Yellow Fever (full story)

“People only get really interesting when they start to rattle the bars of their cages.”
― Alain de Botton

I can’t sleep again.
This morning Lefty bought me this notebook at Walmart. Its cover is black and white, speckled like granite. When I was young, I had a diary that I hid from my mother and father. No need to hide this notebook—I’m the only person here who can read Japanese.
Back home, no one wants or expects a letter from me. So I’ll write to myself instead.
Dear Miho, how are you?
I’ve been in the United States for four months now. It’s summer, very hot. Here in Tennessee, there are thunderstorms and the grass is bright green, just like the countryside where I grew up.
Lefty lives in his family’s old house, but his father’s dead and his mother’s in Florida. He says he’ll take me to see her in November, after we’re married and “she can’t do anything about it.” That sounds like trouble. Luckily, Florida is far away. I’ll try to convince him to visit Disneyworld while we’re there.
Lefty is 38, ten years older than me, but he reminds me of a little boy trying to act like an old man. He tells me I smoke too much. He gave it up and I should, too. But he looks at my cigarettes and his eyes get hungry. So I wait until he goes to bed before I light up on the porch where he can’t smell it. I watch the fireflies on the lawn while mosquitoes make a feast of my legs. I write and smoke and write some more.
Speaking of mosquitoes, we were in town today when Lefty ran into his boss in the Walmart parking lot. An older man, very fat. He looked at me like Lefty looks at my cigarettes. These Americans talk so fast. Here are some words I think he said to me: “exotic,” “cute,” “lucky,” “yellow fever.” All I could do was nod and smile.  Lefty shook the man’s hand but I could tell he was annoyed by the way he led me back into the truck and shut the door.
Later I looked up “yellow fever” on my electronic translator. A tropical virus, transmitted by mosquitoes. Maybe I shouldn’t sit out here on the porch.
About Lefty—he looks just like the photos on his profile. He’s an honest man. I like his cowboy hat. He has big ears and a big nose, brown hair and dark, narrow eyes. He’s tall, but skinny. So skinny. He tells me, “Miho, make something good for me to eat. I’ve been hungry all my life.” Lefty’s never been married. His dad was an important man in town, a policeman or something, but people make jokes about Lefty behind his back. Even I can see it. But I don’t understand why.
The first night we had sex, Lefty sat on the bed and looked at me for a long time. I have no illusions about my appearance. My ex-husband once told his friends that my most beautiful feature was my mouth’s ability to open and close on command.
Actually, let’s not talk about that jerk. What was I saying?
On our first night together, Lefty sat on the bed and looked at me as I stood in front of him. We’d been chatting online and on the phone for almost six months and I was eager to get this unpleasant part over with as quickly as possible. But he didn’t make a move. He only sat and smiled and talked to me, slowing down his English so that I could understand him.
First, he asked me what I thought I’d miss the most about Japan. Then he asked me what surprised me about meeting him in person. He asked me what I was afraid of when it came to our relationship.
And then he began to ask me other kinds of questions.  When he called me for the first time, was I attracted to his voice? When we began talking regularly on the phone, did I ever daydream about him?
I stood there, occasionally checking my electronic translator with shaking fingers. With each passing moment, as I stumbled over my answers and did my best to make him understand, I became more and more turned on.
Why was he being so deliberate? Why was he taking his time?
When I lost my virginity, my ex-husband put me on my back, pounded into me for five minutes, and that was it. We did it that way for seven years. The vague longings I’d once felt about sex quickly disappeared. I fancied myself a realist, even more so after my ex-husband left me for a woman who could have children.
But Lefty—he doesn’t want kids. He said so in his profile.
Soon, the questions Lefty asked me became more and more intimate. Had I made love to other men besides my husband, before or after I was divorced? Did I fantasize about making love to him? Did I touch myself? How? Did I make myself come? What did I think about to make myself come?
I answered all his questions truthfully. By the time he was finished, I was trembling all over and my pussy was dripping wet. He hadn’t even touched me. In fact, except for an occasional smile, he’d sat completely still the entire time.
But I could see the outline of his erect cock in his pajamas. His pupils were dilated and he was breathing hard.
“Are you scared of me?” he asked.
“No, Lefty,” I said. I put down the translator.
“Come here.”
Lefty stood up and stripped away my silk robe. He took off his pajamas and the old T-shirt that said Cookeville Auto Repair. When he embraced me at last, he was warm and sinewy. The hair on his chest was soft. I felt his naked body before I could see it. His skin smelled like leather and something strange and familiar at the same time—unlit matches. Unlit cigarettes.
He wrapped his big hands around my torso and slid his thumbs over the hollows between my ribs.
“You’re skinny, too,” he said. “Just like me.”
When Lefty kissed me, he closed his eyes. His lips opened and his tongue went into my mouth right away, like he was trying to lick an ice cream cone that was melting too fast. I didn’t like it at first. But while he kissed me, he ran his hands slowly up and down my body. He was gentle, his palms curving around my arms and back, his fingers stroking my hair until my scalp began to tingle.
Without thinking, I began to touch him, too. He is skinny but muscular. His shoulders are broad and angular, and he has a six-pack not because he exercises, but because his body burns away the truckloads of food he eats.
