A Brief Affair Act III

It was Wednesday night and he’d yet to text her his address.

“Do you still want me to come? Yes or no, but I need to know because I have plans contingent on whether I come.”

“Plans with another guy?”

“No with a girl friend who lives up north. That’s twice you’ve intimated I’m a whore. You don’t think well of me at all, and I’m tired of you beating me up because you feel bad about wanting a married woman.”

“It goes against my conscience.”

“Then you should have left me alone when I asked you to. You said it wouldn’t be a problem.”

“It’s a problem ”

“That’s all I needed to know. Problem solved.”

“Wait, what?’

“Leave me alone, and delete my number. I’d rather be alone than be with someone who is ashamed of his feelings for me.”

A Brief Affair Act II

He texted her three days later.

“I can’t get you out of my head,” he said. “All I think about is you, how I need to feel your skin against mine.”

“What about your objections? I’m still married.”

“Maybe I just treat you like an object, use you and put you away.”

“I’m nobody’s whore, or an object you can use when convenient for you.”

“That was probably a bit crude.”

“A bit?”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know what to do with this attraction for you. I dream about you. You’re all I think of. I want you.”

“I’m married and I don’t see that changing any time soon.”

“We can be friends with benefits. An affair without emotional attachment.”

“Can you do that?”

“Can you?”

“I don’t know. I feel like we need to see where this attraction leads, maybe get it out of our systems. Then we can move on.”

“You still want to come over on your way home?”

“Yes.”

“I’ll see you Thursday. It’ll have to be after 7:30.”

“Text me your address if you want me to come. Otherwise I’ll assume we’re done.”

“Ok.”

A Brief Affair Act I

They’d only met once yet she felt as if she’d known him for longer than their three week on-line acquaintance. He was handsome with kind brown eyes, short wavy brown hair and a neatly groomed beard just showing hints of gray at the chin and sideburns.  In a word, he was delicious.

His smile when he’s met her at the parking lot of a park midway between the two of them, had eased her nerves and lightened her day, but his hug, a lingering, warm hello, had recalled her to the excitement of youth and the stirring of long dormant passions.

“I wondered if you’d called me out here to stage some kind of chainsaw massacre,” he joked, as they walked along a groomed trail by a hidden lake in the middle of rural farmland. It was twilight and the sun winked off the water lending an enchanted element to their evening stroll.  

They walked to the edge of the trail before exploring a path off the main trail, walking down a hill to a canopied lane of green leafy branches stretching above them in a bower made for intimacy. They linked fingers as they talked, and she snuck several peeks at his profile when she noticed he was doing the same.  Once they were hidden enough from the main trail, he spun her around and kissed her, a gentle meeting of lips, their hot breaths mating in the cooler air found below the level of the lake.

“That was nice,” she whispered against his lips.

“I wanted to get to know you first before I did that.” She felt, rather than saw, his answering smile curve against her mouth. “Was that ok? Not too fast?”

She shook her head. “No, just right.”

They entwined their hands this time and rejoined the main path, the sun just beginning to dip below the lake’s horizon.

He knew she was married and that her relationship was strained, so he asked her about it and she talked in halting phrases of how their marriage had drifted apart, how the love they had once shared had faded because of anger and distrust. He shared his own past relationship, and she discovered in him a thoughtful, caring companion.

They shared one final kiss as the sun disappeared completely behind the lake. She knew nothing beyond the gentle pressure of his lips and the tightening in her lower abdomen. His farewell hug lingered and his strength secured her to him. It was with some reluctance they parted in the parking lot, but they had made plans to meet again next week. Their parting would not be for long.

Happiness bubbled within her for the first time in almost two years. She had a companion to talk to, a friend to share with, a lover to explore their mutual passion. That night she slept more soundly than she had in years.

The next morning, there was a text waiting for her.

I kept thinking about what you said when the therapist asked you if you wanted to stay married to your husband. You said yes. I don’t want to be hurt if you eventually find you want to remain with your husband, and I can’t be the man to break up your marriage. Call me if you’re ever single.

She wrote back, assuring him she understood and wishing him a good life, but inside she died a little. For while they had talked the previous evening about their marriages, she had said to him she’d told her therapist she wanted to remain married to her husband, but that had been several months previous before she understood their trust to be completely broken. But he was a good man, an honorable man and he was doing what was right. So she lied and said good-bye. She was the married one. She was the one hoping for a relationship where none was possible.  She was the one pretending.  

She returned to the secluded lake the next night, knowing he was gone from her life and most likely for good. The sun dipped behind the lake as it had the night before, but this time, the water didn’t shimmer like diamonds on glass. This time, it was her falling tears which caught and shimmered on her damp cheeks. But no one was there to see it.

As always, she was alone.

(C) Sara Ackerman, 2019