Mikey and the Chickadee Ch. 18

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I crawled into bed later that night, tired and alone, back at my apartment. Earlier in the day we had agreed that a break–even for just one night–was a healthy move. For a while I had half-expected Mikey to later succumb, to turn to me in the car, for instance, and tell me that he wanted to stay over after all. I knew later, certainly after our walk down the streets of my childhood, that the basis for this outcome was entirely my invention; it bore no resemblance to the reality of our situation.

I also knew, as I considered it rather heavily now left to my own thoughts, that our situation marched its way steadily toward calamity. I realized that no matter the outcome, it would carry with it a fair amount of drama. Troubled by the certainty of this, and perhaps even more by the uncertainty over which outcome it would be, I did not sleep particularly well.

“I’m a little offended that you didn’t bring anything with you to stay over tonight,” said Mikey the next morning at the bus stop. “I’ll get over it, though. Don’t worry.”

“You expect me to carry it around all day?” I asked, flashing a grin. I found it alarmingly easy to drop all concern as I nestled back into his presence.

“No. I mean, you could’ve texted ahead and dropped it off at my place. Come on, Chickadee, a little prior coordinating never hurt anyone.”

“Hey, you have to do that all the time, for work. It doesn’t come as easily to me.”

“Hmmm. Maybe so,” he said. “How about we pick up your stuff on our way through Corbin after work? You’re not getting out of learning to drive a manual.”

“Oh yeah. I forgot about that.”

“I’m sure you did,” he said. “Anyway, I could stay at your place tonight if you prefer.”

“I don’t prefer. It’s not even my home for much longer.”

“I see.”

“No matter what I decide,” I added. “Someone’s already signed to take my place on the first.”

“Fuck,” he said, casting a strange look down at the sidewalk. “It’s scary how fast things like that can move.”

I just nodded.

The bus approached with a deep, descending moan and we climbed on amid a small line of people.

That evening, my role as passenger became decidedly studious as Mikey drove us to my apartment after a quick dinner at his place, and only more so as we departed for open farm roads to the east. I viewed this desperate, last-ditch attentiveness as my only hope of avoiding catastrophe once seated behind the wheel.

“Do you always have to put in the clutch between gears?” I asked as he started south down the highway.

“Always.” Mikey’s driving had become correspondingly demonstrative. “Otherwise you’re forcing the engine to change its speed immediately, which is very hard on the transmission–and the clutch, which is sort of a means of diplomacy between the two.”

“Okay, I’m already not following you.”

“Don’t worry. You don’t need to understand it like that. But yes, the clutch must be in when changing gears. It disengages the transmission from the engine, which is necessary when changing from one drive ratio to another. When you let the clutch slowly out, it facilitates the gradual reconnection.”

I paused. “Any why does the clutch need to be in when you’re just sitting at a stop light?”

“Actually, you can let the clutch out at a stop light if you put the shifter in neutral, or turn off the engine. Obviously turning the car off doesn’t make sense, but I use neutral all the time, when my foot needs a rest. But, assuming the car is in first, the clutch must be in because the engine is turning and the wheels are not. So the car is in gear, and the engine is turning at, say, seven-hundred times each minute. If the clutch is let out, then the wheels need to also be turning a certain number of times a minute, correlating to the drive ratio determined by first gear. When you’re stopped, the wheels aren’t turning at all, so letting out the clutch would force the engine to stop turning, too. Unless you let out the clutch carefully, and with a measured amount of throttle, which is exactly how you start moving from a stop.”

I sighed. “This is what happens when an engineer teaches you to drive a manual, isn’t it?”

He laughed. “I wouldn’t know. I’m not an engineer. Close enough, though, maybe.” After a pause he said, “But you’re right, this isn’t the way to learn. There’s no other way besides just doing it.”

Awhile later Mikey turned down a fairly narrow agricultural access road, elevated slightly above the surrounding fields and also paved, but so unburdened by traffic that no painted line existed to divide the two lanes. He stopped square in the middle and turned off the car. We switched positions. Only after finding my place in the driver’s seat did I wonder, in amazement, how long it had been since I’d driven at all. Was it four months? Or maybe even five? I had dropped off Stephanie at the airport one morning in late-November. That was it.

“There. You’re starting from nothing,” said Mikey. “The clutch needs to be held in to turn on the car.”

I did so and then turned the key. The engine trembled back to life.

