It wasn’t even that solitude had driven me finally to madness. Or that the world in general had stopped talking to me. It might have been the awfulness of the day, my cold hands, the pouring rain. But I think it might have been that hand, reaching for mine. It pulled me, not only into the warmth of his house, or onto the soft slump of his bed, but also out of my melancholy, away from long, lingering thoughts that lurked, ready to pounce the second I was alone.
When everyone else was gone, he remained.
When everyone else looked away, he gazed only at me.
When no one else listened, he heard every word.
And it didn’t matter that he might only be listening to seduce me, to win my favour enough that we might fall back into this disturbingly wonderful and unhealthy routine. Because he made it perfectly clear, in more than just one way, that he wanted me alone. And though I could not say the same regarding him, who can resist the pull of being desired?
“Its raining, you should stay a while.”
I hesitated. He should have been the safe choice, the one you take home to Mother, but now he struck me as the drug that punished you with long nights of shaking withdrawal. They fool you that way, make you believe that the one who makes your limbs quiver, the one who sets your heart racing, he must be the dangerous one. But the safe choice is often the exact opposite. A seductively tempting exchange; your soul for security.
He beckoned, tugging my hand gently, intoxicating me with the offer of warmth and his soap powder scent. My eyes took in his gaze, so kind. So hungry. I was dizzy, my heart painfully warring with my head. Or at least my hormones.
The house wasn’t empty. Upstairs I heard the clacking of a keyboard, voices in the kitchen, but he was taking me to his room. He dropped my hand, but touched the small of my back as we climbed the stairs. And worst of all, I relished these proprietary gestures. His possessive manner sent me into fits of thrill. I wanted to belong to someone.
But I had wanted to love that someone, too.
As you grow older, you find it necessary to learn the delicate art of compromise. So I didn’t love him? But his heart was good and his prospects excelled. He’d give me a home and kids and sex on the weekends. Plus his hands were so very deft and I thoroughly enjoyed belonging to him.
Did it really matter that I didn’t love him? Surely no one was foolish enough to believe you could find all this and love! Adults make compromises and I was quickly falling into this category. Only a fool would turn down such a worthy man to devote time to a possibly fruitless search for something as frivolous and elusive as love!
The world grew hazy and warm. Everything around me, pressing in, soft, like you would imagine a cloud to be. And logic ran for its life.