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Dominick & Leah - Chapter 4


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This writing contains explicit content and is only for adults. You have been warned.

4.


       On Monday, Dominick went to his first class feeling nervous. He didn’t see Leah the previous day, but they had talked on the phone. Their conversation did not approach the change in their relationship at all; instead she told him about how Luke had stayed at the police station overnight, and then had been released the next morning. He’d come straight back to Leah’s house to collect his things after arranging to stay with a friend of his.


       That had been largely what they’d talked about, and Dominick didn’t particularly want to approach the subject of their friendship, or romantic relationship, in case she would cut him off and regard her words and actions towards him the previous night as a mistake. He didn’t want his buoyant feeling of happiness, lifted by the memory of Leah claiming he was her boyfriend to Luke, to be shattered.


       Waiting outside of class, he remained uneasy, whipping his head towards the end of the hall every time he noticed movement down there. A few professors, including one with long hair named Mitchell Bowen, gave him odd looks, but that didn’t matter. Eventually he saw Leah come around the corner from the other hallway, and his unease worsened. Seeing him, she grinned and waved. At least she appeared happy.


       “Hey Dommy.” She came close to him. “How are you this morning?”


       “Pretty good. Tired, though. What about you?”


       “Refreshed. I had a good morning. No one to wake up with.” At those words, Dominick suddenly felt cold; if she was happy to wake up alone, then she obviously enjoyed being single at the moment, without someone to wake up with – like him.


       “Leah, listen…I was wondering how, uh, you know, what, um, well, what we are…”


       “What do you mean? What we are to each other?”


       “Um…yeah.” He hated to finally figure it out.


       She smiled. “Well, don’t you know? Weren’t you there on Saturday night?”


       “Oh. Okay. So…we’re together then?”


       Her smile vanished. “Is that okay, Dom? I know I shouldn’t have just come out with it like that, I should have privately talked to you about it. I apologize.”


       “No – it’s fine.”


       “I don’t want you to feel like I’m dictating whether or not you’re in a relationship with me…but I do like you. Very much.”


       “No – it’s perfectly okay. In fact it eliminates me having to summon the courage to ask you out myself. I’m happy.”


       “You are? That’s great. Then I’m happy too.”


       “Yeah. No, I was just wondering because you seemed silent about it on the phone and stuff.”


       “Oh, I was just absent-minded. It was a busy day, Luke moving his stuff out, it was awkward and I didn’t want anymore confrontations, so I was just busy,” Leah explained. “Sorry if I sounded distant or unfocused. No, I always meant what I said.”


       “Well, that’s wonderful. And I can be more open with how I feel, too,” Dominick said, relieved.
“Great.” She moved in close and kissed him on the cheek. Dominick, having only been kissed twice before, suddenly felt that magical electricity again as she moved in close like that, as he felt her warm lips on his skin, and he felt a certain body part swiftly get more stiff.


       “Wow,” he breathed.


       “Alright?” she asked.


       “Yes – I should mention, um, I’m not very experienced at that kind of thing,” he said sheepishly. “My last girlfriend was a while ago and her and I never got very intimate.”


       “That’s alright.” She smiled again. “I can teach you, if you like.”


       At that moment, the professor entered the hallway and opened the door for the rest of the students waiting nearby. As they filed in, Charlie, the tall, curly-haired extrovert, walked past them and remarked, “hey, are you two finally making out? I thought that would never happen!”
They both shook their heads and followed him into the classroom.
--
       “MTV or MuchMusic?”


       “MuchMusic.”


       “The Tenants or the Payolas?”


       “Payolas.”


       “The Simpsons or Saved By the Bell?”


       “The Simpsons.”


       “The Princess Bride or Rainman?”


       “The Princess Bride.”


       “All right, three out of four,” Dominick finished.
Dominick and Leah sat in the college courtyard, following their last class of the day. It had been four days since the fight, and the two were slowly gaining the courage in getting closer to each other physically. It was slow, but neither of them minded.


       They were playing a matching game where Dominick would give two different interests and Leah had to guess which one matched his; she would then do the same thing.


       “Okay, let’s see if you can do even better. Madonna or Michael Jackson?”


       “Michael Jackson.”


