(Have you seen my "Whistle" video on YouTube?)
The last time I’d seen Robert E. Lee Witt, we were on the island, both of us at leisure. We met at a lonely stretch of beach, him with two of his friends and me with my bunkmates from New Zealand, Lucy and Bess. Hardly saying a word to one another – or needing to – Witt and I walked down the beach away until we couldn’t hear the others anymore. With my back pressed against a palm tree, we kissed and fucked and I fell so hopelessly in love I could barely breathe without him.
But the war forced us apart. I was transferred back to Oahu. We wrote letters to each other, and when the letters stopped, I knew something terrible had happened. I wrote to his first sergeant, who told me about how brave Bobby was and how badly he’d been hurt. The three weeks it took me to get to the army hospital in Tennessee – to Bobby – seemed like an eternity.
The doctor had to me I’d see her, the young volunteer. She left his room as I arrived, young and blonde, a head shorter than me, carrying a thick book – Treasure Island. I smiled, remembering Witt’s love of crosswords. He was always trying to improve his vocabulary and saying he wanted to read more. As I smiled, the little blonde stared up at me with a smug Southern lady’s look of half contempt, half forced politeness. How could she tell I was a Northerner? I would run her off later, but after coming this far, I couldn’t wait any longer to see Bobby.
I wasn’t prepared for the sight of him, the way my breath hitched and my stomach dropped when I saw his face. I’d seen enough dying men to know the deep purple lines under his eyes meant the life had all but run out of him. I held his hand, and it took everything in me not to break down and cry. I didn’t know if he could hear me, but in case he could, I wouldn’t let myself lose control.
His eyelids fluttered; for a moment I saw the deep blue eyes I’d come to love so much. To my surprise, his lips moved. “Emmy?”
I squeezed his hand. “I’m here.”
Witt opened his eyes. “Are you really here, or is this just a dream?”
Given the amount of morphine he was on, I wasn’t surprised he didn’t know. “I’m really here, Witt. I got ‘em to transfer me here. Don’t ask me how – you don’t want to know how many dicks I had to suck.”
He stared up at me, bemused, as if he were still trying to figure out whether I was real or not. “Kiss me.”
It wasn’t easy. He couldn’t sit up. I had to lean over the side rail of the bed but be careful not to put pressure on any part of his body other than his lips. As we broke apart, I ran my fingers lightly over the faint pink scar of the cheek wound I’d stitched up. Our first meeting at the field hospital had been nine months before, but it seemed like an eternity.
“It’s really you,” he said. “Remember what I told you that night we met?” I nodded, and he closed his eyes.
“Rest now,” I said.
“All I do is rest,” he said, sounding unbearably weary.
“You need to. I talked to your doctor…”
He cut me off. “I told you I was gonna marry you. You said you wasn’t married.”
“Witt, I’m not going to hold you to that. All I want you to do is get better.”
He sighed, turned his head, and was quiet. I took his thin, white hand between mine and held it. The last time I’d seen him, his skin had been deeply tan and slightly yellowed from the antimalarial pills. Now he looked deathly pale. I hoped he couldn’t sense the fear I struggled to keep inside.
“I know I look bad, but it’s just my legs that are broke. Everything else still works.”
“I talked to your doctor, Witt. He told me.” I didn’t need to mention everything I’d read in his chart: that even if he did survive, the probability was that he’d never walk again. I didn’t care. Wheelchair or not, I wanted him badly, worse than I could possibly let him see on my face. I wanted to marry him and have his babies.
His eyes opened briefly. “You got a boyfriend?”
I closed my eyes and thought back to the night we’d met on the beach – the night he started calling me Emmy. I knew then I was ruined for anybody else, that I’d never love another man like this again. I’d told him so then, as he brushed the tears from my cheeks. He knew the answer to his question.
“Who’s been taking care of you?”
I laughed. “I take care of myself.”
“I won’t be in any shape to take care of you for a long, long time.”
I squeezed his hand. “I don’t care about that.”
But he did get better. Inside of a week, the doctors reversed their decision to amputate his right leg. Soon he was out of traction and I could push him around in a wheelchair. Despite his protest that he wouldn’t be able to take care of me for a long time, almost as soon as Bobby was semi-ambulatory, he was trying to figure out ways to get me in bed with him without causing himself too much pain.
Blowjobs were pretty much all we could do at first. When the worst of the wounds scarred over and he could start to relearn to walk using crutches, his pain was under control enough that I could get on top of him for short stretches. It was during one of our quick, clandestine hospital bed sessions that he asked me to marry him, although this wasn’t the story I told my mum and da.
Unable to continue his army career, Bobby (at first very reluctantly) agreed to come home to Boston with me when my hitch was up, shortly before the war ended. My oldest brother gave Bobby a guard job in his factory. He didn’t love his job, and sometimes he had nightmares, but I hoped Bobby was happy with me.
Sometimes his army buddies showed up at our apartment.
