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Jeremiah Savant’s ‘Inside the Inside’

A Parallel Companion to ‘Adventures In Mental Health

FOUR: Jane

For a while nothing much happened. School did its thing and I was regretting letting my father make my choices for me… and I was so hormonal it just was not funny. While I had… ‘imaginings’… consisting of memories of Nell and through these, fantasies mostly of Carol, someone else crept into my… ‘routine’.

Throughout this time I had a Saturday job filling shelves at a local convenience store. Slender of stature was Jane… and she was… an older woman – 24 to my 18. I was drawn to her and did not know why – she seemed to have a very enticing hipsway when she had indulged in banter with me, then slinkily went off about her business; and although slender, she still had very visible and in-proportion curves… all of which seemed somehow familiar. I thought I had found ‘my type’; slender but curvy and petite with long dark kind of poodle-ish hair – it made sense, for no one in my family fitted that description.

One day, Jane was sitting on the edge of a cold cabinet, I made a comment; she smartly stood, stepped closer and took hold of my hand. Placing it firmly on her taut compact bottom, she smiled and said something about being an ice queen and how I could warm her up. Then quick as a flash disappeared again. My hand tingled with the way I had felt her flex in my palm and how I felt the outline of her underwear – which was a compact bikini-slip style as opposed to the ‘mummy knickers’ Nell had worn.

It was the following Wednesday our first kiss happened. I was passing with a couple of friends and went into the store to buy a pie for lunch. The assistant manageress intoned mock-seriously that Jane wanted to see me; she was down in the cold store. A smirk, then off to the cold store I went. She was busying herself with cutting up some meat on the butcher’s block, her back to the door; I went up behind her and put my hands on her hips.

“You wanted to see me?” I said softly in her ear and she whirled around, thankfully dropping the knife. Under my hands, then in my arms and lips firmly on mine in one swift movement – which somehow was full of unexpected joy; I could feel it pulsating through her, and I found it very welcome, too. It also felt as right as it had with Nell, but somehow easier. Because Jane was so very slender – very much like Carol, in fact – and close to my own height, we actually fitted together quite well. Not entirely unlike some living jigsaw puzzle, we slowly writhed and shuffled position so we were about as fully entwined as two people can get while standing up. We stopped for breath, and as we cuddled for a moment, I told her that I had friends with me and I’d better go… I’d see her on Saturday when I came in to work. We lip-kissed affectionately and hugged closely before parting… I walked out of the cold room on wobbly legs as if drunk, and there was a familiar feeling about it; it felt very much like going out into the cold night after Nell – but this was the reverse. I was leaving the cold store and going out into the warm early summer day; and despite the passions involved in the full-on snog, the lip-kiss was what made me all tingly. There seemed to be a sense of belonging to it, as if we had surrendered to each other.

We had our first date that Saturday; it was silly not to. I puttered on the motorbike down to her house, met her parents – it was not unusual for women not to ‘leave home’ until they got married… although, not actually having a telephone in the house was slightly strange. Jane drove us in her car to a nearby village, where we just ambled in the evening sunshine then went for a drink in the pub. There was a sweetness about it, and naturally, we held hands while walking, cuddled close when stopped to admire a view. As the light started to fade, we drove until we found a secluded spot and she parked. We were both excited and jangly about what may or may not happen, but our desires were pumping the car full of exotic unperceived aromas. From behind the wheel, she scooted across to sit on my lap and I wondered briefly if Carol would have felt this way – she was even wearing a sweatshirt and jeans – but the moment our lips touched, I was back in the present, back with Jane, back with this woman who was looking increasingly beautiful to me.

It was a warm evening; we kissed and murmured to each other, in the gathering gloom of the gloaming. She undid the buttons of my shirt, kissing my collar bones and my neck – then I told her that this was unfair; she had me shirtless… and as I let the suggestive suggestion suspend itself in the air, she turned away from me and lifted the sweatshirt over her head. I caressed her shoulders with leisurely haste then unfastened her white bra… which was glowing slightly in the rapidly diminishing light. Even then, I wondered if I was forever going to be encountering this clichéd glowing white bra phenomenon – pleasant as it was. Seeing the muscles in her back and shoulders flex and move fascinated me for a moment, then I gently kissed where the clasp of her bra had been.

