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Destined to play, p.5
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       Destined to Play, p.5

           Indigo Bloome
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  ‘Why is this so hard for you, Alex? It is meant to be exciting, intoxicating, not make you shake like a leaf on a tree defending against gale force winds.’

  His voice is low, caring, caressing. His words sum up my feelings more eloquently than I can describe them myself.

  ‘Why is it so important that I comply, Jeremy?’

  ‘You made a promise.’

  ‘I feel this is about so much more than that, so tell me, please, just tell me what is going on.

  Why is this so important to you?’

  ‘Let me have this moment with you, it won’t last forever. I will look after you, I promise you that. When have I not?’

  I let out yet another great sigh knowing his last statement is true. We have had some wild times together but he has always looked after me. I feel as confused as any human being on earth.

  Jeremy is telling me I have a choice, but I don’t feel like I have one — if I want to stay, that is. Is that a true perception or merely my imagination? I honestly don’t know. I am drowning in my thoughts and emotions when I notice a bowl of perfectly formed red apples sitting in the middle of the round table. Strange how I didn’t notice them before, their symbolism being so obvious.

  For a fleeting moment I reflect how Eve must have felt when being tempted by the snake to eat the apple. Perhaps knowing it was the wrong thing to do, but also knowing intuitively that fate was clearing her path forward regardless of her own actions. Was she destined to play her role in the biblical story because the temptation was predetermined, beyond her control? Or was the choice she made solely of her own accord and she wanted to eat the apple to see what would happen? This internal debate is not helping my immediate dilemma.

  ‘I’m not sure what to do, Jeremy, I just don’t know.’

  Deep down, I know these words are the wrong ones to say to the man standing before me.

  Nonetheless, his response catches me completely off-guard.

  ‘I know I’m asking a lot, but remember; it was inspired by your lecture this afternoon. At the very least it will be a learning experience for you and I know you have never turned your back on continuing your education. I know how important it is to you. Think about what you ask your clients and students to go through to achieve personal growth. Is this so different? Except that I am asking you to go through it, instead of the other way around? I’m giving you the opportunity to understand first-hand the impact of lack of visual stimulation, to explore sensory deprivation for yourself, the very topic of your expertise. It may be the beginning of a whole new thesis for you, important research based around personal experience that you may have otherwise never considered.’ He pauses, assessing my response to his line of argument, which is at least thought-provoking. I reluctantly admit to myself that his proposal intrigues me, though I’m just not sure I’m brave enough or have the strength to explore it on such a personal level.

  ‘I don’t want you to leave here now. I want to be with you, to touch you, to connect with you. You look divine, and I know you believe it, I see it in your eyes. I want you, Alex, and for the next forty-eight hours I want to send you where you have never let yourself go. I want to remove all your boundaries, I want to tap into the essence of your being, introduce you to yourself again. I know in my heart this is how to achieve it. Please, trust me. Let me take you on this journey of discovery. Give yourself to me.’ Jeremy’s voice is hypnotic, my brain and heart absorbing his words as if liquid to a sponge. His charisma, his presence, is both seductive and intoxicating.

  I am lost in his words now, just as I was in his touch when we were in the bath together. He leads me to the edge of the bed, lowering me to a seated position. Everything becomes trance-like, tranquil. I feel energised, yet calm.

  ‘You know I have always loved you, Alexa, I would never hurt you.’ His voice is smooth, caressing my body to relax, for my mind to give in. I nod slightly, as if to say I know, I understand, but my words remain within, unspoken.

  ‘You know that from the moment we met, I have never met anyone like you and I know I never will again.’ His fingers caress my forehead, his palms settle on my temples.

  ‘Lie still, Gorgeous Girl, let me look after you.’ The fear that previously restrained me has mysteriously left my body and has been replaced by a peaceful awareness. My body is in a serene state while my mind is dependent on Jeremy’s every word. I’m not sure I could lift myself from the bed even if I tried at this moment.

  ‘Will you let me do this now?’

  I feel my head nod slightly.

