‘Can I kiss you?’ He asked as we stood there in the hotel room. His eyes unsure of my reaction and also the enormity of what lay before us. I open my mouth to speak yet no words can form in my now dry mouth. We stand and stare at each other for a few seconds. He doesn’t take his eyes from mine. I close my mouth again, nervously licking my lips. As I expected, he doesn’t assume that the action is an invitation. He is too much of a gentleman to just go on assumption. The last guy who asked if he could kiss me got a straight NO. Who asks that anyway? Has he never watched the movie where the guy leans in for the kiss and the girl tilts her head and their lips meet. What was that movie called anyway?
These random thoughts are swirling in my mind and I see him swallow. He’s nervous. I am too. This is supposed to be our first time. We’re not supposed to be talking right now. If memory serves, we are supposed to be tearing our clothes off and not talk at all. That was the deal. We both know where we stand. Have spoken about it and anticipated this moment for months. So why is it so difficult to put words into action?
I break the eye contact first and take in our surroundings. For the first time I note the linens on the bed are faded from too many washes. The room smells musty and thankfully there is no mirror in sight. I wouldn’t want to see what I look like now. My physical appearance should be in tact so that’s not my problem. I dressed with care for the occasion.
The problem is the whirlwind of emotions in my mind and my expressive eyes would be betraying me right now. I’m sure that’s what prompted his question.
The sun filters through the room and his wedding band glistens in the light. I look down at my own. My perfectly manicured fingers are trembling. He lowers his gaze and settles it on my left hand. We both promised forever. Till death too. So what exactly are we afraid of?
Our eyes meet once again and in that moment we KNOW. Without speaking the words out loud we both agree that this has been a huge mistake. We never would have gone through with if it weren’t for our pride and one wanting to bait the other. We called each others bluff and nearly made the mistake of our lives. Maybe in another lifetime it would have worked, but this is not our time.
Resigned and relieved I reach for my bag and he reaches for my hand. ‘Thank you’ he says. Again words fail me. But I half smile at him and he reads my expression and knows I feel exactly the same way.
There is no need for apologies. It wouldn’t mean anything to either of us. I resist the urge to hug him for fear of holding on to long but he hugs me and we remain in that embrace for a long long time. I am the one to break contact. “Goodbye” I say and leave knowing that there is no turning back.
The day goes by with me sitting on the beach watching the waves roll in and out of shore. There is something calming and almost redemptive about sitting on the beach. Tears of relief stream down my cheeks. How close I came to giving up my life and my sanity… Thank goodness we never went through with it I think once more before I decide to head home.
For the first time since the morning I reach for my cellphone. Ten missed calls! Before I could check who the calls are from my phone buzzes again. Caller identity: ICE Jude. “Hi babe, what’s up?” I say, trying to sound normal but excited to hear his voice all the same. “I heard you had a rough day. Let’s go out to supper.” Jude suggests. “No” I reply. “I’d rather spend some time alone with you at home tonight. And there’s nothing that’ll unwind me more than cooking.”
I’m once again in a room with a man. The only difference is that this one looks at me and smiles as he approaches. “Hi gorgeous” he says as he closes the distance between us. He cups my face with his hands and instead of asking for a kiss, he takes one and I respond like I do everytime he does this. There’s no nervousness there and this is not our first time either. This time the man is Jude. My husband. This is the man I promised forever to. The one who really possesses my heart, mind and soul. The one who completes me. Not some passing fancy.
At this exact moment I am glad I didn’t go through with anything I had planned a few hours ago. Happier that ‘he’ couldn’t go through with it either. I wouldn’t trade my husband for any other woman’s husband, ever.