One day, I came home from work, eager to see Bobby and get out of my uniform. As I came entered the apartment, Bobby whistled to me from the kitchen. I heard men’s voices, Bobby’s and someone else’s. I hadn’t been expecting company.
I entered the kitchen to see one of Bobby’s Army buddies at the table, a cold beer in his hand. I vaguely recognized the thin, dark-haired man in the leather jacket – he’d been with us on the beach that night, one of Bobby’s buddies who’d gone off with my Kiwi friends. I recalled seeing him in the hospital a time or two, though he hadn’t been hurt nearly as badly as Bobby – at least, not on the outside. I didn’t remember him being at our wedding.
“Hello,” I said warmly through my surprise as Bobby rose from his chair.
“Emmy, you remember Geoff Fife, don’t you?” He met me in the center of the kitchen, pressed me against the counter and kissed me like we were alone, taking my hat off me and twisting his fingers through my hair.
“I should go,” Fife said awkwardly.
Bobby didn’t loosen his grip on me, but he turned toward his friend. “Emmy, do you mind if Fife stays a while?”
“Not at all,” I said. “You’re welcome here, Fife. Stay as long as you like.”
Bobby leaned in close to my ear. “You tired, baby?”
I shook my head. “I’m fine.”
He turned back to Fife. “Emmy’s knocked up.”
Fife raised his beer bottle. “Congratulations! Witt, you didn’t tell me you were going to be a father.”
Bobby looked at me, beaming with pride, and I couldn’t hide my joy. We kissed again; this time I almost forgot we had a guest. When we finally broke apart, I excused myself to change out of my uniform. I could hear the men’s laughter from the bedroom. I returned and offered to make us all sandwiches.
“I hate to impose,” Fife said.
“It’s no imposition,” I assured him.
“At least let me help you.”
I waved him off, but soon Bobby’s army buddy was beside me at the counter, spreading mayo on the bread slices as I rinsed the tomatoes. We ate, then went to the living room, where I sat on the couch beside Bobby as he and Fife talked until I started to doze off. I excused myself and went to bed. I don’t know how long I slept before Bobby got under the sheets with me. I woke up with his arms around me, my face pressed to his chest. I kissed him just above the heart a few times before he lifted my chin and brought my mouth to his. I let him roll me onto my back and position himself on top of me, grateful he had the strength. His deep scars reminded me of how hard he’d worked to be able to walk again. I caressed the scars on one leg briefly before pulling him closer to me.
“Did you friend spend the night?”
“Yeah. He finished off my beer and passed out on the couch.”
“Then we have to be quiet.” It was worth a try, but I knew a little thing like a buddy sleeping on the couch wouldn’t keep Witt from being his usual wild self. My husband didn’t know the meaning of the words “gentle” or “quiet.” I wasn’t surprised to open my eyes and see Geoff Fife standing in the doorway, looking equal parts concerned, embarrassed and impressed. What could I do but laugh?
“I’m sorry, Fife,” I said, “I didn’t bring a friend for you this time.” I wrapped the sheet around my breasts, although Bobby’s body shielded me.
Fife laughed loudly. “You ever hear from that Kiwi gal Lucy? Woo, boy. I thought she was a wild one, but she didn’t have nothing on you, Mrs. Witt.”
“That’s because Lucy wasn’t in bed with me,” Bobby said, laughing. He stroked my hair, then my cheek. “Baby, is Geoff here embarrassing you?”
“No,” I said. After my first husband, who beat me and cut me down every chance he got, almost nothing Bobby did could upset me. We were both adults, we’d both been to war, and now if he wanted to bring a war buddy into the bedroom, I wasn’t bothered. “I don’t mind him. Sorry we woke you up, Fife.”
“It’s no bother. I was feeling lonely out there anyhow.”
Bobby got a wicked gleam in his eye. “Come here, Fife.”
Fife cocked his head a little like he wondered what Bobby had in mind, but he was game. He sat down on the corner of the bed, and I noticed he wore Bobby’s bathrobe. He kept his eyes on Bobby’s face, clearly trying hard not to look at or touch me. He was near enough I could feel his body heat. I could smell him, and how he was different from Bobby’s familiar scent. I wondered what Bobby would do next, but I wasn’t afraid. I trusted him with everything I had.
Bobby leaned in close to Fife’s ear and said, “Is it true what they said about you and Ed Bead?”
Fife’s mouth twisted a little bit, and I detected a slight nod of his head. Bobby did two things at once – put his arm around me and pulled me tight up against him and took Fife’s face in the other hand and kissed him hard on the mouth.
Fife pulled away. “What?”
I was confused, too. I didn’t know what Bobby wanted: to dominate Fife? To comfort him? To give him to me as a gift? As far as I knew, Bobby hadn’t been with another woman since we’d met – maybe the lack of variety was starting to wear on him. I watched as he took the bathrobe from Fife’s shoulders. Naked underneath, Fife stretched out his hand to touch Bobby.
Bobby allowed it, for a moment, then pulled away, turning to me. “Emmy, you’ve been pretty horny since you’ve been knocked up. You wanna give my friend Geoff a go?”
