It was the closest he was to heaven in a very long time. He felt like N0.5 in Short Circuit, discovering life and its meaning for the first time all over again. It wasn’t just ecstasy, but ecstasy broken down into tiny atoms, pulsating like soft cushion beads all over his body, his mind, his senses, his soul. It was rapturous, overpowering, divine and sublime. It wasn’t the first time he’d touched her, but the anxiety he felt was like a vice grip on his heart. He felt as if he was being brought to his knees. He’d ached for just her mere presence for months and there she was in front of him. Her beautiful naked back turned to him, as she stared out the window, analyzing the strength of the down pour, that went from a romantic drizzle, to a passionate storm since her arrival.
She was scared that she would get stuck there. She wondered why she convinced herself that she was strong enough to go there at all. Soumia could feel a heat generated from his stare. Then she could feel his warm breath on her neck. He was too close. The sexy, sky blue blouse she wore, with the plunging back, had been perfect for the weather earlier that day, when she’d left the house. It went nicely with her sexy fitted jeans and tan coloured high heels. Now as she stood in his apartment, the very last place she was to ever be, unless of course hell had indeed frozen over, she wished she was wearing a stubborn turtleneck and a chastity belt. If her family only knew where she was. Her heart ached at the thought of them being disappointed with her. She’d promised them many times that it was over, and this last time, she had stayed true to her word. Until that very moment, as she stood with his breath, warming her neck and thawing her heart.
The mood was right for a killing. So many mistakes were made that day. She should not have looked so beautiful. Then she should not have gone to that part of town. Then she should not have remembered the first time he touched her face, as she stood in front of the building where it had initially happened years before. Then she should not have missed him, nor should she have answered his call. Then she should most definitely not have listened to the soothing, convincing, bass in his seductive voice. She should not have been without a man’s touch for over a year.Then she should not have had a sitter in her mom, letting her know that her daughter would be alright. She should not have strategically parked her car far enough away so that no one would raise an eyebrow and sound any possible alarms, for possible interruptions and she should have turned back the moment she saw his front door. She should not have knocked and when he opened the door and she saw his face, she should have made an immediate about-face and fled for her sanity. But she did none of those things. Whether by accident or design, she was there and whether by accident or design the course of the evening seemed already set. Maxwell decided that.
Soumia flinched at the warm touch of his forefinger, sliding down the crease in the middle of her back. She knew it well; well enough to never forget it’s power. As his steps could not get him any closer to her, he wrapped his arms around her waist, then rested his head on her shoulder. Her stomach began to do somersaults. He smelled lovely. She closed her eyes, not knowing what else to do, not knowing what she could possibly say. If they had spoken 100 words to each other over the past year, she would have been surprised. Strangely enough, about 20 of those words were spoken that day, when he tried to convince her to come and she agreed.
Jared desperately tried to push his guilt aside. His thoughts engulfed him, especially that day, and he didn’t want to be alone. He thought for sure he would have been, as he suspected that she would have shot down his advances, as she had done for the past year. He definitely did not want to be with anyone else though. Now that she was there, he was overwhelmed with, love and guilt and remorse and passion and desire.
“Please don’t push me away?” he whispered.
Soumia turned around slowly and looked into his eyes. He saw mostly pain, mixed in with a little bit of fear, a few tears and against all odds, love. Still. After all she’d been through and all the time that had passed. He still saw love. He touched her cheeks, and they were warm and wet. He slid his fingers back towards her ears, to push her hair back behind them. Guilt engulfed him when he felt the almost two-inch scar that was parallel just in front of ear on the right side, which was not easily visible by a glance, but easily felt. She was still so beautiful. Jared leaned down slowly, watching intently for hesitation on her part. There was none. When he felt the warmth of her lips on his, he sighed in relief and picked her up in his arms. Her weakness disgusted her, but God help her, she loved him. More than any woman should love any man. If she was supposed to think of all of the things he’d done, and things she’d been through as a result, she would have been standing over him with a rifle, not captured in his arms, hanging on for dear life, awaiting yet another misguided act of love.
Jared’s kiss was no longer soft and tentative, but hard and passionate and unrelenting. She was lost to all common sense. Soumia immediately recognized the smell of incense in his bedroom as he entered it and she moaned at the softness of his quilts on her back and his 200 lb 6′-2″ frame on top of her. How could she justify this moment in her head? Make it alright in her mind enough to let herself go and feel the kind of pleasure that this man had caused her to give in to, many times before? How could she clear her mind of images and memories, that not even a concussion could erase? She couldn’t. God help her, she couldn’t. But so be it.
Jared pulled her loose fitting blouse down to her waist and stared at her body. He felt his eyes well up. There was a jagged scar across her left breast, above her heart. That had to be what a broken heart looked like to the naked eye. It was the first time he’d really seen her and she could see the shock and shame on his face. She smiled slightly through her tears. There was her justification. Making him see what he’d really done to her.