“Keep your foot on the brake. Ankara bayan escort Now try putting the shifter in neutral. There you go. Now you can let out the clutch if you want.”

I let it out slowly.

“Perfect. Now, if you want to put it back into first gear, the clutch has to be in. Do you remember why?”

I thought a moment. “Because the engine is turning and the wheels are not?”

“Right, and the clutch connects the the engine to the wheels through the transmission. Man, you’re a fast learner,” he said with a grin. “Go ahead and put it back in first. You can look at that little diagram on the top of the shifter.” He waited as I did as told. “Great, now you’re ready to get the car moving. Take your foot off the brake. Now press lightly on the gas. Bring the engine speed up to around three thousand, okay?”

“That’s the three?” I began adding gas and heard the engine’s pitch whine upward.

“Yes, that’s the three. Perfect, keep it there. Now you’re going to very slowly let the clutch out.”

I did so and we began to roll forward. Thinking the clutch had finished engaging, I removed my foot completely from it. Mikey’s car–not small by any means–bucked forward, the tires chirping hard against the pavement. But we were still moving, and I was driving. The needle kept climbing, nearing four thousand.

“Awesome job,” he said. “And now you can see how the car isn’t shifting itself like an automatic would. But we’ll get to that later. Let your foot off the gas and put in the clutch…good, now keep the clutch in and use the brake to stop the car, just like you normally would.”

Once the car was stopped again, he said, “So, obviously you can’t run the engine way up like that every time you start moving from a stop. You have to work the gas and clutch at the same time, keeping the engine speed fairly low until you get the car going.”


“Go ahead and try. Give it some gas and slowly let out the clutch at the same time.”

As I attempted this, the car pitched suddenly forward, then stopped dead with a massive lurch. “That’s it,” I said. “I’m done. This is hurting your car.”

Mikey just laughed. “The car’s fine. It’s made to handle a lot worse. This is the hardest part of the whole process. I think you’ll find actual shifting between the gears much easier. We can do that next; you just need to get it moving again.”

My second attempt failed, too, indistinguishable from the first. But by the fourth try, just as I thought the car would stall again, it made a second lunge ahead and our forward movement smoothed out. I gripped the wheel hard in my left hand as Mikey guided me through the forward gears. I had reached fourth and was approaching highway speed.

“Chickadee, you’re doing incredibly well…although,” he added casually, “we are running short of road.”

I braked suddenly, frantically, in order to stop short of landing the car in a muddy field, which lay just past an approaching intersection. The brake pedal pulsed, the tires skidded in quick bursts along the pavement, my bag thudded against the back of my seat and then everything fell silent.

Mikey laughed harder than ever, pounding his fist into the armrest.

“Stop that,” I said. “Why is the car off?”

“You forgot to put in the clutch. Look, the shifter’s still in fourth gear.”

I insisted that he turn the (fucking) thing around so I could try again in the other direction.

“That’s the attitude I’m looking for,” he said, clamping his hand down on my shoulder.

We made our way back to his apartment as it became dark. Twice Mikey had assured me that I’d already progressed enough to drive us home, but I kept refusing and he gave up.

As he drove and I relaxed, back at home in the passenger seat, I said, “That was actually a ton of fun. Sorry for almost crashing your car.”

“Think nothing of it. You learned that even though you’re adding new responsibilities, the old rules still apply.”

“Right, like not driving off the road.”

“Yes,” he said, “that is certainly an old rule.”

After we had stepped into his apartment and kicked off our shoes, I returned my duffel to its now familiar spot by the bed.

“Where’s your suit?” he asked.

“Unlike you, I do not enjoy dressing up all that much. I’ve only got two days left at the office and I’m going to make them a little more casual.”

“Wow, dream big,” he said.

I landed my fist lightly against his arm.

“Hey,” he said, surrounding me tightly from behind, pinning my arms against my sides, “you tried something new today, so I was thinking…it’s only fair if I try something new, too. Something that makes me just as nervous.”

I wriggled myself out of his grasp and turned to face him. “If it’s what I think it is…”

“It is,” he said, nodding eagerly.

“Mikey, that’s not quite the same. Don’t do it just because you think it’s fair.”

He shook his head. “That’s not why I brought it up. I want to know what it is…having you do that to me. I want to feel it. I’m ready.”

“You’re sure?”

“I’m sure,” he said. “That’s my decision, Escort bayan Ankara as long as you’re willing to…you know.”

