Since their first four hour phone conversation it had been exactly 3 years and one month. During that time they had ups and downs, learning to see one another, learning how to love in ways neither had experienced before.
Maturing. Not infatuation any longer. More intimate than physical alone. Fun and satisfying on a level deeper than either had experienced.
Tonight He was alone at his apartment 100 miles away from Her. The plan was they would not see each other again until the music festival on September 15 – a full 20 days after they had last held each other in bed.
Life had changed, become somewhat complicated, for both of them. Her brother, sister-in-law and three dogs had moved in. He had taken that “career job” He had put off for so long.
Tonight, after a couple playful texts from Her, He longed. He longed for the smell of Her, Her ample hair pushed against His face as He held Her in bed. The softness of her body against Him. The mischievous smile She seemed to have at the slightest provocation.
He knew She missed as well. The foot massage followed by the playful tickles. The safety She felt in His arms each night. Him crawling back into bed with Her just before Her alarm and holding Her as she went through the 30 minute ritual of waking.
Sometimes, like tonight, the distance seemed hard. He thought of her and pulled a pillow to His chest and hoped to dream of Her.
It was past his bedtime, an hour past. He couldn’t sleep. His chest ached for want of Her.
They had made a considered decision: His business was flagging and needed Him to make it a priority. He would spend less time with Her and more focusing on His business. They knew it meant the weeks of living together would be put on pause, but in the long run it would mean He could move to Her city.
They had now been apart for most of a month.
Tonight He longed for Her. He longed for Her in a way that transcended sex. For the last couple weeks porn had lost any appeal. He didn’t want sex, He wanted Her. All of Her. The intimacy. Making love. The holding after. Waking up together the next day. The Knowing.
Tonight the emptiness of His arms screamed loud.
He pulled a pillow into His chest and willed it to become Her.
He had promised He would quit smoking while they were apart. He wasn’t keeping that promise well. He had lost count of how many He had burned since waking at 3am, chain smoking in the 35 degrees of the balcony.
They had been apart for 11 days. It was the longest they had spent away from each other since October when they finally connected, communicated and established their relationship for the long haul.
The plan was for them to be apart for 17 days. She had company, then a conference, then a weekend retreat. They both loved and hated the times apart. They enjoyed the longing. They enjoyed the intensity it bred into their reunions. But they also missed the talk, the laugh, the touch.
He had paced himself. Like a marathon runner He knew if He allowed His mind to dwell on the length of the race, He would have trouble finishing. Longing would become pain. When He found His mind tending to Her, He would quickly distract Himself with work or people. He wanted this to remain the pleasure-pain, the passionate edge.
But Thursday, She had surprised Him. He assumed She would need down time after the hectic weeks She had endured. He was willing to grant Her space whenever She needed it, Her amazing came at the price of Her needing time alone.
She reached out: “Can you come down Sunday evening, after I am home from my retreat?” Days sooner. He was excited they would be together. The thought fired His imagination and His passion.
Last night He allowed Himself an indulgence in anticipation. He took time to dwell on Her. Their shared adventures. Her joy. Her smile. But soon He found His thoughts moving to Her body, their passion. Closing His eyes and feeling Her against Him. Her soft skin beneath His fingertips. Tracing, touching, teasing…
The urge, though willfully suppressed for a week, now burned into full fire. Today He was enjoying the heat of the flame.
They were to be apart for most of three weeks. She had company, then a conference, then a retreat. He left Tuesday morning.
He wanted Her to know He didn’t miss her….
When He closed the browser and saw Her picture as His wallpaper…
When the phone dinged a text and He saw it wasn’t Her…
When He woke in the early morning to His empty bed…
When He tried to write but only wanted His Muse…
He didn’t miss feeling Her in his arms, Her warmth, Her eyes, Her kiss or the way Her skin felt as He traced Her lines with His finger. He didn’t miss Her sleeping next to Him while He read, His hand on the small of her back. He didn’t miss waking up with Her, sitting across from Her, sharing conversation and coffee.
No, He didn’t miss Her at all.
The other women were faceless. Placeholders. Time fillers. As she would say, “for a minute.”
On days like today, when she had interrupted his busy business with an unexpected call, he realized this. Maybe it wasn’t fair to them – for her to have most of his heart while they vied for his attention. There were texts and calls and dates and smiles and flirting. For a minute. Until she would flood his soul again, out of the intentional void of his thoughts, and his mind would go to her smile, her eyes, her softness. The feel of his body against hers, his hands on her curves. Her hair tangled in his fingers, kissing her, more…
Then he would remember he was in the middle of a “thing” and he would force his mind back to the girl de jure.
For a minute.
It was 4am and the power had been off since 2.
As he lay there in bed, in the pitch, not sleeping, all he thought of was her and wished she were there.
It always started the same – he would stir, holding her more tightly. On their sides, her back to his chest, his right arm cradling her head, his left exploring the softness of her body. She would stir and move against him, encouraging him to continue. His hands would then move more deftly, more excitedly to the places they both longed for him to touch, caress. His lips would find her shoulder and neck and…
She had once compared their sex life to the old Dr. Pepper slogan – 10-2-4. This morning he would have been happy just to get the 4.