Charles and the Real Woman

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Ah, what to say about Charles. He was an odd bird. His heart was in the right place, and he was purely benevolent, but his love life was highly abnormal and firmly in the strange category.

Raised by two loving and doting parents, home schooled, but sheltered from the world, with no real friends other than his parents, and his grandfather who had passed away when he was eight. Alas, Charles’ parents died just after he turned 18 when they were on the way to a conference. They were academics, and while they traveled once or twice a year, it caused them a great deal of anxiety and they vowed to never let Charles deal with the dangers of the outside world. Of course life is full of risk, and things are GENERALLY safe. It was ridiculous, but in a bitterly ironic event, they both perished in a train crash that had no other fatalities when returning from Montreal to their small West Village apartment.

This happened when Charles was 18, right after he had graduated. Up until now he had only left the house occasionally with his parents for dinners at some nearby restaurants, and to take tests for high school that could not be administered at home. Always he was in for the test and out just as quickly to return home. Never talking or associating with any of the other students around. Into the classroom, eyes down on the desk, test taken, then out, quickly.

Now, he found himself alone in an apartment left to him by his parents, with a considerable trust fund. Money was no issue, nor was finding a place to live. To keep himself busy, Charles, who had been done right if only by his parent’s rigorous academic teachings, but certainly not their social teachings, was a bit of a computer genius and was able to start up a successful computer graphic design business from home. Interacting with clients via email, and if absolutely necessary a phone call or two. Otherwise, he could keep to himself, living off of various grocery and other delivery services.

Now, flash forward a few years, and Charles is 24 now. It should be mentioned he’s not too bad looking, and for the past year or two had started to feel the need for female companionship. A relationship was out of the question as the only people he had ever connected with were his parents. And going out on a date was just too much, how to deal with someone? Converse? Eye contact? Oh, no no no. But all the same, he had urges, and desires. And, if there’s one thing that New York City doesn’t lack for, it’s fancy clothing and department stores.

So two years ago, Charles started to come out of his shell, if just a little bit, by leaving his apartment and going for walks, and going on “dates.” He meticulously researched men’s fashion, and dressed up quite nicely for his outings. He had also become adept at doing his own hair with kits ordered online and extensive youtube viewings.

So, what were these strange outings? Well, if we visit Charles today, we’ll find that he traveled uptown to meet with one of his favorite ladies at B*******’s. Floor 6, women’s wear, casual. She stood stylishly posed in pink sweater and gray pants. She was a manquin of course, but to Charles she was beautiful, and easy to get along with. These dates never lasted long, because there wasn’t much to say, and he knew it wasn’t strictly speaking normal. Sometimes employees recognized him, and he was sure he would be arrested or thrown out of the store, but often they seemed more bemused than anything. Today, while visiting Claudie, he made sure no one was watching, asked her how her day was, assumed her silence meant it was going ok, and then kissed her. He let her know he was doing ok, his business was booming, and he was happy to see her; that she looked nice. As a shopper passed by, looking at him strangely, he slipped out of the store, and quickly made his way home to get some work done. That was enough excitement for today.

And so it went. Sometimes he’d dressed up in his best suit and go to B***** G***** to formal wear for a black tie event. Sometimes, he’d done something a bit more metrosexual and head over to the meatpacking district to some of the more funky clothing stores, but they were smaller and he had been chased out of there by employees a few times. He missed Nikita, a rather striking mannequin modeling a torn t-shirt and faded and torn jeans in a particularly avante garde shop on W 13th street.

But all these “women” were casual flings to Charles. His true Love, Nancy, resided in an O****y in downtown Brooklyn. Every Wednesday he visited her. She wasn’t too fancy, but always dressed smartly. Lately they had her in a floral top and a pair of tight jeans. Ah, here was his risky romance, for sometimes he would go further than a kiss and conversation. This particular store was slightly larger and at mid day would sometimes be less crowded. If no employees were around, he found he could spend up to five minutes with her! He’s murmur sweet nothings to her. How great she looked. How happy he was to see her. What a great person he bet she’d be if she pendik escort bayan ever left her confines as a statue modeling clothing. And then sometimes…sometimes when he was feeling particularly horny, he might touch her. Briefly, ever so briefly, but a brief touch of her wooden chest, or glancing feel between her legs. A gentle pat on the ass. He believe she liked this, but knew this could really get him in trouble, so he was always very, very careful when getting so intimate with her. This would inevitably lead to him getting very hard, so he really had to sneak out of the store then.

