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Chapter One: Three-Way Lover

January 24, 2011

 

You and I lay in bed, naked, our hands gliding over each other’s bodies, content as warm kittens as we hunched over his tiny black laptop.

“Where are they….” you mutter in your thick Czech accent, so that it comes out sounding more like “Veer aare dey”, but I can understand you perfectly and have come to love your manner of speaking.

“Oh here.”

“These are your photos from Switzerland?”

“Yes.”

 

A series of gray-looking European buildings, blanketed by snow, appears on screen.

I raise my eyebrows.

“These are very nice….I thought you said Switzerland was very boring.”

You shrug, continuing to click at the tiny space bar with your giant finger. I crawl into the hollow of your large body — you, nearly a half-metre taller and 100 lbs heavier than me, envelop my tiny body with ease.

 

Something catches my attention: a photo of your face. As usual, it’s pleasing to the eyes: you have a square, handsome face with curly blond hair and grey-blue eyes like a winter ocean. But it’s not just that this is a picture of your face, it’s the expression of it: you are red-cheeked and smiling bashfully at the camera, not at all the stone-faced seriousness in our photos together.

 

Who took this photo? Who got this expression out of you?

 

You must have noticed my hands clench up, my breathing stop with a sense of dread, and yet you are so cruel, you continue to flip through the photos of you, with no explanation. I see another picture of you, looking down this time in a warm navy-blue winter coat, eating what looks like a bread pastry outdoors…and another photo of you, this time clasping your hands in front of you, serious, as you stare ahead at the camera in front of a gothic church.

 

And it’s the next photo that I see her —- Miroslava. She is standing in the distance, in black clothes, looking off to the side, but it is impossible to miss her thick red hair, tumbling down to the small of her back.

 

A crushed expression washes over my face as I look at her tiny image in the photo. You betrayed me, I think in despair. You went to Switzerland with her and didn’t say a word about it to me…

 

You continue to go through the photos, and in each subsequent shot, there are photos that recount of the time you spent together. She is beaming at the camera with her bright blue eyes and white teeth, then you appear, eyes downcast and a ghost of a smile on your face.

 

I cannot bear to look any longer. I turn my head away from your screen and slink away from your lap, bury my head in the pillow.

 

You notice, and stroke your fingers down my back. I flinch and slide to the side.

“You are….thinking, about some ideas,” you say softly, referring to my ideas for writing. I shake my head violently, still seething through cotton and stuffing.

 

 

Despair, that’s what this feeling is. The sense of hopelessness, the feeling of being forced to give up by the overwhelming odds against you. And right now, this is irrefutable proof that you do not think of me as a lover. To you, I am just a toy to be played with on your spare time, that your true love always was and always will be Miroslava.

 

I begin to feel the tears well up in my eyes, and I begin to breathe in, almost choking.

 

“I don’t know…it’s hard to express …in the right words,” I choke out, my face in the pillow a mask of grief.

You put your fingers softly on my upper back, trying to coax me.

 

“….What is it?” you  ask. As if you need to know.

 

“Well sometimes….” I squeeze shut my wet eyes, exhale tears from my lungs.

 

“Sometimes…I think you I don’t mean very much to you….”

 

Like squeezing water from a rag, I poured out the little dignity I had into those words. What a pathetic, miserable woman I had become. Sleeping with a man who goes around dating another woman, and showing me the photos of his date, as if it all meant nothing. How disgraced and heartbroken my dear father and mother would be to see how unclean and insincere their only daughter’s love turned out.

 

You are silent one moment, then I hear your large body slide up parallel with me, and your arm reach around my shoulders.

“You do, you mean a lot to me,” you insist, gently, knowing now that I’ve been hurt.

You rub your hands down my back gently, and I turn around to face you, with sad, raw, doubting eyes.

You put your arms around me in a warm, all-enveloping embrace.

“I like spending time with you,” you say, sincere concern in your gray eyes as you look into my eyes and stroke my face with your hand.

“And I get that warm feeling in my chest when we make love…you mean a lot to me…”

 

Tears welling up in my eyes, I bite my lips to stop from sobbing. I cannot be so undignified to cry loudly in front of you. I want to ask you why, then, you saw Mirka without saying anything to me, but I can’t ask you this.

 

“You’re a great girl. You don’t know it, but you are.”

I sob quietly now, so happy at your unexpected words of kindness, but also so confused.

“….How come nobody else sees it?” I ask in a small voice.

“You’ll find someone, who will love you for who you are.”

You hold me with tenderness, kiss my face, and I cannot help but wrap my arms around you and hold you tightly.

 

Dear God, why did you let me meet someone like him? I’ve always believed that every new deai — a meeting — happens for a reason. What could be the reason for meeting this man, this three-way-lover who loves himself first, then Miroslava and then me as well?

 

In any other place, I would have left you already…but as I close my eyes, the image that sears into my mind is an aerial view of megapolis Tokyo at midnight, rotating slowly like a motion-sick carousel in my mind. Tokyo with  neon-white and harsh, glittering gold lights that sparkle like a carpet of light amid pitch black, blacker than a devil’s soul. Tokyo, where millions live in material abundance and despair, the city’s buildings like hidden, self-contained closets, where illicit acts of sex and violence and alienation come to life, where precious young lives are wasted on mind-numbing games.

 

I open my eyes again, and return back to face the warmth of your chest, the warm light from your desklamp. I think of spending nights alone in my cold, small, dark apartment, freezing on hard wooden floors that make my back curl with pain, I think of the emptiness of my diary and thoughts if I were to remove you from my life.

 

No, I won’t be leaving you, I whisper under my breath as I snuggle in closer and hear the beat of your beautiful pulse. I’m yours now, I don’t need any other.

 

 

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 24, 2011 3:06 am

    Hi, this is a comment.
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