A housewife

Let’s imagine her life. She has two teenaged daughters. They look like her and her husband. They have her lips and his eyes. Her mother is Srilankan. Her father is American. She grew up in London. At 25 years old, she met her husband. He was handsome. They got married a few years later. She got pregnant at 35 years old with the first child. Then the second one at 37 years old. She gave up her model career for him. She followed him to his country as his career was more important for him. She was happy being home and raising the kids. They spent their vacations in Australia, in India, in England. When the kids were small, they lived a happy bohemian life. They could travel around Asia by motorbike for months. They spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve in the mountains in Switzerland, in the village where her husband was born. Ten years ago, her husband got an important contract in Spain. They decided to move to Madrid. They bought together an old flat in the Old Town and he renovated it into a loft, keeping the structure of the flat but adding a few modern details for the kitchen. There were no separation between their bedroom and the bedrooms of the kids. They lived in an open space, husband, wife and daughters. Their kids could sleep and play wherever they wanted to in the flat.

Eventually her husband started to become well-known. He got more and more contracts. His design in architecture and ideas of keeping raw concrete material in construction were appreciated. He opened two more offices in two other cities in Europe and started to travel more. At the beginning he stayed two nights in a hotel where he first opened his office. After six months, he said he was tired of travelling back and forth too much and asked her if she would mind if he rented a room in one city where the second office is. She said that she would understand if he found it more convenient.

The next two years, he moved from the room to another studio in a nice house. Same city. He practically only came home to Spain on the weekends. She did some charity works, mostly unpaid. She took care of the kids alone during weekdays. The weekends when he was home, he was invited to work events and networking parties. She followed him everywhere they were invited. She dressed up for him. She did not feel particularly happy about it but she imagined that could help him to show an image of a happy couple. People seem to fancy about how beautiful and harmonious their life was. She could not do anything about it. People always seem to think or imagine something. Would anyone imagine her in the laundry room during the week, in the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom, ironing his shirts? Would anyone imagine how it could be to sleep alone four days a week, in the master bedroom designed by him? People could imagine their lives and love life and marriage life as a successful life. No one could imagine the loneliness and the resilience that she has accepted to live through these years.

Eventually, he moved from a studio to a bigger two bedrooms apartment. He built the building and kept for himself the flat. He always came back home. He was more and more tired. Ten more years passed by. They talked during dinners on the weekends. They went to events, still. They went on vacations where he had the construction sites. Their sex life was nothing special but hygienic.

Eventually, the arrangement suited them. Their feelings were fading away or were a pale memory of what they were before. But there were the two beautiful kids and there was the celebrity that kept them together. She imagined and knew that he had mistresses or lovers elsewhere. A divorce was out of the question. It would cost them a lot emotionnally to decide for a separation, even though it might have cost them more to stay together all these years.

She imagined her husband with other women in his room then in the studio then  in the big flat. What did they look like ? What were their professions? How old were they ? He chose them carefully enough. They would not bother her, or them, or her couple. They slept with him and left. He gave them nothing. He took from them nothing but their bodies. He gave her nothing either but took from her everything.

Why did she accept ? As a mother to her kids ? As a wife to her husband ? She knew there were other women. He tried to be discreet, not only to protect her, but also to preserve the marriage and the family. She never knew why he would do that ? Their marriage was not what it used ot be. There was nothing bohemian about their lives these last years. What kept them together in this loft built in concrete walls was merely the laughs of their kids. And the idea of being a family, in a traditional way, a husband, a wife, the kids, the father, the mother. What he did outside, in another country, in another flat, had nothing to do with her. Or it had everything to do with her but she preferred to ignore. All these women whose faces unknown to her. As long as she could not imagine them more than some vague associations of images and fantasies of her mind, she preferred to ignore their existence. That was how she opened the door every weekend and greeted him with a smile. A sad one. But enough to preserve a family.

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A Tinder match

He is 52 years old. Two grown-up daughters. Lives 4 days in your city, 3 days abroad during the weekend. Works in both places. On his profile, he put his website so you could easily check his background. A successful man, well-known career. He is an architect. You browsed the images of the buildings he built. They were well done and stylish.

