Legs to Die For
by Henry F. Tonn
I don’t claim to be a pervert, but certainly my personality dances perilously close to the edge. Time and age have produced the inevitable mellowing process, but human nature doesn’t change completely, does it? And with the present state of affairs — namely that I’m sinking into senility — I may be candid in my recollections of the past but not obliged to apologize for them.
The incident in question occurred on a pleasant spring afternoon in 1970. I had wandered into the student union building of the glorious university I was attending at the time with nothing better to do than goof off, because I was not studying and had not studied the entire year and was not planning to ruin a perfectly good record.
I spied her sitting there in one of those old leather couches sprinkled judiciously throughout the school. They were turdy brown in color and extremely worn and cracked, but also comfortable. Quite frankly, I’m sorry the school ever got rid of them since they possessed a certain style and presence that harked back to a more genteel era.
In any event, she was sitting there, wearing this tiny green dress with her legs crossed, and they were the best-looking legs I’d ever seen: long and slim, like Cyd Charisse’s or Jane Fonda’s or somebody like that. Without hesitation, I made a beeline for the magazine rack and grabbed Sports Illustrated even though I never played sports and wasn’t interested in playing any sports. Of course, I wasn’t going to read the damn thing anyway, so what difference did it make?
I turned and strolled back to the sofa opposite her just as nonchalant as you please and sat down and opened the magazine and positioned it up to the edge of my eyes so I could just see over it. I then pretended to be engrossed in reading.
Now, in those days I was obsessed with something called squirrel shooting. This had nothing to do with squirrels, of course; rather, it was an endearing term given by my classmates in high school and college to that lucky moment when a girl crosses her legs carelessly or exits a car awkwardly and you get that glorious flash of panties, or, if you are just incredibly lucky, actually see the real thing.
Most guys took those moments in stride and considered themselves fortunate to be at the right place at the right time. I, on the other hand, devoted my entire life to these moments. And because of certain imprinting experiences which occurred during the formative years involving my mother — a subject on which I will not dwell — I loved long legs. In fact, the longer the better.
So, if I spied a really beautiful girl with really long legs in a really short skirt, and I managed to get a really great shot, I would be ecstatic for a week. I would fantasize about the incident obsessively and masturbate constantly. And I must confess, I was a heavy masturbator.
It was a lonely existence.
The girl in question on this particular day was about five feet, eleven inches tall — three inches taller than myself — with long dark hair, a thin face, high cheekbones and full, pouty lips. I think Nicole Kidman with darker hair and poutier lips would be a good description. More importantly, she had the kind of slim, trim ankles that invariably set my fantasies soaring.
As far as I’m concerned, if a woman’s legs don’t curve dramatically down from nice calves into thin, well-shaped ankles, they aren’t worth considering. She was completely absorbed in her magazine, with this very studious expression on her face, and a wave of anticipation washed over me as I considered my options. That green dress had already risen six inches above the knee, and if she kept wiggling around on the leather sofa like the rest of the coeds usually did, well, the possibilities were unlimited.
I sat and waited. Ten minutes passed and she turned three pages. But she didn’t move. And she didn’t change expression. She was entirely too calm.
Then she looked at me.
I was taken by surprise. No warning: she simply lifted her eyes from the page and directed a level stare at me. The look was neither friendly nor disdainful — more like implacable — and I felt like a teenager caught by his mother thumbing through a pornographic magazine.
I quickly lowered my eyes and pretended to be absorbed in an article in front of me. Thirty seconds passed before I stole a glance at her again. She was still staring at me. I broke into a cold sweat and dived back into my Sports Illustrated, forcing myself to read some of the material slowly, moving my lips to the words, turning a page now and then. Several minutes passed before I carefully glanced up again.
She was reading. Her legs were re-crossed. Her skirt was pulled lower.
Breathing a sigh of relief, I settled in to wait. This time I would be more discreet. I would stare directly at the words in front of me and only monitor her from the corner of my eye. I would glance up the moment she re-crossed her legs, and I was prepared to stay there all day if necessary.
Glory comes to the steadfast.
Five minutes passed and I began to get very nervous. Something was wrong. She continued to sit on the sofa absorbed in her magazine, seemingly oblivious to my presence. But, for some reason, I didn’t feel in control of the situation anymore. I felt the tables had somehow been turned. I felt like she was the peeper and I the peepee, so to speak. The victim. My anxiety shot up and I decided it was time to bail out. I would be steadfast another day.
