This is my love story – my one confession. A story about the time I fell in love outside the love I was supposed to have. This all took place when I was living abroad for a few months. I was in a long-distance relationship with my husband. Because of this, it had been a while since, well, my last time so seeing that tall guy walk in with his bright blue eyes, all I could do is smile at him. He wasn’t the ordinary beachy type – blond, surfer hair and all that, but he did have that certain cockiness about him. That little twinkle in his eye when he looked at me. We didn’t speak much that day. Exchanged names and so. But we kept peeking at each other whilst having conversations with others. Nothing but an innocent, curiosity.
Two days later when I got that friend request, and that first message saying “Hey, ssup?”, I felt butterflies. He really had noticed me. I tried to act coy and responded with something like “Ssup yourself”, and that kicked off the conversation. By the end of it, we had agreed to go see a locally produced movie, at a small film festival out of town. We would take his car. The car ride was supposed to be less than two hours. I simultaneously felt like it only lasted only 5 minutes, but also it seemed like hours. Time stopped while we were talking. We laughed, sang along to songs, quoted movies.. It was as if I’d known him for years without ever really meeting before.
Moments after he parks his car, I’m sitting down next to him in the small, cramped theatre. Lights turn off. Movie starts. No advertisement, nothing. As soon as the music plays, he shifts in his seat. I’m hyper-aware of every little move he makes. His sleeve brushes against my hand and there’s an electric jolt. Now not the little tingly kind you feel when you’re a teenager. No, this was something bigger. I immediately froze, and judging by the immediate stillness I see on my right, so did he. He must have felt it as strong as I had. I glance to my left. I assume the couple next to us must have felt it too, or noticed something, but no. We were still in our little bubble.
Leaving the movie, we make polite conversation with others there. It feels natural. We pause to let each other speak, and conversation flows. An old couple compliments us on being such a handsome couple. We look at each other but don’t correct them. We don’t feel the need to explain. Heading back to the car, he opens the door for me. Lets me in. Gets in himself. He looks at me for a second, like trying to decide, then turns his head and backs out of the parking lot. Had he decided differently, I really don’t know what I would have done. On the drive home, I bring up my husband as many times as I can. We talk about him. About relationships. About love. About sex. What we like, what we don’t like. The whole time, I feel a strong tingling down in my lower abdomen that I’m trying to ignore. And then I’m suddenly home. He stops the car, I say thank you, and hurry out. When I’m in my bed I get a message from him saying he got home safe. Just that is enough to send me over the edge, and after all the sexual tension of the day, it barely takes a touch for me to masturbate myself to sleep.
Over the time our friendship develops. I think we’re both pushing down the tingly feeling we have every time we meet. We stay a good distance aside always. We talk, laugh, joke.. It’s like we’ve known each other for years. It all just feels very natural. He knows all about me and I know all about him. Over the course of what might as well been years, but truly, was only a month, I also understand he is a terrible cook. I invite him over, promising to teach him how to cook some basic things. He says he’ll bring the ingredients.
We cook, we laugh. I spill something, he turns to get the cloth, hands it to me, continues stirring the pot I was working on, as I take care of the spill. No words needed, it just happens, amidst the conversation – our bodies are in perfect tune. Until I turn around to take over the pot from him, and at the same time, he turns to me, pushing me off-balance. In what feels like slow motion, I begin falling back, a terrified look on my face. At the last efficient moment, he catches me and holds me steady. He’s holding me close. Very, very close. Has he at all times been this much taller than me? I feel tingling again, around my navel. The butterflies are there and seem to have opened up a floodgate down below. I notice not all of the tingling is caused by my own body – there’s definitely something going on in the front of his trousers, the part currently hard-pressed against where my butterflies are flapping around.
I stare deep into his eyes, not able to breathe or speak, let alone move, fearing that any one of those actions would break this moment and begin a course of action I would be powerless to stop. We both take a breath at the same time, he drops the wooden spoon he was still holding into the pot he had been stirring, swings that hand behind my head, grabbing onto my hair and kisses me. The kiss is aggressive, yet gentle. There is absolutely no apprehension about it. He knows what he’s doing, he knows he wants it. I know it too. But I shouldn’t want it. While our lips are locked together, moving in unison, I know he can hear the beating at the back of my skull – stop, stop, stop. Was my wedding ring at all times that hot? STOP. I pull back and immediately, he steps away. We’re both panting. My underwear is soaked, and he is hard. Electricity is pulsing between us, but we don’t dare move. We stay like this for a moment until he says he should go. I agree. He walks out the door, holding his jacket in front of his trousers. At this point, I know I’m in trouble.
Neither one of us wants to end the friendship so we agree to not see each other alone anymore. I only have a few weeks of this employment left, after which I am due to return to my dear husband and the home we own together. Begin building a family. We go on as friends. Should be easy enough, right? On the morning of the day of my farewell party he texts me. “I want you alone before you leave. Just 2 minutes. Please”. I stare at the message for a while. A long while. Weighing my options. I know I should say no, but I cannot. Maybe it’s just innocent?
He’s the first one at my apartment, knowing the others will be there any minute. He takes his jacket off, I try to act typical and offer him a glass of water. He says he doesn’t need one, and takes a step towards the kitchen door – a step closer to me. The step itself is almost casual, but there is nothing casual about the way he is looking at me. I feel that jolt again, that electricity – the one I’ve ignored so many times before. I’m frozen still. The air isn’t moving. The clock behind me has stopped ticking. There’s a loud buzzing and humming in my ears, and the only thing in my eyes are his. Another step. One more, and he’s touching me. His hand is back behind my head and while pulling his lips closer to mine he whispers “I need you”. I clutch my hands in his hair, desperate to get more of him, knowing it’s wrong, knowing we have only moments left until our friends are here. Not caring about either of those, our lips are moving in sync. Our hearts are beating together, fast. Nothing in the outside world matters. His hand is creeping up the back of my shirt, mine are doing the same to his. I can feel him, hard as ever. My back hits the wall with a soft thump. Were we moving? I hadn’t noticed. He bends down to lift me up to his waist. My legs are wrapped around him, and I feel a strong pulsation between my legs. At this point, all I would need to explode is the tiniest hint of a touch of those soft fingers of his, or that tongue that is so longingly exploring mine. Or… And just when his hands clutch me tighter, as to carry me away from the wall, somewhere else, the doorbell rings and the spell is broken. Shit. Our friends are here.
I’ve never been this glad to live on the 7th floor of a building with a slow elevator. He steps away from me, breathless. Wordless. Strokes my cheek and locks himself in the toilet. I take a look at myself in the mirror. I’m red, hot flustered. I have about a minute until everyone is at the door. I go to the kitchen, splash some cold water on my face and hope that the oven being on is enough of an excuse for me to seem this hot. He steps out of the bathroom, looking slightly flushed. He’s fixed his hair. The others arrive. Shots are taken, drinks are had.
The next morning, I wake up in my bed. Alone. I put on my shirt, and walk around the apartment. 12 hours until my flight. Bags are already packed, and last night my friends cleaned up the apartment before leaving. Or well, as much of it as 6 drunken people can manage. I decide I’m going down to the café downstairs for a cup, before finishing off the rest of clean-up. I put on my coat, and check the pocket for the keys. Yup, in there. Along with..? I pull out a post-it.
“I want to ask you to stay but that wouldn’t be fair. I love you. I will miss you. -L”
That note still rests in my night stand, and when in need of inspiration, my mind drifts to the man who wrote it so many years ago.