  ‘You won’t fight against me?’ My head moves from side to side. His hands press firmly but gently on each of my shoulders as he slowly lowers my back on to the bed.

  ‘Look at me, Alexandra.’ I meet his gaze.

  ‘Are you ready to say goodbye to your vision for forty-eight hours?’

  ‘Yes,’ I respond softly. As my response enters the air, a tear rolls slowly from my eye onto the bed, perhaps due to the anticipatory emotion contained within the decision I am making. He meaningfully kisses the trace of the tear on my cheek as if acknowledging the power I am granting him over me. His fingers guide my chin upwards, tilting my head back in to the palm of his hand.

  ‘Thank you.’ He softly shifts the loose hair that has fallen around my face to the side and masterfully places two drops of the ointment into each of my eyes. As I blink, the room quickly becomes dull and blurry.

  ‘Close your eyes for me.’ I take a deep breath as I slowly close them. I feel a light brush ever so gently stroke the ointment on to my eyelids and they become profoundly heavy. It only takes a few moments for the world to completely recede from my vision as darkness surrounds me.

  What have I done?

  Part III

  ‘Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.’

  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

  ‘How are you feeling?’

  ‘A little disoriented.’ I sit up on the bed carefully. It definitely feels weird, like I’m in a black dream. I can’t open my eyelids; they are dead weights on my face. I keep turning my head, searching for light, but of course, there isn’t any.

  ‘Now, was that really so difficult?’ Jeremy teases.

  ‘It wasn’t easy, I can assure you. And I can’t recall you volunteering in my place.’

  ‘This weekend is about you, sweetheart, not me.’ I don’t want to go there again.

  ‘What was it? That you put on my eyes?’

  ‘Rest assured, nothing that hasn’t been approved by the strictest pharmaceutical standards. I wouldn’t put you in any danger. I’m a doctor, remember, I take my oath very seriously.’

  Great, moral standing and access to any drugs he so desires.

  ‘That’s very reassuring, Doctor Quinn, given my current situation.’

  He laughs. ‘Honestly, are you alright? Can I help you?’

  ‘I’m sure I’ll need a lot of help with everything now that you have made me one hundred per cent blind! Are you sure this isn’t permanent?’

  ‘The drops last twenty-four hours give or take. I’ll redo them tomorrow. Let me know when their impact is fading.’

  ‘No problem. I’ll be sure to let you know the second any light comes in.’ My voice is laced with sarcasm. I raise my hand wanting to feel my eyes first-hand. They feel so heavy, so bizarre.

  ‘Oh, no you don’t.’ My hand is guided away. ‘No touching whatsoever. That is why you will also be wearing this blindfold, as a reminder to leave your eyes alone.’

  ‘No way! That won’t be necessary. I can’t see a thing.’

  ‘It is and you will.’ He places it over my head. It fits snugly against my eyes and feels silky soft.

  ‘Well, well, another perfect fit. Did you have it made especially?’ I say jokingly.

  No answer. ‘Jeremy?’ There is a long pause.

  ‘Yes Alex, as a matter of fact, I did.’

  ‘Come with me.’ Jeremy holds both my hands and assists me carefully u
p from the bed. I forget I have high heels on and stumble a little before I regain my balance.

  ‘Wow, this is really, really weird.’ He places his arm around my waist and leads me out of the second bedroom rather precariously. I feel like an invalid. I am stunned this has happened, that I am now blind and fully dependent on Jeremy for the weekend. It makes me feel nervous and tense, but also excited somehow, not knowing what to expect. My dreamlike state has evaporated so I can only hope I’m not entering into a dark nightmare.

  ‘Here, let’s sit on the lounge.’ He guides me down into the soft velvet cushions. I feel either side of me for armrests but there aren’t any. I wonder how blind people do this every day of their lives? Not knowing how or when things are happening. The positive voice inside me is quietly grateful I had spent some time in the hotel suite earlier. At least I have some familiarity with my surroundings.

  A knock on the door startles me.

  ‘Stay here, I’ll be right back.’ His hands leave mine before I can respond. Jeremy briefly greets whoever is at the door as I sit on the lounge silently like a complete idiot with a blindfold on. I am deeply embarrassed.

