Dating Will is amazing. Just amazing.
I wouldn’t have appreciated him when I was twenty. I couldn’t appreciate a man like Will before having a dozen other crap relationships to compare him to. And I’ve had some doozies. I had a guy dump me for my girlfriend. I’ve had guys who never were willing to call me, always insisted that I had to be the one to call. I’ve had guys who didn’t know how to kiss, who didn’t know how to touch me, and who didn’t particularly want to learn. I’ve had way too many guys tell me that they weren’t ready for a commitment, weren’t ready for monogamy.
Will is ready for a commitment. He makes that clear right from the start. Whereas I only spent the night with Jude once a week, Will wants me to stay every night. (And I’m thrilled to get out of my awful apartment.) By our second week together, I am practically moved in. I know that sounds fast, but we’ve been friends so long, it was kind of like starting the relationship on our tenth date.
And I don’t need to put on an act for him. I don’t need to race into the bathroom to fix my hair every time he walks into the room. Not to say that I don’t try to look good for him, but he’s made it very clear that he likes me just as well in blue jeans and glasses as when I’m all dressed up and covered in make-up. Better, actually. “You’re so naturally beautiful,” he says. “You don’t need make-up. Or anything.” He fingers my shorts. “Even clothes.”
Actually, I try to dress down when I’m out with Will, because he’s right that I do seem to get hit on an awful lot when we go out together and I’m all dressed up. Just last week, we were out at this bar for dinner (we seem to go to bars a lot because we like greasy food and beers), and this guy with dark Italian type looks comes right up to our table. He’s not disgusting or anything, but he’s not as cute as Will, and anyway, I’m with Will.
The guy leans toward me and says, “Hey, I’m going to be kicking myself all night if I don’t ask you: can I buy you a drink?”
I don’t really need to say much. Will is pretty good at speaking up for himself. “What the fuck, asshole?” he says. “Are you seriously hitting on my girlfriend right in front of me? At least wait till I’m in the bathroom.”
The guy gets this wide-eyed look like it never even occurred to him we could be a couple. “Oh, sorry,” he says quickly. “I didn’t realize you two were…”
In case he’s skeptical, I pull Will in close for a kiss. And when we separate, the guy is long gone.
So that’s why I don’t dress too slutty when we go out. It’s just easier that way.
But anyway, I’ve never experienced anything like it really: someone who likes me for myself. And really, not much has changed between me and Will. We still go get fast food much more than expensive meals, we still go see all the comic book movies, and we still stay up late together playing Nintendo Wii. And every Sunday, he cooks me an incredible breakfast. The only difference is that now we make out and have sex.
So right, I guess I should mention the sex.
As I said, when it comes to oral sex, Will is unparalleled. But sex, and by that I mean actual sexual intercourse, is a little different. Will and I had a talk about this. We were lying in bed one night after he had gone down on me and I put my fingers in his boxer shorts. He smiled at me, but didn’t look particularly excited. “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I can’t really feel it,” he said, although as he said the words I could feel him getting hard.
“But you’re getting hard,” I pointed out.
“It’s a reflex,” he explained. “I can’t feel or move anything below my belly button.”
I didn’t know quite what to say. Although I remembered he once told me that he could have sex.
“If you want to have sex, we can do it,” he said.
It was weird because I’d never heard a guy make sex sound like it was a chore before. I’d already done a lot of other things for him, which he seemed to appreciate. Anything above the belt drove him wild. I would strip off his shirt and run my tongue all over his chest, especially around his nipples, and he’d moan and his eyes would tear up. By the way, Will has a fantastic chest. He’s not what I’d call “ripped” exactly, but the muscles in his arms and upper chest are so tight and firm, just from the amount he uses his upper body. His stomach isn’t quite as firm, because I don’t think he has muscles there, but it’s not awful or anything. And he’s got hair on his chest, which I love. I can’t stand a man with a hairless chest, because I feel like I’m a pedophile or something. But I also don’t like a chest that’s too hairy, especially if it spills over onto the back. I think Will has exactly the right amount of hair on his chest.
So anyway, we did finally end up having sex. And it was okay, but not great. I think Will had a lot of anxiety about maintaining his erection, and he had to take a medication, and I think he didn’t feel like he could have a lot of control over thrusting and all that. In that sense, Jude was much, much better in bed. And please don’t tell Will, but after we had sex, I did feel the teeniest bit wistful for my relationship with Jude. I mean, 99% of the time, Will is better. But I sometimes miss that 1%. I would never ever say that to Will though. Anyway, he completely makes up for it with what he does with his mouth.
