I wanted it. Despite everything that led to our relationship’s demise, I still loved him. I was still attracted to him and so I invited him over to get his things instead of offering to mail them.
He knocked upon arriving, even though he still had keys to the house. I wasn’t ready to ask for them back. I wasn’t sure I would.
I walked down the hall, pressing my damp palms against my thighs, my eyes glued to his silhouette against the glass.
“Hey.” he smiled when I opened the door.
I beamed, eyes flashing, feeling a surge of happiness at seeing his face. I have always loved his chiseled cheekbones and jaw, and the reddish beard that he was keeping short these days. His blue-green eyes held a hint of spontaneity, complete with a wide smile.
“Hi! Come in.” I stepped aside as he entered. He wrapped his arms around me in a warm hug after I closed the door.
“You look great.” he said, stepping back, his arms still encircled around my waist.
“Thank you. So do you. Would you like anything to drink?” I asked, escaping his embrace, having no idea how to conduct myself, as if we hadn’t been married for twelve years.
“No thanks. I’m ok.” his weight shifted from one foot to the other. “Thanks for letting me come over.”
“You’re welcome. I haven’t had time to bring your things downstairs. I just got home.” This was a lie. I got off early so I could shower, and re-apply fresh make-up.
“Do you want to talk for a bit?” he asked.
“Sure. I’m in no hurry.” I shrugged and we walked into the living room.
I perched on the edge of the couch while he sank into it, closer to me than I expected. Our superficial talk about work and our current lives unfolded effortlessly as if this was another day and we weren’t divorced. That word was still hard to say.
He was hoping to get promoted, and I was looking for something better. There were questions about our respective families, and how everyone was doing. Stories about anything more personal didn’t surface. I wasn’t seeing anyone, and didn’t want to ask if he was.
Every now and then while talking, he’d touch my knee, or forearm in the way he did on our first date. It felt like I was being courted again except I already knew the ending to the story. I had lived it in vivid detail, a kaleidoscope that shifted from happiness, to frustration, to rage, to despair, back to elation, joy, and into profound grief when it shattered.
“What?” I asked when we had stopped talking and were staring at each other as if we were trying to read each other’s minds.
“You’re beautiful.” His hand was on my knee again, but it wasn’t a quick, light touch, it was solid and stayed put.
“What are you doing?” I asked, glancing at his hand then at his face. I wanted nothing more than for him to touch me. I’ve been wanting it for years. I wanted to call him out first, and make him tell me the things he couldn’t when we were married.
“I’m sorry. I should go…” he trailed off, removing his hand, preparing to stand.
I kissed him. A bottomless desire welled up inside of me. I held him there, my mouth full of hesitation, wondering if he was going to push me away. I was so used to it, that it became how we interacted.
He surprised me by kissing me back. His hand twisted through my hair, down my neck and he pulled me closer.
I climbed on top of him, straddling his lap. I saw us in my mind’s eye when we first bought this house. We only had the coffee table and this couch for the living room the day we moved in from our tiny apartment. We fucked on it like it was the last day of our lives, delirious with joy at owning property, creating something we were delighted to call ours.
Our kissing went from cautious to hurried, urgent. I felt his heartbeat against my own. We held each other tighter, and for a moment, I wondered what had happened to our relationship in the first place.
I slid off of him and took his hand, leading him down the hallway, to the staircase and up to the bedroom. He silently undressed me like he did in the early days, removing my top in between kissing my neck and chest then unhooking my bra, my breasts spilling out as he slid it down my arms.
I observed his fingers unbuttoning my jeans and pushing them over my hips. I missed those hands, with their wide, soft palms, and long fingers. He slipped them inside the waist of my underwear, and as he pulled them down my thighs, he kissed my belly, the protrusions of my hip bones, before straightening, and placing his hands on my shoulders.
I stood there, stark naked and let him stare at my bare flesh. I picked at the cuticle of my thumb with my index finger. I ran my tongue over the inside of my teeth, pulling myself away from my anxiety. It was like he was looking through me, connecting with parts of myself I struggle to find. He relinquished that privilege when he decided he was no longer in love with me.
