Harmless #2


If you could time travel three years back and find Cynthia Myers, you would not recognize her. I was a woman who did everything just right. Had the right friends, went the right schools, dated the right men. But, the odd thing was, for me, everything felt…wrong. No one else seemed to recognize it. They went along as if nothing were amiss. And, I did too. I was raised a good Southern girl. Do as your told, make your family proud, don’t make waves. Well, at least in my family. Later, I found out that a good Southern girl stands up for herself. But, I didn’t. I was even engaged to be married to a man I didn’t love and really couldn’t stand to have touch me. Max didn’t gross me out or anything. It was just that in bed we were not compatible. I felt nothing. 

I am sure you are thinking that should have told me something. You didn’t know my life. I had spent most my life feeling numb to the world, and the two men I had sex with did nothing for me. My mother was very conservative and any sexual talk was not to be had. In fact, I would worry about asking her because I really didn’t want to hear the phrase, “just lie back and pretend to enjoy it.” ICK. Anyway, it wasn’t until I broke it off with Max that I started to feel something. First, was fear. My father was downright furious. My daddy is scary when he is mad. He didn’t see my marriage as a love match, but more of a business transaction. Even saying that now makes me feel icky. I started to feel as if I were being prostituted out for the good of the family. As if I were in the Middle Ages or something. 

My one act of defiance cost me Max. Thank God. He and Anna finally admitted their feelings to each other and I was off the hook. And, thanks to my second act of defiance, going to their wedding, I met the man who would change my life. 

Chris Dupree was the best man and a tall drink of sweetness. He was gorgeous, had one of the great Nawlins’ accents, and he didn’t live in the area. I had never had a one night stand in my life. Of course, it turned into happily ever after for me, so I am glad I took the chance. One thing I found interesting that night was for the first time in my life, I enjoyed sex. Really enjoyed sex. And it was because I took charge. It took me awhile to figure it out, and for Chris to teach me just why I needed it. I started to take risks in my own life after that night. I moved out of my parents’ house. Well, okay, my father kicked me out, but still. I got my first real job working for Anna as a baker, got a birthday tattoo (thank you Anna for going with me) and then I took a leap. I moved to Hawaii, to Chris. Six months before that, I would have told you that you were crazy if you suggested all these things would happen. 

While I think being sheltered by your family can sometimes be a good thing, it can also be oppressive. If you don’t allow your child to be themselves and be happy with who that is, you run the risk of hurting your child. If I hadn’t found my true self, I wouldn’t have been able to fall in love with Chris. I wasn’t confident enough, didn’t love myself and who I was enough, to love another person. Thanks to Chris, my acts of defiance, and one night of harmless pleasure, I found my way to  my true self. 

Cynthia and Chris’ story is A Little Harmless Pleasure, now out in digital and print from Samhain publishing. They are also featured in my free short story, A Little Harmless Kalikimaka.