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Next Time it'll be Easier
by Bill Tope

"It'll be easier, the next time we do it,"
he said, touching her shoulder and run-
ning his fingers down her side and over
the curve of her hip.  "I'm sorry," she
said.  "I'm new at this; I'd never done it
before...tonight.  And I never expected
it to be so hard!
"I know," he said, "and it's alright.  I love
you."  She drew closer, fell into his em-
brace, his kiss.  She pulled back a bit. 
"Do you...want to do it again, now?" she
asked.  He pulled her close again.  "In the
morning," he told her.  "We need sleep."
He folded the newspaper strewn across
the bed and deposited it on the floor.
The next morning she was all smiles.  "I
did it, I really did it!" she said joyfully, her
green eyes flashing. "Yes!  You were
wonderful," he said, grinning at her enthu--
siasm.  "I so wanted to please you, for you
to be proud of me, as your wife."
"And I am.  I couldn't be prouder." 
"The only one I missed was 24 Down," she
said contritely.   "It's 'esne', he said.  "Every-
one misses that one the first time."
"I'm so happy I could do it," she told him.
"I know!.  And Friday's New York Times
crossword is usually the most difficult one
all week!"