Saturday 24 December 2016

An Affair in A-Z

Lisa Williams

an illicit coffee when you should be working

A child full of Autumn sun, not peturbed by the gathering storm, makes them with giggle tinged breath and an urgently dipped stick .
Gliding magical mirrored globes. 
Float towards a fuscous sky.
They rise. Drift.
Reflecting a violet wing over a chalk hill. Remains of an impromptu picnic. A hand held, just a little too long, on the tartan check. They see the glance. The colouring of that cheek that he slides his against. To whisper in her ear. They see the beginning of something but keep their secrets safe as with a quick liquid burst they are gone.
 Beginnings often catch us unaware.
The whisper almost lost in the folding of the picnic blanket. Trapped in its tartan folds and packed away for winter.
But she catches it with a gasp before it creeps along her spine. Turns to check she's heard it right as an obsidian curtain drops, the rain starts and the ground sighs at its touch.
With arms outstretched the child flies down the hill. Leaving them in the rain. Holding a blanket. A decision hanging in the air. Thunder then, rumbles its approach as a flutter of beating wings rise from a distant tree.
 Crisp leaves carpet the path as they stroll. Just the two of them although decorum walks between them as they both battle the inner need to be so much closer.
Midas had run on ahead touching the few leaves that still stubbornly clung to bare branches before heading home to write summer's eulogy.
Moments ago this day had stretched out endlessly before them but now the streetlights come on and draw it to an unwelcome close. They kiss then in the glowing embers of their first shared day.
A kiss tinged with coffee.
And a promise of so much more
 December didn't bring the expected chill to their trysts. It sent them inside and as they left uncharted waters and made for land a fear of discovery silently crept behind them. Detection by those that shouldn't ever know of those broken promises, the stolen happiness they'd shared together.
Their heartbeats quickened by more than simply desire. They met with pockets full of excuses for the questions that never came. Deleted messages, plans not on any calendar; until they met it was as if they didn't even exist.
They became an ephemeral whisper of broken vows on winter's sharp easterly wind.
Each passing day they spoke. Surreptitiously. Shared the time when they could, hidden from prying eyes. And from this, deep within them it grew. An all encompassing build of desire. A need. Not felt before. Nurtured it seemed from nothing.
Hopes, held together with gossamer thin strands. They tiptoed to keep them tied tight, tried not to rock their boat, neither wanting their tenuous bond to break whilst on their trip.
They fed each other's hunger with this fresh found joy. With the thrill of excitement they wanted to shout from the rooftops but which was too secret to share..  
 Firelit curves only give a glimpse of the picture on the fur rug. It's a Tuesday afternoon early in December. The air is breath catchingly cold.
There's a trail of recklessly discarded clothes from the hall. Edges define then in the warming glow after a frenzied undressing. As two shapes lean together, reach forward and the curves meet to join as one. That fireside kiss needs both hands to still her shiver of delight.
Firelit curves that move gently, rocking to a backdrop of gasped breath and the smell of cedar and red wine are perhaps easier to make out.
 Grey skies are hidden by a curtain pulled closed in the daytime. He becomes her sunshine on brumous days. They draw closer. In embraces longed for since their last meet. She flicks the Christmas tree lights on with a bare toe, the only illumination in the room.
This closed door togetherness, one they can't share in public provides a frisson that they don't really need.
A turn.
A look.
A coming together until they're so close a marriage certificate couldn't come between them.
And then.
Their kisses.
That feed their aches of desire and seemingly erase all time before them.
 Have you ever longed for escape?
For something new and exciting to take hold?
They hadn’t courted this. But there it was. Found when they hadn't been searching. They didn't feel they could control this need, urgency almost, to be together.
Over Christmas assignations were harder to arrange with a surfeit of family filling the house. A shared afternoon before, he unwrapped her, they had their celebration then. Then used the time to try and halt things. Hoping commonsense would take over.
Tell tale footprints led to his door though, when the year ended covered in a blanket of snow.
 Icicles like frosted alabaster outside the upstairs window mirror the honey drip of pleasure from within as the New Year starts with a warming fervour. Forced apart over Yule their aches desperately need sating. With a wife visiting relatives they take advantage on a neatly made marital bed.
So very wrong.
But from the guttural groan from behind the bedroom door followed by a tremulous 'YES' they have found solace in each other’s arms. Needs met. That dull pain of desire gratifyingly quelled. The year continues as they grasp fleeting moments of joy together in an otherwise calamitous world.
Unbridled joy.
Rippling through life is a rarity. And when it's found it needs to be nurtured, kept safe. Lest it rise on the wind and fly to warmer shores. And so they look after their bliss as Spring brings with it pendulous clumps of blossom that falls on their heads like confetti.
Confetti. Like at the weddings they'd both had but not to each other. The words unspoken, they shared that though. They'd both married the wrong person.
Fresh hope burst from the ground beneath where they sat. Fingers entwined. Susurrations of nothings between them, peppered with kisses.
Endless kisses. That both feed the ache and sate in one delicious mouth aching paradox. Concealed usually from view for no one to know. Stolen on a busy street. Risky, but necessary. Caught up in the kilig, a bounce in steps. The monotony of life suddenly easier to bear with this secret burst of bliss tucked away in their hearts.

