There it was, sitting at the top of the box – the red merry widow. Michael stood in his bedroom, at his closet. It was Friday night, and he felt rather lonely. Nothing to do, no friends to call, no potential girlfriend to ask out. So his mind crept back to the past. The box was full of mementos – items past; a collection of all that remained from girlfriends and lovers prior. He held the lid in his hands as he stood there. He couldn’t take his eyes off the merry widow. In turn, the merry widow stared right back, judging him. His past on full display. Literally. An open box for the world to see. The sore that would not heal, the wound that would not go away. It knew him, his secrets, successes and failures. It knew all about him, everything he would or wouldn’t admit. The fact that he kept it spoke volumes he would never be able to otherwise express.
Amber had left it behind when she had left him behind. Perhaps she left it as a mistake. Or perhaps she didn’t want anything sexual to remind herself of life with him. Or maybe she left it for him to find, buried in the closet, hidden there so he would stumble onto it later. Maybe it was her way of making a point and the act of leaving it was meant to hurt him more – the breakup knife driven in just a little bit deeper.
Michael didn’t know. He didn’t care. He kept it. Against his better judgment. He kept the merry widow because it was one of the only items he had of hers and he still wanted some small part of that in his life. Even if Amber was gone. Even if she didn’t care about him anymore. He still got to keep this little part.
The merry widow was red, her favorite color. Red like Amber’s personality. It was vicious and aggressive, just like she was. The color had come to represent her in his mind, and whenever he looked at something red, he thought of her and her spirit. Red meant heat and power and epitomized the fire inside her. Red also meant she was a woman, a life giver, a potential mother. Red was the color of blood, the color of life. It was power, it was her inner goddess. It was so feminine. So ladylike. Life between her legs. He knew what it meant and what it symbolized and what her body could do. He was jealous of that, jealous of her ability to make and create. Her body put his to shame. She was a badass and he loved her for it.
His memory swept back to the night Michael had first seen Amber wearing it. They had gone shopping together, earlier in the day. He had stood around, waiting at the store, and watching the clock. Always a slow shopper, that day everything took longer. He didn’t get it. He didn’t fully appreciate why this would be taking so long. He wanted believe his impatience was a result of him wanting to get home to test the merry widow out, but Michael knew that wasn’t true. His impatience came because he, like so many men, hated to stand around while women shopped.
He knew this was a sexy lingerie section at an adult entertainment store, but he hadn’t paid attention and the experience hadn’t really sunk in at the time. He didn’t realize at the time just how cool Amber was for doing what she was doing – shopping for something for him, something to make their sex life all the better. He didn’t realize how special or great this was, or just how few women he would know whom would dedicate themselves so much to his desires and pleasures. He just thought this was what people did for each other in a relationship and he took it for granted. He hadn’t dated enough. He hadn’t had enough of the wrong types of relationships yet. He didn’t know just how lame or bad they could be.
He knew she was getting something sexy. He knew it. Knew it in his brain. But he didn’t feel it yet. Not in his heart and certainly not in his hard-on. He could appreciate a beautiful woman in beautiful underwear, but he didn’t really understand all that was to come. Never one for ceremony or pomp, he honestly didn’t care if she bought the underwear or not. As far as his concern went, she wanted to buy it for herself, to make her feel more feminine, not because he required it or had asked her to. He was blissful in his ignorance of how those all intertwined and how much anything she did to look and feel sexy would directly affect him and his feelings towards her. But sexiness doesn’t work like that. Sexiness never exists alone as if in a vacuum. Sexiness required the object, the desire and the observation or consideration of said object. Even if for the most part, this was for her, by her, he was still a part of all of it and the passions that would soon follow.
Later, when he first saw Amber wearing it, and his body first reacted, he began to appreciate her efforts a little bit more. It all made more sense to him now – the time and effort that had gone into the shopping and presentation. Still today Michael’s mind’s eye could see her wearing it. His body appreciated his mind’s strong memory as well, and he got a little turned on at the mere memory of her beauty.
Michael had kept a few other mementos from their relationship, but none as sexy as this one. She used to tease him with it and call the merry widow her “costume” or her “uniform.” It was something she would use to turn him on. Something to turn herself on with. At the time he thought her a little silly for treating it like some sort of magic tool. It was just underwear, a type of showy lingerie. While it certainly added or augmented the moment, and even if the cut was specifically designed for display, it was still just fabric and undergarment.
She was the one who was sexy. This was just some item, some tool. Not an icon, not a symbol, not some magic totem. She had the real power within herself. Or so he thought and tried to tell her. He always worried that she didn’t fully understand or appreciate herself enough in that way.
But that was then and time moved on and looking at this “object” many many times recently, he had begun to understand certain other truths as well. Since their relationship ended he had come to appreciate a great many truths that he never knew or understood when she was still around. Clothes sometimes do make the man, or in this case, the woman, and clothes certainly did have power and could represent a great many things. People reacted psychologically to a suit in a meeting or during an interview, so why wouldn’t there be a reaction to a hot little outfit like the red merry widow?
Was it magic? Some might call it psychology or theorize about certain pheromones, but as far as he knew, as far as he could touch or feel or prove, it wasn’t magic. He didn’t have all the answers or understand everything fully. He would easily concede that much.
Looking at her in it would absolutely turn him on. He remembered his hands on it – stretching it, pushing it aside, pulling it back, and revealing little glimpses of her womanhood while she still wore it. All of that turned him on more. Sexy reminders of her womanhood and his desire for it. But the sexiness still came from her. Not the fabric. Not the color red. It was her. She was the one. He always hoped she understood. He worried she never did, never trusted herself enough. Nothing he could do now.
He had liked it back then, but Michael didn’t rightly grasp its power until after she was long gone. Now that it was the last part of her he possessed, he had come to react emotionally to it in much the same way he had reacted to her. Maybe it was just nostalgia, or maybe the costume really did have some sort of magical property to it and control over him.
He kept telling himself it was just an outfit. Without her body inside it, he was just looking at empty women’s clothes, the way he would have looked at any clothes. He told himself this over and over.
And yet the merry widow kept having its effect on him. It still had its hooks in his heart, in his head, in his loins. Despite whatever it was he tried to reason out in his mind, his body didn’t obey. Thinking about her now, while looking at the empty outfit, his thoughts stirred, and his body did react. Touching it, thinking about it, about her, about her inside the outfit – it was all getting him excited, aroused.
Alone, with no prospect of a date, Michael became too turned on to ignore it, and was going to have to take care of things himself…
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