Sometimes you must shrug your shoulders and chalk things up to experience, which is what someone said is what you get when you don’t get what you want. I would add it’s also what you get when you lose what you gave away – or realize that you should have kept it.
I drove. And drove. Usually the drive from Phoenix back to the Dessert didn’t seem that long, perhaps because I had a man on my mind – although I certainly had him still, in my mind, but this time was different. No matter how loud I turned up the music or how much I cried, it pierced through my attempts to deaden my senses. Here I was back at square one again, having just bounced from guy to guy like a sad little puppy and finding no permanent place to lay my head. Yet, at the same time, I was free once more to see what was next for me and my life. I resisted the urge to feel self-pity, although it was definitely there, trying to gain a foothold, telling me that this is what I get for falling in love, and with a married man no less.
But the heart wants what it wants I retorted, and there’s no shame in that. In fact, there is no shame, only what other people thought, and I didn’t give a shit about that. I was young, vivacious, with a good sense of humor (or so I was told) and unabashed, if not unmatched, in the world of sex. Certainly, I had tried so many new and amazing experiences in the last year it made me dizzy, but there were still the things I didn’t know I wanted, or didn’t know I didn’t know I wanted, that were subconsciously, I suppose, working on me.
When I arrived back at Caryn’s and my apartment there was a familiar car parked out front: Shawn’s. What the fuck could he want? I asked myself. So, I prepared myself. Sort of. I was more interested than anything. I figured he just couldn’t live without me and so he was here to beg…I liked that thought, even though it was pathetic and wasn’t going to work. I knew I was in no condition for anything like that, and besides, a strong man doesn’t beg, he more or less takes, like Eddie. As selfish and destructive as his behavior was, he really made no apology, and I admired that. I think deep down I wanted to be him and having his cock inside me was as close as I could get to that. Being a woman made it a lot harder to find your way; not to make excuses but it seemed like the game was rigged unfairly in the man’s favor, but I certainly was no feminist. I didn’t even know what that was, but I did know that knowing when to spread and when to keep your legs closed was critical. I guess I couldn’t figure that part out. Every time I debated the subject, I ended up spreading them. I figured saying yes was always better than saying no. You miss a hundred percent of the chances you don’t take…or something like that.
It was late, so I was quiet entering the apartment, perhaps partially because I hoped it would help Shawn disappear. I didn’t want to face him, or more likely face myself and what I did to him. He had made a real effort, was available, an unbelievably sexy man, but I sent him away like a bad dog in favor of a married man who was just revealed to be the biggest womanizer I had ever known or could have possibly imagined, fathering children with two of his mistresses, one whom I had known well as a friend. And the lies, the omissions, the games, plus the fact that I was obviously a surrogate for his wife at times, just made it seem like I was insane to put myself in that position over and over, especially now as I stood in the hallway of my place, having lost it all in one crazy weekend. I was never going to see him again I thought, as if I missed all the chaos.
I prayed for a lessening of the bedlam, which I had to admit I was mostly the cause of, but it seemed like it was only about to get messier. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw next…how could I be? I saw the dark muscular back of my former man, his gorgeous ass and balls, laying it into my roommate Caryn on the couch in the living room! I stood still, hoping that it wasn’t really happening. Not that I had a right to complain – he wasn’t mine to give or take, but there was obviously something or had been something going on for a while “behind my back”.
I tried to just blot it out but they both caught a glimpse of me and he stopped his thrusting, pulling out and standing up quite embarrassed, or embarrassed enough that he covered up.
“Shit, Wanda, I’m…sorry,” he said.
“Aren’t you going to finish?” I asked.
“Finish?” he asked shyly.
“Yeah, fuck, you should finish her off,” I said. “Hopefully you made her come already. I’m sure you did, knowing you.”
“Um…Hi Wanda,” Caryn sighed.
“Well, did he?” I asked her.
“Did he what?” she said.
“Make you come,” I answered.
“Listen, Wanda, I’m sorry,” she panted. “I didn’t know where you were. I guessed you decided to stay with him and wouldn’t be home.”
“Wanda,” Shawn said, “I’m sorry too. I didn’t mean for you to find us like this.”
“You both can fuck whomever you want,” I said.
“Still, honey, we both feel bad keeping it from you,” she said. “We’ve been together for some time now. In fact, we’re getting married.”
“Whoa,” I said, completely shocked. “Back up. You…I mean you’ve been coming here all the way from Phoenix to fuck my roommate? Since when?”
“We just kept in touch after our…encounter,” she interjected. “I have to say I fell for him the first time I met him.”
“It took me a little while longer,” he said. He was smooth but I knew he was only trying to save my feelings.
“Sounds like you had a backup plan for me,” I said, which was admittedly rude.
“One always needs a backup plan with you,” he said. Ouch. He had me dead to rights.
