The next day Edward called. I was pleased. He wanted to see me again. I told him he was crazy.
Why me, a married woman with kids, he a doctor, nurses chasing him?
While we talked, I lingered the conversation with enticing, coy responses. He whispered he kept thinking of me, said again I was beautiful. I loved it and wanted him to say it again and again. It wasn’t until the kids got out of school that I set the phone in its saddle.
He called daily thereafter, shortly after noon. Soon, by eleven-thirty, I sat by the phone awaiting its ring. The few times it didn’t ring, I was disappointed to distraction. Occasionally I attempted to not pick up the receiver but after a couple of extra rings, my hand jerked, grasped it and vaulted it to my ear, my attempts to suppress the excitement of my hello, unsuccessfully. At the sound of his voice, I awoke, greedy for the rapture of his resonant voice, happy to be alive.
It was communication with a soul mate. We talked, about everything. I revealed things I’d never told others except for my close friend, Julie. When we talked, I often learned things about myself. He understood what I meant as I said it. He filled the void that had crept into my life. His calls created the excitement the girls at work talked about. During two weeks of phone rapport, he learned more about me and what I thought than my husband.
When I hung up, I felt guilty, told myself I wouldn’t answer his next call but always did. I was scared but fear was part of the attraction.
I learned he was unmarried, three years older, graduated from the University of Michigan, consumed novels, owned a Porsche, was interning at Stanford Hospital and worked twelve hours, six nights a week.
The more I told Edward, the more I thought I knew him despite my doing the talking. The days flipped by as his phone calls became more and more awaited. It was an emotional affair but I told myself it wasn't a real affair because it was only phone calls. In truth, I was in love, with his calls., his voice, his mind. I wore the earrings as symbols of our love and my marriage betrayal.
My husband, in comparison, ignored me, only pretended to hear what I said and responded by what he wanted to inform me about, not what I was talking about.
Having someone listen, not pretend to, enthralled me. We talked about music, cooking, novels he was reading and his Porsche. He introduced me to new ideas, no he broadened me, to new ways of seeing, perceiving and thinking. It wasn’t about sex, but of course, it was all about sex. Each conversation ended with his asking to meet again and my reply.
“Okay, let me think about it”.
Despite intimate conversations, I remained nervous seeing him at other than a safe public place. We became close. It was not physical bonding. It was deeper, it was emotional entwining. After verifying with Stanford, he was an intern and knowing more about him, I agreed to meet at the Stanford Mall fountain for a Saturday lunch.
That morning, I left hubby to take the kids to the park while I went “shopping”, to meet Edward again, in the flesh.
Edward, more handsome than remembered, gave his broad smile as I approached the fountain. We strolled along the esplanade to a sit-down restaurant. He told me to come hungry, I was. We drank wine while chatting then ate a crab salad lunch.
He was happy I was wearing his earrings. I was happy he wore the shoes I selected and being with him. Afterward, as before, against my protests, he took me shopping. Nervous he would try to hold my hand and someone would see us, he sensed my quandary and didn't try to. He wanted to select a dress for me, led me to a boutique shop, shifted through the racks and selected an expensive peasant-style silken mini dress. Surprised it was my size, I protested no, and went to the dressing room to try it on. When I came out, I walked around, neck extended while he observed.
It was long-sleeved with a black belt. The hem came just above the knees. Before the mirror, I looked good in it. He thought so too and told the cashier to ring it up. I said no but he opened his wallet and charged it then took me to an upscale woman’s shoe store. Wearing my new dress, I looked at shoes on sale. He roamed about and selected a tan-colored pair with three-inch heels, ankle straps, and open toes. Expensive, they matched the dress.
With them on, I walked around for his approval. No, I waltzed and twirled in the heels, neck straight up, for his approving gaze. I loved my new outfit. I loved his raptured gaze more.
He joked he wanted to see a good-looking woman wear shoes he selected a cue off my reply on first meeting him. Then he told me, no he wanted me to be pleased. It was the start of dressing me as his but I didn't understand that then.
Afterward, we walked to my car. He carried the bags with my old dress and shoes while I pranced in my new outfit. In the parking lot, embarrassed to get in my station wagon, the symbol of my married mom status, he was unfazed. He opened the door for me, put the bags in the back seat, and said he wanted to see me again.
I told him to call, let him bend down and kiss me on the cheek as I held the door open. He stood up from our first physical contact and closed the door. I rolled down the window. He bent down to kiss again but I put up my hand and blew him a kiss. My cheek burned where he kissed as I drove home, humming to myself, not believing what had transpired.
At home, hubby was impressed with the dress and shoes, his only comment.
I replied they were on sale specials that cost so little I didn’t charge or write a check for them, true in a way. Pleased, he shooed the kids to the back yard but by the time he got to the bedroom my new outfit was in the closet. I was naked on the bed, except for earrings. With eyes closed, Edward’s image and voice floated and echoed before me as hubby took me.
Edward jolted me to a new life track yet I wanted marriage security, motherhood plus Edward’s excitement. I wanted it all. Hubby’s swinging agenda provided the excuse to see Edward and still keep my family intact, so I lied to myself.
I could close my eyes, see his smile, smell his aftershave and hear his voice. My lips would part in a smile with eyes shut. On seeing me thus, hubby asked.
"Vixen, why are you smiling?”
“I am thinking about how lucky I am, honey.”
The truth was otherwise. I was skirting a precipice, walking on a tight rope, in love with a man, not my husband. I was emotionally intimate with another if only cheek kissed. I’d crossed the matrimony boundary line.
Author Notes: Wearing the shoes, dress and earrings of another man her husband shoos the kids to the backyard.