Somehow the word “Happy” in the title of any of my stories always seems to be followed by a story that is filled with regret. This story is packed with a lot of emotion, expressed in a very British way.
The story is not autobiographical (the female point of view probably gave that away) but I’ve based it on the English middle-class people that I met while working for a while in the City of London.
It appears in the “With This Ring” section because both of the characters are married – just not to each other.
There are some places where no one speaks. For us, this room has always been such a place. This is where we fuck. We groan and growl, sometimes even scream, but we don’t speak.
The room is the perfect setting for us: discrete, elegant, functional, impersonal.
Normally I don’t pay much attention to the room, I’m not here for the ambience, but today I am early and a little unsettled so it pricks at my awareness, like a long-present smell, finally identified.
This room smells of money and sex but not of affection.
The room is taller than it is long; its high walls are painted white, contrasting with the duck-egg blue of the ceiling. The original coving is still in place, separating walls from ceiling with a boundary of decadently ripe plaster grapes, arranged in phallic clusters.
Last time, as I lay on my back, legs spread to accommodate Gerald’s pounding need, I looked at these grapes, all shape and no flavour, and felt that they were a warning or perhaps a reproach.
The floor is polished wood, its severity mitigated only by an antique Berber rug. I wonder how many other women have sweated and moaned their way to slick release upon the tightly woven beauty of this rug? In the beginning I thought it a magic carpet, carrying me to new heights; I rode it while Gerald rode me. Now I realise that both Gerald and I have been abducted by some poltergeist of lust. We are now so high we can find no way to reach the ground.
The room has a single huge Georgian sash window looking out over a quiet Kensington street. The fireplace is cast-iron, Victorian probably, with an ornate marble surround. I have never seen moonlight through this window or felt heat from coals in that grate.
Gerald and I come here only for our Thursday night “happy hour”. An after work fuckbreak before we return to our families. We are both, of course, happily married. Gerald has two children, with a third on the way. I went to school with his wife, Sophie. I’m the godmother of their second child. Gerald loves Sophie. I know he will never leave her, I also know she will never excite him the way that I do. Never.
The room is dominated by 6ft bed from the Iron Bed Company. The linen is plain and white. The pillows are duckdown. The handcuffs attach neatly to the metal trelliswork of the headboard.
I married Tim because he was the nicest man I’d ever met and because he loves me. He still loves me. But he doesn’t make my loins twitch. At school, Sophie and I used to talk about the man we would marry. We both wanted someone who would “make our loins twitch”. By the time I married Tim I’d dismissed this as a girlish notion. I was 24 and while my loins had glowed nicely from time to time, they had never twitched. When I met Gerald for the first time, two days before his wedding, I felt that kick in the cunt, that cord of lust that lacerated my guts and I knew that twitch had always been too mild a word.
The room is lit by dimmable uplighters and a dozen church candles from Wax Lyrical. We need the lights because we always close the shutters before we fuck.
Gerald and I lasted for three years without fucking each other. We started four months ago. Perhaps it was Sophie’s pregnancy that tipped the balance, or the fact that we both work in the City now, or just that we ran out of reasons to say no. We met in a wine bar in Bishopsgate one night after work. Just to catch up. Just to touch base. Just because we couldn’t NOT meet. Gerald looked nervous and excited. I wondered if he might, at last, touch me. I knew that I would be helpless under his touch. I would do anything, anywhere, to feel his skin against mine.
“Do you ever think of me when you fuck Tim?” Gerald asked.
We’d never discussed sex. Not with words. Just with every movement and every glance and every touch avoided.
I felt my face flame but I looked at him and said, “I close my eyes so that I can imagine it’s you inside me.”
“I have a place,” Gerald said. “In Kensington. Sophie doesn’t know it exists. We could go there. If we wanted to.”
The first time we didn’t make it to the bed, or the rug. He used his silk tie to bind my hands, pushed me up against the front door with my back to him, placed my bound hands over the coat hook, and fucked me. It wasn’t gentle. It never is.
The rest of the week we are both civilised people leading normal, even happy, lives. When we come here, on Thursday nights, we combust. I have done things, we have done things, I had never even dreamed of. Each week we seem to become more frantic. I think, perhaps, that is another reason why we don’t speak; we don’t want to give words to our fear or voice to the insanity that drives us.
This thing we have, whatever it is, is not friendship or love. It doesn’t make us stronger or better. It consumes us. We are burning in each others arms.
I hope that when the fire goes out we will not be hollow.
It is just before 6pm. I can hear Gerald’s key in the lock. He is always punctual. I am kneeling on the rug, waiting for him, when the door opens.
© Mike Kimera 2000 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without written permission from firstname.lastname@example.org
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