By Scott Riddick
I did not expect my interaction with you to lead beyond anything other than causal talk. I did not expect you to be so charming. I did not expect you to be so...available. More unexpected than all this, I never thought my heart would step aside and allow impulse alone to drive me into your arms. I am a happily married woman with a beautiful daughter and loving husband waiting for my return. Back home in the states, where my life can be sometimes complicated, things are generally warm and complacent in their simplicity. I had no other reason, selfishness always being a constant struggle within me, to turn my back on my husband, my family...myself. There is just something about you that the hard working mother and caring wife inside me deemed an acceptable risk to take. There is Something I can not quite place a finger upon that keeps me up late at night for the past five years trying to understand. How dare you enter into my life and turn it upside down!
I am sorry. I should not direct my anger and shame and humility toward you. It was I who brought you literally in from the rain into my hotel room, sheltering you from the elements and creating a quiet storm within me. It should have been nothing more than a temporary delay in your travel, wherever it is you had planned on venturing. I should have been the one to tell you then that someone was waiting on me back home. I should have bid you good day, after the lovely chat we shared over a cup of hotel coffee. Til this day, it was the best tasting cup of Joe that has ever come across my taste buds. Delightfully sinful it was, embarking down a path of error head first without regard to others. Still, my love, I did a terrible thing to those who loved me so.
I still reflect on that rainy morning. You looked me in the eye with those baby blue heart-breakers and asked, with a strong French accent, if I was in Paris for business or pleasure. I could not possibly have known at the time that it would be both, telling you that I was there on business, leaving out the part about being married. I regret not keeping my ring on, for it may have saved so many long hours of hurt and tears, but I never travel with those possessions I could never bare losing. Still, I wonder, did you notice the discoloration around my ring finger as we made love and, if you had, would it have made a difference? For me it would not have been a distraction, for I made love to you and never consider the love I had made before you. You broke my heart in two, and I allowed you.
After we made love, we laid in bed for most of the afternoon. You told me about life in Paris and I complimented you on how well you articulated your words in near perfect English. I recall how free and open you were about life. How you never allowed a past event, no matter how big or small, to impact the rest of your day. At first, I thought this to be a smug "French" attitude bleeding through that rugged exterior with the best looking five o'clock shadow I had ever seen on any man, but would learn how gentle of a man and lover you really were. I can still taste that Merlot from Cotes de Francs on your lips, and import a bottle now and again, when I want to whisk myself back to that day. It was an affair to remember and, no matter how hard I try, one I cannot seem to forget.
It was how you touched me, I think, leaving the most memorable impression. It was soft, as though running a feather along my skin, gentle, like smoothing out the wrinkles in the finest silk, admirably, focusing all of your attention on every inch of my body one caress at a time. No one has ever touched me like that, and likely never will again. When you held me, after we made love, it reminded me when I was a girl lying in bed at night, snuggling up to my favorite blanket. I felt secure. I felt as though I were the most important thing in your life, even though I am quite sure I was just another flavor in your mouth. You have left me crushed in your wake of passion and I am adrift in a sea of adultery, praying that my indiscretion not lead me to further temptation.
And even now, as I write this, I know my words will never reveal themselves to your eyes. Perhaps this is just another way for me to confess my sin, or maybe I am being gullible in thinking I could ever see you again. It's been five years since I have seen you, but each year I have come back to Paris, to this Hotel, to this room and left you this letter. I do not expect much to come from this trip. Perhaps once I had hoped for some fairy tale ending that never came. I guess I am reliving a memory to myself as I sit down in the lobby cafe, sipping on a cheap coffee, while writing this letter, and waiting for that symbolic glass of Merlot to come to my table. You should know, however, that this time it is raining outside. I find myself checking the window as a wave of umbrellas rush past, hoping one of them is you. I cannot lose the hopeless romantic in me. Not since you introduced me to her years ago.
Tomorrow I will leave back for America. And, like today, I will return here again this time next year and another letter will be left for you, my love. I will continue to dream and hold my fairy tale close to my heart. Never lose sight of the magic we created together and the passion we shared. Wherever you are, know that you are loved, still. You gave me something that I cherish, and like those things which I hold dear, I leave here with you, until my return next year.
She took the letter and carefully folded it, placing it inside an envelope and sat it on the table next to the glass of wine her waited had brought her. She reached for the wine glass and placed it against her lips. She savored the smell of the wine, and then she drank it. One continuous sip after another until the wine was gone from her glass. She then casually got up from her seat, placing the money for her drinks on the table underneath the wine glass. She hesitated for a moment more, and then she walked out from the cafe, the lobby of the Hotel and out into the drizzling rain, without an umbrella.