I sigh quietly and soon enough I can feel remorse creeping up on me and Alfred seems to notice the look on my face. Don’t’ he says holding my face in his hands. We were never childhood friends you know’ he says smiling again. No we weren’t I concurred. I smiled faintly in response. So what happens next? I asked. He takes his time to answer and I appreciate him for his honesty. I don’t know. It is not something that I thought would ever happen again nor did I plan for this and am only here for a week you know. Yes I sighed again. So what do we do? Do we shake hands and say bye bye again for another twenty years? I’ll have to think about this’ I say trying to get off from the bed. It is not like I have ever done this before, and I thought that doing this will make me get him out of my system.
I still want you he says; Oh no! I think, don’t do that’ I say silently in my head. Am sitting on the edge of the bed facing the balcony my back is turned on him and I cannot see his face as he says this.
Pat? He calls me gently stroking my back. I turn to look at him and am lost in the pools of the passion I see in his eyes.
We kiss again.
I will admit that seeing you yesterday, some part of me wished and longed for you and now that this has happened I think I want you more than ever. He said.
I felt abandoned you know. I blurt out. I know, I know he says I was young and there wasn’t much for me back here.
He then told me of how he had searched for a job after school and how hard things were and how much he really wanted to make something out of his life and was elated by having won a visa to America which had changed his life.
“I did think of looking for you but time and years had taken its toll when I was finally ready. I found out that you were married with Children and imagined that you had forgotten all about me and I decided to move on.’ I also got married had a good life until my marriage crashed when my ex-wife decided that she had fallen out of love with me taking along my twins and half of all I had. It made me feel betrayed like both women I had loved had left me. I had to rebuild my life again and it took its time but I am there now. Got my own company and i am doing well.
So what do we do? I asked again.
I say we make the most of our time together he said I nod in agreement and he added ‘that is … if it is ok with you?
My husband is out of town on business as from tomorrow and I don’t even know how am going to face him tonight I added silently.
You love him? Alfred asks.
Yes I do I answered simply but then I have betrayed him I thought.
Tell me about him, does he treat you well, he asked looking quite serious. He is a good man; we are like your middle aged couple, almost like brother and sister. He does his part fulfils my needs as a husband and father to my children. We function quite well. But his work takes him away from us most of the time.
He hasn’t hurt you? He asks as though looking for a flaw in my husband.
Not more than the average man, I reply.
What is that supposed to mean? He asked. I mean he isn’t perfect we fight sometimes about being away from home and being too busy for the family but then he makes up in his own ways. But then you must understand he is a very busy man. I shrug.
Ok I guess you don’t want to talk about him but you must admit I am curious about you and him. I lie back into the bed and he hugs me to him. We say nothing for a while and just lie content in each other’s thoughts. Mine is mainly of the past and the future both clashing in my head. I am also wondering what he is thinking. Soon enough I have to go.
Tomorrow? He asks, sitting up. I nod in response not trusting myself. We kiss as I bend to pick up my clothes and he watches me as I put them on. You have filled out nicely he compliments me and I smile in response. Twenty years is a long time. He puts on his clothes too and attempts to walk me to the door. As he reaches for the handle of the door I hesitate and he stops.
Do you want me to walk you down?
Suddenly am afraid of anyone seeing me with him. I don’t know I answered. What if I run into anyone that I know or know me? Alfred looks hurt and I touch his arm. Please understand. He nods in response and gives me a hug and I take a long look at him and hurry out.
I cannot remember much of the drive home but I do remember the traffic. It gave me time to think about what I had done. Why don’t I feel bad about it? Perhaps I will soon enough. In all my eighteen years of marriage to Richard I have never done anything like this. But then Alfred has always been my first love and so it doesn’t count as cheating or does it? I ask myself foolishly. It is a sin and I should be overwhelmed by guilt. But I don’t feel it. All I feel is numbness. What’s done is done. I sigh. Am I trying to get back at my husband for his infidelity of so many years ago? I have forgiven him and moved on since then. I still remember with rage as at the time when I found out about an affair he had back then. Our marriage was truly threatened then and if not for maturity and perseverance. I would have called it quits a long time ago. But then we had resolved our differences and it never occurred again.