One other thing I feel a little wistful about is that we’ve never had sex in Will’s wheelchair. I remember he mentioned sex in the chair to me when we were still friends and the thought of it got me kind of hot. I like the idea of sitting in his lap and straddling him, but he’s never brought it up again. A few times I climbed into his lap, trying to hint that I wanted to do that, but he always ended up wheeling us to the bedroom and transferring into bed. I’m thinking there must be some reason he doesn’t want to fuck me in his wheelchair. Something I’m not thinking of. I know I should say something, but I don’t want him to think I’m a weirdo. I feel like Will’s disability is still a bit of a taboo topic, even though he doesn’t seem to feel awkward talking about it. I want to ask him questions, but I always end up getting embarrassed. He explained to me one night in bed that his injury was at T10 and is complete, which means that below his belly button, he can’t feel anything. I put my fingers on his upper chest, “So you can feel this?”
I slid my fingers down to the level of his belly button. “How about here?”
“A little,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like normal touch. Maybe fifty percent of normal.”
I move my hand down to his hip. “How about here?”
He shook his head. “Nothing.”
My fingers are inches away from his penis. I instinctively reach out and take it in my hand.
“Nothing,” he said again.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered, my face turning red.
He shrugged. He actually seemed pretty undisturbed by the whole thing. “I’ve been paralyzed for almost twenty years. I’ve accepted it, believe me. I wasn’t too thrilled about it when I was fourteen, but I’ve had a lot of time to get over it.”
“That must have been hard,” I said. “Fourteen year old boys are so…”
“Obsessed with sex?” Will snorted. “Yeah, pretty much. I thought my life was over. But luckily, I grew up and realized there are other things in life.” He reached out and took my hand. “And other ways to get physical pleasure.”
My fingers lingered on his penis, which was growing hard under my touch. “You must be able to feel a little though. I mean, you can tell when you need to go to the bathroom.”
“No, I can’t.”
I stared at him. “You can’t? Then how do you—”
“I use a catheter,” he said. His face turned red this time. “Sorry, I know it’s kind of TMI. But you asked.”
“It’s not TMI,” I said, even though it kind of was. “I’m your girlfriend. You should be able to tell me these… personal things.”
“Because every couple discusses their toilet habits, huh?” I was quiet and Will said, “You still like me?” His tone was joking, but I could tell a small part of him meant it.
“Let me show you how much I still like you,” I said as I started kissing him on the neck, in a place where he most definitely could feel. Honestly, I’ve never seen a person get so excited just from being kissed on the neck. But anyway, the whole conversation didn’t exactly encourage me to ask tons of questions about his disability.
When I told Mia that I was dating Will now, she was over the moon. “I knew it!” she screamed. “Oh, Libby, I’m so happy for you!”
I started laughing because usually Mia seems to hate every guy I date. “I’ve never heard you say that before.”
“You’ve never dated someone decent before,” Mia said. “Will is fantastic. And he loves you so much, sweetie. You’re finally with someone you deserve.”
There were times when I wondered what I did to deserve someone like Will. Obviously, he’s not perfect. But he does seem to adore me, for some reason.
One problem with Will is that he’s a workaholic. Not the worst ever, but he’s pretty bad. I guess you don’t get to be where he is without working hard. But he puts in some very late nights. The difference is that unlike Jude, I know he’s not messing around on me. First of all, Will would never do that. Second, we try to at least meet for dinner every night, even if he’s working late. He says it gives him something to look forward to and makes the work bearable.
Last month, he had to pull an all nighter. He called me and was profusely apologetic. “I’ve got to get this brief done first thing tomorrow morning,” he said. I could hear the frustration in his voice. “I probably won’t finish till like three in the morning, so I’m just going to spend the night at the office. I don’t even have time to get dinner. I’ll probably have something delivered.”
“That’s awful,” I exclaimed. “Can I do anything to help?”
“Just keep the Wii company,” he said regretfully.
Except I decided instead to order all his favorite dishes from our favorite Chinese restaurant. I brought it to his office, where the downstairs night staff has gotten to know me very well by now, so I was able to sneak in and surprise him.
Despite the fact that I trust Will with the bottom of my heart, there was a small part of me that was scared that I’d come to his office and find him fucking his secretary. I guess I kind of have trust issues after Jude. But anyway, when I arrived at his office, the door was cracked open, and I could see him pouring over a huge stack of paperwork. His brow was furrowed and his glasses were slipping down his nose slightly. He has this nervous habit of sometimes tugging at his hair, and as a result, his brown hair was kind of sticking up. “Hi, Will,” I said.
