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Three is a crowd: No place like home

(Continued from last issue)

David and Diane have been married for years; then there is Julie, the young secretary whose axis collides with the couple’s in ways none of them saw coming.

DIANE

I probably drank a bit more than I should have during my outing with Tracy, for when I woke up the next morning, my head was throbbing, and although I had slept through the whole night, I was still tired.

Although I was awake, my eyelids felt heavy; so, I left them closed, as my mind brought back snippets from the night before, and then moved on to process the present. The house was quiet; the children were probably still asleep, which meant it was really early, for even on weekends, the girls in particular were usually up and about by eight.

David was still asleep as well; I knew this, because he was in bed with me. I could feel his chest rise and fall lightly beneath my left palm which was splayed out across its side.

I could feel my breath blocked inches from my face; so, it bounced back at me and knew he had his back to me.  I was not surprised; when we had first gotten married, he would sleep on his back with me nestled up against him, but over the years that had slowly changed to him lying on his side curled up around me, and now we slept back to back – if we slept in the same bed, let alone room, that is.

What I was surprised by was my position; I did not have my back turned to him, the way his was to me. Instead, I was the one curling up against him, it was my hand stretched out to him and in this sense, I was the one who had initiated all the physical contact between us.

Although it was a position I had assumed subconsciously in my sleep, I could not help but think it reflected the current state of our marriage; David turning his back on me to run after that whore, and me stretching out to him, only to come up against a wall of rejection.    
I drew my hand away and turned round so I had my back to him as well; while I would follow Tracy’s advice and not fight him, I would not beg or run after him either.

I might have done so in my sleep, for pride often vanishes then, but I was awake now, and it returned – Diane Mujuni did not run after any man.

DAVID

A glance at my phone through sleepy eyes told me it was almost nine when I woke up; it had felt good being in my own bed again, and after the long day out with the children, I had slept truly deeply for the first time in a long time.

However, not so deeply that I had not felt Diane rub up against me in the middle of the night; half asleep when I felt warm skin against my back. I first thought I was dreaming, then that I was at the apartment, until the constant prodding of breasts woke me fully, and I realized I was at the house, not the apartment, and it was Diane pressing against me, not Julie.

I could not remember the last time Diane had come on to me; even when things were better between us. I was always the one who initiated sex; so, although I was a normal red-blooded male, and she was my wife, my first reaction was to freeze in shocked surprise. It was a few seconds before my body responded and I slowly turned to face her.

Once I did, I quickly saw that what I had first construed as advances, were in actual fact unconscious reflexes - probably brought on by too much drink - and that Diane was fast asleep.

I went flaccid, and turned back away; there was nothing arousing about a blacked-out woman. However, that was last night, and this morning, after an otherwise undisturbed night of sleep, I was feeling well rested, and a lot more gracious than I had the previous night.

I could hear Diane downstairs in the dining room with the children: “Daniel, put down that tab and finish your breakfast!”, “Samantha, can you sit properly before you pour that cocoa”, “No, you cannot have it in the sitting room!”

They were just ordinary, everyday morning sounds, and yet they warmed my heart; this was what ‘home’ and ‘family’ sounded like. What ‘home’ and ‘family’ had always sounded like; and in their familiarity, they felt warm and comfortable. My irritation at Diane from the night before faded, and climbing out of bed, I headed to the bathroom, and then went downstairs to join them.
 
JULIE

I was alright for a while after Kenneth left; the glow and warmth of his visit lingered for a few hours, but then it began to fade, and by the time I headed to bed, the emptiness and loneliness I had been feeling before his visit had returned, and I tossed and turned for most of the night.

My sleep was disturbed by snippets of incomplete dreams and memories woven together; so, I was not sure which were dreams and which were memories; David sitting in the living room bouncing Junior on his knee, Kenneth cooking alongside me in the kitchen, David kissing me, Kenneth holding me so close I could feel his heart beating.

When I woke up the next morning, there was a faint throbbing ache between my thighs, and though I recognized the feeling, I was not sure which of the actors of my dreams (or memories) was responsible for it.

In an attempt to distract myself from the sensation, I tried to busy myself with Junior and already done chores around the flat, but despite my best efforts, I couldn’t shake it, or those feelings of emptiness and loneliness from the night before.

I understood that David needed to spend the weekend with his other children, especially since he had spent the days before that at the apartment, but I didn’t understand why he could not get away for a few minutes to call, or at the very least text.

It was a dangerous train of thought, for it quickly spiraled into resentment; when David was not here, he was either at work or with his other family. He had a whole other world outside these four walls, while Junior and I were left with only each other.

It just did not seem fair, and the more I thought about it, the more unfair it seemed. Scarier still, the more unfair my situation with David seemed, the more attractive what I had shared with Kenneth appeared.    

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