Pieces Of You
peeking at the past..
11:09 a.m.., Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2005
They'd married too young by most accounts. Both too popular to know what was good for them. He worked at a couple of fast food joints, sometimes stocking shelves. She waited tables at the Big Boy.
Their firstborn stayed home days with her mother.
It all made for a very neat package.
Except for the unrest.
He was far too smart to waste his life away. She too pretty to beg for tips.
He went back to school. To a community college. He knew a guy in the financial aid office. They took out some loans. The guy told him, if he made all A's, he'd find him a scholarship to a university.
He did. Jake was a very smart man. He took all the hard courses. Math, science, you name it. Straight A's all the way.
And got that scholarship. A free ride to Michigan Technological University. It even covered housing. Which was good, because by then they'd had another child. Another little girl.
The campus of MTU sits on the edges of Houghton, Michigan, in the copper country. A town just big enough to provide the personnel for the university. The university also overlooks the Portage canal. Dug a century before for transporting the copper extracted from the mines on the hills on the other side of the canal. The mines closed down and left behind another little town, Hancock. The two towns are connected by a lift-bridge.
Jake and his family lived in the married housing units, which at MTU were double-quads. Eight families in one building. Four upstairs, four down. Each with their own private apartment. Each with two bedrooms. Each nearly a half-mile from the campus.
To pay for meals, Jake's wife began babysitting in their home. Her name was Beth. Short for Elizabeth. But everyone called her Honey-Dew. It seemed to fit better. She had one of those striking faces that make men stop and stare for a moment before speaking. Even after they'd recover, they'd still be hard pressed to avoid watching her lips move when she spoke.
Jake spent his days on campus. All day, every day. When not in class, he would be in the library studying. He was smart enough to know that even smart guys had to study if they wanted to become electrical engineers.
And MTU was hard. Harder than any other school in the mid-west. And it being a technical school, was mostly male. Seventeen guys for every girl.
And MTU was cold. The campus was located on the tip of the Keweenaw peninsula. Which was itself located on the northern edge of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Winter ran from September thru May. Average snow fall in one year was over three hundred inches.
And MTU was competitive. Grades defined you. Sports were nothing. Women were nothing. How you looked or dressed was irrelevant. Nothing mattered but your grades.
And everyone knew what everyone else's grades were. They'd be posted on the hall next to the classroom door at the end of a term. Right next to your name. Your full name. For everyone to see.
Jake was never much one for competition, but he was crazy for grades like everyone else. A's in certain classes might land you an assistant's position with a popular professor. Or get you into restricted classes. They might get you referrals and a huge salary once you finally graduated.
Grades were important.
But so was staying power. The attrition rate for first year student's at MTU was an alarming sixty percent.
Jake would not be a statistic.
Pressure was a tradition at MTU. Just as it as at many law schools. It's part of the program. Washing out the weak very nearly guarantees prospective employers will find not only well educated engineers, but people strong of will and spirit. People that won't fold under pressure at work. Or cry and go home when the going gets tough.
For well over a hundred years, every student graduating from MTU has found employment on or before their graduation date. It is a proud history, but not without cost.
The suicide rate at MTU is the highest for any four year university in the world. The crime rate consistently ranks in the top five. Rape of both male and female students as well as the local citizens of both Houghton and Hancock, is consistently well above the national average.
And so is drinking.
Jake had always considered himself to be a pretty tough guy. He'd played football his Junior and Senior years of high school. He'd been a good wrestler. And weightlifter. He'd worked hard on his father's farm. And won far more fist-fights then he'd lost. He'd never backed down from danger and always stood up for what he thought was right.
He wasn't afraid of MTU. Or pressure. He wasn't afraid of anyone, or anything.
But his wife was. The sweet Honey.
She was afraid of going stir-crazy.
Snowed in more days than not throughout the winter, she spent her days with very young children. And television.
And her temper.
When Jake came home from classes each day, it was all he could do to mollify her.
On the weekends, if it wasn't snowing, she would climb in their car and drive the two hours to her parents house. Leaving him to try to study with two small children in the house.
That first year was not a very happy time in their household.