“You won’t be jealous?” I asked, looking deep into his beautiful eyes.
Bobby shook his head. “It ain’t the same as if you were sneaking around behind my back. Fife’s lonesome, and if you’re still horny, you wanna?”
I nodded, looking from Bobby to Geoff Fife. Fife leaned in, bringing his body closer to mine, but Bobby put a hand on his chest and stopped him. “Listen, Geoff – it ain’t like we’ve never been with the same woman before, but it’s different when she’s my wife. To me she’s Emmy, but to you she’s Mary Ellen. I can be rough with her, ‘cause she trusts me and she knows I’m never going to hurt her, but you got to be gentle with her, understand?”
“Yes,” Geoff said. “Mary Ellen, is it okay with you?”
“It’s okay with me, if Bobby doesn’t mind.” I looked at my husband, who put up his hands in a gesture that said, whatever you want is fine.
Letting the sheet fall around me, I reached out and put my arms around Geoff. He felt very warm and was breathing hard. Our eyes met briefly before I leaned in to kiss him. He hesitated.
Still close by, Bobby said, “She’s my wife, Geoff, not a hooker. Kiss her.” But he only held still while I kissed him, spreading a warm feeling through my chest and into my belly. I didn’t love Geoff – I’d never love anyone again after Bobby, I just knew it - but I wanted him. Bobby was right about one thing: I had been extra horny since I figured out we were having a baby, something my mother (who gave birth to eight of us) had failed to warn me about. Bobby, a good five years younger than me, was normally good for two or three rounds a night, but lately I’d even been wearing him down.
Geoff warmed up slowly, but soon enough he was kissing me back. I pulled back and looked him in the eyes again. “Show me your scars.”
He gave me a half smile. “One’s under my hair,” he said, running his fingers over the spot where the wound must have been.
“You were shot in the head.”
“Barely grazed.” He brought his bare foot onto the bed. His feet were very white, with graceful arches, and smaller than Bobby’s. Bobby’s very large feet gave some indication of the hidden strength in his thin but powerful body. I wondered if Geoff had ever seen Bobby fight. Geoff didn’t have the right build to be a boxer, and if they’d ever fought, Bobby would have killed him.
Geoff showed me the scars on his ankle. For the most part, they were neat surgical scars, with one jagged edge betraying the wound that had necessitated the surgeries. I’d thought I’d seen Geoff walking with a slight limp. I ran my fingers over the thin scars, then bowed down to kiss them. As I did, Geoff ran his hands over my bare back in what felt like gratitude.
I brought my lips to his shoulder and kissed my way toward his collarbone. When we were face-to-face again, he guided my head toward my pillow, and I helped him along, helping him position himself on top of me. I guess he figured after the workout Bobby gave me, I didn’t need much warming up. He wasn’t wrong; soon we moved together as if we did this all the time. He was almost too gentle, too timid, but I didn’t complain. I could work with that. I kept one hand on Geoff’s back, pulling him down into me and attempting to guide him without being bossy.
Bobby, meanwhile, had positioned himself beside us. He knelt – not an easy position for him to maintain with his damaged legs. I knew he wasn’t willing to give me over to Geoff completely. I reached out and found his dick, hard and ready again, and stroked him with my other hand.
Geoff was much gentler than I liked, or was used to, but the truth was, the strangeness of him, the sheer excitement of being with someone new, even the foreign smell of his cologne turned me on. While he delicately pounded me, I lost it and came hard, moaning as I shifted underneath him.
Bobby went next. He’d given me some of his spit so I didn’t rub him raw, but I couldn’t help but rub him harder and faster as I came. Noisy as always, Bobby let out a whoop as he came in his fingers. Geoff did an admirable job of trying to hold off and prolong our pleasure. He couldn’t hold out long, though. Bobby lay beside us, panting hard, and I brought my other, sticky hand down on the middle of Geoff’s back. Moments later, I felt Geoff push into me hard, heard him start to moan. That moan became a whoop longer and louder than Bobby’s; he called my name. I lifted my chin up, and he caught my lips and kissed me. We kissed until we finally broke apart.
The three of us lay that way for a while, everyone touching everyone else, no one moving other than our steady breathing. I drifted off to sleep with Bobby holding me in his arms and Geoff pressed up against my back.
When I woke up again, I found Geoff and Bobby entangled. I felt jealous, watching Bobby with his cock deep inside of Geoff. I wanted to be the one receiving that pounding, Bobby’s furious energy, the sum of his muscles working like a well-oiled machine. Geoff bit his fist, desperately trying not to let Bobby know the deep pleasure he took in being used – but I could tell. I had to take care of myself. I fingered my clit, matching the pace Goeff set yanking on his dick.
Bobby whooped. I fingered myself, wishing I were in Geoff’s shoes or that one of them, either one, would fill me. Geoff’s breathing grew ragged, and I knew he was close. He came suddenly, still biting his other fist to muffle the sound, and I followed soon afterward.