       “Kids in the Hall or In Living Color?”


       “In Living Color.”


       “I think we’re totally on the same wavelength,” Leah decided. “Do you remember You Can’t Do That on Television?”


       “I do. The – “


       “Green slime, yes. It was memorable.”


       “I wonder if we’re related,” Dominick joked. He put his arm around her shoulders.


       “So what would you like to do later?” she asked him.


       “I don’t know. The days might be getting shorter but other than homework my time is free and open. I don’t have a job – though that doesn’t mean I’m not looking,” he added quickly.


       “Are you worried that doesn’t impress me?” Leah asked. “Don’t worry about it. I’m glad you have free time. Want to come back to my house? My mom’s eager to see you again.”


       “I’d love that,” Dominick replied gently.


       Leah could only feel the same, and knowing her mother, she would probably like that too.
--
       In the coming weeks, Leah and Dominick had dinner at Leah’s house, went to restaurants by themselves, continued to study together like they had in the past, and spent Thanksgiving at Dominick’s in Pineglen (“Welcome! You must be the eye-girl!” Patrick, Dominick’s father, had amiably greeted her). Leah slowly introduced him to intimacy, and their physical contact became more exploratory as they gradually got more comfortable together, usually when they were listening to music in Leah’s, or Dominick’s, room.


       Leah had easily approved of Dominick’s taste in music, praising his Genesis, English Beat, and Police albums, and recognizing the content of his compilation albums. Dominick had even gone so far as to play ‘Ah! Leah!’ when she visited once, explaining that the chorus said it all for him. She had laughed pretty hard at that.


       “I really enjoy it when you teach me things,” he said when she’d shown him another aspect of closeness and intimacy while they were in his bedroom. “I always thought it would be embarrassing for me to have no experience by this age.”


       “You’re an amazing student,” she said affectionately. “And there’s absolutely no reason to be embarrassed at all – I care about you. And there’s no set age for these things to happen, either. I’m honored to introduce you.”


       “That’s what helps make you such an amazing girl,” Dominick purred. “You know what? I’ve got an idea.”


       She smiled. “What is it this time?” Dominick’s ideas weren’t uncommon, and they were always romantic.


       “Just wait one second.” He went over to his shelf of records, fished one of them out, and put it on the turntable. Turning the volume low so the music wouldn’t radiate from the room, he put the needle into the grooves of the vinyl and turned it on.


       A drum rhythm began to play. Then the rest of the instruments began. Leah slowly began to recognize it – particularly when the piano played.


       Dominick turned to her and held out his hand. “Would you like to dance?”


       “You are totally something,” she said in ebullience. “Of course I would.” She got up and took his hand, and they danced slowly in the darkened room as Split Enz played their 1984 song ‘Message to my Girl.’


       When the song finished, they collapsed together on Dominick’s bed and quietly laughed at the feeling of euphoria and closeness they were feeling. They both sighed, and began to cuddle. Feeling warm and content and happy, Leah wrapped her arms around him and kissed him for a long time. More experienced at that by now, Dominick reciprocated and felt that this entire wonderful situation was a dream come true – he’d never felt this way before.


       Slowly and carefully, Leah removed his flannel shirt, and Dominick found the buttons on her blouse. They pushed their articles of clothing off the edge of the bed, and Leah’s fingers explored his warm skin.


       Dominick, in turn, massaged Leah’s lower back, and she began to kiss him all over. It was a completely new experience for him.


       “How are you feeling?” she asked after kissing his chest.


       “I don’t know how to really explain it, but I know I feel, like, crazily happy right now.”


       “Good. That’s what matters.”


       “Well, how do you feel?” Dominick asked, looking curiously into her face. “Your feelings count just as much as mine do.”


       “I feel warm, and needed,” she responded gently.


       “I couldn’t have said it better myself.”


       “But there’s one thing that I really want right now, one thing that I’m dying for, one thing I really want your permission for.”


       “What’s that?”


       “You.”


       “Well that’s very funny. You know why?”


       “Why’s that?”


       “I am pretty sure I am dying for the same kind of thing.”


       “What’s that?”


       “You.”


       “Mmm,” Leah said. “Well, I think we’re good to go.”