By spring, the little miss was very nearly ready to end the whole MTU experience. Jake begged her to take the summer to think things over.
She did. At her parents house. With the kids.
Leaving Jake alone for three months.
He'd already found a job for the summer. Working in the computer lab. They'd need the money for the following year.
But by then, Jake wasn't sure if she cared if he came home with them or not. She did agree to drive back after four weeks though. To come see him. To stay a week or so.
Which was quite a relief.
Because within a couple of days of their leaving, Jake found himself begin to grow anxious. The major stress relief for him during the school year had been sex with his wife. Until she left, he'd never really thought about how much it had calmed him.
He knew that sex, even more than alcohol, was what got most of his fellow students through the stress too. Granted most of them had only themselves to work with, but regardless, it was the escapist feelings that truly mattered. During the school year, when he'd begun to feel the nerves prickling his brain, he'd settle in his char at the library. He'd scan the room, and eventually find someone female. He'd then disappear into a fantasy of flesh and warmth. Of high sweet voices and smells that left him hard all the way home.
And his wife would never deny him. It seemed she too was caught up in the whole escape fantasy thing. They'd lie together, in each others arms. For hours. Him sliding slowly in and out of her, both of them a million miles away.
Jake wasn't the sort to cheat on his wife. Not in the flesh. Not even emotionally. In his mind though, that was different. After she left, he spent more and more of his time with any woman he could find. Writhing naked on damp sheets. Rock music playing. Female flesh between his fingers.
For awhile, it was enough. He'd finish himself off without even hardly noticing it wasn't real.
But then, someone new moved in to the apartment directly above. A girl. Married, but alone for the summer.
Her name was Sally. She stood exactly five feet seven inches tall, and had dirty blond, naturally curly hair that fell nearly to her waist. She wasn't very pretty, but she certainly wasn't ugly either. What mattered was her body. Her nineteen year old, beautiful ripe body. Curves where they belonged. Breasts that defied gravity. Skin that seemed to literally breathe and cry out for touching.
She was a forestry major. Her husband was a mechanical engineering student. He, like my own wife, was off somewhere in another part of the country trying to regain his senses. The first year they'd lived in an apartment in town. She had a job working in the bakery at the back of the big grocery store.
That was all the information he got from her. She was the quiet type. Shy but self determined. Almost stern in her disposition. Aloof and somber.
The perfect girl to fill your mind with, when aching for companionship.
He took to waiting for her to come home. Every day at nine in the evening, just as it was getting dark out, her little yellow car would pull into the parking lot. She'd get out, then reach back in for some package or other then walk the path that led up to the quad. She'd pass right by his front door and go up the black painted metal stairs. He could hear her key in the lock. Her door open, then close.
He could hear her steps on the floor. First as she walked into her kitchen. Then down the short hallway to where her bedroom would be. The one above where his children normally slept. He figured with no children the couple would probably use the other bedroom as a study.
After a few minutes, he'd hear the water go on. It was hot that summer. The building had no air-conditioning. He knew it was her in the shower. In the bathroom directly above his own.
He'd sit on the edge of his bathtub and close his eyes, trying to imagine her. The water spraying down on her. The shampoo. The soap.
It wasn't perfect, but it was better than nothing, so he told himself.
Even though he wasn't so sure if it really was.
After a couple weeks had passed, he began to grow antsy again. Or more so than before. He began pacing the sidewalk out in front of the building. Trying to burn off energy.
One time while out walking, he got it into his head to walk around in the grass and when that proved fruitless he walked all the way behind the building. He'd never done that before. He had no idea what was really back there.
It turned out that behind the building was a hill. It was just a bit taller than the top of the apartment building, and was covered with trees and bushes. At the top of the hill, behind the trees was a small bike path, and beyond that was a small park. And beyond that, was a bunch of houses for people that lived in the town.
It was all very remote and spaced out. Lots of space.
As he walked back down the hill to his building, he noticed the windows on the back of the building Starting from the left on the ground floor was his children's bedroom.. Next was the foggy bathroom window. Then the little window above his sink in the kitchen.
And just above each window, in the apartment above his, were identical windows.
None of the windows in either apartment had curtains or drapes. Just blinds. All of which were drawn, except the ones in the kitchens.
