TRIGGER WARNING BELOW
I approached the corner bistro with palpable angst, having been summoned by my best friend of the female persuasion.
The past week had been a blur of speculative innuendo. They hadn’t gone on their honeymoon. That much seemed clear since their car was back in their drive with all the accoutrements from the wedding still attached. But no one had seen them for a week. Several tried calling. A few knocked at the door. Not one received a response.
We knew they made it to the hotel. We’d chased them, honking our horns all the way. We watched them grab what little they needed for the night. They looked happy. Forget that, they looked ecstatic, so desperately in love it seemed for all the world they were the only two who existed.
They were supposed to drive to the airport the following morning. They loved the idea of leaving the garish display announcing their nuptials where everyone could see. But somehow, the car was in their driveway.
And everyone wanted to know why.
Until I got the call this morning. Then I wasn’t so sure. She sounded erratic, somewhere between bursting into tears & heaving with laughter. There was panic in her voice. I could hear her glancing over her shoulder while we were on the phone, her words becoming distant with each coup d'œil.
It didn’t help that she spoke in a throaty whisper, as though fearful that whatever trauma she had suffered might suddenly resume if certain persons were to hear.
She had begged me to meet her at the bistro at 10:00 a.m. It was the only time she thought she might be able to slip away unnoticed.
I had agreed. I never could say no to her.
I loved Qui (short for Quilla). I’d been in love with her since the third grade. She knew it, too. She thought it was cute, though she insisted we were “just friends”—friends who were pretty much inseparable over the fifteen plus years that followed. I was completely captivated by her.
Of course, she wasn’t my only friend. I met Chinu in junior high. We quickly became bros, best friends of the male persuasion. Then I made the mistake of introducing Qui to Chi. It wasn’t long before everyone referred to them as “QuiChi” & I abruptly found myself as the usually welcomed third wheel.
I was about to see Qui for the first time in seven days. A big part of me was hoping I would also see Chi there, or at least find out that he’s alright. I might be sick with jealousy & eternally heartbroken, but like it or not, they’re still my best friends.
I rounded the corner & took a deep breath as my hand gripped, then lingered, on the latch. Releasing my anxiety, I eased the door open.
Qui was sitting at a table in the far corner wearing a quixotic expression that was combination cat that swallowed the canary, gal pal about to dish, & paranoid schizophrenic on the edge of losing it all. She fumbled with her napkin as I approached, eyes flitting from side to side, avoiding making direct contact with me.
I pulled out the chair opposite her & sat down. “So, are you going to tell me what’s happening?”
“We’d better wait until you’ve ordered,” she stalled, fidgeting nervously with her fork like she couldn’t decide whether she should start eating or wait for me. She still had not looked up.
The Danish on her plate looked good, as did the steaming cup of hot java next to it. But if I was in for a story, I was going to need something to sustain myself. This bistro received daily deliveries of the best chocolate filled long johns this side of the pond & I was going to treat myself.
Our waiter was a young man, probably no more than eighteen, fresh out of high school, tall, & gangly. “Kinda like me five years ago,” I thought to myself. But he was friendly & more than competent. His nametag said, “Dejah”.
“And what can I get for you, sir?” he asked, all bright eyed, eager & bushy-tailed.
“Could I just have one of your long johns, the chocolate filled, & a pot of Oolong tea?”
His shoulders sank in disappointment. “I’m sorry, we just sold the last one. We do have maple, plain, or…, we just got these in…, a raspberry crème. I tried one as soon as it came off the truck. It’s pretty good!” His eyes lit up as he spoke, suggesting that he was underselling the product if anything.
I’d already moved past the “Rats!” part of my mood with his description of the fresh delectable. “Fine, I’ll try one of those,” I replied, attempting to enjoy his enthusiasm more than the situation with Qui was currently allowing.
“Perfect!” (I find it annoying anymore when waitstaff use that expression. It won’t, however, affect his tip. People in the service industry get enough abuse as it is.) “I’ll bring that right out to you,” he finished as he turned toward the kitchen, still writing on his pad.
“Okay, spill,” I said, turning back to Qui, leaning in as though waiting to hear the latest scoop on one acquaintance or another. “What’s going on? Where have the two of you been? Why aren’t you in the Bahamas right now?”
She ignored my questions, which was okay. I hadn’t really given her time to answer the first before I’d asked the third.
“I…, I don’t know how to tell you this,” she stammered, beginning to tremble. “I don’t think I can. It’s too awful!”
“Where’s Chi? Is he alright?”
“Yes…, yes…, at least I think so,” she answered as though caught off guard by the question. “We haven’t spoken since that night.”
“Which night? The night of your wedding?? At the hotel???!!”
Qui buried her face in her hands. Her cheeks were turning such a color I couldn’t tell whether she was embarrassed, traumatized or both.
Before I could reach out to calm her, Dejah returned with my pastry & tea. I decided to tend to my libation & allow her to compose herself.
After a lengthy interval, she lifted her head & began to speak, only cautiously while still for the most part averting her eyes.