After two seconds of exchanges in Tinder message, he gave you his phone number. You did not chat a lot with him. After maybe three messages, you agreed to meet him for a drink on a Saturday evening. He was extremely handsome, just plastically handsome. On his website, there was a description of his work and one sentence: lives with his family. You connected with him on Facebook, he had almost 5000 “friends”. You browsed through his friends for less than 10 seconds. Most of them are gorgeous women.

Saturday 6pm, you agreed to meet him at one finest bar in your city. You came to the bar 5 minutes earlier. The bar was full of eastern sophisticated girls in fur. He arrived 10 minutes late. He made you nervous by arriving late. He was just as gorgeous as all his pictures on the website and on Facebook. Self-confident, warm. Over self-confident. The way he smiled to you. He already knew you would never walk out of this bar alone, without him tonight, you would go with him to wherever he wanted to go. The smile of his could put any rational thought of yours upside down. He was totally your style. Totally. Totally. Totally. Copy paste this word Totally 1000 times, that would still be true. You asked the first question after 5 minutes. Are you married or separated. He answered: oh too soon to ask this question. It is complicated. You knew right at that moment that Mr. Totally My Style would just be an affair;  best case scenario you would become a mistress; worse case scenario a one-night stand. But you looked at him and you said to yourself: Who cares. You would protect yourself deeply because he was totally your style but not a boyfriend or partner material. This, if you could do it, you stay. And that was what you did. You stayed.

You went from this bar to the best restaurant in town. Best one and also the most expensive. Over self-confident man, he greeted everyone in the restaurant. He seemed to know everyone. The bar was dark so you could not see his eyes properly. In the restaurant, the light was bright enough for you to see his blue eyes. His eyes were wonderful. He was perfect. What he said. The way he held your hands in the middle of the meal. The way he laughed. He was witty and smart and charming. All the subjects were put out there on the table for discussion but you were delicate enough to never ask about his family situation again. You respected him. It was none of your business. You would not want to contradict these blue eyes, this smile and this tanned skin of him after some weeks in Bali. You would not want to confront him. You would never ever confront him. Not that evening and not the other evenings either. After the dinner, he suggested to go to a piano bar where you have never been. The piano bar was cool. People dancing, singing. Old, young, cool mix. After the first vodka tonic, he kissed you. He kissed you again. And again. You felt like a teenage. You enjoyed the kisses. They were cool, normally cool. He was shocked when you qualified them as normal. The kisses were normal because it was a normal denouement of such an evening. You would kiss him for sure. Again and again for sure. He would have his hands caressing your body, your legs or your neck. Normal process. Two wolves out there kissing each other. Craving sex, tenderness or even affection. Who knows? Even love. But you were clever enough to not throw your heart to anyone just because of the kisses. The evening was perfect like him. When you two left the bar, there were some cabs in front, he asked if you would like to go home or come to his place. You waited 5 seconds and went inside the cab with him.

You went back to his place. He just moved in the building he built the week before you met. Boxes, empty place. Dark concrete but beautiful. The idea of the window that opens completely and becomes the balcony was brilliant. The best place you could imagine to have sex with a stranger. The sex was good. You have got better. But it was honorable enough for the first time. You asked him in the night if you should take a cab to leave like the other women. He said you could stay. And added: Usually they leave earlier. Over self-confident again. You woke up several times in the night. His body looking for yours. The kisses in the dark. The smell, his and yours. Delicious and usual smell of sex and of sweating bodies. In the morning, you did not feel awkward. You told him you had to leave. He said that a coffee and short brunch would be fine.

It was a rainy Sunday. You picked a trendy place of brunch. He was nice and gentle. He looked you into the eyes. That could make you melt if you were amnesia and if you could forget about his complicated family situation. He could look at you deeply, you still would not forget that. You like the smile and the gazes. Yet you knew you would represent not much for him. He left you at the tram stop, kissing you over and over again. His kisses smelled like the rain. He got hard. The kisses were soft. It was cold. Leaving him was normal process and ending.