As he walked down the hill, he noticed that the blind for the bedroom above the one where his children normally slept, was slightly askew. On just one side. It didn't quite reach all the way down to the sill.
He also noticed that it sat at about seven feet off the ground. With the building built into a hall, the windows for his own apartment were barely above knee level.
He went back into his apartment and watched the news. And sweated.
At about a quarter to nine, he climbed up out of his chair, and went to the front door. He opened it slowly and looked out. He felt s a sense of relief. She wasn't home yet. She wasn't supposed to be.
He walked up the path that led to the parking garage and studied the building for a moment, then quickly crossed the grass and slipped to the side of the building. He checked the parking lot once more, to make sure she wasn't home yet. She wasn't. He ran to the back of the building and up the hill. Into the trees.
It wasn't hard finding a place to perch. With it getting dark, he doubted anyone could see him even if they knew he was there. He found a small cluster of trees just high enough up the hill to give him a straight shot at her bedroom window.
And then waited.
She came home right on cue. He watched the light go on in her kitchen. He could see her with the blinds up. She got herself something to drink from her fridge.
He began to shake a little.
He watched as she passed out of site and then as the light went on in her bedroom. He could see flashes of her as she passed back and forth in front of the tiny space that the blinds were not filling. He knew she was undressing but couldn't see her. Just almost. Then, for less than an instant, something flesh colored. And then nothing until the light went on in the bathroom.
His heart raced. He knew he wouldn't be able to see her in the bathroom. The windows were artificially fogged. He searched his mind. In a flash, he saw what he needed.
In his own living room was a milk-crate. Stuffed with music albums and tapes.
He made his mind up quick. He ran down that hill, around the building and into his apartment. He turned that milk crate over, dumping its contents on the floor, and was out the door before the stuff had fully settled.
He wasn't nearly as careful as one would have thought. Running like a madman around that building. Or when he set that crate down in the grass behind. He did look around though, even though he already knew that because the street out front curved a bit, his building was set farther back than the others. No one would be able to see him unless they just happened by.
He stepped up on the crate and found the height was more than enough. He even had to bend over slightly to look in.
And look in he did.
The space between the sill and the bottom of the blind was roughly an inch and a half tall, and maybe three wide. More than enough to view everything in the room.
She wasn't back from the shower yet, so he took a survey. Her bed was backed up against the wall, facing him. On the left was a dresser and small desk with a chair. Beyond that was the closet. Exactly as in the apartment below. On the right side of the room was another dresser with nothing on top of it. Next to that was a crude bench with a stereo set on top of it.
And that was pretty much it. Her bed was simple. No head board. Just sitting on a frame. No comforter, just a sheet and thin blanket. He knew that would change in the winter, but in the heat of summer it was more than enough. On the bed were several pillows and a little stuffed brown bear.
And just next to the bed was a nightstand of sorts. It looked like some crates stacked together. On top was a bed lamp, a clock, and some books.
And then, as if she were supposed to, she walked in. Completely naked but for the white towel she'd wrapped at the top of her head.
She seemed a little more relaxed than when he'd spoken to her, but not much. She still walked a little stiffly. Which made her breasts jiggle in a way he'd not seen before. She walked over to her dresser, and stood there a moment while Jake studied her naked ass. And then she moved over to her bed and quickly sat down and got to work with her lotion. Starting at her toes, she worked that lotion into every bit of skin until she got to her thighs. Then she started on the other side.
And then she stood again. But bent forward. She applied the lotion to her thighs, inside and out and then her ass. Jake watched carefully to see if she'd get into the bush, but she didn't. It was a thick bush, he noted. Very nice.
He continued to watch as she covered her belly and as much of her back as she could reach. Then her shoulders, neck and throat. She then reached for something else to rub into the skin of her face.
Jake knew he was still in shock, because he found everything still so clinical. He wasn't even aroused. Just shaking and a little dizzy. He tried to focus on her breasts, because he knew later he would want to see them again in his mind. They were a little bigger than he'd imagined. She must have worn a pretty supportive bra. He chuckled to himself thinking he might just find that out the next day.