“Wanda,” Caryn pleaded, “I understand you being upset. It’s OK, let’s just calm down.”
“And you!” I said to her, “What about all this crap about you being ‘liberated’ and that no man or woman can make you settle down?”
“I guess I was wrong,” she smiled. “I’m in love with Shawn, and he loves me, don’t you babe?”
“Immeasurably,” he cooed smoothly.
Fuuuuck…I wanted to be sick, literally. “I’m sorry it came out like it did, honestly I can’t say shit, especially after the weekend I had.”
“Do you want to talk about it?” Caryn asked.
“Sure, but not in front of him,” I said.
“I understand,” Shawn said. “I’ll go take a shower if you don’t mind.”
“And get rid of that build up down there,” I smiled. Memories of being with him flooded my mind and made me feel very warm.
I didn’t know if that was appropriate but I didn’t care. Under the circumstances, I guessed not. As oversexed and bruised (physically and emotionally) I was, I was curious, or at least my devil was, at what he would be doing in the shower. That son of a bitch will jack it to my ass I bet I thought. OK, that was a bit nuts considering he was marrying my roommate. I was such a narcissist. Shit.
I helped my friend find her clothes and we talked about my weekend from hell. Even the abiding Caryn was a little dismayed although sympathetic with my case.
“You gotta laugh, at the end of the day,” she said. “And you got to fuck three hot guys. Don’t forget that.”
“As if adding to my total somehow makes it better,” I grinned.
“Mmmm…sometimes I envy you,” she said.
“YOU? Envy ME?” I said.
“Sure,” she said. “You’re fucking gorgeous and dangerous. What more could a man want?”
“And I was told I was funny,” I said. “When I wasn’t beating myself up for shit I couldn’t control.”
“I wish I had the answer for you,” she said. “I could tell you to hang in there and you’ll find happiness eventually, and I believe you will, but not before it’s the right time. I think you’re perfect the way you are, but you are evolving. When it’s right, it won’t be work, it feels like flying.”
“I can’t believe you of all people are ready to settle down,” I said.
“I don’t look at it that way, Wanda,” she said. “I think it’s something about the word ‘settle’ that bugs me.”
“I’m sure,” I said. “And I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it that way.”
“No love, it’s OK,” she grinned. “I see it like finding a partner in crime, to use a well-worn expression. But it’s true. Shawn and I…we’re sure we’re going to make a mark, at least on our own lives. That’s all that matters. We have every intention to be bold, solid, and there for each other for the long term. We can’t fight the fact that we’re young, hot for each other, and in love. We’re just going for it.”
“I am happy for you,” I said. I was. I started to cry (again). I had been doing that way too much.
“I’m a fucking mess,” I gasped.
“Aww…” she said half-sarcastically. “I’ll run you a hot bath when he gets out, OK sweets?”
“Sure, that sounds lovely,” I smiled, like a daughter getting taken care of by her mom. Ugh I thought when will I ever grow up?
I went to my bedroom and got undressed. I had completely forgotten how utterly filthy I was, wearing the same dress I had been wearing since John and I left the resort to go to Phoenix. “I should burn this fucking thing!” I said to myself.
Standing in the mirror I looked at my body: as teased and tugged and scraped as it was I had to admit I was none the worse for wear, other than a couple of scratches on my arms and a tiny bruise on my ass from when Jen and I rolled around on the lawn like wildcats.
A few hours ago…just a few hours ago I was with him, all alone in the dark, and now I was just one of his…victims? I thought. Victim wasn’t right. Eddie’s wife was right, we were all willing. I was far too willing. And so, I stood there, nearly transparent, a ghost made by the man of all men. He was still literally on me, his sweat and skin, like a stain. I almost didn’t want to wash it off.
A knock at the door snapped me out of my haze. “Come on hon, let’s get you cleaned up.”
I went with Caryn down the hall to the bathroom, where a hot soapy bath waited for me.
Hmm I thought. All’s well that ends well. And this was certainly a well ending. Or at least the best I could hope for considering.
“Thank you so much,” I said.
“You’re welcome sweetie,” she said. “By the way, I wanted to ask you if you’d be my maid of honor at my wedding.”
“Um…of course,” I said. I didn’t know what that even was at that moment, but as the bath soothed my aching body my spirit began to heal and I was thrilled someone would ask me, considering how close I usually got to people. Somewhere between the Dessert and Phoenix I thought. Sounded like a country song. “Ha,” I sighed. I knew how to manipulate and how to fuck, maybe I knew how to punch a little too. But Honor, that was something I knew I wasn’t ever accused of having. Who’s to say what that even is? I concluded. I sure as hell didn’t know, deciding that was just a word people used to butter each other’s asses.
I got out of the bath, into some PJ’s and into bed. I was so tired and fell asleep effortlessly.
Stay tuned for chapter two — coming soon!