He looked up and his face filled with pleasure. “Libby!” he cried. I remember how Jude used to always call me “darling” or “love,” which I liked at first, but then it started to leave a bad taste in my mouth. I knew that was what he called every girl he dated. We were all interchangeable. “I can’t believe you came all the way over here!”
I held up the Chinese food and I swear, he looked like he was going to start crying. “And you brought food!”
We devoured the Chinese food and then ended up making out for a bit, before Will regretfully told me that he had to get back to work. I’m pretty sure he slept on the couch in his office that night, if he slept at all. He text-messaged me that he loved me around four in the morning.
Oh, so another thing: Will is my first “I love you.”
Is that weird? I’m thirty years old so it seems like I should have said it to someone by now. I mean, yes, I said it to my parents and all. But never to a man I was romantically involved with. I’ve thought it a few times, but I was always scared to say it. I know the guy is supposed to say it first, so I would just wait for him to say it… and he never would.
Will said it after we were together less than two weeks. Granted, we had known each other for about six months. We were lying in bed together and I cuddled up to him to go to sleep. His muscular arm was around my shoulders and I felt so warm and safe. I thought to myself that I really loved him. And that’s when Will blurted out, “I love you, Libby.”
I was so shocked that I froze up. I think Will felt me stiffen because he backtracked a bit. “I’m sorry,” he said. “It was too soon to say that.”
“No,” I said, looking up at his face. “I was sort of… thinking the same thing.”
“Yeah?” He grinned. “Glad we’re on the same page.”
He hugged me tighter and I fell asleep almost immediately, feeling safe and happy with the knowledge that somebody loved me.
And now we say it all the time! We end practically every phone conversation with an “I love you.” Will has no reservations about saying it all the time. And honestly, I never get sick of hearing it.
My mother figured out something was up with me. She has a sixth sense about this sort of thing. It’s like she just sniffs the air and knows who I’m dating. “Who is he?” she demanded over the phone when I was only with Will for less than a month.
“Nobody,” I mumbled, not quite ready to tell her about Will. I wasn’t sure how she’d react to his disability.
“I don’t believe you,” she said. “You’re seeing someone. I can tell.”
“Okay,” I admitted. “I am.”
“So what’s his name?”
“William. Er, Will.”
“Oh, so he’s Jewish,” my mother said happily. I had never dated a Jewish guy before and I was relieved by her response. “That’s very good. You know, Jewish men never leave their wives. Never. And they don’t get drunk or lose their jobs.”
“I don’t know if that’s really true…” Honestly, Will’s religion was never a subject of discussion. I would never have even known he was Jewish if not for his last name. And the fact that he’s circumcised.
“It’s true!” my mother insists. “Why do you think Chelsea Clinton married a Jewish boy?”
The third degree continued: “So what does he do?”
“He’s a lawyer.”
“Oh, that’s good,” my mother said. “So he has a good job.”
“And he owns his apartment.”
“Wow.” Now she was really impressed. “Is he… much older than you then?”
Ha ha, she thought Will was my sugar daddy. “He’s 33.”
“My god, Libby,” she said. “He sounds absolutely wonderful.”
“Well, there is one thing… it’s kind of a big deal…”
“Oh no!” she gasped. “He’s not… married, is he?”
“No, nothing like that,” I said quickly. “But… the thing is… he uses a wheelchair. He’s a paraplegic.”
There was silence on the other line and I braced myself. Finally, my mother said, “Well, nobody’s perfect.”
And damned if she doesn’t absolutely adore Will. I introduced them over the holidays and she kept gushing and offering him more pie. (Spare me the dirty jokes.) She keeps telling me what a good husband he’ll make, and that he’ll never leave my side for a second. And Will’s parents seem equally enthusiastic about me. Will commented, “Our parents all act like they thought we were both going to die alone.”
And the M word has been thrown around a lot lately. I was recently having dinner with Will’s parents, who drove in from Utica and were staying in Will’s spare bedroom. When we were at dinner, his mother said in a pointed way, “We won’t be able to stay in that extra room forever. Soon you’ll need it for the children.”
Will just gawked at his parents and I tried my best to do the same, even though I was kind of thinking the same thing.
So yeah, things are going quite well. I’m in the best relationship of my life, but I’m still kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop.
To be continued....