Evenings after his dates always involved a lengthy session of touching himself, recounting the day’s events.

And he thought he had been sly, thought their secret romance was secret. That no one knew he was giving loving touches, or what he thought of as loving touches to that mannequin. But all that changed one day.

After a particularly nice time with Nancy, as he was making his discreet and stealthy exit from the store, just as he passed the threshold, he heard someone call to him, “Yoohoo!” Not just someone, but a woman!

Oh no he thought to himself. Two levels of horror going on in his mind. One, he had been caught and might get in serious trouble. Two, he was going to have to talk, face to face with not just a human, but a female human. And as he looked down, he realized with horror, that he had an erection.

He wanted to run, almost did, but a small part of him kept him rooted there because somewhere in the back of his brain, he yearned for human contact, no mater how badly this might turn out. He thought of Chris Farley (RIP) dancing topless in that old sketch from SNL, willing his erection to go down a bit. Slowly he turned and found standing not five feet from him one of the saleswomen, an attractive black woman. Hair in long braids, deep beautiful dark eyes. Charles was struck by her body as well, noticing it would be ideal for a mannequin. Thin, nice chest, and she was dressed in her employer’s clothing, looking quite sexy in a tight pair of jeans and nice black tight sweater.

Oh no, she was looking right at him, and his khakis weren’t doing anything to hide his arousal.

She didn’t seem angry though, just smiled, pinning him in place with her direct stare. “You think you’re being soooo sneaky, but we see you.”

Charles didn’t even know where to start, “I…I…I’m sorry!” he whispered, but emphatically.

“Oh? You’re sorry,” she laughed. “Are you? Do you think you’re in trouble?”

Charles noticed pinned to her sweater above a lovely breast, her name-tag, identifying her as Nadine. Through his terror, he realized he liked that name.

“I…yes…I’m sorry! I just…I’m sorry!”

“You know my co-workers wanted to call the police on you, mister.” Nadine said, taking a step toward him, “but I told them not to. After all, you seemed harmless. I have no idea what you think you’re doing, but you seem to really like that mannequin.”

Forgetting himself for a second, Charles said, “Her name is Nancy.”

Nadine laughed. It could have been a cruel laugh, or a judgmental laugh, but to Charles’ limited experience dealing with people, it seemed almost delighted.

“Nancy is it?” she asked, her eyes alight. “And you have a date with her, what, every Wednesday? I’ve been watching you when you think you’re alone for the last month.

Which bad on me, I guess for snooping on you. But, god help me, I am fascinated by you, mister.”

Charles didn’t know what to say, but he began to feel a bit of relief that he wasn’t in trouble, although he had the feeling he wouldn’t be seeing Nancy any more. That made him sad. But terror still mounted inside of him at having this woman, this living, breathing woman talking to him, and oh god, she had taken a step closer. “I like her a lot” he muttered.

“Hhhmmm, well that goes without saying,” Nadine said. “Look, It’s my lunch break, you look terrified, but come across the street with me to S******s for a cup of coffee?”

Oh sweet Jesus, Charles though, and hoped he didn’t say that aloud. What was he going to do? This was terrifying and exhilarating. This…this woman, a real woman wanted to sit down and talk to him? About his, well, his love life he guessed. And while he was very, very happy with the various mannequin women in his life because they fit perfectly into his limited ability to socialize, this was a real woman. A large part of him wanted to turn and run, but, well. Look at her though! She was beautiful, and awoke feelings in him that he didn’t know he had. His erection had gone down, but the idea, dirty as it was to his way of thinking, that at the very least if he could overcome his terror, this would somehow lead to a much better and intense session of masturbation in the evening.

How long had he been standing there, just staring at her.

“Well, mister?” she prompted.

“Ok…sure…” şirinevler escort bayan Charles said nervously.

What am I doing! he kept asking himself as he followed her across the street. They walked in silence which was ok because he was hyperventilating and wouldn’t have been able to say anything anyway.

They entered the coffee shop, and Nadine told him to sit at a table.

“Mister, sit there, save our spot? What do you want? My treat.”

Charles tried to get his breathing under control, and was able to muster up enough breath to tell her to get him a latte, large.

