How in the hell did that even happen? I didn't understand, but I knew I couldn't be in the room with Michael, melting down about it, that's for damn sure. God, I never wanted him to see me cry. Lose control in front of him? No way was that gonna happen.
What a disappointment, though. What a damn shame, because I had wanted it, and rather badly. How did it happen, that somehow he was imposing himself on me? There was not enough sex in our marriage, so far as I was concerned. Was there enough for him? I couldn't believe that was true.
Dropping the duvet and pillow on the couch, I made my way to the kitchen. Shaking with frustration, I made for the water pitcher in the fridge and managed to knock a container of last night's tofu curry on the floor, where it promptly exploded its contents all over the tile.
"Fuck. Fucking goddamn it, of course that would happen."
The rice cleaned up and a glass of cold water later, I had poured myself a cup of red wine. Sipping it at the sink, looking out over the dimly lit driveway of the house next door, I wondered what the neighbors were doing right now, at midnight on a Tuesday. Damn.
I drained my wine and headed back to the bedroom.
"Hey?" Michael lay facing the closet, away from me. No covers, just his shorts. He must be freezing. "Hey, baby?"
He didn't move. I clamored over next to him, tugging the stolen duvet over us both. "Hey, baby, don't be mad now, don't be mad at me." I squirmed in close, spooning him, locking my knees with his, nuzzling the back of his neck, reaching my arm around him, my hand finding its way into his boxers. It was warm in there, at least.
"Huh?" He turned toward me just slightly, but I felt an acquiescence as his limbs softened.
"Baby," I kept my tone low and steady. "Baby, let's forget whatever it was we said before. I don't even know what I was saying, I was arguing just to argue. I'm sorry, baby. I'm sorry. I didn't mean it."
"What do you mean, you didn't mean it?" His voice cracked. It wasn't hostile, it was questioning. Protecting himself, maybe.
"Oh, baby. We just bicker on this weird intellectual plane, like we fucking know what's in each other's heads or something. But, you know? We don't. I'm sorry I was pretending to know."
He curled toward me, eyes still closed. "It's okay." He reached for my free hand and squeezed it. "I'm sorry, too."
"How about let's not talk anymore." My hand found what it wanted, inside his shorts. "Not doing you no favors, baby. I just want to fuck."
Yeah. We're gonna be okay.
This is the fourth chapter of a story belonging to my friend Michael Webb. He wrote Did You Mean It? and I, rather obnoxiously, responded with No Guilt, to which Michael generously replied in New York Minute. And now this. What's next?