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Person standing on white staircase

He didn’t stay long… again. She practically begged for him to stay and have breakfast with her. He said he couldn’t. She knew the truth. He didn’t love her… never did, maybe never could. Yet, when they lay in bed for hours, embraced in heated passion, he seemed so close to her. The way he stroked her hair and gently kissed her eyes. Wasn’t that a touch of what many could call love? The way they reached climax almost always together. Wasn’t that something special? So why must he leave each morning whenever they slept together? Why didn’t he call her later that day… or evening? She knew he wasn’t married or even living with someone else. So, she did what she always did when he would leave her. She began crying.

He loved to get behind the wheel of his car the mornings after he saw her. The cigarette was like fuel to a locomotive. He dragged on it like a man facing the firing squad. Did that make any sense to him? Not really. He put on a Stones CD and raised the volume. He felt like he was floating on his way back home. What could be more perfect than reaching such satisfaction with a beautiful woman? It was the ride home that he cherished, after the fact. He knew she was disappointed… every time. But, he never made any promises or agreements with her. She was an adult like him. He never led her on in any manner, shape or form, as far as he was concerned. They had what was really just fun in his eyes. Yes, he hated it when she would give him that look from those giant nuggets of crystal blue. He tried not to focus on the tear or two that seemed to be escaping from them.

She had her breakfast, too quickly as usual whenever he left. She lit up a J and put on some Melanie. She always felt so much closer to Melanie whenever he left. God, she missed him so! She dressed for her job , redid the makeup that was wiped away by his tongue last night, and hurried to the subway. All those strange faces packed like sardines, she was oblivious to them. All she could think of was his handsome face as they lay cheek to cheek. As she exited the train and was pushed along the stairs to the street she could not help but allow some tears to soil her face. How much longer could she keep this up? It was already almost one year.

He arrived at his place… tired. He never could get a good night’s sleep when he stayed over at her place. He jumped in the shower, grabbed a quick cup of java and finished off a bowl of oatmeal. Off to bed. He slept like a baby until noon, and then off to the bar for his evening shift. In the car he began to argue with himself. Why couldn’t she just accept the arrangement they had? He treated her good, just didn’t want to get too involved. Why couldn’t she accept that? She should know, or perhaps she didn’t, that he wasn’t going out with anyone else. Shit, he slept over at least four times a week. How much sex did she think he could digest? She should be content with what they had.

Work was getting to her. She had trouble concentrating on her paperwork. She kept seeing his smiling face whenever any of the guys in the office walked by her desk. Her fellow female co-workers all had a nice picture of their guy smack dab on their desks. She had nothing! She also knew, intuitively, that most of those other women would most likely not even be with the guy in the photo for the long haul. Yet, they seemed very content with what they had… NOW! She could never feel that way. She needed to have someone in her life who would say ‘ I love you darling’ at least once in a blue moon. Should she just give up on him and stop those visits, end this madness? Then she realized that she had too much to lose if she did that. Who could come along and replace that passion and excitement that his visits had created for her? She could not, would not, find herself back at the cattle ranches she so hated for such a long time… before him. She was stuck!

He loved the attention he got behind that bar each night. Women seemed to be drawn to him. Perhaps it was his attitude. Women could pick up on whether a guy was ‘ On the make ‘ or not, and he just wasn’t. No, they flirted and he flirted sometimes in a more collegiate manner. A few times a week a woman patron would leave her phone number by her empty drink as she left. He waited until they were out the door to throw it away. He had what he wanted so…

It was around the Christmas holidays when she finally made her decision. The next time he came by she would tell him it was OVER for her. She came oh so close to doing this just a few months ago, on her birthday. He had come by and simply forgot to bring her anything. When she reminded him of this day he did have that look of genuine regret for his lack of caring. After an apology and a few glasses of wine they made love and all was forgotten. Well, this time she would tell him and that would be that. She just had to move on from this rut.

It was the week before Christmas and he was out with a buddy of his at the mall. Christmas at the mall was like a kid’s fantasy. All the wonderful decorations and colors sparkling throughout. HIs friend had stopped by the Macy’s jewelry counter to pick out a gift for his fiancé. He stood by, watching the joy his friend was having as he chose the necklace he wanted. At that moment it was like some scene from a movie. You know, the one where the guy is standing somewhere and out of the blue he has this epiphany. It was like the reverse from his favorite film It’s a Wonderful Life when George Bailey finds out what things would have been if he was never born. As he stood by that jewelry counter everything seemed to fit into place. He needed to buy her something really beautiful. He needed to give it to her as he told her ” I love you.”

The doorbell rang as she prepared herself to let him know… finally! As their eyes met she was having second thoughts, but here goes. Just like when they would climax together many times two sets of words came out: ” I have to tell you something really important now!”

They were married that Easter.

PA Farruggio
September 2021