“Sure thing,” Charles watched her turn to head to get their coffee and had to admit she looked good from the rear too, before a fresh round of terror gripped his stomach and his brain span in circles trying to figure out what to say when she returned with their coffees. Praying that she’d lead the conversation. Again, he almost ran out of there, but remained seated, because…well she was beautiful.

Lost in his own thoughts, he startled when she sat down with their coffee, placing his latte carefully before him.

“Well mister, I can’t keep calling you that, can I? What’s your name?” Nadine asked.

Looking at the table, Charles told her his name.

“Ah, Charles. I like that.”

“Well Charles, I’m Nadine.”

“Oh I knew! I read your name tag.” Charles responded,

“hhhmmm, yes, you did.” Nadine responded, perhaps a bit put off.

“Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean that to be snooty. I…uh, nice to meet you Nadine!” Charles exclaimed, perhaps a bit too loudly, and put his hand out to shake. That seemed like something people out in the real world do.

Full recovery it seemed, as Nadine laughed, ans extended her hand to shake, “Oh my God! You are so awkward! I’m sorry, I mean that as nicely as possible.”

Charles locked eyes for a second, then looked away, shyly and took a sip of his latte.

“This latte and you are the same color,” he remarked. “Is that racist? I…don’t know?”

Nadine laughed again, “No, no it’s not, Charles. I guess that’s an astute observation. So, tell me about yourself?”

“Oh…I don’t know…I’m you know, here. And I live by myself. I run my own business from home. My parents died…”

“Oh honey! Charles, I’m so sorry!”

“Oh…it’s ok,” Charles responded, taking another sip of his latte. “It was four years ago. I…don’t get out much. We were very private I guess. But I miss them. They were great.”

“Hhhmmm…I can’t imagine how said that is. But I bet they loved you and are proud of you.”

“I hope so…”

“What type of business is it,” Nadine asked, leaning forward slightly to Charles chagrin, but perhaps a bit of delight.

“Oh…just graphic design for websites and businesses… no big deal.”

“That’s great! I want to run my own fashion design studio one day! I’m just working across the street to pay for school…”

“Oh…cool. I’m…sorry, I should have asked…I’m not good at this…” Charles trailed off, taking another sip of his latte.

“Oh, you’re doing ok, Charles. You don’t get out that much? I’m sorry if that’s direct.”

“I…like to keep to myself…just sometimes, you know…”

“I think I know. It’s hard to talk to people, but sometimes, you need to.”

“I mean…I like the mannequins. They understand me. And I feel like I understand them. Even if they’re not real.”

“I think I understand,” Nadine agreed, “I’m having fun though. I think you might be a pretty cool person. Are you ok with this? You can leave if you’d like.”

Charles was silent for a second, they both sipped their coffee. “Oh, no no, I don’t think I want to leave…I like talking to you. You’re nice. I don’t mean to be forward.”

“Oh, not forward at all!” Nadine said.

Charles jumped back a bit then. “Oh! I’m sorry! I think my leg hit your foot!”

Nadine gave an enigmatic smile then, “Oh? Charles, it’s ok. Sometimes, a girl just likes to play footsie.”

“Oh…oh, ok.” Charles said, not sure what she meant, but when he pulled himself back to the table, he found that it wasn’t the worst thing in the world the way she would rub her foot against his shin.

“So Charles, do you think you like me?”

“I…think so…is that ok?”

“Yes. It’s ok, hun. Is it ok that I might like you?”

Charles thought about it for a second, “Yessss…” he said, drawing it out, considering.

“Charles, do you think I’m pretty?”

Charles gasped then, unsure how to respond. He thought she was beautiful, but to say so? Could he just put that out there? That would be insane! Surely this was some kind of trick. Surely he couldn’t start talking like that in public?

“It’s just, you’ve been looking at your coffee more than me…although I guess…”

“…I don’t get out much,” Charles finished for her. Then surprising himself, “I think you’re beautiful!” he said şişli escort bayan a bit loudly, and a few people turned to stare.

Nadine laughed loud and hard, and her eyes twinkled, “Oh Charles, you are something. You’re not too bad looking yourself, you know. Has anyone ever told you that you’re handsome?”

“No…I…oh jeez…I’m sorry…I have to go to the bathroom! Please don’t leave!”