  I hear noises of plates being efficiently set up and arranged and a bottle crushing into ice, perhaps refreshing the champagne? There is a vague aroma of food in the room. There is no discussion between Jeremy and the ‘door people’ as they go about their business and they remove themselves as quickly as they arrive. I hear Jeremy thanking them and securely closing the door behind them.

  He sits beside me on the lounge and places a glass of champagne in my hand.

  ‘Thank you, Alexa, this means everything to me.’

  It is so strange not being able to see that I find myself utterly lost for words, so I don’t say anything. I hear our glasses clink together and feel a desperate need to gulp the bubbles down fast. I swallow as much champagne as physically possible, so urgent is the need for me to drink it. I suddenly feel completely out of control, reality hitting me like a brick on the head. I find myself wishing for another shot of absinthe to numb me from it all. What have I done? Anything could happen … I have literally handed myself to him on a platter. Oh well, what possible difference could another glass of champagne make? At least if I pass out I won’t be conscious of how freaked out I am. The rational voice in my head quickly questions the sanity of this particular logic. I keep tipping the glass up but it must already be empty given nothing is coming out.

  ‘Whoa, Alex! You never drink that fast!’

  ‘No. I don’t, Jeremy.’ I finally find my voice. ‘But extreme situations can result in extreme behaviour.’ I place my glass out into the space in front of me.

  ‘Would you mind filling up my glass again, please? This champagne is delicious.’

  ‘Are you sure?’ he asks tentatively.

  ‘Oh, yes, I am very sure I would love another glass of champagne. I would be very happy to pour it myself if you would be kind enough to direct me to the bottle, although I would hate to spill any on the lush, five-star carpet,’ I say pointedly.

  ‘You’re mad at me?’

  Such an emotional rocket scientist, I think to myself sarcastically; maybe his EQ isn’t quite what I thought it was after all. Or maybe it is? I’m not so much mad at him as angry at myself for allowing this ridiculous situation to occur in the first place. The reality of being blind has caught me completely off-guard. It’s one thing to be enticed by the concept, the sensuality of the idea, quite another to know I’ll be living like this for the next forty-eight hours. My emotions are threatening to overwhelm me as the significance of what I have just done settles in to my bones.

  As I can’t see him, nor read his emotions, I just keep holding out my empty glass, waiting for him to provide the refill, needing the alcohol to fill the void.

  ‘Alexandra, are you really angry with me? Honestly?’

  Another Alexandra moment. I wait with my glass extended toward his voice. He takes it, refills it and places it back in my hand. Thank goodness. I’m relieved as I raise the bubbly liquid to my lips. I decide to ignore his question, believing it at least gives me some control.

  ‘Lovely champagne, Jeremy. What is it? I’m not sure I’ve had it before.’

  I sense he is bemused at my avoiding his question. Unfortunately, he knows me well enough to recognise the more polite I am being, the greater the emotion I am hiding. Basically, he knows me almost as well as I know myself, if not better. Which is no doubt why I am sitting here in a ball gown, with a blindfold on, in the penthouse suite, trapped for the weekend. It is just all the more frustrating.

  ‘It’s Krug. We had it when I graduated. You loved it then as well, said it put you in a really great mood and —’

  ‘Oh, yes, I remember.’ I cut him off, not wanting his version of a trip down memory lane right now. My emotions are in overdrive, all the hypnotic calmness having taken its leave.

  ‘Well, all the more reason for drinking it now.’ I say as I take another sip. At least I am not gulping it now. I hear him sigh.

  ‘Will you at least have some hors d’oeuvres to go with your champagne?’

  I have to agree some food wouldn’t go astray. Even though my mind is spinning and my emotions are all over the place, I’m sure my rational brain wouldn’t be encouraging me to drink any more alcohol without food.

  ‘That would be lovely, thank you,’ I say very politely, formally. I can just imagine him rolling his eyes at my behaviour.

  ‘Open your mouth, please.’ He is close to me.

  ‘In my hand will be fine, thank you.’ It feels good to assert myself.