Jared pulled his shirt over his head swiftly, then pressed his body back on top of hers. He missed the feel of her skin on his. He clasped her hands above her head almost touching the head-board and kissed her as if he was trying to kiss away her scars and her pain. After the longest time, he released her palms and she put her hands on the small of his back. He wanted to ask her if she was ok, he wanted to ask her if he was hurting her, he wanted to whisper many soft loving things to her, just like the guy was saying in the song, but he knew how many lies he’d told before, so he knew it was best to just shut up and let his body talk to her. That never lied to her. Never.
Jared unbuttoned Soumia’s jeans, never looking into her eyes, out of fear of seeing uncertainty. Her hand never stopped him. He went to his knees, reached back and pulled off her sexy high-heeled shoes, then quickly pulled her jeans and underwear down simultaneously. The thud of her heels on his hardwood floors, reinforced that there was no turning back. Her nakedness overwhelmed him. His eyes swallowed up her beautiful dark brownness and her scars. He initially fixated on her privates for the longest time, slowly going down to take in all of her, then he saw the long 4 inch lightening bolt looking scar on her knee.
He couldn’t be that man anymore. The strong one. It was like the night when he got the phone call from her brother, telling him what he’d done to his sister and that if he set foot in the hospital, that he would kill him. He cried that night, like he had never cried before. Now seeing the evidence of what he’d done, he couldn’t force the tears to stay inside. Guilt ate him alive. He hoped that he could fuck his pain away and hers to. Especially hers. Jared pulled off his flannel pants and Soumia closed her eyes.
“I’m so sorry baby.” he said through his tears.
He kissed her softly, running his hands up and down her entire body, then rested his hands between her legs, to feel if she wanted him as much as he did her. Drenched fingers told the story he needed to hear. Unable to wait another second, he sank himself deep inside her, almost mercilessly, causing her to cry out unintelligible words. For the longest while he stayed perfectly still, wanting the moment to last forever. Moving about inside her, would only cause them to draw closer to the end.
“I love you so much.” he said. He couldn’t help himself.
As soon as he said that, she slapped him as hard as she could in his face. He grabbed her offending hand with the greatest of ease and kissed it, relaxing her fingers. He slowly began sucking them one by one and she was under his spell again. Every move he made inside her, was him trying to convince her of his need, his want, his fire and his apology. She locked her legs around his waist dug her nails into his back, telling him how much she hated him while still pulling him nearer and urging him not to stop. Her knee started to hurt so bad. This was not the kind of physical therapy she required. Every stroke he made within her walls, she cursed herself, while her insides thanked her weakness.
Jared raised his upper body from hers, pulling away from her a little. He began to kiss all over her body, focusing on her injuries, caressing them, getting to know them, praying to God that she would give him another chance to apologize the best way he knew how. As he kissed her thighs slowly working his way down, she looked all over his room. It hadn’t changed a bit. Her presence was still very much maintained in his space. There was a picture of them in an intimate embrace on his side table and there were still a few bottles of her toiletries on the dressing table, just as she’d left them. When his eyes stared into hers again, she whispered.
“Have you ever made love to another woman in this bed?”
Without hesitation, he said…
It shouldn’t have mattered either way, but it did.
Jared reached into the drawer of the side table next to the bed and took out a condom, knowing he was almost to his brink and not certain if he could hold himself back anymore. Soumia held on to him as if she was on the back of a jet ski moving briskly through stormy waters, in fear of falling off and being lost at sea. Initially, Jared moved slow and steady, but then he got lost in her warmth and the moment, and was unable to hold back his emotions, his pace or his force. The contours of their bodies fit perfectly together as if they’d been missing puzzle pieces He gripped her flesh so tightly, he was certain that he’d scarred her again. Both of their bodies were drenched as if they’d been making love in the rain that was still pouring outside. His dick was talking to her, saying everything that his vocal chords couldn’t express, and what it was saying was very very Shakespearean and very very beautiful. He cried out to the heavens as he released, staring into her face, seeing his reflection in her watery eyes. He could feel her wave roll through, just moments after his and she bit into his neck to muffle her scream. They were both weak, tired, overwhelmed and very unsure.
No one said a word. The sound of laboured breathing and beating hearts was the only sound their relaxing bodies could make. The Sandman had a way of showing up, even for a brief moment after the kind of sex they’d just had, and he did not disappoint. Jared laid there holding her tightly, as they both drifted from reality. He didn’t want to fall asleep, because he was afraid that she’d be gone when he awakened. About 30 minutes had passed, before she came to her senses, and she laid there in his arms, and listened to his deep breathing, trying to figure out how she ended up there, and how much strength she needed to gather at that moment, to pry her body away from his. To her own disappointment, all she wanted to do was wake him and have him make lover to her all night long, and had she said the word, she knew that he would eagerly oblige. But she dared not. She’d come too far to take such a gigantic step back. She needed to forgive herself for what she’d just allowed to happen, and move on.
