I'm sick. Cared for. Fed a hefty medicine cup full of Nyquil, covered in a methol-eucalyptus rub, tucked under blankets and asleep. Then I'm not. I'm awake. And I can hear them on the bed next to me. Her whispering. He asking. A call and response I know well. A year ago I might have smiled. Turned over. Joined. A year ago, I would not be listening or wondering, calculating the meaning behind the hushed words.
It was my idea. My request. It was I who convinced him four years ago, that our relationship should be open. Me. Soaked in Deborah Anapol, Dossie Easton and Tristan Taormino. Arguing the perils of monogamy. Me. No longer willing to allow a dominant discourse to dictate the way I lived my life. No longer willing to be a victim of infidelity. Choosing, I felt, mind over matter. The power of my intellect to rule my heart. Believing a higher understanding would to guide us to a place where we could truly be happy. Committed. And free?
He believed me. I believed myself. We soldiered forward. I laid in our bed watching him, devour our first, then second, third. I knew finally, for certain that I was okay. No longer theoretical, it held. Then a girlfriend. His. Mine. His. Mine. Almost ours. It was as I envisioned. Mostly. Ego intact. Loving just as deep. Free?
Next to me on the bed. View obscured by the edge of a pillowcase I hear them. Heart beating loudly in my chest, breath caught, I can feel the sensation awakened in the pit of my stomach, dormant so long, yet familiar and always unwelcome. Fear. Jealousy? Is there a meaning here I can't see? Wrapped up in their words, in his thrusts, in her moans, in her acquiesce to everything he utters, in her words, is there more? A question to which the answer is known. Yes.
They are finished. And he turns toward her, twists his body into hers. Legs covering, head on chest. Sighs. She gets up and walks into our bathroom. I have held myself still. Now. I turn. Grab a glass of water. Drink. Lay my head back down on my pillow. Close my eyes and beg for sleep. Did I do that so that I could take a breath? Did I do that so he would know? I heard?
In the morning, feeling his hands on my thighs, pulling down my pajama bottoms, stroking me, asking permission in his way, I ask myself. Is it a sense of fairness that propels him? Or. Is it because he craves me? Is It wanting?!And I cannot believe at once, that the question was asked. I cannot. And more, I cannot believe that the answer is unknown.
I betrayed my husband. And now he loves his girlfriend. As I love mine. And everything. Is different.
How do you find your way...when everything is lost?
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