Charles ran to the bathroom, breathless. He to collect himself. This was…too much, but he needed more…but his stomach tied in knots. He just needed two or three minutes. He ran to the bathroom, which was unoccupied luckily, splashed some water on his face, took care of some business on the toilet, and to his horror when checking his cell phone saw that six minutes had passed. Oh God! Was Nadine still out there? Part of him hoped she was, but part of him hoped she had gone, because what…what the hell was he supposed to do next? If she had gone, he might be a bit upset, but he’d very happily just go home and go on with his happy solitude. But was it happy? If she were still there, perhaps he might be happier though? It might not be as easy, but maybe…Oh no, another minute had passed! He gripped the door knob in a panic, and stumbled out of the bathroom, collected himself slightly, and saw that Nadine was still sitting there, playing with her phone.

“I’m sorry!” he said breathlessly sitting back down, “I just…I’m happy you’re still here! I thought maybe you had left.”

“Oh, it’s ok Charles! I figured you know, this is a lot to take in…are you ok?”

“Yes…yes…I’m ok.”

“Charles, this has been great, but my lunch break is ending soon. I have to get back.”

“Oh… Charles said, surprised at how dejected he sounded.

“Can I ask you something? And, well, promise not to freak out?”


“I’m lonely, Charles. I don’t think I’d ever admit that to someone…but there’s a sweetness about you that I like. I’m lonely,…”

“I’m sorry…” Charles said, sympathizing, and understanding that being alone and being lonely were two different things. And realize maybe that some of what he thought of as being alone, was morphing into loneliness.

“Charles,” Nadine asked, taking out a slip of paper and a pen, “I get out of work at seven, and I’m usually home by eight. If…if I wrote my address down and gave it to you…would you let me be your mannequin tonight?”

Charles was a very intelligent man, but Nadine’s meaning slipped by him for a moment, “But, Nadine! You’re not a mannequin… you’re a person…

“Charles, honey, ” Nadine implored, “Will…you…let…me…be…your…mannequin.”

Understanding dawned on him.

“Tonight,” Nadine finished.

“Oh god…oh…I…”

“I have to go, ” Nadine said, jumping up, “here you go. I REALLY hope to see you tonight.” She said, kissing Charles on the cheek, and leaving him totally stunned.

He sat there for a second before coming to his senses, and surprisingly found himself to be excited as opposed to terrified about going to Nadine’s place that night. Once he had come to his senses, he practically burst out of the coffee shop and rushed home.

Once home, he wasn’t quite sure what to do with himself. He had surprised himself by not even thinking of hesitating to take Nadine up on her offer. While the thought of too much human contact terrified him still, he realized his sexual urges strongly overpowered any fear he had. He hoped that Nadine wasn’t kidding or playing a joke on him, and he spent the day resisting the urge to masturbate. He wanted to save it for his date. Nadine said she would be his mannequin. Maybe he’d get to touch her! Maybe he’d make him come!

He spent a nervous afternoon going into evening watching TV and on his computer. He looked at the address she had written down in femine script and pink ink. He figured it was at most 25 minutes from his apartment, uptown. He left his apartment at 7:30, wearing a nice pair of khakis, and a dark dress shirt, buzzing with excitement, and barely able to keep his erection down. That wouldn’t do for the subway ride uptown.

Again he surprised himself, by feeling very little anxiety, just excitement that he’d finally be able to be with a real woman! He arrived at the front of her apartment building at 7:58, and waited the two minutes before pressing the buzzer key for her apartment. Best to be punctual, despite his excitement.

“Hello?” Nadine’s voice asked from the speaker.

“…it’s me…Charles?” He responded, breathlessly.

“Oh, Charles! You came! Oh my God, this is amazing! Come up! Come up!”

“Ok…I’ll be right up.”

Now perhaps he was a little nervous, now that he was here, but still he was less than a minute away from what he hoped would be ecstasy. A dark thought that she could still be pranking him crossed the back of his mind.

He exited the elevator, walked two doors down the hall to his left, and found himself in front of her door, open a crack. He tentatively knocked.

“It’s open! Come in, hun.”

Charles slowly opened the door to find himself in a dimly lit but nicely appointed studio apartment. Standing in the center surrounded by candles was Nadine, looking amazing, still in her tight jeans and tight black shirt from earlier today.

“I wasn’t sure if you’d come, but I wanted to be ready. Come in! Come in!”

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