Online, married John said he wanted to stop over. I asked why he didn’t. It was OK to play. He was good for playing, as long as it was playing.
His back was sore. He really hadn’t run much. And anyway, it was pre-season for the Sabres. And then there was a Bills game. He had his priorities.
I wasn’t sure what mine were.
I’d gotten up at 5 a.m. to finish up some work things. I had a report due that my career depended on. I had to catch up with my classes. I got dressed, put on make-up. My office-mate was there already. Mostly, it was us across from each other. Double-you-tee-eff, I said, spelling out what the fuck in long terms. We could be all about business. We were in the same category work-wise, only now for her, finally, no man was around.
Nick, my coach and semi-boyfriend, texted me to give me my work-out, and said he wanted to do things to me like he’d done on the table.
I used words like make love and I miss you.
Xo, xo, I added.
Right back atcha, he said.
Tonight was the night. He was coming over.
At the track, I did my mile warmup. The football players weren’t really playing football. They were running into things, testing their equipment.
The first fast lap was slower than it could be. I was still trying to recover from the bruises on my hip and knee and elbow. My foot felt heavy.
I texted Nick, asking him for mercy.
Later, after dark and waiting, I texted Nick again, wrote, It’s OK, you know, if you can’t make it over.
A second later, I heard him on my buzzer.
I let him in right away.
But it wasn’t him.
I opened the door, seeing married John there.
He wore black pants and a nice ironed shirt. I’d almost forgotten. His hair was blond.
He just walked right in. As if I wouldn’t let him.
He said, You just let everyone in like that? I could have been a killer.
I wasn’t wearing make-up. I’d taken out my contacts. My hair was like a Band-Aid.
He sat where he’d sat before. We talked a while. I tried to catch up on his business, wondering what would happen if Nick actually came over. He was supposed to call first. He’d flaked those other times. I hated waiting.
Finally I told John about Nick—they knew each other, longtime time friends from high school. John asked me how it happened. I figured I should at least be honest about something.
I said Nick might be coming over. But probably not, I added.
John reached for me then. He didn’t even try to kiss me. He just wanted to take off my clothes.
I said first he had to kiss me.
He said, But I want to kiss you with your clothes off.
That sounded nice. I just really wanted a kiss.
He wasn’t new. I told him Ha. He didn’t know what that meant.
I almost asked where his wife was, but I knew already. She was putting the kids to bed. Somebody had to.
So he kissed me with my clothes off.
He was a good teaser. I felt better than the last time, since now I didn’t expect much.
While he kissed me, touched me, he added little things to the dialogue. He kept saying, Well, now that you have a boyfriend …
I reminded him that I wasn’t committed to anybody.
He kissed me more and we went on like that for a while, talking in between things.
I told him that he smelled good. He smelled better than anyone. I liked the way he kissed me. He kept telling me, But you have a boyfriend. That talk went on, and after a while, I realized it just got him off to say that.
He was a good lover. With Nick, it was mostly fucking. Kissing John, I told him I didn’t understand his wife, why she didn’t want to touch him.
After he started getting tender, I didn’t miss Nick for one single second.
He reminded me of our last time, how we thought we’d been in trouble, the possibility of babies. I thought about how he’d held me, how he’d told me things, like his mother’s breakdown, how his parents had twirled him into believing he was never adopted.
I didn’t want to rush things. John said he was jealous. I kissed him here and there and I said I didn’t believe him.
He kissed me more, and then some.
Afterward, John said he was worried, what if Nick was really coming over.
I tried to reassure him. I laughed, nibbling at him.
—Patrick Feller photo/flickr