Original artwork by the artist writing as Jillian Marks. Acrylic on canvas.

Author’s note: There have been three Keiths in my life. For those who have read the Thomas memoir, this is not the Keith who became my first husband.

Keith W. loved to eat. Lucky for me, I was his favorite after school snack. We spent countless afternoons hanging out in his room, with the door closed, because his mom didn’t care.

Most of the boys I knew had twin beds, but KW had a grown-up sized bed, because he was so tall, six-foot-four to be precise. He played the same 45-speed record every time  we made out and set the record player on repeat. The song was Side A:  “All This Love” by De Barge. How could I ever forget that sweet chorus??

What he lacked in sophistication, he more than made up for with technique. I tried to be quiet, but, boy could he ever! I don’t know where he learned it, but he was a natural. He never seemed to tire, always finding that perfect harmony of tongue and fingers, bringing me to throbbing climax each and every time. He never insisted that I return the favor, but I wouldn’t have minded. He just didn’t seem to care either way.

Afterward, Mrs. W. would make us sandwiches and we would watch TV in the den. Bless her heart, she was so very kind to keep the  fridge and cabinets stocked with the best sandwich makings and snacks, including the grasshopper mint cookies I adored.  She thought I was such a nice girl. A good influence, she once said.

On Saturday nights I would dress up in makeup and heels and he would tow me on  the handlebars of his ten-speed over to JJ Muggs, where we would eat scallion-specked quesadillas and drink all the frozen Pina Coladas we could hold. The evening always ended with his mouth between my thighs, exploring my young, tender flesh. I felt worshipped, consumed  like a rare delicacy.

He was possessive though– and didn’t like when I hung out with other guys, especially when he went away on vacation with his family over the summer. He hated my best friend, Terri. He thought she was a slut–a bad influence on me. It was usually the other way around, though, truth be told.

He made me angry sometimes with his jealousy and once I threw my mother’s sewing scissors at him while he sat on the sofa berating me with one accusation or another. He ducked and I missed. But he still wanted me for his girl.

We eventually broke up due to his constant insistence on my fidelity. At fourteen, I was just too young to settle down. Five years later he married a big girl named Sandra and they had a couple of kids who are grown now. They are still together, presumably happy. I know we wouldn’t have been.

I hope the years have brought him a bit of maturity in his temperament as it has in mine. Nevertheless, it makes me smile to imagine that she is, or at least I hope she is the recipient of that special gift I was fortunate enough to enjoy when pleasure was free for the taking.