The husband lies asleep. It is Sunday morning. I’ve been awake for a while, toying with the idea of going for a run. But instead, I would rather be lying in the arms of my older lover, like that Sunday morning when we woke together after he spent the night. It has only happened once, his family had gone to the country, he had to work.
I had been out the night before with other friends, getting back around midnight, a few too many gin and tonics in me. Then the text message arrived:
“What are you doing? Can I see you?”
My heart skipped a beat. Totally unexpected. Meeting him always requires such meticulous planning – lies, excuses, working late… But here he was texting me for a spontaneous call. I replied:
“At home. Stop by.”
Even as I replied I had no idea he was free to spend the night. Half an hour later I heard his scooter pull up outside and a gentle knock on the door. It was summer and I was wearing my 50’s inspired Cath Kidston dress, hair up, red lipstick. He stood there, smiling at me. When he smiles, his eyes sparkle mischievously. I let him in and poured him a glass of wine. We sat in the garden, sipping a cool white and talking, listening to the sounds of the crickets and neighbouring houses. Then we kissed. It was like being two teenagers again – slightly awkward, yet passionate, perched on the garden bench.
I got up and took his hand, moving indoors, out of sight. We stood in the dark hallway, kissing and feeling each other’s bodies through our clothes. He told me his family were away for the weekend. That he could stay the night. I looked at him, unsure of how to assess this new terrain. Instead of talking, I took him up to the bedroom. He unzipped my dress and dropped his trousers as I undid his shirt buttons. Nighttime stillness. When we are together, it is always still. No music, no background noise, just us, breathing, touching, being.
We lay on the bed, discovering each other’s bodies as if from scratch. No rush. Just darkness. His head found my sex and he brought me to a slow, all-enveloping orgasm with his tongue. I sank into the depths of that red abyss. Gladly, happily. He felt ready to enter me. He was quite timid about penetrating me back then. Perhaps middle-aged fears of virility, I’m not sure. But when he did my whole being succumbed to him. I could feel his smooth hardness with each movement we made together. A gentle rocking at first, then increasing in speed and depth until he came to a long sigh. We lay there, arm in arm until he fell asleep. I was awake on my own, my mind racing at the thoughts of this man next to me in my bed. Until then our meetings had always been fleeting – early mornings before work, dinners, but always a curfew. Lying next to him was calming. I listened to his slow breathing. I craved him, his presence, his sleep.
Waking the next morning I felt disorientated, not sure how to behave with this new man in my bed. He was up first (alas, one of those ‘morning people’), whereas I was still full of sleep and slightly hung over. I could tell he felt different too – like he’d crossed a line. I was his first affair after 15 years of marriage. He was itching to get back home, to his duties as husband and father, to the world that he knew. He brought me a cup of coffee and I watched him dress. There was another awkward moment as we kissed goodbye and then he was gone and I returned to bed with an aspirin.
Had I known that would be the last time we would have the chance to spend a whole night together, I would have stayed awake all night, just to be with him, be conscious of him, listen to him breathe, watch him sleep. Perhaps one day we will find another little loophole in our over-committed lives. I hope so.