Jane turned back, and I felt her skin against mine for the first time. Her silkiness was entirely different from Nell’s; her breasts were smaller, and while she was somewhat less substantial than Nell, she was somehow more solid, more canine. As we shifted position so we could embrace face to face, I felt the unheavy weight of her; her heartbeats and her breathing combined with mine and we simply stayed there, with her face against my shoulder, and half-tucked into my shirt, the insides of her bare arms warm and smooth against my back.

After our first date, we started to explore each other’s bodies. This time, she was wearing a denim skirt with buttons from waist to hem, and of course, tights – because that’s what women wore. In our by-now usual position on my passenger seat, I put my hand on her knee… no resistance. I marvelled at the feel of the sheer nylon, slippery in one direction under my increasingly sensitive fingertips. Inside the knee, and her legs were not clamping together; up to the top of her thigh, and a gentle, exploratory stroke… feeling the sheerness of the nylons up against what I suspected was slinky, skimpy underwear…

She drew back from the kiss, and instead of saying anything at all, she started to fumble at the buttons on the skirt – it was too thick a material to comfortably hitch up – and as she looked down, so did I; actually, I joined in, and we undid all the buttons together, then she lifted her hips and I slid the tights down… that was my first actual sight of the fuchsia underwear, with black overlaid lacy detailing. I leaned forward again, kissed her gently and softly ran my fingertips over the material.

Shimmering, shiny, trilobal satin… imitation silk… While black was regarded as an erotic colour, the shocking pink of fuchsia was mind-blowing and to this day, the thought, the memory of the slidey slinkiness of it, the silent sibilance of caressing and kissing it makes by heart beat fast in an empty hollow chest. And always, for me, the one thing which transcends all of the senses is the pervasiveness of that hot fuchsia pink; more felt than seen, a delicious perfume of her which can be tasted without touch… The emotion of this moment was different from with Nell.

Yes, we were both excited and nervous, but there was something else I could intuit. Jane was not merely allowing me, not only wanting me to pleasure her, but trusting me. Her breath hitched, and she flexed… she pulled my upper body more to her as she pushed hers to me; her hips stayed almost motionless as she buried her face in the crook of my neck as my fingertips skated across the silky material. Gently, with respect, I slowly stroked, ready to stop the second she wanted me to and hoping she would not; this was pleasantly maddening. She loosened her hold on my shoulders and drew back, then looked into my eyes with a strange mixture of ecstasy and fear that goes with that first time of touch. Unspoken questions were answered in microseconds spinning into what seemed like hours and with her hand on my face, she kissed me, flexing under my hand and against my body and I slid my hand under that magnificent material. With her trust earned, she shifted her hips and gently nudged my hand to just where she wanted it; closing her eyes, she sighed and began to give in to the sensations I was causing; her arms tightened around my shoulders once more.

The last of that evening’s sunlight faded, and the darkness – as did her breathing – began to deepen.

Later, she told me that she was glad I had ‘experience’ – we had both talked of our previous relationships – and secretly, I was glad that she was teaching me the mysterious ways of her body… which I considered to be magnificent. We never, however, fully consummated our relationship; she wanted to wait until marriage, so there was – for me – a constant undercurrent of sexual tension which never was fully resolved. It was something I could live with, especially as I seemed to be fully embedded as a part of her life… But… it was her moods and her insistence upon our routine that finished it all in the end for me, together with the increasing distance between the segments of my life.

I remember one evening I got on my small motorcycle and puttered into the evening, my mind whirling with worry about the upcoming exams and what to do after them. I stopped at phone box and phoned Nell for some reason and she invited me round. She was alone in the place and we both knew she was not seeing anyone at the time. We talked and I let it all out. She held me, then kissed me almost as if the last eight months had not happened, then looking me in the eyes, she told me to go to Jane. So I did. It was Jane’s evening to have her extended family around and the place was crowded. Drawing her to one side, I explained how I was feeling and I wanted/needed my girlfriend for company or comfort or something – I just needed to be with her. So we went out for a drink, talked, and then she gave me comfort… and as we got back to her house with the massed hordes, she told me that that was our end of week date and she’d see me at work… as if I were rationed. At work the next day, all she did all day was snipe at me with cruel remarks, and I ended up avoiding her then gratefully escaping into a different kind of Saturday evening from which I had become used to.

