I looked up at her, my eyes moving between her face and her breasts. Her eyes were almost as bright as I remembered them, and her face nearly as pretty, but her breasts were uncovered, which was definitely not as I remembered them.
Between her breasts, on its original ribbon, dangled her University Medal. At my request, she had got out the prestigious item to show me, a testament to her academic prowess, and put it on around her neck as a joke – and left it on when she undressed to make love.
Impaled on me though she was, she was still the bluestocking. And she was one of those girls who like to talk during sex. Really talk.
We made love lazily. I have never found the “woman on top” conducive to passion – but it was how we had begun – and I was happy to finally be up inside her. When we were students together, this would have seemed as unattainable as climbing a mountain like Jungfrau, but somehow our being in the world for a few years had brought us both down to earth.
If only to stop her chattering, I suggested rear entry and she was excited enough by that stage to agree to the slight indignity without a fuss. I put her over the edge of the bed, with her hands on the floor, and held on tight to her hips to help support her weight. Even so, she was so busy catching her breath and holding her position that she finally shut up and I was able to finish the act without distraction.
Afterwards, we lay back, and I looked around her bedroom. It was small but cosy.
“So, you kept the medal. You didn’t pawn it?”, I teased.
“No, but perhaps I should.”
“Well, it didn’t help much. Like they say, that and 4 dollars will get you a good cup of coffee”.
“Oh, surely it is not that bad. It is not nothing.”
“It hasn’t helped me get my grant extended”.
“But you have submitted your thesis?”, I enquired.
“Yes, of course. Ages ago”, she replied quickly, and began to fiddle with the medal resting between her breasts.
“I tried writing a novel … but I am really more of a critic … I suppose I may have to go teaching high school … at least for a while”.
“Moulding young minds”, I said with a fake jollity which I instantly regretted.
“That is one way to put it, but maybe I would just be creating more kids who confuse literature with life.”
“I am not ready to settle down yet, or whatever they call it these days, of course. That hardly needs saying”, she went on.
I reflected to myself, uncharitably, that maybe primitive man invented sex to avoid having to talk to a woman. But I did quite want to hear what she had to say. I added:
“Well, be careful about taking that temporary, first job. They have a way of becoming what you do for the rest of your life.”
I looked slowly around her room, a student’s room still. A few stuffed toy animals, of course, and some trinkets; but instead of the usual inspirational posters, a serious library, with many of those dark-spined classics in paperback. I decided to borrow a couple later. As temporary souvenirs, if nothing else.
“So, what are you reading?”, I asked, “You must be focusing on some new author.”
“No, still Austen. I have articles to write now.”
“Did Jane Austen ever have sex?”
“No, don’t be silly. Not in those days.”
“She must have thought about it.”
Not dignifying my comment with a reply, she went quiet for a while.
After a respectable time, I got dressed, borrowed a couple of her books, and left her to write her next article.