stay attentive—it’s a birthday present, after all—but soon I’m just scratching their backs. When I glance at the clock, I’m surprised to see that only an hour has passed. I had no idea that S£x could be so … long. I realize, with some alarm, that they’re both probably more Sekxual than I am. I like it plenty, but I’m satiable. Finally, they tire themselves out. There’s a sweet moment at the end when the three of us lie together under the covers, with the birthday boy in the middle. He’s beaming. I’ll later get a series of heartfelt thank-you notes from him, saying it was as good as he had hoped. “It affirmed for me how much I like the female form. When you have two, it accentuates that,” he tells me afterward. N. seems very pleased, too. On the walk home, she says she’s surprised by how erotic she found the whole experience, especially being with me. I’m flattered to have converted her. Still, I don’t forget my etiquette. I send N. a polite thank-you note. Her reply suggests that she’d like a repeat performance. I’m not planning on it. My own birthday’s coming up, and I think I’d like a nice watch. 

***THE END*** PLEASE COMMENT BELOW IF THIS STORY DESERVES TO WIN THE SHORT STORY CHALLENGE

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