Her breasts stuck straight out from her chest, as if by some magical force. They jiggled independently of one another. And constantly. The slightest movement on her part would set them off. More so than Jello. Her aureoles were light and smaller than he would have guessed. Nicely shaped. Almost a light bronze. And her nipples, though mostly deflated looked very inviting.
For a moment, Jake became aware of himself. Standing there on that blue milk crate, peeking though this girl's window. He knew he should have felt some shame, but he didn't. He knew also of the repercussions should he be caught, but figured the odds were on his side.
He turned his thoughts back to her.
She had long legs. Pure white. Like they'd never seen sun. He was close enough that he could see they needed some shaving. Not much. She wore shorts on weekends, she'd probably get that done before then.
She had a very nice shape all and all. Everything seemed in proportion. Everything young and supple. No stretch marks. No scars that he could see. Not even tan lines in the middle of the summer.
He watched as she reached up and removed the towel. She worked her hair with it for a minute or so, bending slightly. Her hair dangling down.
She was a vision to be sure.
Then she turned and reached for something in a drawer. A t-shirt. She pulled it over her head and then sat down on her bed. She reached for a book on her nightstand and opened it. She chewed her lip for a second then gazed at the pages of her book.
That was when he left. The show was over.
Jake spent the rest of that summer, watching the girl. Timing her arrivals, knowing when she would depart. Watching her undress, go to the shower, and then return. Applying lotion or trying to get dry in the humidity sometimes.
After a couple of weeks, just as she was getting ready to lay back on her bed, he thought he caught her eyes flicker towards where he was peering. Just for a second. Then she went back to her book.
Another time, a few days later, instead of stopping and standing in front of her dresser, she stopped directly in front of the window. She stood there, doing something he couldn't see, only inches from his face. Her bush very nearly plastered up against the window. He cold see her lips very clearly as she bent slightly back. He could almost touch her. He so wanted to.
Jake told himself that he was only fooling himself if he was beginning to think she knew he was out there and was showing herself to him on purpose.
Even if she did suspect someone was out there, she had no way of knowing who it was. Jake preferred to keep it that way.
As the days passed, he found himself studying her body as if he'd need to reconstruct it himself at a later time. Sort of like an engineer might, he chuckled to himself. He watched how her limbs moved. The flesh beneath her skin when she walked or sat. He watched how her pubic lips curled up gracefully between her legs. How her belly jiggled slightly when she stood.
It occurred to him that he'd never had the opportunity to study even his wife so closely.
Once, when she returned from the shower, there was a bit of toilet paper stuck to the back of her ass. She must have wiped and lost some of it. The thought embarrassed him. It was one thing to peek at a girl when she was at her best. Quite another when she was a little more vulnerable.
He left before she even dressed.
As more time passed, he began to grow a little bored of the routine. Of having to be careful, to hide, and to be quiet.
He wanted to be touched, because after the shock wore off, he found she aroused him greatly. He wanted real sex.
He grew angry at his wife for not being there for him. On the phone, she promised to come back soon.
He rented erotic movies.
After a couple of months passed, he began to resent her, the girl in the room. Sally. She with the beautiful, voluptuous body, all on display. But untouchable. Not even approachable. The one time he'd seen her on campus, she'd averted her eyes. Pretended he wasn't even there.
But the next time he saw her, there in her room, naked, she didn't put on her t-shirt. Just laid down naked on her bed. Her feet pointing towards him. Her legs slightly spread. She touched her breasts on the sides. Gently, caressing. She caressed her belly, then reached lower. Her eyes flitted once again, for less than a millisecond to where he stood. Then she leaned over and reached for her lamp, and turned it off.
He'd already moved, seeing her intent.
Never would she see him.
Never could she know.
Not much later, when he came peeking, he discovered not one but two people in the room. The girl, and her man.
Jake ducked out of view. He had no desire to see her with another.
And neither did he, her man, apparently have a desire to share. The blind was yanked down to the sill.
And that was that.
Not long after, Jake's wife returned with the children. Life resumed. They stayed another year. He graduated.
And, he never got caught. And never told a soul.
But he's always wondered, if she did know.
And if she did, did it make it all ok?
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