His Full Attention
by Alexis Rhone Fancher
Eduardo’s exceptionally large. When he drives too fast up the mountain, yanking me to him on the curves, his body is an invitation. I keep my eyes on the road, a silver ribbon, illuminated by the full moon. “Eres una chica,” Eduardo croons, his thick, right arm over my shoulder, his left hand on the wheel. Can I really play a tough girl? I think, and run my fingers lightly over his warm, brown skin, twirl the lock of wavy black hair that keeps falling into his eyes.
When we reach the summit, he parks the Chrysler and lets the top down, turns up the CD player. Vintage Selena, the song about falling. He sings along, Siempre estoy sonando en ti.
The night settles around us like anesthesia. Past the car is no-man’s land, the fog’s soft deception a trompe l’oiel, like we could exit the car, leap beyond the mountain’s edge and trust the clouds to catch us. I stare into the blackness, beyond where the road dead ends into a cottony cloud. “Es mysterioso, la niebla,” Eduardo says, pulling me closer.
You hardly know him! My mother’s voice is loud in my ear. But that’s the point. Some random pickup from La Habra, a place I’d never been before and never would again. A man I’d never run into after tonight. Not our kind, my grandmother would say. Slumming, my girlfriends call it. Exactly. A bit of harmless fun, just how I dreamed it. Maybe he’ll even give me a Spanish lesson.
I am newly seventeen, sick to death of my vanilla life, my womanhood a bravado with no foundation. So when Eduardo kisses me, I open my mouth. When he puts his hands on my breasts I help him take off my sweater. I’ve fantasized this moment for years, hot sex with some dark, silent stranger who knows how to touch me. All action. No talk, unlike the pale, timid boys I know. But my adolescence, a steady diet of G-rated Hollywood romantic comedies where everything stays above the waist, has me ill-prepared. When Eduardo undoes the brass button of my jeans, unzipping them in one, practiced movement, when his huge middle finger finds its way between my thighs, I’m caught somewhere between heaven and the top of Topanga.
I have not come here for the conversation, my maid-taught kitchen Spanish, and Eduardo’s fledgling Inglés was already exhausted over dinner. So when he pushes the lever and the seats ease back in the Chrysler I shimmy out of my jeans. Eduardo sheds his pants, covers my body with his. He smells of citrus and the freshly ironed shirt I unbutton, my fingers clumsy with desire. He probes my mouth with his tongue, licking, exploring, his hands on my breasts, the weight of his body pressed against me, a welcome pleasure.
So this is sex, I think as Eduardo parts my thighs. I have not told him I am a virgin. Still, I soon like it, the rhythmic in and out, the way he fits into me, how I have his full attention. I match his breathing, bring my hips up to meet him. I’m a natural, I think as his fingers on my clit make me come. Then Eduardo pulls out his cock, spasms all over my belly.
After it’s over, I look skyward, watch the moon slip in and out of the clouds. It’s deathly quiet. Only the sound of Selena’s sad singing.
I struggle to sit up, but Eduardo pins me down, his hands encircling my wrists. He is looking at me oddly, like he’s surprised to see me there, underneath him, like he’s never seen me before. His dark hair is disheveled, strands stuck to his forehead.
“Let me up,” I tell him. But he won’t. Instead, he peers into my face.
“Why you come up here? Why you do this?” he asks. “You are loca?” He looks down at me. Crazy? No. Adventurous. Headstrong, maybe.
He cradles my head, strokes my hair, gently at first, then more roughly, his fingers twisting the blonde strands. “You like exótico?” Eduardo sounds more like a cop than a lover. “You like los hombres oscuros? Peligro?” I’m trying to understand. Danger? No, fun and games. Now take me home! But Eduardo has other plans.
His hand covers my breast. Squeezes. “You like it rough, señorita? Is this what you expect from a man like me?” His breathing is harsh, ragged as he opens the Chrysler door. “¿Tienes ganas de morir?”
Death wish? No. How can I explain slumming? That I meant no harm? That we each got what we came for, didn’t we?
“Eduardo,” I begin, but he pulls me naked from the car, urges me toward the precipice. I don’t want to go. I remember the words, “Llévame a casa!” But there’s something he wants me to see.
“Mira!” he points to the cloud bank below. “Look!” he says. “You think you dive in, the clouds they will hold you? No caería?” I would not fall. I tell him again that I want to go home, but instead he holds me closer, inches us toward the edge. He’s still humming that Selena song about falling. “Podría caer.” I could fall.
The mist is a shhh! around my ears. “Fall in love, I could fall in love…” he’s singing. I make out a word here and there.
Eduardo embraces me, and we’re dancing, his arms a vise as he maneuvers me toward oblivion. Then the Spanish lesson begins:
Nadie llega hasta aquí. No one comes here.
Podría matarte. I could kill you.
Yo podría empujar sobre el borde. I could push you over the edge.
Eduardo grips my shoulders. I have never felt this alive.
No tengas miedo! Don’t be afraid!
I’m the tough girl. I’m not afraid. The cotton candy clouds swirl and plump, promise a soft landing. And I won’t be going down alone.
I clutch his arms, dig my nails into his skin. Piel, I remember. Piel moreno. Such beautiful brown skin.
* * * * *
"His Full Attention" was first published in Ragazine. https://www.ragazine.cc/2017/11/alexis-rhone-fancherfiction/
Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in The Best American Poetry 2016, Verse Daily, Plume,
Rattle, Literary Mama, Diode, Pirene’s Fountain, Tinderbox, Nashville Review, and elsewhere.
She’s the author of four poetry collections; How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and
other heart stab poems, (2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (2015), Enter Here, (2017),
and Junkie Wife, (2018). A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly.