Full Circle

Before the journey

Why did I undertake the journey? Was it fate?

I am a woman and single. No problem. I am independent and self-sufficient. My work is nice, I live in a nice apartment in town, I have nice friends and, occasionally, lovers. Ambitious I am not and that is why I speak merely about work, not about a career. My work is nice, yes, but it is a means to an end to me, which is to pay the rent.

I am generally a happy girl. I go out at weekends and every so often during the week and have fun with my friends. A long-lasting relationship with a man I have never had. I have had lovers for brief periods, weeks or months. I guess I got bored with them and, I have to confess, they probably got bored with me too. I have wished for violent passion and burning love and still do, but love and passion I have never experienced. Am I afraid to commit myself? I do not think so. I want to throw myself at a man and give myself completely, but simply have not felt the pull. Have my lovers felt it? I am not so sure. I look alright and dress well. This happy girl laughs a lot. But I am a passive person perhaps, the kind that responds to other people's jokes and stories rather than initiate any of my own. My role is that of an audience. People need their audience, however, which is why I am popular enough. I tend not to take initiatives, I have to say, and do not 'radiate'. The men I have had - who had me - had a superficial interest in me. Men, or at least the men I have known, do not look ahead. My men fucked me for a while, in between dinners and films, and then moved on. I took them just for a change, faintly waiting and hoping that love and passion would develop, but when they didn't - oh well, something ventured, nothing lost.

I have recently discovered the Internet and chatting. My friends said it should try it and mingle with others at these virtual meeting places. What a good place to speak to people anonymously or under a false name, without commitment and carrying on as long as one does! I chat for a while to this, that and other men from my safe chair behind the screen. Like my friends told me, I do gradually feel myself opening up and almost become another girl. I become more daring and - clich\'e9 or not - express feelings I did not know I had. So then I meet a man I connect with. All the storybook stereotypes. He is sweet, understanding and gives me all the space and time in the world. Time and space, so that I did not notice that he patiently, gently, ever so gently, probes, pushes and pulls me towards boldness. This goes on gradually and over a period of a month or two, without me noticing any pressure at all. Had I noticed I would never have gone. I would have shot back into my safe shell. When I did notice I was on my way and there was no turning back.

Before the journey is even suggested, I do a radical thing; for my standards that is. He has expressed disbelief in the way I have been able to conduct my uneventful life for these years and years. Would I would have the courage to take a piercing? Being pierced is a small dramatic event, he says. Naturally, I won't even think about it. Why voluntarily endure pain, why introduce a foreign body into my flesh? But gradually I see his point and become attracted to the idea. He seduces me to do it. I consider that I do yearn for a strong emotion, even if it is a flash of pain. And the foreign body will make me stand out, even if it is only in my own eyes. He suggests the labia and a ring. Should I expose my private parts to a piercer? But why not? I am not a virgin. I need never see him or her again, and it is radical and at the same time no one need notice. I do not speak to my friends about it, as I haven't told them about him.

The woman who helps me does not even blink when I have gathered the courage and ask for this, as it turns out, popular piercing. She relieves some of my anxiety when she explains that this piercing owes part of its success as it is by no means the most painful one. Together we browse through her catalogue of choices and I select a nice large gold ring. I had thought to remain fully with it, but when she offers the option of anaesthetising cream, I chicken out and say, yes, please. The woman swiftly and expertly does the job, meanwhile talking about the current streak of cold spring weather. There is the flash of pain - god there is! - and there is a little blood. But I manage to get to my feet when she is done and make my way to a mirror. Really - I am quite open minded - it looks fine, although it is only a temporary stainless ring, for now. I am to return a number of days later to have the actual gold ring inserted. After I have put on my panties and lowered my skirt, when I have left the studio and walk the street, I feel beautiful, radiant, even if it is only in my own eyes. The fact that my step is somewhat awkward does not matter.
I tell him about it, on the net. He is happy for me: I have taken a step and I like it. He makes me look at my new self again in the mirror and describe to him what I see. I trust him and do as he tells me. Here is a man I have not met or seen. Yet it pleases me so to be intimate with him. I feel that I have become closer to him than to anyone else. I am becoming his. Is it strange that this should happen with a man on the net, one I have never met? I do not think so. I have been able to be myself, without the pressure of the immediacy.

And then fate overtook me. I could but follow.

I tell him that he has become a part of me and I am his. Would he accept me? He tries to reason that he understands what I say, but that I should not run before having learnt how to walk. He says that he has seen me awake from my slumbers. It is natural for me to feel exhilarated and closely attached to him who helped this happen. He is very happy and proud of me. But am I sure about my feelings towards him? Am I truly ready to commit myself to him? I say that I am, that my life has been enhanced so much since knowing him. Oh, how sure am I? I have trouble being reasonable. Is love ever reasonable? He appears, reluctantly, to accept my commitment, but he wants it tested. He proposes that I should refrain from any contact with him for a month and, should I still feel the same then, that I shall call him by phone on number xxxxxx and receive instructions on how to meet him. And if I decide I have made a mistake, I should not trouble him any more. Oh, why? Yet I have no choice but to agree. His way is supremely sensible, but I will suffer in the interim.

The month creeps by. Each minute seems eternal. I go through the motions. The weather is becoming hot. Late spring, with its heavy flowery smells, the birds' chattering thickening. I am so happy because I now possess passion, but I am sad too since I have to restrain it. I don't think my friends notice. I have not told them. I manage to laugh with them as usual. And yes, the month passes. I am aware of the ring between my legs. It symbolises my commitment. Gold is eternal. I am ever so sure.

I shake slightly when I dial his number. A deep voice answers. His voice! 'My love..', I gasp and interrupt him. But no, it is a recorded message. 'Love,' - he calls me love! - 'you are to go on a journey to meet me.' He tells me to take a week's holiday. I am to shave my private garden and to dress in white, like a virgin-bride, so as to symbolise my being reborn. The gold band of commitment will stand out well - my engagement ring. He gives me the name of a village at a good day's distance, to which I am to drive and where I shall present myself at the local post-office and ask for further instructions. He has had them deposited there under my name. I am to take nothing with me but the clothes on my body.

The next day at work I look at my current life as an external observer. Was this her life? I get permission to take my leave the next day. Back at my apartment, I prepare with quiet anticipation. I take a bath. Cleaned, I oil my pubic area and shave slowly. The ring is truly enhanced, my new identity. I look at myself in the mirror for a long time. I am ready. The sheets of my bed are cool as I slip my naked body between them and fall asleep.

to be continued

Copyright by Vanna Vechian, 1998, 2001. Reproduction allowed only for personal use.