How can I begin to explain?
It happened slowly, and yet it happened so fast, like being hit by lightning while you’re standing outside enjoying the rain, and you’re never, ever the same.
I woke up to another nameless day at dawn. If you had asked me, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what day of the week or what month it was. All my days are the same, filled with never ending routines that I perform in a detached haze, half asleep and half awake.
It was while making breakfast that I finally woke up. While I watched the bacon sizzle in the pan I suddenly remembered that you hated bacon, too much fat you said, and just like that, I woke up out of my cloud and realized that this is not the life that I wanted. That this quiet surban life you worked so hard for was slowly killing me inside. And I knew I had to get away.
You didn’t notice my quiet desperation, of course. How could you? You, with your sweet disposition and sensible ties, you believe I’m the happy housewife, and I don’t have the heart to tell you otherwise, that I always hated the routines, the way my life is nothing but a schedule and I merely exist in it.
So I waited until you left, then I called The Other, The Other whose name I can never say out loud, although his ghost haunts me every day.
He answers my call on the first ring.
“Tell me,” he says, knowing full well that it’s me even before I speak.
I don’t have to explain. Instead I tell him to come save me, dressing to greet him. I put on the black heels you hate. The ones I never get to wear anymore because they make me look taller than you, and I paired them with a red dress no housewife should ever wear. I decided that for today I will not be your wife; instead I will be me. And without a word I stepped into his car. The same car he’s been driving since high school, during the days when I would pick flowers and whisper his name.
The familiar scent of leather feels like home, and as I lean back against the seat it’s like I’m sixteen again, with his hand between my legs. He fingers me as I watch the houses of our quiet neighborhood roll by, teasing me to insanity so that I’m ready and wet when we reach the motel.
And before you get to work, before you set foot in your office with the view, I was already in his arms.
His fingers burn my skin, leaving scorch marks in their wake. I lean into it, feeling the heat and the pleasure from his touch ignite my senses. My dress is quickly discarded, and we are both naked and tangled even before the motel door is closed.
Oh to feel alive again, I think as I feel his weight settle on top of me. He fucks me hard and deliberate, all the while whispering in my ear to leave you, telling me to let you go, and as I taste his familiar lips I wonder why I ever chose the safe over the untamed, why I walked away from someone that is such a part of me.
And I want to be his again.
So I bargain with myself as the phone rings. Between sucking his dick and tongue fucking, I remember to call and let you know that I am not home, that there will be no dinner tonight and maybe I’ll tell you that I’m fucking someone else. I tempt the fates: if at two rings you pick up, I will keep my mouth shut and be the perfect wife to you. If you pick up after three, I will tell you the truth and let the chips fall where they may, but if you don’t pick up at all I will leave you like the bitch in heat that I am and let you hate me.
But you beat me at my own game and pick up after half a ring, saying sweet hellos and I miss yous.
I swallow my guilt as I answer your questions.
Yes, my sister feels better.
Yes, I will be home tomorrow.
Yes I love you, because I do love you, but as I hang up and feel him cup my breasts, I realize I need him too.
I will spend tonight with The Other. I will arch my back to welcome him, lying back on a no name bed and smell the sulfur of his skin. I will be a slave to his desires.
And then I will go back to being your wife in the morning.