The desire, that one which once burned in my soul for Cecilia, has been gone for so long that I can barely remember the strength it once had. I should be past this stage in my life; I shouldn't be able to fall in love again, not now, in my late forties, not again, not for someone like Eloise, so young. And Eloise shouldn't be able to fall in love with me, she shouldn't be able to even look at my face and consider me someone of the opposite sex; no, we should have met and not be interested in each other, we should have just spent the time together that life asked us to, not stealing glances and giggling too much, or telling stories to make ourselves more interesting, not telling each other that we both love best sellers about lawyers and that we both watch the same TV shows. And life, so horrible all the time, shouldn't have been benevolent and given us so many opportunities to be alone, to talk so much, to know each other, to play daring word games that had only one meaning.
Cecilia is waiting for me, right now, having heard my car enter the garage. She has made yet another dinner, one that neither of us is really looking forward to. I'll walk in, I'll say hello, she will ask me how was my day. I always say, “fine”. Today, it was not fine. It was the most horrible day of my life, and it was the best day I had in twenty years.
Eloise's body was so wonderful. So inviting, so new and fresh, so lustful and eager. She wanted me, she really wanted me, the dampness and the heat and the glassy eyes proved it to me. She didn't fake anything, she didn't rush to get to the end—but she didn't linger either, she licked and sucked me with pleasure. It was not evening in a dark room, I didn't know how she would move, what words she would mumble, I didn't know she would grab my neck as if her life depended on it: it was fresh. Her breasts were small but firm, ripe, pointy like I always wanted and never had. She smiled afterwards, she kissed me and lay her head over my body, her hand gently and slowly carressing my chest. Almost two hours of pure bliss, the weariness and the guilt.
Cecilia won't know what happened. She can never tell when something bad has happened. That time I was about to lose my job, the time that moron eighteen-year-old crashed into my car, the time I ran over a dog. She won't say anything. I'll go upstairs, have a bath and then come down. We'll watch TV and have dinner. Then we'll go to the bedroom and we'll fall asleep.
I had never cheated, never, ever before. I had two chances to cheat in my life, two good chances. The first was at a party, before I met Cecilia, back when I had my first real girlfriend. I wouldn't have cheated her for anything. I just wouldn't, even if she and I were sleeping with each other. I never slept with Selene. Then, four years into my marriage, there was Paula. Paula, who was a mild slut. She couldn't get me into bed—I thought about it, I did, I know, it fueled some fantasies, I even pretended Cecilia was her once—but I didn't relent to the idea. I told her no. Actually, I just didn't let it happen. She didn't mind. Other men in the office were ready to give her what she wanted.
Eloise wanted it. I could tell from the way she moved and shook, from the sudden changes of her breathing, from the words that came out of her mouth. That was what struck me the most. That she wanted it, that she desired sex, that she chose to do it even if it was wrong; she wanted me, of all men, she wanted to be mine, to have me in her bed just for the sake of it, not for gaining some advantage, not because she wants a new pair of shoes or a new bathroom sink.
I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking, what will happen later? Will this keep going on, for months, as it seems that it is going to? Will Cecilia find out, someday? Will I fall in love with Eloise? With the way she touches me, the way she speaks, quietly, when she wants to say something important? I had such an easy life, everything settled...
“How was your day?” Cecilia asks, just after I enter through the kitchen door.
“Fine,” I answer, with a whole new meaning, and I discover I like it. “Just fine,” I repeat, savoring the word.