Our First Kiss (5) By Edna Merle
All day long I had felt that something was very wrong. It was with me while at work and stayed with me even after mom picked me up from work. I didn’t know what it was but I suddenly had a knowing that something was wrong with Jan Cordele and I told mom. She said call him. I said,”No” because I didn’t want to be presumptuous. Then as it got later the feeling became stronger and again I told mom. She said a little more strongly call him. Finally, I did. I almost hung up when he didn’t answer directly, thinking that maybe he had gone to bed. It was almost 1o:00 PM. Just as I was about to hang up a faint voice I could barely hear said hello. It was Jan and he didn’t sound well at all. I said pretty much right off the bat: Look Jan, I don’t know what’s wrong over there but I feel something awful has happened to you and it’s worried me all damn day long. And I just want you to know that I care about you. Always have, and I hope you’re ok. Silence. Oh hell, I thought, what have I done. He’s thinking whatever the hell is she talking about. Or, how dare her say something’s wrong with me. who does she think she is. But he said none of those things. Then I realized that as I’d said how I felt about caring for him, I suddenly had an in-love, heart palpitating, fireworks explosive feeling, coursing through my body. This was an entirely new sensation for me. Not just because of the last 14 years in prison but I’d never had a relationship with a man as a drug free adult, ever. Nor had I ever truly been in love. What he did say was that for some reason he wasn’t exactly clear about, I had suddenly become an important person in his life and that he was coming over tomorrow to discuss it.
Oh, he was coming over tomorrow! What was he going to do and say? I was terrified, really scared. I tried to imagine being kissed and touched. But I couldn’t let my thoughts go there. I turned red with embarrassment in a room alone, with just those thoughts. So, I ran and told mom. By now it’s probably after 11:00 PM and mom was in bed. She said, “So, he’ll come over and you’ll make him a nice lunch”. Stunned at her coolness I just shook my head. She said “what, you don’t want him to come over?” I said, “no, what or how will I make lunch?”
In prison you eat with what is called a spork. It is a plastic spoon with 4 – 1/8 ” tines on the end. Thus, the name spork. They are very light and disposable. All dinner ware is made of plastic as well as are drinking cups and glasses. So, imagine after 14 years how heavy an actual fork felt in my hand, how heavy and dangerous was a glass! Glasses were so heavy to me that I felt in danger of putting one down a little too hard on the glass dining table at mom’s house. I was very self-conscious of this handling of flatware that I dreaded dinner time with any guests. I had caught the attention of everyone at the table when I put down my fork or knife with a crash. Or people would look at my funny when I picked up a glass of ice tea. It was so heavy, I had to be so careful in bringing it to my mouth. At times I wondered why I never noticed in my earlier life that glasses and dishes are heavy. Though it was exhausting at first, muscle has memory and I recovered quickly.
Now things were happening very fast. My thoughts couldn’t keep up with the feelings in my heart. And this I did not understand. I don’t think I slept at all that night. But the next day when he came, oh my God!
I was in the garage with the garage door open. He got out of his SUV. I didn’t know how to stand there and be cool. I was so nervous I was shuffling from one foot to the other, feeling very stupid and embarrassed, holding my hands in front of me, then, behind my back. He came towards me and I backed up. I was smiling but he had a different look on his face. It was love infused with amazing need that he grabbed me and started kissing me. I mean really kissing me, like I’d never been kissed before. By now I’m up against the garage wall and suddenly I felt like I’d done this before and knew again just what to do. I opened the door and with our arms still around each other made it into the hallway. Thank God mom wasn’t home. We stayed in the hallway kissing and kissing and I’m climbing the wall or trying to become taller so I’m going up on my toes and I’m feeling like I’m queen of the whole world and I want this man now! But we just couldn’t do that yet….not that we didn’t want to.
God has done so much for me during my prison time. He supernaturally healed me of injuries, cysts, and illness. I’d witnessed also the same that God did in the lives of others there. He kept me safe from any kinds of danger. And of that there was plenty. He blessed me over and over so much that I could never not worship the God who saved and helped me and who continues to help me today. So, I didn’t want to have sex outside of marriage. But I didn’t want to get married. This was not good. At the same time Jan was on heavy duty blood pressure meds for 6 months to regulate his blood pressure. During which time the doctors told him it would affect his ability to have sex, but then later he’d be fine. He had about 4 weeks to go. What a relief we don’t have to worry about being disobedient to God! I was thrilled. I didn’t know what was going to happen after that, but for the time everything was falling into perfect place.
I was living with my mother in Jonesboro and Jan was living in Stone Mountain. It was a hike for Jan to visit me. But day after day he came over and stayed far into the night. Then he’d drive home. I worried about his falling asleep while driving. But he said he was too happy to fall asleep unless it was in my arms.
Days and days went by like this with him coming over until the day came when he said he had a project and it required a lot of computer work late into the night then he’d have to get up early and go to where the production was. And that he couldn’t come over until he got a break which would be about 5 days or so. I thought he was tired of me. We emailed each other our feelings, longings and more. At night even without Jan being there with me after reading his beautiful email poetry I’d felt as if I’d been physically made love to. When I awoke the next morning I’d felt as if Jan had been sleeping by my side. I felt that he was with me and it made me very happy. Though I missed seeing and touching him.
