I'm currently enrolled in Creative Caffeine, an online writing community organized by Janis Cooke Newman. Basically, you wake with a "prompt" in your email inbox. This prompt is the subject of your writing that morning. You write about it, and then send a copy to Janis and to your assigned partners that week for critique.
Last Friday, our prompt was to write something that contained the following words: lipstick, lust, loss, locked
The story I wrote and submitted for this prompt is below (I did clean up the grammar and spelling a bit.) This one was actually the easiest of the five prompts I submitted last week because it was the most personal one. I would say that the story is about 95% true, and 5% of what I wish would happen. This one hit pretty close to home, but I think writing about it in this fashion has helped given me the closure that I needed.
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Lipstick Lust Loss Locked
By Randy Wong
There literally was nothing else left to say. She gave me one more kiss. It was the last time I would ever taste that strawberry lipstick. It was the last time I would ever get to stare into those beautiful green eyes. She looked back at me one last time before she turned and left the restaurant and my life.
The impact of my loss was immediate. I drank the last of the Merlot in my glass, hoping the extra impact would numb the senses. My awareness of the real world was indeed affected, but I was still aware of the world of hurt I felt on the inside. How did everything go to tell hell so quickly and completely? We stared off as very good friends. All the other guys would look at her with lust, and would constantly remark if they could have her just once, how they would all die happy men. I never did see here that way, mainly because she was married. Mom and Dad raised an old fashioned boy, so once I learned she was married, she was off my radar.
Still, way before I ever heard of the phrase "emotional affair", we became close. Perhaps way too close. I sensed that there was an attraction that was there from the beginning, but I never said to myself that I would wait her out "in case" something happened to her marriage. It just wasn't anything I was actively thinking. Still, I must admit, there were times when I would catch myself thinking "oh crap, I am in love with a married woman." However, I would push those thoughts out of my head immediately. This was a very special woman, and a very loving woman. She has the greatest heart, and I counted myself lucky to be one of her closest friends.
So, the day she called me into her office saying that she really needed me, I dropped everything and ran to see what was going on with my best friend. It turns out that she was having problems with her marriage. She suddenly wanted to have kids, and he did not. She needed to go back to Spain to be closer with her family, and he loved his love in the United States. As I held her when she cried, I felt guilty about considering the opportunity that lay before me. After long and careful consideration, the nice guy inside me could only do the right thing. She was so hurt and so vulnerable that taking advantage of her would have been so wrong. I could not do that her, so I did not do that. My best friend was in pain, and I needed to be there for her.
We spent every day together as she recounted the events that lead up to her separation. I couldn't act on what I was feeling, on what I was craving, so I just sat and listened. I was her friend. I caught her when she fell, and held her when she cried. That is what a good friend is supposed to do, right?
Days turned into weeks, and she got slowly better. We stopped talking about her separation, and started to talk about my life, my family, my experiences, my bizarre family, and the funny stuff that goes on. We spent hours learning about each other. We learned about each other's dreams, our fantasies, our experiences, our passions and hopes. One day after lunch, I walked her back to her office like we usually do. I cleared my throat and asked how she was feeling these days about her situation. She had looked sunnier and brighter and happier. She said she was a lot better. I asked her if I had anything to do with that. In response, she walked up to me, put her right hand on my right cheek, and kissed me.
Against my better judgment, I went with what I was feeling, and for a short time, it was heaven on earth. One day after lunch, I told her to wrap her index finger around mind. Confused, she complied, and I tightened the grip around her finger. With our index fingers locked, I told her that we were "like this." This symbolized how tightly we had bonded together. I told her that no matter what happens for the rest of our lives, that we would always be bonded together by our love. She laughed and nodded understandingly.
It broke my heart when I realized that the love of my life began to lie to me. She sat me down one day and told me that we should start seeing other people. I looked at her for a bit, and I nodded in understand. Even during our happiest moments, I felt it would not last forever. She was way too beautiful to say with an ordinary guy like me. In the end, I was right. She found someone else more to her liking, and I could feel the difference immediately. I always thought my best friend would sit me down, look me in the eye, and tell me what was going on with her life. I always thought that if this would happen that she would be straight and honest with me. But, she never did.
After leaving me, it was a very long time before she talked to me again. We ran into each other by accident while we were both in the city. We agreed that we needed to have the last conversation, the one most failing couples almost never have. We hashed it out for what seemed like hours. It was long, tearful, and painful. At the end, we said our final goodbyes. It was a long time coming. Closure is a bitch, but it is absolutely necessary.