       “Alright. Teach me everything you know.”


       Leah brought herself upon him and kissed him, then began to remove the rest of his clothes. Then she removed the rest of hers, and Dominick would remember that late October night as the night that he lost his virginity for a long time.
--


      On Tuesday, November 3rd, Dominick, Leah, and Daniel sat together at the Merivale Donald’s Foods. Leah had gotten the day off from work, so they decided to meet up with Daniel at the restaurant.


       “How’s the romance going?” Daniel asked briskly.


       “Swell,” Dominick replied. Leah just smiled.


       “That’s good. It’s nice to see both of you together, Dominick used to talk about you all the time.” He looked briefly deep in thought. “Particularly about – “


       “My eyes, I know. I’ve made a real impression on him.”


       “Well, let me put it this way,” Dominick said. “You’ve got the power!”


       “Are you quoting Snap?” Daniel asked as Leah laughed.


       “Technically, I’m not. The line is ‘I’ve got the power.’ I said ‘you.’”


       “You’ve got the power too,” Leah said when she regained her composure.


       “Gee,” Daniel observed. “Don’t overpower each other.” All three of them laughed as a waiter, who introduced himself as Robin, presented their orders to them.


       “Fresh from the kitchen, gentlemen. Here are your orders.” Daniel received a plate of salad with chicken in it, Leah took a plate of stir-fry and rice, and Dominick had a cheeseburger with fries and coleslaw.


       “Terrific,” Dominick said. “Thank you very much, Robin.” He took a ten-dollar bill and slid it across the table to him.


       “Wow, you’re really generous,” Daniel observed as Robin accepted the tip.


       “I’m just happy.”


       “Oh, I bet.” As Robin departed, he said, “since you’re so interested in politics these days, what’s your opinion on Clinton?”


       “Who?”


       “Oh, the American candidate,” Leah said. “I think he’s doing well.”


       “What candidate? You mean the election they’re having over there?”


       “Yes, I mean the election they’re having over there.”


       Dominick looked at the both of them almost stupidly. “I don’t know.”


       “I personally hope he wins,” Leah said to Daniel. “I’ve always been more of a Democrat than a Republican.”


       “Yes, I’d agree. They’ve been in power for three terms now, way too long.”


       “Excuse me,” Dominick timidly interrupted them, “but how long is three terms?”


       “Twelve years,” Leah explained. Daniel laughed. “Come on, brother, you should at least know that! Next you’ll be asking me to divide them by three!” He laughed. Leah, finding Daniel’s statement ludicrous, could not help but giggle a little bit.


       “Oh, come on guys, I’m just not smart in that area.”


       “Don’t worry about it,” Daniel said. “Although, it would have been a good idea to deduce the amount of
GST taxed on the tip you gave Robin.”


       “What? Did the tax apply to that?”


       Daniel burst into laughter again. Leah, realizing that Daniel was starting to pick on her boyfriend, just sat there, looking bothered.


       “Well I’m just going to shut up then,” Dominick said quietly to himself, and began to eat his burger. “This is an awesome dinner.”


       Leah looked at him, and then finally looked at Daniel. “Alright, Danny, good, let’s just eat then.”
“Alright. Hey, let’s hope Clinton wins, eh? We need a new party.”
--
       Dominick and Leah sat outside the building as Daniel went to the bathroom.


       “Hey,” Leah said gently to Dominick as they sat there. “I’m sorry if we alienated you a little earlier. I think Daniel was getting a bit mean.”


       “That’s okay. He can be like that now and then. It’s all good fun.”


       “Yeah, well, I want you to remember that no one picks on my boyfriend when I’m around.”


       “Really? Gee. I kind of feel a bit feminine right now.”


       “Oh, don’t be like that. You know what I mean.”


       “Yeah, I do. Maybe I wasn’t joking with the power thing. Should I worry?”


       She giggled. “No, not unless we’re in bed. Besides, I like you this way. You’re not aggressive.”


       “Well, you’re not the only one – I’ll be looking out for you too. Maybe I’ll try and get more interested in politics,” Dominick started, but Leah shushed him. “Don’t worry about it. If you don’t know anything, who cares? We are who we are – not what others expect us to be.”