“Yes…, it was that night at the hotel. You know…, we’d never actually….”
“What?!!!” I was incredulous. The halting nature of her speech made it easy to jump in. “The two of you have never been intimate????” (I felt this unfortunate surge of hope within me. How ghastly, to secretly covet their misfortune for my benefit?)
“No…, no…, of course we’ve been intimate. Just not in that way. We wanted to save that. But we did just about everything else. Well, he did at least.”
My head was spinning, trying to keep up with each new revelation.
“You’re probably going to have to explain that a little further.” Now I was stalling. “You know, just to keep me from over-speculating.”
“Don’t get me wrong. Chi is an incredible lover, tender, patient & incredibly erotic. He showed me things about my body I might never have discovered on my own. The things he could do with my clit….”
“Okay,” I quickly tried to quiet her. “We probably want to keep this on the QT, just between the two of us.”
She nodded, leaned in, & began to whisper, “The things he could do with his tongue…, I mean, my fingers are one thing, & lord knows I’ve spent plenty of time there, but his tongue, the way he rolled my clit with it, sucking & licking, slipping between my labia….”
Now I was getting embarrassed & wanted to bury my head. But the tutorial could prove valuable someday.
“And did I ever tell you? He found my G! I’d never found my G before, & believe me, I searched. I was beginning to believe it was just an old wives’ tale. But he found it. Oh god, did he find it.”
Her voice was beginning to rise again & I sensed an uncomfortable vibe ascending with it from those patrons & staff who were nearby.
She leaned back in, lowering her voice again. “A lot of it had to do with how romantic we were together. We could lie there & just talk for hours, enfolding one another. Holding hands on a beautiful moonlit night, watching the stars, walking along the riverfront, taking in the lights & their reflections dancing across the waters.”
“Heck, we even managed to make watching a movie munching popcorn in our sweats romantic.” She’d fallen back into her seat with this exclamation & could quite clearly be heard throughout the establishment. People had begun to stare.
I leaned in as far as I could & asked in a low voice, “Okay, that’s great. So what happened? What went wrong?”
She noticed the stares & took the hint, moving her face close to mine above the table, so close it was hard to believe we didn’t kiss. My heart was pounding a thousand times a minute. It was all I could do to maintain my composure.
“Well, through all this time he saw me naked repeatedly. But he never once removed his own clothes, not until that night.”
She buried her face in her hands, shaking her head violently in disbelief, before blurting out, “He has three nipples!”
That…, caught me by surprise, so much so that I had to blink my eyes a few times to adjust to this new information. What really had me dazed was trying to remember back to all those times in the locker room. I mean, a third nipple would be kind of hard to miss. But I couldn’t recall every seeing one on anyone, much less Chi.
Still trying to sort things out, I queried, “So…, he has a mole…, on his chest…, or stomach…, or something?”
“No!” she exclaimed, quite perturbed with me at this point. “Not a mole! Not on his chest or stomach or anywhere else! I’m talking between his legs!”
Now I had to lean back & cock my head as I did my best to assimilate this barrage of unexpected intimate detail.
“So…, his penis was smaller than you expected?” The words seemed to stretch out before me in full disbelief of what I was saying.
This time, she buried her head in her arms on the table in furious distress as she cried, “I laughed at it…, at him! There we were in bed in the honeymoon suite & I couldn’t stop pointing & laughing.”
“I’m… guessing that didn’t go over well?” I hazarded a guess.
She slammed herself back against the chair, tears streaming down her cheeks, face in full pout. “I called him Nip! Even though I could see it bothered him, I just kept on calling him ‘Nip, Nip, Nip, Nip, Nip!’ I turned it into a song!” she wailed.
We sat there for a long while, her crying, me simply speechless.
Finally, I managed, “So what happened then?”
Slouching in defeat, surrendering herself to the rest of the story, she explained, “We left. We didn’t even check out. Didn’t take our stuff. I grabbed a few things, but he didn’t take anything. We drove home, he gathered some things from our bedroom, moved into the guest chamber & I haven’t seen or heard anything from him since.”
“That was a week ago.” Again, the words seemed to stretch & hang in the air as I tried to sort them out. “Surely he had to come out to get something to eat…, drink…, use the bathroom…?”
“There’s a private bath in there. I don’t know, maybe he comes out to sneak some food while I’m asleep or something. But I’m pretty sure he’s still in there.”
“So what are you going to do?” I asked. “How are you going to fix this?”
“I don’t know.”
Her face looked drained of all color, her eyes empty, when next she spoke.
“I’m not even sure I want to.”
My heart began to twist & churn, like a gymnast on acid, grappling with insidious hope, disgust & despair all at the same time.
“What do you mean?” I ventured.
“I mean, even fully aroused it couldn’t have been more than four inches! That used to be our joke when it was just us gals. Four inches meant you weren’t supposed to think of them as men! Nothing more than little boys.”
