It was dark in the wings. I should have been in the Green Room but I wanted to watch the performance.
A strong arm slipped around my waist. It felt so right that I couldn’t help myself. I turned towards Frank, tilting my face up to his. He kissed me. I yielded, as I would have done for Jim, and then thought, ‘No, I don’t need to pretend…’ and kissed back enthusiastically.
How long is eternity? Two seconds? Three seconds? That is how long the kiss lasted, but it brought its own sort of eternity.
And then it was over.
Frank stepped back.
“Liz, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that. I’m so sorry. You’re a married woman.” Even in my swirling Arcadian haze of arousal I noticed that he didn’t say that he was a married man.
“Don’t be sorry, Frank. Don’t be sorry”. My right hand stroked his chest feverishly. The quartet on stage was reaching its climax.
“Oh, Liz, you are just so…Liz, I love you’.
Why did Jim never speak to me like that? Why did he never kiss me like that?
I felt guilty that night as I went to bed. Jim didn’t seem to notice anything. He kissed me goodnight, rolled over, and was snoring gently within a minute. Normally I liked Jim’s snores. They weren’t loud, they just rumbled gently and reminded me that my man lay beside me; a comfortable knowledge of security. That night, though, they grated.
‘Liz, I love you’. The joy of that knowledge! And its guilt. Lying there beside my sleeping husband thinking of another man’s love.
And then, knowingly and deliberately, I imagined Frank’s embrace, the look of bewildered joy on his face, his tender words. I allowed the joy to seep through me. I went to sleep.