The few days after that, you exchanged with him some short words, mostly to say hello and sending each other a normal kiss. He was again nice. You would totally fall for him if you were 25 years old. How could you resist a man like that? You could not. Then you agreed to meet him again for another dinner a week after that. You came back to his place. Same beautiful building. Same open balcony. Same light from the street and from the soccer court downstairs. Magical place. Sexual meaningless relationship. You had sex. Good sex. For the second time. As two consenting adults enjoying each other a lot. You came more than twice. He came more than twice. Then he gave you a t-shirt. It means you could stay and sleep over. The next day at 7 am you woke up, called a cab and went to work. His kiss goodbye was nothing special. A polite kiss in the morning.

You got out of his apartment. You were relieved. You thanked him for being just so beautiful, so gorgeous, so perfectly perfect. He had given you just sex. You could have fallen for him so deep if he did put some efforts in disguising just a bit your relationship into something more romantic and less sexual. But he did not. You thanked him for being honest and so self-confident to not even want to show you something else than just sex.

As you have predicted, his text messages got shorter and shorter. Just to make plan to hook up. The third time you met him at his place, he cooked for you some pasta. He asked more questions about your life. But somehow you felt like he was just being polite. Even though you two watched TV hands in hands, the air was empty of emotions. You did not judge him. He has his life and choices. You have yours. He gave you the same t-shirt. You slept over. Same routine. You took a cab the next day and left at 7am.

You enjoyed every moment with him. The politeness. The indifference. The distance. The short conversations. You would like to have less distance and coldness though. A more friendly touch, a slight gesture of intimacy, not only the physical one. A small something that will elevate your relationship beyond the trivial sexual needs. Not too much to get attached, but just enough to feel that the sex exchange was not just a transaction. Consenting adults should not be afraid of warmth after sex. He would be always safe even if he gave you a kiss goodnight. He would always be safe even if he hugged you goodbye in the morning. You two had an agreement. An affair agreement.

Ultimately your heart, you would save it for someone else. If you were 25, you would miss him inside the bedroom and outside the bedroom. Now that you are 45, you were wiser. In the end, you want love. You know that. And thanks to this gorgeous man. You know that you were not cynical enough to put sex above love. You know that you would never want to be that cynical. Eventually you would go on for a while. You did like what happened between him and you. Eventually he would keep you for a while. Eventually the agreement would last. But you would always want love to prevail sex. At 25, or 45 or 65 years old.

The air coming from outside of the cab window was fresh. You smiled and looked back at the building he has designed. Concrete. Grey. Luminous. Imposing. Just like the day you were about to embrace.

 

Possibilities

She wakes up this morning knowing she will be happy. There is a space inside of her and beyond her where an infinity of possibilities just dancing in front of her eyes.

There was that moment when she left him the other day in the morning. That precise moment very short, very furtive when she knew. What she knew, what she felt was common to her a long time ago, the time when she was in love. When she left his apartment, when they kissed goodbye, when he held her in his arms, she knew that love has hit her. Gently, softly but very clearly. And that was just it. Like an evidence. Not a surprise. She did not think of what could happen after that feeling. Would it work out between them ? Would they be available for each other ? Would he love her back ? These questions were not relevant as the present moment, the moment of this new-born love, was more important. She was honest to herself. She accepted to be in love. With him and with them and with their story. In this space where they are and where they were, anything can be possible. They are who they are, and they can be no one, and anything could happen to them, as long as there is this connection and intimacy. Because to be anything else, first there should be a connection.

Even knowing that she could get hurt or she could suffer, the suffering is still part of this infinity of possibilities. They have found each other. Somehow, somewhere in their lost souls and extreme loneliness, they have met and they have made space for each other. Short moments, long moments, intense moments they gave to each other. The kisses. The talks. The gazes. The naked bodies. What they offered to each other was never insignificant. Their lives so apart and yet so close, close in the search for another soulmate, or simply for a beautiful connection.

She wakes up this morning, accepting that kind of destiny. The kind of destiny that includes the love for him or the beginning of the love for him. Her heart is full. That is how she starts her day. In a space of infinite possibilities and he is one of them.