There followed a very long year where I went to college, met new people and found that just about everybody I had ever met of my age had treated me unfairly. While there was a carousel of friendships which drifted around a bit without any actual enemies being made, I was a bit of a social butterfly and it was a relief to be free from the stigma of simply being me. However, things were not so rosy with Jane; apart from getting my parents completely wrong, I think she also felt threatened by my being at college.

Time after time she would take issue with some tale I would tell about my last few days, and I finally shut up about it. After arguing every date for what seemed like forever, she was off sick one Saturday, for which I was grateful. I handed my notice in – I had some lucrative landscaping lined up – and went to her house to see her. I just laid my cards on the table, how crazy I was about her, but the routine and the moods were too hard to take.

The next day, she turned up at my house, and we went for a walk in the woods to discuss it. She was fighting for me, which I found intriguing. Then we had a final make-out session – which was a mistake. With that, she persuaded me that she could change, and when we got back to my house, she expressed no inclination to meet my family, so I just let her go. The next few months were somewhat sterile and almost simply going through the motions. What had started off with an elemental passion, then become heated arguments followed by a tear-filled making-up and emotional mutual pleasuring had become somehow bland… and I realised I was with her just because I liked doing things to her body and she was just a habit I felt could not live without.

Then, there was the three-ring-circus of my life, the arenas of which refused to integrate, no matter what I did. I was still living with my parents, and commuting the thirty miles each weekday to college – social events I would have attended and parties I could have gone to were basically out of the question due to the lack of transport – I was reliant on lifts as the motorcycle was used during the day by my brother for his commute to work. That was the first ring. The second, most evenings I went down the local pub for a couple of hours, not being able to smoke at home, and had some long-time friends down there. The third, Jane. When I had tried to bring Jane into this second part of my life, she just sat there and did not particularly engage with my friends and their girlfriends. She had not enjoyed herself, and seemed to want to keep me to herself on our allotted evenings – and the rage, the jealousy, the sheer possessiveness… not good for me, not good for her.

So I ended the relationship, and it just so happened it was a couple of days before Xmas.

It was brutal. She phoned, and I told her. Not particularly pleasant at that time of year, I know – especially as it was a rare White Christmas – but I did not want to keep it all hanging on into the next year. She went berserk; of course she did. She was in a cold telephone box, expecting to make plans with her loving boyfriend, but suddenly upset by an unexpected turn of events. The violence of her outburst shocked me, despite our months of arguments. I let her rant for as long as she needed, and then she hung up. Upon hearing the dialling tone, I breathed a sigh of relief and went down the pub, feeling a lot lighter. I was very mildly distressed that I had caused so much upset to someone, and knew that going ‘cold turkey’ regarding physical contact would be painful, yet I knew I had done the right thing for me.

I decided to learn, that even if it seemed like a relationship could be a good thing, it might only be beneficial for a relatively short time and until marriage, it is perfectly acceptable to declare that the whole thing is doing harm and to walk away. Only years later did I realise that my time with Jane was my first abusive relationship. Part of the fall-out of it was that I simply thought such things were normal – I did not expect every relationship to be peaches and cream or whatever the whole time, but… I had learned a very bad habit.

It is one many people fall foul of; because our making-up making out was so passionate, I associated the agony of those arguments with the ecstasy of aftermath. While my preference always would be not to have arguments before intimacy, the seed of the link had been placed. That seed finally germinated when I got married, so that when the ex-wife started with her Gaslighting nonsense… to begin with, I actually found it comforting and familiar.

Then, despite the heartache of the breakup and divorce, when I was Gaslighted again… once more, it felt comfortable and familiar.

So I know, from noticing these patterns over a long time, that habits build up but they can be broken… yes… broken.

Hah.

FIVE: Changes

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Jeremiah Savant’s ‘Inside the Inside’ is a parallel companion to ‘Adventures In Mental Health‘.

If you would like to connect with Jeremiah, or have any questions about this series, feel free to get in touch.