I unbuttoned his jeans, pulled them down over his slender hips and watched him step out of them. He studied my face as I pulled his t-shirt off, then his boxers. I glanced at him, but didn’t hold his gaze.
I eyed his erect penis, the coating of blondish hair surrounding it. I found it interesting he could get hard now, but not during the last few years of our marriage. Did our commitment become too suffocating for him? Was I?
He kissed me, pressing his hands into my back. I stepped forward, pushing him until his calves met the bed. We tumbled on to it holding on to each other. Familiarity combined with the no longer inundated my senses. He smelled the same, like fresh air and ocean, but it was mixed with something else, the smell of his apartment, and a life that no longer belonged to us, but solely to him.
The intimacy of his mouth against mine was delicious in a way that putting on a favorite pair of shoes feels when pushing my feet into them. My steps, the arch and curve of my foot shapes the shoe to fit perfectly just the way our kissing has become the way our bodies communicate. I liked the way our tongues danced together, falling into a rhythm that belonged only to us. Our hands found their way through the well-worn grooves of instinctively knowing what the other liked.
My breasts flattened against him as he rolled on top of me. I wrapped my arms around his waist and we looked at each other, our eyes full of everything expressed and unsaid. I searched for an explanation, a hidden piece of information he was saving for now as to why he emotionally abandoned our relationship.
I dug my nails into his back, pushing my hips up to meet his erection, closed my eyes and kissed him hard, my frustration at the past surfacing.
He returned my intensity, pulling my hair with such force that I gasped. I wanted it though. I wanted the physical pain to remove the residual emotional distress he left me with.
It’s not like I was happy in captivity either. I was chomping at the bit to take the photography classes he thought would be a waste of time, to go on the vacations I wanted without an argument, to fuck the people whose advances I pushed away because of the commitment I made; the blaring ring on my left hand.
He shoved his cock into me, sending fiery sensations pulsing through my flesh. I wiggled beneath him, resisting as I wasn’t ready. I wanted to take him into my mouth first, wanted to feel his tongue against my cunt.
I glared at him, hands pressed to his chest and he asked “What’s the matter?”
“Everything hurts. I don’t know what you want.” he replied, slowing his thrusting to halt.
“It wouldn’t if you would ease into it a little more.” I said vehemently, and then, softening I added, “I’d like to sixty nine.”
He pulled out and straddled my face, embracing my thighs. He lowered his cock so I could put it in my mouth before lashing my cunt with his tongue.
I sucked myself off of him while pushing my hips up to direct where I wanted his tongue to go. He shoved it inside of me, flicked my clit so much that I grazed his cock with my teeth, letting him know that I would increase the pressure should he tongue-fuck my clit any harder.
He eased up and teased me with short strokes on my clit with the tip of his tongue. I could barely feel it, but loved it nonetheless. It made me relax and concentrate on the sensations more instead of trying to escape.
I let go of his cock and lapped at his perineum, feeling his balls on my chin, his dick pressing onto my chest as he moved his hips against me. I felt a little pre-cum slip across my skin.
I missed this. I was enjoying having something I wanted from him despite how much it had hurt to go without touch, affection, and intercourse. I’d spent years feeling unattractive, like something was wrong with me because the person I loved more than anything in the world wanted nothing to do with me.
Despite all of that, there was still an immense desire for things to have gone down a different road, which was why I was here, beneath him putting his cock back in my mouth.
“I forgot how good you tasted.” he said, lifting his hips so he could make eye contact.
I grinned, licking his shaft.
I quit fanning the flames of my anger. I wanted to follow the breadcrumbs of my desire all the way down the rabbit hole I was sucked into. I understood that separating from him once the glow of sex wore off may cause a chain reaction of unanswered questions, and grief, but I knew how to move through it, how to let it consume me, and spit me back onto the shore of my new normal, urging me to get on with my life.