She tapped his flesh with her pointy fingernails, whispering in his ear to get up. She needed to leave before her mother started to call. The clock on his dresser said a quarter to 7. He reluctantly removed himself from her, sitting up with her, then putting his arms around her as she sat there, full of shame and guilt. She walked out of the bedroom naked and went to check her cell phone. Thankfully, there were no missed calls.
Soumia knew that she needed to wash him off, but she knew she could only wash away the smell of their sex, and not the feel of his touch, or the memory of the moment they’d just shared.
“Can I have a towel please?”
“They’re where they always were.” he answered.
“Thanks.” she replied.
She stood under the warm massaging shower for a few minutes, then dried herself off in the bathroom. Upon re-entering the bedroom, she was suddenly very shy about him seeing her naked. It was amazing to her that just a few moments before, that that man was inside her and knew what her naked body looked like better than she did, yet now, she couldn’t remove her towel to get dressed in front of him. He reached over to touch her shoulder, as she sat on the end of the bed trying to pull her jeans on, and she moved away, rejecting it.
“We were always so amazing together. I thought we had an amazing sex life. I tried to be everything you needed. Why wasn’t that ever enough for you?”
Jared couldn’t answer her question.
“I gave you chance after chance to just do right by me, and you just couldn’t. I almost got killed trying to police and stop you from fucking around on me. My brother told me not to go, not to follow you. He said you weren’t worth it and that I should just find someone more deserving of my love. But I just had to see for myself. The fucked up looks I would get from that bitch was not enough to convince me that you and her were involved, considering that she used to say hi to me, then all of a sudden she starts looking at me sideways. Was she worth it Jared? You think because you took her to a cheap hotel, that I should take that to mean that she was worthless to you? You did this to me for months. It took me seeing you on top of her, live and direct, to truly believe that you could do this to me.I doubted my family and even distanced myself from them for you. And though actually seeing you fuck somebody else didn’t kill me, driving off in the state of mind that it left me in almost did. You know I never told my brother what I saw. He just knew. How did you feel when he told you where I was? Did this rainy day remind you of what you did. It always reminds me. Maybe that’s why I was so vulnerable today.”
Soumia stood up in her jeans, stepped into her shirt and pulled it up, then put on her high heels. Her knee began to hurt again, but she was damn sure not going to allow his stupid actions, make her give up on her high heels. She loved them too much to let a little sporadic knee pain stop her from wearing them.
She walked out to the living room and picked up her bag, stuffed her cell phone in her back pocket and tried to gather herself. The rain was slight now, and she was only parked about a 10 minute walk away. Jared walked out into the living room about a minute after she did, wearing just his flannel bottoms. She looked back at him with a sad smile. Her phone rang and vibrated simultaneously.
“Hi baby…. I’ll be home soon…. I’m just leaving a store now…. I got you something really nice….. I love you too….. Tell your grandma I’ll be home in a few minutes…… Bye.”
“I miss you guys soo much.” He said.
“I miss us too. But I just can’t….”
He closed the gap between them in two strides.
“We weren’t enough for you when you had us. Your bullshit almost got me killed…. I can’t..”
“I’m sorry baby.” Tears were in his eyes.
“Do you regret coming here?” he asked softly.
Soumia thought for a few seconds.
“Yes and no. Yes because I gotta try to forget about what it feels like to be with you all over again. I gotta forget what it’s like to feel you inside me all over again. I gotta forget what its like to feel you breathing on me all over again, I gotta forget the way you smell all over again, and what it feels like for the only man I ever loved and the father of my child, to say I love you all over again. No, because for a few hours, I got to feel it all over again. I miss you so much I’m sick, but I just can’t get you and her out of my mind…. I can’t, and you can’t take it away, not even head trauma could take it away.”
“We’ve never tried to fix it, to fix us. You’re family won’t let you.” He replied.
“Don’t you bring them into this. If it wasn’t for them, I’d be dead. You were supposed to protect me. I was your wife!”
“You’re still my wife.”
“Not for much longer.”
Her words cut him deep.
She had nothing else to say to him. In that same instant, she wanted to run into his arms and say lets work it out, I still love you, but she just couldn’t forgive him. Everyday when she undressed, she was reminded of what he did and her body would never let her forget it. Everyday she thought of how close he’d come to causing their daughter to grow up without her mother and she just couldn’t forgive him. No way! He was not forgiven.
As she closed the door behind her, she limped as briskly as she could in the slight rain, towards the direction of her car. She felt the vibration of a text message in her back pocket. It was from him. It read..
“I’ll always regret what I did to us. I love you with all of my heart and I wish you were still here with me right now just blessing me and allowing me to hold you..”
“I love you too”, she whispered to herself and kept walking. She was not going to reply.
She knew they had to come to an amicable solution, because he did need to see his daughter more often than the few supervised moments her mother chaperoned… but she needed to get her bearings if she was to be around him, lest she ended up in his bed again.