We were both lying in bed, he on one side, I on the other. This was not the first time I had ended up like this, nor was it the first time with him specifically. He was looking at me in the was he always does. He’s always looked at me like that.
We had met on one of my days off. Normally I slept through these, but a single radical idea had inclined me to go out, for once. Have some fun, for once. The bar was somewhat dark, grungy, not a nice place to go. I recognised some of the men, though they didn’t recognise me. I did look quite different without makeup. Or possibly, they just didn’t want it known that they knew me, wanted nothing to do with someone like me. That was okay though, I really didn’t want anything to do with people like them either. They were just about as bad as I was. Except they were men, and they were rich, and that made it better, made them less heinous.
He was not heinous. He was quiet, sitting at the bar, and away from the loud men with their large glasses of beer, and they protruding bellies. He wore a suit, clearly a very proper man, and was simply enjoying the serenity of people-watching. I was bored with the boorishness of the general company, and took a stool next to him. There had been little dialogue, but that was all that was needed before he went off on one of his fantastical visions of the future.
The future was of no interest to me.
He was a wild man, and brought out the daring side of me. It was the side of me that had first sparked the idea of that bar. It was no love affair, since there was no love involved, but was definitely an event. This new, wild me that he created was only bound to cause some sort of distress, I knew that, but was somehow enraptured with the idea, the concept, of liberty.
That was how we ended up on that bed together, for a third time. I left the confines of it to search for my clothes, so that I could prepare for work. He was watching me as I danced around looking for my red bra. My undergarments had to match, and I would either have to change my panties, or find my bra. It had ended up under the bed, at some point, in our feverish removal of our clothes. As I reached around my back to fasten it, I heard his voice.
“We still have some time before you have to head out,” He said. We, the infamous we, still had some time. When it had become we, I couldn’t exactly remember. Somewhere between the second and third time, a we had arisen.
There was no we.
But of course, he didn’t mean it in any loving way. We was simply me and the woman I fuck. We had no value, in his eyes. I had told him many times before, that there was no we, nor would there be.
I removed my bra and panties, a timeless routine, and returned to the bed. It was quick, the same breathless motions that I had experienced many times before. With him, I didn’t have to fake it though, which was nice. Twenty minutes later it was over, and I left the bed again in search of my underclothes.
“Do you have to go out tonight?” He asked.
“Do you have to ask that every time?” I asked, a retort. He had that same look on again. There was a almost pity in his look, the way that a person looks at an animal, and thinks ‘He will never know the world I know’. He was exactly right, though, because I never would. I was bound by the world to which I was born, to the life in which I inhabited. No surprise that I was a giraffe in a zoo, thinking the world consisted of humans and iron gates.
“You don’t have to do that. I can help you,”
Help. Help the old woman cross the street. Help the homeless person buy himself a coffee. Don’t help me.
But of course, I was the pitiful little creature that needed his help, to escape from my life. I needed his help so that he could sweep me off my feet and bring me into the world of business cards and lawyers.
“You have helped me,” I said. It was another impulsive little thing to say. To thank him, for giving me something to look forward to. It would push him to want to help me more, to want to give myself to him, and become his little lap dog, wearing a blue collar. “But you’re done helping me,” It was a final goodbye. “It was fun while it lasted,”
Things don’t last forever. My value would not last forever. I would get old, become unattractive, and my worth will have run out. Of course, running away from here, with him, would be such an easy solution. But it went against my principles, my values. My wild side would have said ‘yes, take me away’, but she wasn’t in control right now. I couldn’t live a domestic life.
“Hey, you don’t have to push me away. You know I’m here for you,”
Here to catch me when I fall, how selfless. But this couldn’t continue, couldn’t go on. After all what was my value if I kept giving myself away for free? It was his third strike, his last time on my bed.
I traipsed around the room, looking for my stockings and my pumps. I had put on my makeup not an hour ago, but it had already drooled down my face somewhat, and settled into my premature wrinkles. I would have to redo it.
I didn’t feel bad about pushing him away. He was a nice, handsome man, a would surely find some other lost kitten looking for a foster home. After all, there were plenty of women that needed some sort of man to pull them up of the ground, many that needed a life support to cling to. That just wasn’t me, though.
No, I would live on without him, for what time I had left. Maybe in a few years, my wild side would return, and I would dare to venture beyond my means, and look out to the world as it could have been. Maybe we could have moved in, gotten married, had children. I would wait at the door, welcome him home, with one infant in my arms while baking a cake for my child’s bake sale at school. He would take me out to his business parties, and introduce me as ‘my wife’. I would dress up nicely for these parties, and for any occasion when his friends would come over, because he would expect it. After welcoming his friends into our home, I would go into the kitchen and run from oven to stove in order to prepare the appetizers, and he would, in the next room, make a casual joke about how slow the food was. I would hurry in apologizing for the wait, and just as soon hurry out.
That would be our last time lying in bed together.