Finally Jan called and said I can’t stay away from you, it’s too painful. I’m coming over tonight. I was very glad. I noticed that I too did indeed feel a physical pain because I missed him and needed him near me. Now I understood the song Love Hurts.
I realized then it wasn’t the physical act of making love that hurt it was the heart that ached with love that was painful. But it hurt soooo good!
So he came over and we lounged around in my room talking and touching. I felt like a teenager. At one point we had all our clothes off and were exploring each other when mom knocked on the door. Jan flew off the bed and tried to hide himself in the closet which was impossible because it is so narrow. But he looked so funny standing right in front of my clothes with, oh my, the doctors were wrong! It does work! Look Jan, I yelled and pointing at it while trying to help hide him from my mother, who was still on the other side of the door, I later found out, laughing silently! When I did finally open the door and asked her “what?” she said some nonsensical thing. It was just a ploy to mess with us. That night, mom told Jan while I was in the shower that he could just spend the night since it was such a long drive back. I assumed she meant he could sleep on the couch, when she said, “and you’re not sleeping on the couch”! I said, “then I’ll sleep on the couch”. Mom said, “I don’t like people sleeping on my couch”. I was so embarrassed. I told Jan that I didn’t think I could sleep all night in the same bed with someone. It was only a double bed. And it was so hot in that month of August. I couldn’t have slept with a nightgown on even if I’d wanted to. But mom had a thing about messing with us. I was almost asleep and Jan was, the lights were out, when she knocked again. I was against the wall and scooted down to the end of the bed to reach for my robe when my elbow slammed into the corner of a table and I yelled out “ow”! I knew mom was again enjoying herself immensely on the other side of that door. And again, she didn’t want anything but to tell us a certain show was on TV. Darn her I thought, with a smile on my face. She had told me once before I went to prison that she lives vicariously through me. Yes, she was having a real good time now.
When I awoke the next morning I was shocked that I had stayed in the same bed all night with Jan, and had actually slept a very sound and peaceful sleep. I felt so much love.
The following is the email I sent to him the day of our first kiss:
Dear Jan: Aug. 30, 2009
Knowing I hadn’t been touched, much less kissed in over 14 years made me afraid of when that time would come. It came today. And as you witnesses the combination of so many feelings occurring at the same time within me, was written all over my face. My overwhelmed and heightened awareness and intense desire for you , and the comfort of your hands, your lips and your body against mine, made me feel more that right.
My body seems to be calling for you. And even now I feel tingling in the secret places we have only thought of, but have awakened in a savage way today. I’m pulsating with joy and happiness that you are going to be my lover. I pray that I will give back to you the love you radiate towards me and that you are happy in this, your new life going forward, even as my own is.
Then Jan wrote me back:
Edna: Aug. 31, 2009
Your body is calling to me and I am so damn frustrated that a certain peice of my anatomy cannot respond. Driving home I thought of just calling the doctors and saying that I was stopping the pills. My blood pressure is OK now, even though I felt it rising in your presence. But why stop the pills now that I’m so close to the end of them? You said it was probably the best thing that we would have to wait. But now, after holding you and touching you and kissing you, it is an eternity ahead of us.
You felt so right to me…You feel so right to me. I hope you know that I have fallen in love with you. Rather that toss and turn last night, I went to sleep with your taste on my tongue, your touch on my chest, your smile in my eyes. I think I slept in your love. It was so comforting. I wanted you to be there when I woke up so we could talk and kiss. You make me feel like a teenager who has fallen in love for the first time.
So now I have work and can’t seem to find my focus. Look what you’ve done to me! I’ll have to stop thinking of you, from your beautiful face to your tiny red toenail. But your are there, at every turn in my brain. Yes, I am unasshamedly happy. I do feel that you are the next chapter in my life. It will be fun and amazing to watch this chapter written by the hand of God. I think He has good plans for us. So just pray for my body to heal so that we might enjoy the fullness of our love.
Thank you for the great abundance of love you have shown me in a very short time. I just can’t wait.
“Oh Lord, help me”, I prayed, because I couldn’t wait either.
4 Responses to Our First Kiss (5) By Edna Merle
- carole says:
If your Mom was so hip why didn’t she just say hey we’re all adults here, just spend the night. That would have been way too cool.
- ednamerle says:
Well, she did ask him to spend the night. Only I felt like a stupid teenager among two adults.
- WildBill says:
I love the blog. Your comments about using a glass and silverware were so fascinating. Also the observations of how technology had changed so much while you were incarcerated. I appreciate your view of our world as seen in ways as an outsider. You mentioned God a few times. How does he play in this? Did ya know him before prison or as a result, or after?
- ednamerle says:
I knew God was the all powerful one ever since I was a child. I knew nothing about Jesus or the Bible. In prison I read the Old and New Testament cover to cover several times. I still see new things every time I open it. I learned in prison about the Holy Spirit, who enlightens my mind and teaches me daily. I’ve learned that God is utterly awesome and that there are not enough glorious words to describe him, even adequately. I know that God restored my mind from one of major depression and the sickness of drug addiction to realizing a hope of goodness and mercy in this life. And I am so thankful every day that there is a plan for my life. My husband and I pray daily that we are walking within God’s plan for our lives.