Sunday morning, as it ought, gleamed with sunlight. It peeked over the mountains, slid down the lengths of the trees, and touched the top of the tent before either of us awoke. When I finally heard him moving about, I was not entirely awake myself, but certainly more alert than a few hours ago when he previously woke me. At least now I felt rested, and excited about the fresh start on the day, and what activities might be lurking in my near future.
I apparently startled him when I softly spoke, “Hi.”
“Hey,” he turned suddenly, “Umm,” he seemed awkwardly embarrassed as he stretched a white t-shirt over his head, then quickly buttoned a green plaid shirt. He must have grabbed a change of clothes in his tent like I did. The rest of him remained inside his sleeping bag.
He didn’t wish me a good morning, or asked how I slept, or acknowledged much at all so I checked on his status. “You okay?”
“Umm, this will sound odd, and I don’t mean to offend you,” he started and I feared what was coming, “but I seem to have undressed during the night.”
That’s it? “Yeah, I know.”
“You saw me do it?” He asked quietly, but sounded slightly embarrassed. How cute, I thought.
“Technically, no. It was dark and kind of hard to see. I heard you do it.”
“I woke you?” His voice sounded apologetic.
“I’ll say,” and he needed no reason to apologize.
“I’m sorry, I must have been hot last night.” I recalled touching his back, warm and sweaty in the cool night air.
“I’ll say.” I repeated my recollection with emphasis.
“Why do you say that?”
“Because you definitely woke me and you were most assuredly hot.”
He said nothing, and I rolled over with my back to him to offer him a measure of privacy. He recognized the gesture and I could hear him sliding on his jeans. I imagined him lying back on his sleeping his bag, raising his hips as he slid them up to his waist. I hated not getting to watch that, but he seemed so much more shy this morning, so I figured it was the sensible way to let him know I was feeling relaxed in his presence. He seemed less so in mine.
“You mean,” he stammered, as he fastened his jeans, “we, umm, something happened last night?”
“Yes, and for the record, you may do that again any time you like.” He would have seen my pleasured smile if I faced him.
He finished fastening his jeans and sat on his side of the tent. I didn’t hear him putting on his boots, so I slowly rolled back towards him. He did not look at me, but sat silently with his hand covering his mouth.
“Oh shit.” He finally mumbled. It was not the enthusiasm I expected, rather lackluster. “How was it?”
In a flash, the prospect of starting the morning with an encore performance vanished. I tried to think how to best describe my sentiments on the experience, and I wanted to give credit where it was most certainly due. “It was rugged, and forceful, and fabulous. Very well executed.”
Still no reaction. I finally sat up on my elbow, curious as to why he didn’t seem to show the same enthusiasm I felt. Clearly, I assumed, he found me disappointing.
Ugh, I felt horrible. It wasn’t the first time a man made me feel worthless. This was exactly what I wanted and I ruined it. What did I do, or not do? Why was he not as thrilled as I was? What did I do wrong? Should I have been more aggressive? More submissive? More awake? More responsive?
“So I’m guessing it was me. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it. I’m sorry I wasn’t what you wanted.” I hated that I was apologizing. Someday I would find someone who wouldn’t see me for the disappointment I always appeared to be.
“I don’t know. I don’t remember it.”
What? “You had sex in your sleep?”
“I don’t know. Apparently.” He sat silently, thinking. I didn’t know what to say, but I was at least slightly relieved that he wasn’t repulsed by me. I reached out to touch his leg. He pulled away. Something was definitely wrong, and I had no idea how to fix it.
“How about I go get myself cleaned up and we go down to the creek and catch some breakfast?” I offered.
“Yeah. I mean, no. I’ll do it.” He reached for the zipper, grabbed his boots and belt, opened the tent and left. He didn’t even close it behind him. By the time I got my shoes on my feet, even if I hadn’t tied them, and stood up outside the tent, he already retrieved his pole and tackle box and was headed to the creek. I stood in my cam-moose-flag pajamas watching him rapidly walk away. There would be no morning-after sex.
NEXT: Breaking Camp – Part 48