The evening guests had just started arriving and the pastry chef was in a huff because we ran out of fresh coconut. I’d just returned from the market across town; all I could find were small coconuts and she had the guts to criticize the size. The woman was insufferable! If she was not the best damned pastry chef I knew, we would have parted ways that very day.
She swore in Greek, dumbstruck that I walked away, as I headed for the wine cellar. A couple were celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary and made a special wine request. I remember smiling wryly at the time, we had just passed that mark ourselves—the pretentious dinner you organized at the Parsons, was just a tip off the iceberg. “It had to be the Parsons”, you declared, “where else would befit a woman like you?” you had bragged to your friends.
I managed to get through the night with you holding me in your arms. And though we looked the vision of perfection, oh Wills, you were too far gone to even notice the cloud over my head.
The wine was perfect and at the right temperature. I wanted everything to be perfect for the couple; they shouldn’t have to spend over 10k and have anything to complain about. Their party was for twenty in a secluded area reserved for them.
I arranged for three chefs to be present for the night and they worked their magic; my presence though not needed was sometimes required by guests. The evening had dragged on but my saving grace was Skype and my girls. I read them two stories for bedtime and finally bribed a goodnight out of them. I had barely gotten off the net before my presence was requested at the party.
I took off my white coat and made small talk with Peggy as we walked along; she was my right arm and responsible for making events and this evening a success.
“He looks totally miserable out there,” Peggy said in that fruity tone of hers.
“Who?” I asked.
“The husband! He looks like his heart is a million miles from here. The wife, now…now there’s a player! She’s all about the people, appearance and all.”
Peggy talking too much was one thing, but her instincts were always spot on. “And you observed all of this in how many minutes, Peg? I replied sweetly and we laughed. When we got to the party, Peggy coughed to draw their attention and they clapped and whistled when she introduced me to give the toast. I had a big smile on my face, about to begin my rehearsed speech but the words never left my lips. Right there before me, was Logan my therapist, looking distinguished and sexy in a tux.
Making ready to greet me, he froze in his tracks hand outstretched. Our eyes expressed shock, disbelief, longing and fear all at once. If anyone was watching they would have noticed something wrong. This was one moment I hoped escaped Peggy’s instincts. If she did notice anything, she never let on when she handed me a flute of champagne. His wife, a pretty blond, was laughing and chatting away with guests seated beside her.
As quickly as I could, I shook his hand and retrieved my nervous hand to the comfort of my side, mumbling something about wishing them the best. Turning to his wife glass raised, I toasted the longevity of their union saying they have no choice but come back in five years for their twentieth which evoked a roar of laughter from everyone. Logan still stood where he was, not uttering a word. His hazel eyes devoured me taking in every detail. There was a glint in his eyes, a sudden spark which had not escaped our ever so observant Peggy.
Walking back to my office Peggy would not stop talking, excitement written all over her voice. “Did you see the life zoom right back into that man? Zi I tell you that is the face of a man awakened. I wonder what got his knickers on fire!”
“Okay that’s enough Peggy, and we call it panties or in his case boxers…oh you know what I mean! I said unable to contain my laughter. Peggy’s British accent hadn’t quite left her despite twenty odd years in the States.
I pretended like I had a ton of paper work to get through so she would go and let me be. I was not in the mood of her gossip and God forbid that her antenna picked up on the storm that raged inside of me. I exhaled deeply when she finally left. What was he doing here and why my restaurant? I never indicated where I worked or said anything specific outside of my dreary world with Wills. He must have not known this place was mine. But then, the shock I saw on his face was genuine and he came alive after seeing me. I suddenly felt very weak and reached inside the draw for my flask. I took a big gulp of whiskey and relaxed in my chair.
A knock came on the door and I called out, “Oh Peg…did you forget something?” The door flew open as I stood up and it wasn’t Peggy, it was Logan! How did he manage to get back here? The restrooms were along the same corridor, and clearly visible to everyone; he must have said something to a member of staff to have gotten this far in.
He looked at me for a while he before spoke. “I’m sorry Zizi, I had to see you again. It’s awkward I know, but you have no idea what seeing you again after all these years did to me. I was now standing in front of him and he stepped in and closed the door, leaning back on it.
“Hello Logan, this is a surprise, you are last person in the world I expecte…I never did finish before he pulled me into his arms and kissed me and I did not resist. I could not resist. His mouth was warm and sweet, peachy sweet. He held my face between his hands and his kiss was hungry and searching. Exploring every crevice of my mouth and sucking in as if somehow he drew life from the kiss. I could not believe the sensation in my being. This is what I had imagined and visualized for five solid years; years of anguish and sorrow owing to the elusiveness of his taste and touch. When he eventually did let go, he held me tight in an embrace and I could hear both our hearts beat.