So why did I do it.
One; I guess a part of me never got over him.
Two; I needed to know if he felt the same way too.
Now that I have my answers, what next? He is here for a couple of days and then goes back to his life while I return to mine? How will I look at myself in the mirror? Will I remember today with nostalgia or with guilt? I guess time will tell.
I get home and my husband arrives half an hour later. He barely looks at me as he makes his way into the bedroom throwing clothes together into a suitcase. I stand by the bedroom door looking at him wandering if he’ll notice or even suspect anything.
Packing again, I ask as usual.
Yeah’ he responds
Dinner? I ask
No he replies. Then he looks at me. My heart stops for a minute as we lock eyes together. Mine defiant.
What is going on? He asks. I blink rapidly and he lowers his gaze.
I need an early start tomorrow. He mumbles. Sure’ I reply. And turn to leave the room. He continues with his packing and i returned to the living room.
Later that night, in bed I am unable to sleep as I toss and turn while Richard sleeps on. Mental images of Alfred cloud my mind and I reminisce about what had happened earlier on. It has been months since my husband and I have been intimate and even months before that. We have sort of fallen into a routine. Do I still find him attractive? Yes a little. But mostly nothing passionate ever happens between us. Is this enough reason for me to have fallen into bed with Alfred so easily? I think not I have had longer dry spells in this marriage to know the difference. So what now? I guess I will have to live with this. Is Alfred a better lover than Richard? They are different. That’s all. But I am more alive than ever in Alfred’s arms than in Richard’s.
Richard is gone before I wake up in the morning. And as usual he never wakes me to say good bye.
There is a force so strong that is pulling me towards Alfred again. I need to see him again. I long for the comfort of his arms around me. A pent up desire consumes me all day and I cannot wait for work to be over as I rush down to his hotel again.
The door opens as soon as I knock. There are no words exchanged as we tear at each other. Kissing and touching, moaning as we both tear at our clothes like inexperienced teenagers. Our love making is hurried and passionate. This time I hold nothing back as I give my body and mind to Alfred. The climax I achieve is both intense and a little terrifying. We are both panting as soon as we finish and I am a little bewildered by what had happened. Who knew it could be better than yesterday. Yesterday was amazing but today is mind blowing.
As we lay passion spent in each other’s arms, enjoying the afterglow we make small talk and talk about our children. He talks about his twin teenage girls and the issue of boys. He tells me how his ex-wife a white woman had left him for a white guy. He also talks about his business. We talk about everything except our affair. He talks about the woman that he is seeing back home and how she wants to take things a little further by getting him to propose but he isn’t quite ready to make that commitment to her.
I ask him if he feels guilty by cheating on her and he answers ‘she is not you’. He then asks do you feel guilty. I look away and murmur a little.
He doesn’t say anything. I don’t expect him to.
The next five days were pretty much the same except when he had to attend a cocktail function. On the night before his departure, I knew I was in trouble because of what almost happened at the cocktail. Alfred had convinced me to come for the event and I had agreed at this point he could have asked me to take out my eye and I would have obliged him.
I had dressed carefully for the event in a sparkling black sequined gown and was making my way into the hall when I spotted Alfred with some distinguished looking guests and we soon locked eyes for a minute and suddenly time stood still again. For the second time in my life I was struck again by cupid’s arrow. It was as though I was seeing this man again for the first time and not for the past six nights. He is a gorgeous man and I couldn’t but feel an edge of panic that I might never see him again.
Alfred was staring fixedly at me and this caused the people he was talking to turn and look at what he was looking at. I felt very self-conscious and felt as though everyone knew that we were intimate. The fact that Alfred continued to smile that slow smile made me squirm in my heels and I too was powerless to look away. I deliberately walked past him and went to a private corner fuming at his lack of tact.
Even though it felt wonderful to be the centre of attention, I did not care for the way he made me feel and I promised to tackle him about it later.
To be concluded…
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.