As though reading my mind, however, she chose that exact moment to rise from her seat, cross the brief distance between us, and slide smoothly down onto the cushion beside me. She sat so close that her elbow pressed against mine, and her perfume drifted over and enveloped me.
I sat frozen to my spot.
She opened her magazine and turned a page, and then said, “Think you’re cute, don’t you?”
I remained frozen and mute.
“Well, actually you are,” she said, crossing her legs and pressing a rounded thigh against mine. “Nice curly hair, pretty brown eyes. A bit chubby perhaps, but you could work it off. No reason you couldn’t get a date if you tried. What’s the matter, afraid of girls?”
Beads of perspiration rolled down my armpits and into my underwear. Across the room, two male students broke out into discussion over a chess match they had just completed. To my left, a coed snored softly in her chair, an economics book dangling from her hand. No one was paying us any attention.
“You’ve probably never had a date, have you?” she continued in a very low voice, eyes focused on the magazine. “That’s why you spend your time looking up girls’ dresses, isn’t it? I’ve seen your type before. You’re probably still a virgin.”
I let out a breath of air and took another.
“You better start talking to me or I’m going to call Security and tell them you’re a pervert. Answer my question. Are you still a virgin? Yes or no.”
I opened my mouth but nothing came out.
“I’m waiting,” she said.
“Yes.” It sounded like the croak of a dying frog.
“Well, you’re in sad shape, I must say. What you need is a date. Why don’t you ask me out? That might solve all your problems, you know. Go ahead and ask me out. Take a shot. Ask me out for Saturday night.”
I stared at her with astonishment.
“I’m waiting,” she said again, turning another page. It was Redbook, and she was thumbing through a section on women’s underwear. “Ask me out or I’m going to call Security. Try for Saturday night.”
My mouth was dry and I was sweating quarts.
“Last chance,” she said, turning another page.
“Will you go out with me Saturday night?”
A triumphant smile passed across her face. She shook her head. “No, I’ve already got a date for Saturday night.”
I let out another breath of air and looked down at my Sports Illustrated.
“Well, come on,” she prompted, “don’t give up so easily. Ask me out for Friday night. Maybe I’m not busy then.”
“You’re just messing with my head.”
She reached over with long, slender fingers and patted me on the knee. “Ask me out for Friday night,” she ordered.
She grabbed my arm and dug her fingernails into it. “Not until you ask me out for Friday night,” she said.
I let out a long sigh. “Will you go out with me Friday night?”
“My name is Debra.”
“You’re supposed to say, ‘Debra, how would you like to go out with me Friday night?’”
“Debra, how would you like to go out with me Friday night?”
“What’s your name?”
“Certainly, Robert, I’d love to. It sounds like a great idea.” She gave what appeared to be a mocking smile and stared at me with brilliant green eyes.
I looked away.
“You’re messing with me.”
She laughed aloud, causing the chess players to glance briefly in our direction. “Just a little, maybe, Robert. But we’ve got a date for Friday night and I expect you to keep it.”
“I’m not kidding.” She scribbled something down on a piece of paper and handed it to me. “Friday night. Here’s my address. What time are you picking me up?”
“Try seven o’clock.”
“Seven o’clock is fine.” She rose and slowly smoothed down her dress. Then she leaned over and put her lips to my ear. Her breath was warm. “In case you’re interested, Robert, my panties are light green. They’re silk and they’re lacy. They really look great. And some day you might get to see them. But it won’t be by peeping up my dress like a pervert, that’s for sure. Got that?”
I nodded slightly.
She walked away.
I was in such turmoil I didn’t even watch her leave.
I decided against keeping the date. I figured she didn’t know who I was or where I lived so there would be no repercussions. On the other hand, an hour before the appointed time, I began to have second thoughts. What did I have to lose here? I would be a nervous wreck, true, but an opportunity like this would never pass my way again. No matter how disastrous it might turn out, I had to take the chance.
At seven o’clock I marched with rubbery legs up the steps of a two-story brick home in a very nice neighborhood and rang the doorbell. A little old lady with gray hair and a heavily powered face answered. “Yes?” she said, poking her head out the door and giving me a pleasant smile.
“Uh...I’ve come to see Debra, please.”