The anticipation that escalates with each passing day apart, for the next time. Snatched seconds of a call. A text. A chance meeting.
Making do with memories of a lip brushing softly against flesh until the inevitable next time.
 Lost loves can always be found if they want to be.
The deep plummeting sadness of being apart, without contact feels like it could kill. The hurt, the sadness takes over and eats into the day with a heavy dark bite.
She sits alone at her table. Marmalade on toast catching in her throat as the memories rise to the surface with a sparkle that fades as soon as they surface. There's no escape from them. Her skin tingles with the remembrance of his kisses and the tears almost rust her heart.
He hopes she knows he's thinking of her.
 Magic, like lightning can strike the same place more than once, and so it did in her heart as spring turned to summer and he returned. She'd mourned for what they'd shared in the week he was away. Tried to tell herself he wasn't hers to lose. But as he came back from foreign shores. A little tanned. He had a deeper hunger in his eyes.
They kissed in the street.
Discovery would stop them having to hide.
And with the door barely closed they came together like a battle. Fighting away the week apart with an almost spellbinding fury.
 No one knowing about something can feel strange. The more it goes on. Ethereal and dreamlike can become just plain weird. But it was hard to reveal something that was just for them. And so many others would be hurt by the pleasure they shared.

So they chose to keep it safe for now, although it meant there was so much they couldn't do together. The simple normalities. A morning. Brushing teeth. Even a supermarket shop somehow held a tantalising tug of desire.
We always want what we haven't got, they had each other, but neither liked having to share.
 Only when you’ve had an affair can you know that heart clutch, lurch of panic when you're at last discovered.
A telltale receipt left in the car, singing in the shower, vestiges of scent on a dress. Being spotted walking out of the cinema on a Thursday afternoon by a friend. The pocketful of excuses had tumbled unnoticed under the seat with the popcorn as they kissed.
Both blinking in the light, questions hit them unaware. Their kiss flushed faces give them away. Prompting a phonecall later. A third degree. Hurt that this huge secret hadn't been a shared one.
 Paris. A balcony. A bare shoulder.
Bubbles of excitement rise inside them like in a flute of champagne. A secret shared meant they could spread their wings. Cover stories provide a night away, a whole night together.
They are bowled over by possibilities of the enchanted evening ahead. More time than they've ever known before. And a romantic new city to explore.
They choose the nearest supermarket.
And a trolley. To make it seem more real.
Later as stars sparkle burning their last through the window they sit up in bed with biscuits and marshmallows. Giggling with adventure and delights.
Quelled feelings build. Good or bad. The feeling between them had built and built and had to explode. In a Paris hotel room they saw the future. This was it. Now. It wasn’t going to get better.
Neither would leave their partner. Children. Complications. The house. There was a tower of reasons hovering over them. But, as they slid down the bed to spend their first night together, on a layer of biscuit crumbs it didn't matter.
Their happiness was here. Was on a hill. Was wherever they could be, regardless of who they shared the rest of life with.
 Rising early the next morning because of open curtains they do try to make it seem normal. But just having the head on the next pillow to wake up to seemed strange. They both sat up, as reality sank in. Thoughts naturally going those they usually woke up next to with a swift lurch of guilt.
They reassure each other.
And then slip into each others arms and reassure each other without words.
It was a one off. To be enjoyed but possibly never to be repeated.
But a little bit of wanting it to be forever had crept in.