“Jesus, I’m more than willing. I’m getting hard already just thinking about it.”

“And I think I’m–you know–ready down there, too. Just in case you were wondering.”

“I’m sure it will be fine,” I said.

Calmly, slowly, we began to remove our clothes, first throwing our jackets over onto the couch, then peeling away our shirts. I stepped slightly away from him, just as the dark skin and hair below his navel emerged from under white cotton; I sought a more completely view of his body before we were brought together. Next his pants came down, as did mine, and we faced each other in our black briefs, already swollen in silent but frenzied anticipation of the new, reciprocal exchange in which we were about to engage.

Mikey stayed still so I stepped up to him, took his hand in mine, pressed my other against his chest and then let it trail slowly down his abdomen. “Are you okay?” I asked him.

“Yes,” he said, in a hollow, timid voice I hadn’t heard since the first night we had made our way down the trail to the beach. “Do you mind leading the way? I don’t know what I’m doing.”

We removed out underwear and I brought him over to the bed. He lay down on his back on top of the covers. The room was very warm. He laughed a little. “It’s going to hurt, isn’t it?”

I retrieved the small, slick bottle from his nightstand drawer. “It will at first,” I said to him. “We’ll take it very slowly, okay?”

He nodded. “Okay.”

Mikey spread his legs apart. He granted me complete access; it required an encounter with immense, new vulnerability on his part, a truly sacrificial act which I did not take for granted. He looked me straight in the eyes, then moved his gaze down to the attentive, rigid presence between my legs. “You,” he said. “I want that part of you. I need to know how it feels.”

“Do you want me to use my finger to relax you a little first?”

“No,” he told me. “I’m ready for it now. Just take it slow.”

I told him not to worry as I arrived between his legs. I placed my hands behind his knees and opened him further to me. “You’re sure you don’t want to be on top of me?”

“No, I want it like this,” he said.

I pressed myself against him, noticing the minute change in his face once he accepted that it was only seconds from happening. Finally I felt a small extent of me open him up. His eyes squeezed shut. I asked if I should stop, but he said no, that he wanted more, so I stayed within him and pressed on. I could tell he had not yet relaxed and the warm space he had offered up remained snug and restricted. This stubbornness was not him, it was his body, which had never before known such an encroachment.

“Remember when you didn’t want to hurt me?” I asked. “You made me get on top so that I could be in control.”

He clenched his teeth and nodded stiffly. “I’m sorry. Now I understand. You wanted me, even though it hurt. Well, now I want you. I want you to stay on top. I want you to fuck me.”

I slid the rest of myself steadily in. Mikey exhaled, kept his eyes shut, and a broad smile spread across his face. I pulled out to half my length, then sank myself back in. He actually laughed. “Fuck, Chickadee. I knew you were big, but…this is something else.”

I smiled down at him. “It’s going to feel pretty big.”

“Oh my god. No fucking shit.”

“Are you doing okay?”

He paused. “Give it to me again.”

I drew myself out, and then plunged deep into him.

He gasped. “Fuck…hurts like fucking hell. But it feels so good. Please, just keep letting me have it.”

I gave him what he asked for, removing and then reinserting myself over and over. He had relaxed somewhat, though his accommodation remained fresh and favorably constricted. Mikey was still new, he was tight, and I was concerned that in my excitement, if I continued to offer him what he desired, I would lose control of myself too soon. I decided not to care. He moaned softly as we kept at it, touching himself intermittently from one moment to the text, unquestionably hard as stone. I spoke his name as a warning and he told me to let it go inside of him, that he was ready to let himself go, too.

“Here it comes,” he said. “Can’t stop.” His abdominal muscles tightened and he curled forward, adorning his dark stomach in pearl-white.

As this occurred I felt the inside of him swell and tighten around me. I began to climax with the sensation of a warm and welcome current plummeting from the base of my neck, down my spine, extrapolating into rhythmic gushes of release from my center, where our bodies were joined. As I finally tapered away I was reacquainted, after a long time, with the inimitable feeling of having left a small part of myself in very special place. As my eyes fell to meet with Mikey’s, his blurry, wondering expression communicated a sense of understanding for exactly what I felt in that moment. Releasing into me, he, too, must have recently come to know its graces.

I cautioned him that I would remove myself, and that Bayan escort Ankara it might feel strange. He nodded and then I did so, very slowly. I went over to the hamper and found him some underwear so that he could clean himself.