He broke our kiss and sat back down on the bed. I let him look at my breasts. He kneaded them in his hands and sucked each of my nipples with his hot, searching lips. He lay down on his back and I finally saw his penis. It’s big—almost cartoonish—thick as a white radish, pink as a rose petal. He took my wrist and wrapped my hand around his hot shaft.  With his hand on mine, he began to stroke himself. When I tightened my grip, his abs flexed.
While I jacked him off, he put his hands on my hips and maneuvered me onto the mattress until I was straddling his mouth, facing his feet. It was awkward. I could feel his breath against my inner thighs.
“Lean forward,” he whispered, “just a little bit.”
I squeezed him again in my fist and he jumped a little bit against the mattress. And then his warm mouth found my sex, and it was my turn to jump. He gripped the tops of my thighs and pinned me in place. I heard him groan. His ice-cream licking tongue began to explore, first my outer lips and then the wet opening of my cunt. He bent his neck forward and slid his whole tongue inside me. I gasped, let go of him and placed my hands flat on the mattress for balance. His stiff cock slapped against his abs.
It felt so wrong, riding the face of a stranger, dripping into his mouth like some kind of animal in heat. But I couldn’t move, and he didn’t stop. Lefty reached between my legs and began to stroke my clit with the pad of his middle finger. Every muscle in my body was stuck in place, paralyzed and trembling. The slightest movement of his tongue or his finger could set me off. Lefty knew it. So he took his time. He was so gentle that I pressed my pussy lips against his mouth, aching, reaching for more. But Lefty wouldn’t give it to me.
I leaned forward and, in the only act of retaliation I had available, sucked the head of his cock into my mouth.
He was bittersweet and slick with precum. I grasped the base of his dick, sucked, licked, and fondled his balls. At last he began to tongue me harder.
I had never climaxed with my husband.  Not once. I had only ever made myself come alone. But Lefty was leading me there fast.
At last his tongue flashed over my clit, plucking me like a guitar string, one note, again and again. I slid my lips from his cock, arched my back, and screamed. I shut my eyes and felt the orgasm ripping through me, taking control of my body as the convulsions rocked me from the tips of my fingers and toes to the bright flashes in the darkness behind my eyelids.
My legs and arms were shaking as the last of the tremors passed through me. “Lie down on your back now,” Lefty said. His lips were wet. He was sweating. His cock was like a thick piece of rebar. He knelt down between my legs and began to massage my pussy lips with the head of his cock.
“I’ve been waiting for this,” he said.  “I’ve been waiting for you.”
I pressed my hand against his feverish chest. The hair was damp, and I could feel his heartbeat.
Miho, I don’t know how to explain it. The part of me that was afraid of him disappeared. The part of me that thought I was ugly and useless disappeared, too. In that moment, this strange place and this strange man became my new reality. I realized I was happy—happiness had become my new reality.
I raised my hips and Lefty placed the tip of his cock at my opening. As he slid forward, I pushed myself down onto him. At first, the pain was bright and hot, almost miserable. Lefty seemed to feel it, too. He licked his thumb and started to play with my clit again. I stopped bearing down and he began to thrust a little, back and forth, tearing into me with his comically large dick. His face was serene except for his slightly parted lips. I could see that he’d gritted his teeth together. The angle of his jaw had sharpened. Dark streaks of hair had fallen over his eyes. He was almost handsome.
Most of my English words had left me at that point. “Good?” I asked. I felt an orgasm rising up through my pain, a bright fish in a dark pond.
“No, not good,” he said. “Amazing.”
“Lefty has a lot of girlfriends,” I said, “because he has good sex, like this.”
“No, sweetheart. Only you. Until you get tired of me.”
He lay down on top of me, sliding his hips back and forth so slowly and with such grace that I almost forgot how much it hurt. He kissed my lips, my cheeks, my closed eyelids, even the widow’s peak at my hairline. I stroked his shoulders, my fingers tracing the hard angles of his tendons and bones.
“Faster?” he whispered against my mouth.
“Yes,” I said.
Shutting his eyes, he quickened the pace and pushed deeper and deeper until my body seemed to give way, loosening its grip so that he could penetrate me completely. He gave me three more deep thrusts and I came again. I clenched at him, howling. Then his orgasm caught up with him. Instead of freezing and riding it out, he kept fucking me. His steady rhythm sustained our pleasure as I lay still in the darkness, listening to the wet grasping sounds of our bodies as Lefty emptied himself into me. His eyes and mouth pinched shut and he breathed hard through his nose, his slick chest pumping air.
Afterward he lay down next to me. We realized for the first time that a thunderstorm had broken outside.
Rain, thunder, lightning. We put our sweaty foreheads together and smiled. My shelter, his shelter. The world hasn’t been kind to either of us. But here was something new.
Want to know a secret? Soon I’m going to tell Lefty, “I love you.” Because it’s true—I  already do.
I just slapped another mosquito. It’s time to go inside. Next time we go to Walmart I’m going to ask Lefty to buy some bug spray.  I hope I don’t have yellow fever. 
Love—that’s the only disease I’ve ever had. But if I have to die of something, I figure it’s a good way to go.

Copyright © 2016 by Mia Hopkins 

All rights reserved. This story may not be reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without written permission from the author.

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