 She wakes with an emptiness the next morning. Looks across at a pillow without him on it and heads straight for the shower, unable to face her husband. Needing to wash her flesh that had been so kissed and loved
The emptiness grows as the day goes on. Niggles. Arguments. Little life battles that her other life didn't have. She knew it was too good to be true that it was a dream not reality.
Could never be.
As the argument continues into the afternoon she feels lucky to be able to visit that alternate hedonistic universe, share some pleasure.
 The problem he had was that he just wanted her. That was it.
Needed to have her, completely. Her way of seeing things, the delight of the new. He couldn't see the solution though and he didn't like that. He was a man for which solutions came easily.
His wife was away.
And the house seemed no emptier than usual. Her not being here didn't matter, it was missing some laughter. It needed the warmth and fun that he’d found away from his marriage.
He reached for a drink as he sat down to think about all the options.

Ultimately you may judge our couple.
Their indiscretions.
Their selfish need to squirrel away seeking pleasure, lack of concern for other’s feelings in the quest to satisfy their uncontrollable urges.
You may cloud the story with a tale of your own. It's inevitable. It's the nature of narrative, but this one's mine, or theirs that I'm telling for them.
And if I can confide a secret here, now that we've bonded, it's not just the tale of two, a single couple. It's their partners too, unified in their scandalous encounters. So they deserve each other despite not wanting each other.

Vestige of a distant scent. Perfume. A strange sillage on the air. Just enough to jangle nerves but she wonders if it’s in her mind. Sullied by her own misdemeanours
A trepidation to mention, less it prompts a barrage of questions. Where were you? (With him) and she doesn’t want that to spoil the joy he’s built up earlier for her.

So she ignores it. Like the other little suggestions that her husband's cheating on her. Although deep down she’s beginning to realise she’s coming second best in both relationships. A truth that hurts more than anything else ever could.

When wishes come true.
What’s left then?
What happens to our dreams, a tumble of reveries redundant as we reach tranquillity, our Arcadia on those serene lapis seas.
That bumble bee buzz of contentment.
Can it last forever? Or will we seek new idylls?
She wonders if he said he’d leave his wife. Would that be it? Or is it a never ending circle. And in a decade or so do we begin again with a new brittle litany. Slip into yet another dreamworld.
Will he repeat and in turn leave her.
And so continue into a perpetual ammonites spiral.

A single kiss at the end of a text. That in itself wasn't unusual but she stared at it longer than she normally would. Before it plummeted into the chasm of deleted texts.
Evidence erased. Often before the message has sunk in. But this. A small flickering screen in a shaking hand.
Tomorrow The Zoo Meet you in the carpark. Bring C X
Another carpark. But to take Charlie? It seemed strange. She couldn't know the depth of the meaning but with a tremor in her heart she mulled before a call took her away and back to reality.
 'You know I'll never leave her.' It was murmured into her neck almost like another whisper long ago. Another couple. Another affair. Almost went unheard because of the huge crack of her heart breaking.
A magpie landed in the park, followed by another.
Two for joy.

'I know,' she said hiding her sadness.
I hoped I was wrong. I wanted to be more. I needed you to be mine. Please leave her. I thought we made each other happy. She didn't say, swallowed the words down deeper below her aching heart as one magpie disappeared with an iridescent green flash.
 Zoos are the perfect places to visit when you’ve got to keep a secret; full of school trips and tired parents of toddlers.
No one there to hover over you, over hear you saying that you're leaving her. No pressure, but it should make things easier.
And as an excited toddler watches a tiger pace up and down in his corroded cage, a burst ball in his mouth they hold each other tight.
And she rests a cheek on his. Knowing that from this inevitably sad ending something good has definitely just begun for them.
Maybe for all of them.

About the author 

Drablr author profile for Lisa Williams (scribblingwren). Domestic Slattern. Avid reader. Writes a bit. A flash-fiction self-publishing social network.  

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