He propped himself up on his elbows. “Chickadee, that was incredible. I feel indebted to you now.”

I handed him the underwear and he began to wipe himself down. “Don’t say that,” I told him. “We gave something to each other.”

He nodded, focused somewhat on removing the mess. “Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll excuse myself for a moment. Then would you like to join me in the shower?”

I told him I would.

Later on we curled together in his bed, beneath the open window, waiting for sleep to take us over.

Mikey pressed his lips into the back of my neck, then drew back just enough to say, “I suppose I’ll be sore tomorrow.”

I laughed quietly. “Yes, I suppose you will.”

“There’s a satisfaction that goes along with doing something you know you’ll never regret.”

“Is that how you feel?”

I felt him nod. “Yes. I’ll always know that you were the right one to do that to me.”

His arm was slung over me, hand held gently to my chest. I squeezed it tightly against me.

The next morning I lay awake, half an hour before the alarm was set to go off. Mikey awoke, too, not long after me. It was not yet light outside.

“Can’t sleep?” he asked.

I turned to him. “I have a lot to prepare for. Tomorrow’s my last day of work downtown. I should text Jennifer and find out what furniture she’ll be contributing to the apartment. I haven’t even started to pack. Fuck. There’s just a lot to do.”

“So you decided to go.”

I paused. “Yeah, looks like I did.”

“‘Looks like’? What the fuck does that mean?”

I moved myself away from him. This was new. “Yeah, I mean, I didn’t decide not to go. That’s kind of the point.”

He frowned. “I don’t think that’s the point,” he said slowly. “It seems like you’re being very passive about this decision.”

I didn’t say anything right away. I lifted myself, sitting up against the headboard. I pretended to itch my cheek with my hand in order to obscure my face. “Mikey, when I think about what it’s taken for me to process all of this, ‘passive’ is the absolute last word that comes to mind.”

He nodded. “Okay. I just don’t like to hear that it ‘looks like’ anything. Not with something that has such an impact on whether or not we get to hang out anymore. I want to know that you’ve really thought this over.”

Maybe he was onto something; maybe in some way I hadn’t. But in another way, I felt like I had considered and reconsidered the decision to death, and now just continued to beat at its lifeless body. To Mikey I said, “Actually, I’m exhausted from thinking it over. And now I know that I will go. I have actively, consciously made that decision. Is that okay?”

He didn’t answer right away. Finally he closed his eyes, pulled the comforter up over his mouth and muttered, “Yes, that’s okay.” He paused for a long time. Finally, he continued, “The other day. You told me you didn’t like your job, that it felt wrong to keep doing it. What about all that?”

“I felt very strongly at that point. I’m more collected now.” I paused. My throat tightened. “What about when you said you would always support my decision, no matter what?” I could feel my emotions threaten to spill over.

Mikey’s face was entirely hidden now. “That was before I knew you hated your job.”

“I don’t hate my job,” I said. I had begun tearing up. “And are you sure that’s all it is? Are you sure you haven’t developed real feelings for me, and you can’t own up to them? God forbid that would be even some small part of the problem. Fuck, it certainly is for me.”

He tore away the blankets, rose up and walked across the apartment. His footsteps landed heavily as they departed, and I knelt on the bed, peering over the half wall. He stood in the middle of the kitchen in just his underwear. His back was to me. He was crying. “Well, fuck. I fucking knew this shit would happen.”

I knew it, too. And now, in a way, it felt like I had always known. But it had hit so suddenly, and with such force that I felt acutely the sensation of staggering uncontrollably backward, even as I sat motionless.

He held still, seemed to calm himself a little and then said, “I just thought…I mean, given what we have…I thought it might sway your decision.”

“Mikey, what exactly do we have? We’ve known each other for hardly more than a month. You’re a really fun guy to hang around. It seems like we make really good friends. In another life we could be…something…I don’t know. What else is there to say about it?”

He lifted his arms and clasped his hands on top of his head. “There’s nothing else to say, I guess.”

Unlike him, for whatever reason, I did not feel the urge to cry as I continued speaking. “This whole thing is fucking insane. I mean, think about it–we don’t even know each other. Not really. It was impossible for us to have gotten to know each other well enough in that span of time. You know, for me to know if I…” I took a breath and lowered myself back down to sit on the bed. No longer could I see him over the wall. “And even if it had been enough time, you yourself said that you’re not ready to call me your boyfriend.”

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