       “That’s really smart. I should have thought of that.”


       “I know you would. That’s why we get along so smoothly. And that’s exactly the kind of smarts you have.”
They kissed, as the autumn breeze teased their hair.
--


      The snow of winter came quick and sudden that year, with flurries beginning in mid-November. It accumulated to the point plows were working the roads overnight and Ottawa’s downtown core implemented parking restrictions. School got more hectic for the two of them as exams came up for the first semester; Dominick and Leah subsequently ended up spending a lot of time in the library with their noses buried in books. Having decided it was a good idea, Dominick’s parents invested in a computer workstation and printer, which proved useful for the both of them (Leah didn’t have a computer at home). While the printer took forever to laser the prose onto the paper, it was still nicer than either’s hand writing.


       Dominick was still happy to be with his girlfriend, and she still delighted him with her kind gentleness, but they were both aware that, despite their happiness, they always maintained this bubble of good will at the expense of ignoring anything negative. Dominick wanted to be happy with her at all times, which he was – but he kept this going by always putting her on a pedestal and highlighting her good qualities. She in turn basked in them and returned his compliments, though as they studied toward the final exam, they both relished doing their work separately more often, with friends or alone.


       “I think this is a good thing,” Dominick maintained in positivity. “You know how silence is just as important in musical notation as sound is?”


       “You’re saying that time to ourselves is just as important as time together is.”


       “Well – yes. In what odds do you think it’s possible to meet a girl who can read your mind so well?”


       “Not very good, I think,” Leah said. “We both lucked out on that one, eh?” Then Leah went to work, and Dominick went home to type up his research. However, this bubble couldn’t last forever.
--
       It was Christmas Eve, and Dominick, having brought his tooth brush, exited the bathroom. He was at Leah’s, where they’d planned to spend the night and following day.


       Leah was talking to her mother as she arranged their presents under the tree.


       “You ever notice,” Hilary said, “that Dominick has this never-ending bright attitude?”


       “Yes. He’s eternally happy, or something like that,” Leah said.


       “Do you two ever have any problems?”


       “No. We don’t. I wonder why sometimes. I think we avoid them. It’s kind of like this bubble we’re walking around in.”


       “I think Dominick is amazing, at least compared to Luke, but, you know, that eternal smile of his, it sometimes reminds me of those crazy used-car salesmen you see on TV, always trying to sell something.”


       “Dominick’s not like that. I don’t know. We think alike, that’s for sure.”


       “Don’t you think you should address those issues?”


       “Issues?” Dominick came into the living room. How much he’d heard, Leah didn’t know, but despite this, he still had a friendly look on his face.


       “Oh, you know, how we always agree and how we’ve never had a problem, that kind of thing,” Leah said, slightly mortified.


       Hilary got up. “I’m off to bed. Merry Christmas, Dominick. Goodnight, Leah.” She left the room to the both of them.


       “What’s wrong with agreement?” Dominick asked after he bade Hilary a goodnight as well.


       “Well, it’s just something that I’ve been thinking about. You’re always so happy – which is a great thing – but we never seem to address any of the issues that we have.”


       “Such as what?”


       “Well, like how everything I do is like, magic to you.”


       “Oh. I see what you mean.”


       “Do you? It’s like we’re living inside this bubble – where nothing bad can happen.”


       “You always seem happy at whatever I say, though, too, Leah.”


       “That’s my fault. I’m just basking in what you have to say.”


       “Right.”


       “But hey. We’re talking it out now, aren’t we? Look. I think you’re awesome. I really, really like you. You’ve been nothing but a positive influence…”


       Dominick held his head. “What are you trying to say?”


       “I’m trying to say that I honestly care about you, but you have to tell me right away if you don’t like something. About me or about what I’m doing, or what’s going on. Okay?”


       “Ah. Okay. Well, then that’s agreed – oh, is that a good thing?” He chuckled.


       “Yes, of course that’s a good thing. And I’ll do the same, okay? It’s not just roses and blue skies and perfection, after all.”


       “No. Nothing’s perfect. Okay.”


       “All right. Let’s go to bed, I want to achieve something with you, if you know what I mean.” She pulled his shirt collar, and, grinning, he followed her to her bedroom.


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