And I wonder, wonder, wonder...who’s lovin’ you
Part 1: I Used to Love Him
Late in the summer, mimosas bloom like crazy. They range from pink to orange and when there’s a lot of trees clustered together, the sight is amazing. I’ve always loved mimosa trees. There’s a row of them across the street from my house, which is currently overflowing with people and food. I don’t want to be bothered, as my social skills only go so far. But fortunately, my best friend was holding down the hostess duties and I was grateful.
I sat in my huge window that faced the mimosa trees and wrapped my arms around my body. Even though it was overcast and humid, I was cold. I haven’t been warm since the last time he and I were together…and I can’t even remember when that was. That I can’t recall once-vivid memories makes me sad, because in spite of the circumstances, we were so good together. I tried to avoid the steamroller that was him, but my poor heart was no match for his passion, and it became clear early on that his was no match for the reality of me.
She said to me, “It’s going to get old. It’ll become tiresome.” And I thought she meant that he would get tired of me, of us, and of the constant runaround to keep our affair hidden from the one person who knew about it from the beginning. But then she said, “Not him. You. You’re going to get tired of giving your heart and body to a man who can’t return the favor. He’s not going to leave me and you’re not going to put up with that for long. He won’t want to let you go, but you won’t be able to keep it up. He’s not going to leave me; I’m the mother of his children and we have grandbabies. I love him and I owe him, so I will wait you out.”
There was no emotion, no anger, no fervor or inclination to her words. They were matter-of-fact, as if she were commenting on the weather. I could do nothing but stand there and take in her words, wincing with each syllable of that last statement. I was having a torrid affair with her husband of nearly 40 years and I couldn’t help myself because it caught me completely from the left. We hit it off easily, too easily, and the moment he put his hands on me, I went down for the count. This was years after I swore that I wouldn’t be another man’s jump-off, and at least two serious relationships with available men had transpired before I decided enough was enough.
It was just like in the movie Damage, when Jeremy Irons’ character first met Juliette Binoche’s character. They looked at each other and it was all right there. And similarly, our affair was passionate, uninhibited, and obsessive…with unforeseen consequences. He and I didn’t connect like that immediately, but three weeks after meeting and working together was all it took. We went over that raging waterfall and didn’t have anything to save either of us.
I grabbed my shawl and wrapped it around me because I was so cold. People were in and out of the rooms, holding plates of food and conversing with one another, while my marvelous best friend dipped hither and yon, checking on them.
His name is Patrick and under normal circumstances, he would NEVER have caught my eye. I like ‘em tall and bald, goateed and suited up in nothing less than custom-fit styles. All of my exes were at least six-two or –three and frontrunners for the cover of GQ, but not Patrick. He is not unattractive by any means, but he was as far from my standard as I was from Beyonce. What he is, is a fellow nerd, geek, and hardcore horror and sci-fi fantasy fanboy, and we have the same level of enthusiasm for a great many things. He overheard me obsessing about the character of Hannibal Lecter and my penchant for masked-themed fanfiction, and asked me about it. From there, the groundwork was laid. Because while I love me a fine-ass man, there is nothing like a connection with a like mind. None of my exes could fulfill me in that regard and I put up with it for as long as I could. Guess that tells you that my standards are founded on nothing but meaningless drivel, because my relationship with Patrick was more powerful that I ever believed possible. It was purely mental at first; we were not intimate for quite some time. But when that threshold was crossed with the help of a little blue pill, we couldn’t stop. Thank God for Pfizer.
I remember when he held me for the first time. I was standing in my office and he stood before me. I was torn over something and fighting tears of rage. He gazed at me and opened his arms while taking a tentative step forward. I met his eyes, understanding that if I took the next step, I was going to open a floodgate of trouble for both of us. He had already done so by taking the first step, and a million little thoughts ran through my mind before I found myself in his embrace. He slid his arms around my waist and stared at me.
“I want to kiss you,” he said. “I know that it’s wrong and I know that I’ve screwed up by even doing this much…but I can’t help it. I have to kiss you.”
And what did I do? Stared into his beautiful eyes and tilted my chin, in spite of everything in me screaming not to do it. Patrick leaned to kiss me and even tried to combat it by kissing my forehead, my eyebrows, my nose, and the corners of my mouth. I melted into him as my rage melted away, and he breathed, “You’re so soft…” right before kissing my lips.
I spared not even a slice of a thought to his wife, his childhood sweetheart; a woman he’d known almost his entire life and married at 18. And with the way he kissed me, it was clear that he didn’t spare her any portion of a thought either, decades together notwithstanding.
Patrick told me that they hadn’t slept in the same bed for years, but it wasn’t because they didn’t love each other. However, the heat between them had long since died and he thought it—on his part—was gone forever. He also told me—as he loved me—that he never touched her the way he had to touch me; that he never did with her what he had to do with me; that my combined flavors were indescribable nectar he couldn’t do without.
The memories of us as one were so powerful and should have heated me from the inside out. Yet I remained cold. I wrapped my shawl as tightly as I could because I was starting to tremble. I simply could not remember our last time together and I was saddened by it. Unfortunately for Mrs. Fitzgerald, I was in love with her husband and he was desperately in love with me…so her wait was going to be extremely long.
I used to love him. I still love him.
I remember the way...you used to love me