“And then,” she continued, “when it deflated, as you can probably guess it most certainly did, it was tucked so far back in his scrotum you could have mistaken it easily for a nipple—or a clitoris, & the ball sacks no more than the rest of a vulva. Just another vagina. That’s not what I signed up for.”
As she looked away, off into the distance through the window, I found myself thinking of Stormy Daniels & how, when the Don claimed he wouldn’t have touched her with a ten-foot pole, she responded, “No, it was more like three inches.” At least Qui was giving Chi more credit than that.
Dejah, sensing a lull & that it was for the moment safe, came by the table & asked if there was anything else he could get us. We never looked at him, we just shook our heads & weakly mouthed, “No.”
“Separate tickets or together?”
“Separate,” I answered, finally looking away from Qui.
“I’ll bring your tickets. Don’t worry. No rush.”
There was another long silence before I broke it with a question I found burning a hole right through the bottom of my heart.
“But you still love him, don’t you?” I had to ask. He was my friend, my best friend, & for once I found myself hurting more for him than for myself.
“I don’t know,” she replied. She turned back toward me, head tilted down, looking up as though asking a question.
“The truth is, I’ve always loved you. I just wasn’t willing to admit it. Even when I was walking down the aisle, I sensed that I wanted the two of you to switch places. If I hadn’t been so stubborn, things might have been different.”
What does one say to such a confession? I don’t believe you? It’s not true? How dare you put me in this position? He’s my best friend?
Another long silence. Nothing pregnant about it. Just cold & lonely & empty & broken.
Qui cracked first. “I wish I had married you.”
Fifteen years I had longed to hear such words from her. Now they were jarring, upsetting, so much cognitive dissonance.
“It wouldn’t have worked.”
“How do you know?”
“He’s my best friend!”
“I thought I was, too.”
“The truth is there’s no way I could ever make you happy. You know it & I know it.”
“After fifteen years, how can you say we couldn’t be happy together?”
“Trust me, I know.”
Dejah brought our checks. I laid a twenty on the table & told him, “Keep the change.” He smiled eagerly & said, “Thanks!”
Standing up, I turned to Qui & told her, “Go home. Make this right. The vast majority of people on this planet would be thrilled to find someone like Chi…, & the rest are just plain nuts! Let yourself be happy. You both deserve to be happy.”
“So, you think I’m nuts,” she offered as one last salvo.
I just stared at her for the longest time, shaking my head, unable to think of a single response.
We didn’t say another word. I imagined as I walked toward the door that she was sitting there too stunned to speak. But then, I don’t know. I never looked back.
How do I know it would never have worked? She told me so. You see, Chi might be bigger than the Don, but I’m not. In her mind, I would have been nothing more than another little boy.
Out on the sidewalk in the cool morning light, I felt a tear brimming on my cheek, then another, until finally they were streaming down my face. A leaden knot clung to the inside of my stomach as my heart & mind dragged each other through minefields in a struggle neither would ever be able to win.
“I’m never going to get married,” I muttered to myself with an uncertain sense of finality.
Then, straightening myself & fastening the buttons on my jacket, I turned to my left & walked down the street.
Disclaimer, Trigger Warning, & Personal Request: This piece is inspired/provoked by a comment made, if I remember correctly, by Kendra Wilkinson on “The Girls Next Door” over a decade ago. When asked if she could ever be with someone who was four inches or less “in that department”, she couldn’t help but laugh (fairly uncontrollably), as she responded quite vehemently in the negative.
I don’t believe she intended any harm with her response. I don’t think that many do. But the ubiquity of jokes over the size of male genitalia in both the media & unisex gatherings—heck, they’re not that uncommon when the gathering includes all genders—well, no one seems to take them too seriously.
We know a whole lot about the objectification of women & the effect it has. I deeply appreciate the tremendous work that has been done over the decades to wake us up to the terrible harms inflicted by these attitudes. (Yes, I’ve never been able to understand how “woke” has come to be used as a term of derision. Who in their right mind would ever want to be “unwoke”? I would never want to go back to being oblivious to how attitudes & language—especially my own—are demeaning or hurtful to others.)
We very rarely, however, talk about how men are demeaned or objectified. Why would we? Especially if they’re white, men still hold most of the power in this world & tend to exercise it a bit more than freely. Still, men have their own insecurities, & this is a big one (or not, as the case may be).
That is what this story is supposed to be about—the voices inside the male ego that have the power to deflate us completely, leaving us impotent in more ways than one.
Please do not read this as a plea to feel sorry for us. The scales are tipped way too far in the other direction for that even to be a consideration. But I do have a favor to ask.
If you detect any misogyny in this, please alert me to it. I remain insufficiently awake to all the forms it takes. And if anything in the “erotica” department seems blissfully naïve, (I am, for all my 63 years, still woefully inexperienced), please alert me to that as well. I will most certainly appreciate the education.
About the Creator
Retired Ordained Elder in The United Methodist Church having served for a total of 30 years in Missouri, South Dakota & Kansas.
Born in Watertown, SD on 9/26/1959. Married to Sandra Jellison-Knock on 1/24/1986. One son, Keenan, deceased.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!