She shook her head. “I’m sorry, young man, but nobody by that name lives here.”
I stared at her for a moment. “Is this 2070 Providence Street?”
I handed her the paper. “She said pick her up here. We have a date.”
She looked at it and nodded. “It’s the right address all right, but I’m afraid she doesn’t live here. There’s just me and my husband.”
“She... she goes to college. She’s tall and slender...” I raised my hand and looked at her helplessly.
Her face was full of concern but she shook her head again. “Sorry, but I don’t know her. In fact, I don’t know any college girls around here. Not a single one.”
I continued standing in the same spot, holding the paper in my hand.
“Sorry,” she repeated.
“Uh... thank you,” I finally said. “Sorry to have bothered you.”
“No bother at all,” she said, and gave me an apologetic smile before closing the door.
I stood in the middle of the sidewalk and looked around. The street was quiet. A feeling of relief passed through me. Now I wouldn’t have to deal with someone who was out of my league. I had been set up, and she was probably having a big laugh right at this moment somewhere with another boy. But that was all right.
I shook my head slightly and began walking back to the campus, hands in pockets. “Hey!” I heard a voice call out behind me.
I turned and saw her standing there with hands on hips, that mocking smile on her lips. “I thought we had a date tonight. What are you doing walking back to campus?”
I extended the piece of paper. “I went to this address and they said you didn’t live there.”
She studied it for a moment. “Oh! No wonder. You went to 2070 and I live at 2010. My “1” looks like a “7.” I don’t have very good handwriting, do I?” She grinned broadly.
I remained silent.
She slipped an arm through mine. “Well, never mind. You found me anyway. So, where to, Sir Galahad? What memorable pleasures have you in store for me tonight?”
“Uh, I thought we might go to a movie.”
“A movie! Ugh!” She made a face. “We don’t need to be in a movie on a night like this. Let’s go to the park. No sense wasting a nice evening like this in a movie.”
We walked slowly and she chattered away brightly while hanging on to my arm. I tried to act casual and not stare at her. It was a warm night and she was wearing a flowery red dress with spaghetti straps. Her long dark hair tumbled loosely down over her brown arms and shoulders. Apparently she had been sunbathing in her back yard or someplace. I was glad she was talking because I had no idea what to say.
We arrived at the park and found a bench under a willow tree. Three elderly ladies were sitting on a bench nearby, chatting casually. She brushed her side off carefully before taking a seat, then motioned for me to follow. No sooner had I done so than she popped back up and posed before me with hands on hips. “How do you like this dress? I picked it out just for you.”
She twirled around. “I’m glad you like it.”
She sat down again and leaned toward me. “I’m also wearing red underwear,” she said in a low voice, “in case you’d like to know. And I’m sure you would.”
She laughed delightedly.
We ended up spending the whole evening on the bench talking. She dominated the conversation — which was fortunate since I couldn’t talk — and I learned that she was a senior at the university and would be graduating in a week, as soon as exams were over. She was a communications major and planned to work in television. “Maybe I’ll be a sexy weather girl,” she said. “What do you think?”
“Yeah.” That was the best I could do. Being near her made me very aware of my dorkiness. In fact, I was King of Dork.
“What’s your major?” she asked.
“I don’t know.”
“How can you not know your major? Everybody has to declare one.” She had a habit of leaning in closely and peering intently at me with her bright, green eyes. It unnerved me.
“I’m just a freshman and I’m flunking out. It doesn’t matter.”
“You’re flunking out!”
She tossed her long dark hair and regarded me with exasperation. “You’re not studying, are you?”
“You spend all your time peeping up girls’ dresses. You don’t have any goals, do you?”
“Not really.” The conversation was making me more nervous than ever.
“I want you to study with me this week.”
She moved so closely to me that her lips were only inches from my face. I thought it would be nice to suck on her lower lip. “I want you to study with me this week,” she said. “Every night. I want you to pass your exams. You’ve got to have some goals.”
“I don’t know...”
She poked me in the arm with her fingernail. “The good news is you get to be with me every night. The bad news is you’ve got to study. That’s the deal. Otherwise, this is our first and last date.”
I didn’t have to think about that one much. “All right.”
“Starting tomorrow night.”
“I thought you had a date tomorrow night.”
She smiled with satisfaction and her green eyes danced. “I lied.”
* * *
Copyright © 2015 by Henry F. Tonn