He came by my office after work today and we walked to a nearby Italian place. We laughed about the overly attentive waitress and he showed me how he squeezes lemon on his pizza like real Italians do.
And then it happened: we do not yet have the green light from his wife.
I struggled to keep my face smooth when all I wanted to do was crumple on a pitiful sob.
He’s a decent man and he watched me intently, looking for signs of upset. “Are you ok?”
A soft silence landed between us like a pile of cotton. I looked at his worried brown eyes and respected that he made no promises.
I surreptitiously gulped air and slowed my heart, staved the tears like a good little Dutch boy with his dam. This was what I feared the most, but there was nothing either of us could do.
“I still want to know you. I keep thinking I should invite you over to meet everyone.”
“My wife and kid. But then I think now isn’t a good time.”
“If she says no to this, I’ll need time. Maybe we could pick up later, but I’d need to gather myself.”
He assured me he wasn’t motivated by sex. “I just want to know you.”
We leaned back into that pillow of silence and looked into each other’s eyes. His the color of coffee, mine the color of a stormy sky.
We shook it off and talked some more, about things that weren’t sad. We became Instagram friends and he told me he liked my face as well as everything else about me. Even the dimples I don’t actually have, but that he insists exist.
We walked back up the hill relaxed and friendly. At my car we kissed. Slow and formal at first and then as if the breeze carried lust on it more deeply and hungrily.
He nibbled my lips and stroked my tongue and I held on to him for balance as I raised up on my toes to close the gap. Long pauses with our lips locked, bodies pressed against one another, and our breathes mingling.
I could feel his heartbeat.
We separated and I opened my car door.
“Wait,” I grabbed his hand. “One more.”
His mouth crashed down on mine and he held me as he tipped me back a little off my feet. His mouth was silken, his beard rough and we kissed many times more. We pulled apart again and I was a little breathless.
“I like how you count,” he said.
I looked at him curiously.
“You said ‘one more’.”
I laughed and got in my car and tried not to cry. Phil Collins sang In the Air Tonight. Home safe and successfully tearless he texted me:
Hey, I had a super fun time – I always have a super fine time. I think you’re such a thoroughly terrific person & I feel really energized talking with you and being around you. I think you’re the tits (:
I smiled and responded in kind.
I suppose now all I can do is reserve the tears for after a red light and pray to all the gods for green, because I can’t imagine what getting to know all six feet seven inches of him inside and out would be like. I imagine it’d feel a lot like winning the lottery: lucky as fuck.