I ran my fingers between his cheeks and put his dick in my mouth again. Our pace slowed to something easy and gentle. He kissed the lips of my cunt as I tasted the salty pre-cum on the head of his cock.
“Come inside of me.” I said this as more of a question than a statement.
He rolled off me and we situated ourselves to being on our sides and face to face again, kissing, and grabbing as if we were wanting to steal pieces of each other.
I placed my leg over his, pressing myself against his cock. He licked and sucked my nipple as I filled myself with him, savoring the sensation of his cock sliding all the way in until I could press my clit against his body.
He eased in an out of me, gripping my ass, and kissing me hard. I looked at him as we kissed, peeking out of my half closed eyes. He must have sensed this because he opened his.
We held each other with sincerity, the past sloughing off revealing nothing but this moment on the bed we shared, and a kind of sweetness toward him I missed expressing.
He kissed the tip of my nose and I smiled. I buried my face into his chest, mouth open against his skin, the fine hairs slipping against my lips as he glided in and out of me. I loved that feeling of safety with him holding me, my body enveloping him.
I held on tighter as he kissed my neck, tears springing to my eyes. I blinked them back, swallowed hard and traced his collar bone with kisses as we moved.
I climbed on top of him, interlacing my fingers with his, pinning him down as I fucked him. I moved back and forth with a kind of freedom that was effortless. My hair fell forward, shrouding my shoulders and cheeks, swaying against my chest. I grinned at his twinkling eyes before closing mine, shifting my concentration to his cock thrusting in and out of me. I wanted the release of an orgasm, with my palms against his, with this feeling of being in control.
“I’m close.” he said. I knew this already from feeling him twitch inside of me. I didn’t want to slow down.
“Me too.” I whispered.
He plunged harder into me. The muscles of my back tensed as I squeezed his fingers. I dug my knees into the mattress as I rocked faster against him. My toes curled, my chest tightened as I fucked away the relentless emotions that were so tangled up inside of me that this felt like their only way out.
I came when I felt the rush of his warm liquid fill my body. A strong surge of cries gushed from my parted lips as my body tensed, relaxed and tensed, the trundling sensations of pleasure encompassing all of my awareness.
I let go of his hands and collapsed on top of him, the last of the contractions giving way to a rush of tears. He held me, his arms wrapped around my torso as I struggled to breathe through the weight of heartache dissipating through my sobs.
He peppered my shoulder with sweet kisses as I laid there, a spent, useless heap of limbs. I kissed his mouth then looked at him through wet lashes, black mascara smudged beneath my eyes.
“Hi.” I squeaked.
“Hi.” he pushed my bangs away from my forehead. “You ok?”
We laid there in silence, my head on his chest, his steady heartbeat in my ear, my hand resting on his shoulder. I studied my fingers memorizing how they looked against his skin. I would look back on the snapshots of him I’ve taken in my mind’s eye and feel happy, and grateful for those moments. They will replace the uglier ones, the spiteful ones, the angry frustrated memories that are swirling through my awareness, mixing with the sweet, loving, hilarious times we’ve encountered.
I pushed myself up and dabbed under my eyes with my fingertips, a smile spreading across my face.
“That was fun.” he said as I eased off of the bed and picked my underwear up off the floor.
“It was.” I agreed, slipping them on and reaching for my jeans.
He stood and stretched before getting dressed, moving slower than me. I wanted the relief and distress of him leaving over with.
Once we were dressed, he kissed me the way you might kiss a friend goodbye. Light and quick.
I followed him down the stairs and to the front door, still in a haze from coming so hard, my hands gripping the railing. My legs felt wobbly, like I couldn’t trust them to keep me upright.
“It was good to see you.” I said once we were at the door.
“You as well. Have a good rest of your evening.” he kissed me one more time.
“I will, you too.” I hugged him and he walked out the door.
It wasn’t until I had secured the lock and walked into the kitchen for a glass of water that I remembered the boxes still in the attic.