  ‘Alex, this is ridiculous.’ I take another sip of champagne in defiance. Maybe being blind doesn’t result in complete dependency after all. I can’t help but allow a small smirk to ripple across my face. He quickly snatches the glass out of my hand.

  My smirk vanishes immediately.

  ‘Open your mouth and I will give you your glass back.’

  I am just about to answer back when something small and delicious lands on my tongue.

  Taken aback, and with a mouthful of food tickling my tastebuds, I decide to close my mouth and eat it. After all, it would be a shame to waste such tantalising cuisine. Another one arrives not long after. Blini — absolutely delicious. I can taste the strong flavour of smoked trout against the light buckwheat pancake and feel the salmon roe slide around my mouth. The slightest hint of fennel confirms they are just like the ones we had in Russia all those years ago, amazing! Though I’m pleased we are drinking champagne rather than vodka as we were back then. My stomach is very grateful for the food.

  ‘More?’ I hear him ask. I nod and turn toward him, not really wanting to give him the satisfaction of my words. Something warm and soft arrives this time with an aroma of garlic and herbs.

  ‘Mmm.’ This time I can’t help but let out a groan in delicious delight. ‘Gorgeous. Scallop?’

  ‘Indeed it is.’ He dabs the corner of my mouth with a linen serviette. ‘Another?’

  ‘Yes, please,’ I hear myself answer. After I swallow it he hands me back my glass of Krug.

  I sense he is happy that my frustration is dissipating alongside the food and champagne.

  Something about good food and wine that lifts the spirit, I think to myself.

  ‘Care to share your thoughts?’

  I eventually come to the conclusion that my anger is a result of my anxiety about losing control, particularly as I am so used to being in control of everything. I allow the emotion to leave me, as it is serving no purpose. Given my current predicament it would make the next forty-eight hours downright miserable for both of us, so I relent and share my thoughts with him.

  Although I am still on edge with my blindness and the dependency that surrounds me, it feels better being at ease with Jeremy and allowing the conversation to flow between us.

  After a few minutes of banter, Jeremy sidles up against me.

  ‘So tell me, honestly, how do you feel? Are you having f
un?’ He lifts me slowly off the lounge to my feet.

  ‘Oh. Let me get this straight. You are allowed to ask as many questions as you want but I can’t ask any, is that the way it works?’ He caresses my neck and collarbone with his lips, oh so slowly, his breath like a feather against my skin.

  ‘Yes, that’s the way it works, for this weekend, anyway. There will be plenty of time for your questions later. So tell me, does this excite you?’ he asks again as his lips locate the top of my breast and I feel a little light-headed as my breath becomes radically uneven for the umpteenth time this evening. His touch engages the rest of my body and my vulva swells and moistens in anticipation. I can’t withhold a slightly muted sigh at the sensation.

  ‘Oh, so the answer is yes,’ he whispers into my ear as his teeth nibble my lobe.

  ‘Yes,’ I say breathlessly, ‘it excites me a little.’ Not wanting him to take away my words as he has my sight. His kisses feather and tease my lips.

  ‘It does me too, very much,’ he says as he lowers my hand to feel the bulge fighting against his trousers. It takes all of my concentration to prevent me from falling to my knees and devouring him then and there. The power of this raw, sexual emotion almost cripples me. I wonder if I know myself at all …

  The phone rings at that exact moment which startles me from my fantasy back to reality. He continues to hold my hand so I blindly follow him as he answers it, taking exaggerated, careful steps to balance on my heels.

  ‘Wonderful, thank you. We are on our way.’ He hangs up. ‘Alex, you look panic-stricken, what’s wrong?’

  ‘Oh, nothing, nothing at all, why do you ask?’ I say nervously, wringing my hands together.

  Can it be that even with a blindfold covering my eyes, he can still read that much expression on my face?

  ‘Good, are you ready to accompany me to dinner?’ With these words, the panic infiltrates my bones. He can’t be serious, can he?

  ‘We aren’t really going out to dinner, Jeremy … I can’t possibly go out like this. Please, please tell me you’re joking.’

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