“I have kissed you a thousand times in the last year alone Zizi, the remaining four even more. But something or someone out there did not want me going to my grave a bitter angry man.” Releasing one hand he reached for a bit of blank paper on my desk. He told me to hold on while He scribbled a number on it. He hugged me again this time whispering, “Now that I found you Zizi, I’ll never let you go again. Please call me…tomorrow at noon, noon Zizi.”
He slipped away as quickly as he had appeared and for the second time that night, I found myself speechless once more.
Alone again, I began to contemplate what just happened, had I lost my damned mind? The last time was a mistake, this would not be. I was actually doing this on my own accord. That sane voice of reason immediately kicked in and began to rationalize with me. Was I willing to throw away life with you and my girls just for this? Then again, to what life do I refer? You have been selfish as a lover, inconsiderate as a husband and a bully. My girls should be the only thing that matters to me. Fulfilling this desire that had burned incessantly in my soul for five years had to be the right thing to do…he looked wonderful, those hazel eyes still filled me with mystery.
Casting my mind back to the therapy sessions; I always looked forward to my sessions on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 2:15pm. I would tap twice on the door and he would be the one to let me in, though there was a reception desk, I never saw a receptionist.
His room was huge and full of light and I liked that. Overlooking the skylines of downtown Houston, I always got the feeling of floating when I stood by the window from the 22nd floor. He would always have a mug in his hands and he recorded most of the sessions. During some sessions all he did was playback a previous recorded session to me. He suggested it was good to playback and hear my voice saying the things that grieved me and that perhaps within them I would find the answers I sought. The day he said this was the first time I actually looked at him proper and I must confess that I caught my breath. There was something quite virile about him that day. In my despair, I never really noticed how good looking he was until he had said something that pissed me off. How in the world would I find answers in my words, was that not his job to do? Help me reach some sort of resolve or closure?
I remember the dry laughter this had evoked from me. This was also the day I found what it is he sipped during the course of our sessions. I asked and bluntly he replied whiskey. This is new, was all I could say under my breath. I reclined back into my chair now, remembering how I cried about having sex with you Wills; It was all about you being inside me and me thinking that you should hurry up and cum already.
The Logan that had just kissed me was different, it was not the same predictable face and gestures I had grown accustomed to during those sessions, this was a man who seemed suddenly inspired—if that’s the right word to use. My face flushed remembering our previous ten minutes of passion…It had happened all so quickly, and I still can’t believe what I did. All I remember was the hug and then his lips found mine. His kiss was strange almost violent, as if he was angry with himself or the world but still filled with desire. He moaned all through the kissing and I remember his hands, they were a little rough, which surprised me; it’s funny how the mind recollects details of supposedly unimportant things.
I remember him lifting me up and placing my ass on the big oak table and in one swift movement pushed my panties to one side and slipped inside me. I remember gasping at the thrusts and clinging to him as tears ran freely down my face. There was a hunger in both of us. A yearning that needed to be filled and those ten silent minutes muffled in moans and gasps did somehow satisfy that yearning for the moment.
During the drive back home I shuddered at the risk I had just taken, I had unprotected sex with an almost stranger. I knew he was probably worried and shocked at his behaviour too; there was a look on his face right after we had finished. If the floor could open and swallow him, he would have preferred that to facing me. He felt he had betrayed me in some way and I suppose he did considering ethics of therapy, but the reality of my world finally hit home.
I was enraged and a pressure built up inside me. I was never a big talker and you Wills, you stopped hearing me years ago. My only option was to give you what you wanted. It was my way of saying see; see what you made me do. I don’t know what fueled me more, the anger of what I had just done with another man, or the fact that you were going to be inside me, oblivious to the fact that another penis was in there not too long ago.
You never could say no to me, so we made love and I cried like a baby. My tears were a mixture of pain, sorrow, betrayal and a total loss of myself and freedom. In my heart I held you responsible for everything and as soon as we finished that day, I ran to the bathroom and took another shower…I suddenly felt very dirty!
Later that month when I missed a period, my heart skipped a beat because it had not crossed my mind to consider whose baby this would be. I suppose the pretend joy of the news and you loosing yourself in me over it soon pushed all that away. Besides it was too late. It had better be yours because I was not going to kill your spirit with a confession; it would have definitely destroyed you.
Seeing Logan that evening brought all the doubts back again, why the hell are you doing this to yourself, I chided myself quietly; everyone says the girls are a spitting image of you. I see my babies’ faces now and nod in reassurance…yeah! They do look a lot like you…brown eyes, mop of dark curly hair and that mischievous look perpetually on their faces. I frown now also thinking….but that’s the exact same look on the man I just kissed. Dark curly hair, mischievous glint…oh my God!
I literally began to shake. A realization began dawning on me; I did not want this to be real. I could not wait to get home that night. Eventually when I did I headed straight to the girls room and turned on the lights. They were beautiful and looked peaceful as they slept. But I gasped in horror because I very well might have been looking at Logan’s face. The resemblance was uncanny.