Posted on January 20, 2015 by Patricia Ann McNair1.20.2015 Journal Prompt Image from The Lives of Others January 20, 2015: It was time. Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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It was stupid. It was something that just happened and I let it and then it got out of hand. Maybe I even made it happen. It was just playing at first and he was clear from the off – there were rules. He said he was married and he said there were kids, and I got that. I really did. I wasn’t looking for anything, not expecting much. It was just a bit of fun – I thought it could be just that.
He took to coming round to my apartment. Snatching a couple of hours out of his week. Sometimes he’d call. Sometimes he wouldn’t. It was exciting. Maybe he was there sometimes when I was not there, I don’t know. He’d ring the door and I’d know even before I answered. He came some days and some nights when my hair was a mess and I was sometimes not dressed for visitors or not dressed at all.
He kissed me as soon as he was inside the house and he said my name over and over and he held me so tight. And he said how much he’d missed me and how much he’d been thinking about me and how much it hurt. He said I was beautiful and that he wanted me. I took him to my bed and we were never slow or careful or lingering. Breathless it was, for me and for him.
Afterwards, we just lay there, and for me that was the best time. It was briefly like we were a real couple. He’d tell me stuff and I’d tell him stuff. Little things. Things of no real importance. Things that mean something only to lovers. Stories of who we were sometimes, or things that had been in our days and our yesterdays. And he said he loved me, and I said I loved him back, and we laughed. Then he got up to dress and I helped him with his clothes, fastening the buttons of his shirt as though he was a child, and kissing him more than can be counted. He said he wished he could stay and he said he wished he could stay always.
He shouldn’t have said that about staying. That made it serious. I started to think about what it would be like if he did stay; I started to miss him when he didn’t. I wrote his name on the backs of envelopes in idle moments, and I called his number, all but the last digit, hanging up then but still with the phone to my ear so it was as if we were close and I talked without being heard.
I grew listless with waiting. I counted the hours between visits sometimes and then turned those hours into minutes and the minutes into seconds. Stacked up against the time we were together there was an imbalance.
He said we could go out if I wanted, anywhere at all. He grew reckless and I worried about him being seen with me and what that would mean. He brought wine and flowers and we drank sometimes, not savouring the wine, but draining our glasses in a single draught, drinking so we were too quickly drunk. There wasn’t time for anything else. We fucked then, clumsily, and he dressed and he said again how he wanted to stay and I said he should go.
I saw his kids. He had pictures of them in his wallet, and I went to their school one day. They were like any other kids, all spring and sprint and laughing all the time. I knew then. It had all gone too far. I knew then it was time. What I didn’t know was that it would hurt like hell, like a part of me was ripped away, the best part of me.
I see him sometimes. Not meaning to, but from a distance I see him and quite by chance. He looks just the same, maybe a little older, heavier. I miss him then and I feel stupid at the same time and I turn away so he doesn’t see me.