I start talking before I’ve finished turning around, because I need to say it before I lose my nerve. It would be so easy to leave things the way they are, but I can’t.
“I wanted to tell you that this is probably the last time we’ll see each other.”
He looks at me, perplexed.
“I’ve met someone. It’s serious,” I explain.
He goes completely still, but doesn’t say anything. It’s like he’s trying to process what I said and doesn’t know what to feel. He looks completely gobsmacked.
“After all this time I didn’t think this would be so…”(shocking? Surprising? Upsetting?) I didn’t know what to say.
“I know,” he said. “I’m just really good at hiding my emotions.” So he has emotions that he’s hiding. Quel surprise. Even now, he’s not fully expressive. He’s quiet. Cautious. Intense.
For some reason I feel like I have to justify myself, and I tell him again how quickly and intensely my feelings for him flared, and how scared I was. “I know,” he says. It was the same for me, nothing like that ever happened to me before.”
We’re lying face-to-face. I’m stroking his face, his chest. He loves to be caressed like that, touched with tenderness, not lust. He smiles contentedly as I rub the back of his neck. “Tell me,” I whisper.
“It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be able to see you whenever I wanted,” he says, still kind of stunned. He has no idea he’s being arrogant and insulting. He’s being honest about his feelings.
“I’m more surprised than you are,” I say to him. “I was having a great time and didn’t want a relationship. But he’s a wonderful man.”
“Who’s the guy?” I gave Terminator the barest outline about J., concentrating on his character, and his early and complete loyalty. I told him what happened when I told J. about my feelings for him, that I was trying to get over him. J. told me that he would give me all the time I needed, that he would be there for me. And he was and is.
“Damn, I can’t even be mad at the dude,” he said. “He sounds like a good guy.”
“He is.” I say. I don’t want to lie to him. I don’t want to cheat on him.
“I met someone too,” he says. I don’t tell him I know this by the way he acted with me. It doesn’t matter. He says he’s not sure he’s cut out for the relationship thing, but he’s been trying. “The last relationship I had lasted for a month,” he said. “Every time I feel myself feeling something about anyone I just think of how the last one ended. I don’t want to go there.” Ah.
Throughout this conversation we’re naked in each other’s arms. I confess to him that when he called me I was on the phone with J., “and I didn’t hesitate for a second. I told him it was my cousin and I had to take the call.” And the ease of the lie was disturbing.
Then he confessed. “When you told me you couldn’t meet on Thursday [our usual day] but Friday, I didn’t hesitate either. I told you that was fine.”
“So?” I ask.
“She comes over Fridays after work. But I didn’t hesitate either,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter how into each other we are, or what feelings we have, because it can’t work between us,” I said. Not so much because of the age difference (although 15 years is…wow) but the fact that he wants children, and I am done with that. He agrees.
We regard each other for a long moment. Our hearts don’t really care about differences.
“So am I supposed to do the noble thing and not fuck you again?” He asks. He’s leaning over me.
“No baby, no. But I had to tell you before things continued.”
“Good. Because I’m not feeling noble.” He kisses me deeply and along with the heat that floods through me, I feel his tool hard against my thigh, twitching.
Hurt me, I think to myself. (to be continued)
Image: Mars and Venus, an allegory of peace by Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée
Public Domain, via https://commons.wikimedia.org/