First meeting

He spotted her first and caught her eye, nodding recognition. She smiled wearily, made her way to him, she looked up at him for the first time.

“Hello,” she smiled as she leaned into him.

He smiled shyly back at her, greeting her, offering to take the trolley.

He had warned her before meeting that he didn’t think he would be able to look at her directly. He was right, he couldn’t. He was nervous, scared, had had trouble getting to the meeting point, had been terrified he would be late, was carrying the fear with him. He cast sidelong glances at her while she looked directly into his face, trying to read him.

She talked to him as they walked. He made her laugh. She asked him questions, practical matters, about subways and airports and transport in general, and he said it, unprompted, in response to a question: “Yes Ma’am.”

It took her by surprise.

Then he murmured softly, “That was easy…”

She looked at him, “Was it?”

He smiled shyly and met her gaze. “Yes Ma’am, it was.”

It wasn’t until they were on the subway that she touched him deliberately, her hand going to the back of his neck, squeezing gently, massaging his skin, she heard his breathing deepen, he leaned forward to give her better access to him, and he stayed in that position, head bowed, stop after stop as she stroked his neck, petted his hair. She heard him make a soft sound as he sank into her touch and she knew he was going to be just about perfect.

Continued here: First meeting part II

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  1. He slipped in the first “Yes, Ma’am,” just testing the ice. It was the second one that was dangerous and scary. No slip of the tongue, no misspoken word, no misunderstanding. He disrobed for you, for the first time.

    1. *smile* I imagine the first one was screaming in his head well before it came out, made hesitant by fear and doubt, with a little voice behind the screaming whispering “Say it, don’t say it, go on SAY IT, DON’T SAY IT…” Even after all this time, the thought of the turmoil that must have been going on in his mind still makes me melt.

      I think the fact that it felt *easy* and right for him when it finally came out was a shock for him, and then he wanted to say it over and over, to test it, to roll it around, to see if the first was a fluke, an oddity. And yes, in the second, there was a deliberate choice to give that to me.

      Oh my god, the sweetness of it hurts my feelings, even now.


  2. I conducted an experiment yesterday. I was with her for six hours, and we talked nearly the whole time. I was determined to call her Ma’am at some point. The longer you’ve known someone, and never said it, the harder it is to say without setting off alarms. I didn’t say it at all. I totally failed. Real life is so much harder than imaginary life.

    1. Real life is much more complicated also.

      She is not your dominant and she didn’t invite this exchange. How do you think *she* will feel hearing it?

      If you think she will feel at all uncomfortable (and I suspect that you do with your use of ‘setting off alarms’), then don’t do it. She is not a character in the play in your head and it’s not fair to make her one.

      *IF* you have a flirty relationship, then throwing out a jokey ‘Yes Ma’am’ in response to her telling you what to do can be cute, but making her uncomfortable because you want… (what is it you want here?)… is unfair.

      Please tread mindfully.


      1. I live in an area where I can say Yes Ma’am to the teenager serving me pancakes without anybody thinking twice. It’s common manners here. What I can’t do, for the reasons you articulate, is say it to a woman whose friendship I greatly value. That’s what I learned yesterday.

      2. Ahhh… okay. Thank you for coming back with more information.

        *Nobody* uses ‘Ma’am’ here, so it’s really unusual when they do.

        But I can understand that what it means to say it to *her* is completely different to the teenager serving you pancakes.

        Our emotions are funny things and sometimes play tricks on us like that. I imagine you were in turmoil all of yesterday with the self-talk. Learning something is a reasonable outcome, I’d say.

        Thank you again for clarifying.


  3. The words have never been hard. I grew up saying, “Yes, Ma’am,” and “Yes, Sir.” Very few people had a problem with automatic manners. But the feeling behind it, when it becomes more than just manners. That can be tough.

    The end of this one…part 1. Yes, please. I mean. Please.

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