Unraveling – Part 112

by Elizabeth


Libby and Paul were sitting in their Jacuzzi when Paul suggested that some time alone, a vacation, might help heal their marriage. 

“The Mediterranean?” She questioned in disbelief, “A cruise?”

“Yes, in early May.

Libby didn’t know what to say.  Paul had been home for ten days, and in that time had bought her a new car – a Valentine’s Day gift she did not need, a tennis bracelet so extravagant she knew she’d never wear it, and a first edition by Charles Dickens.  And now he was suggesting a lavish holiday. 

Paul, I know how hard you’re trying, and I know you mean well, but gifts and trips aren’t going to put our lives back together.  We need time for that …”

Please say you’ll go away with me, Lib.  We need time, yes, but we need time away from here …” He was silent for a moment and then added, “Time away from all the memories of what happened here.”

Time away did sound lovely, but she had no illusion that it would be as cathartic as Paul believed it would be. 

With semi-reluctance she agreed, OK Paul, book the cruise”  and then she added, “But no more gifts, please.” 

Agreeing, Paul stepped out of their shared tub, leaving Libby alone to her thoughts:

Early May was still several weeks away – she wondered if they would be sharing a bed then.  This thought filled her with dread as she tried unsuccessfully  to force it from her mind …

Sex with Paul had become unimaginable. 

Though  it had never been emotionally satisfying, there was a time when sex with him had been physically gratifying – at least this was how she chose to remember it. 

But she knew ecstasy now – transcendent moments of ethereal bliss that left her peaceful and serene, but always hungry for more of him. 

She knew what it was like to surrender, to give herself over completely to have no ability or desire to think or control.

She knew passion so acute, so extraordinary, it left her mind intoxicated and deliciously bewildered.

She’d known the lover she was born to know, and her heart and her body belonged only him. 

Sleeping with Paul would be a lie now, she thought. 

And then she realized it had always been her lie; a most cruel deception. 

They’d been married several years,  sleeping together several more, when she’d had her first orgasm with Paul.  She’d finally allowed herself to fantasize while he made love to her. 

His affections were tender and sweet, he treated her as though she might break. 

Their interludes left her feeling alone and ashamed. 

They made her believe she was sick. 

She closed her eyes and the tears came …

She felt light-headed from too much time in the intensely hot water, but still she didn’t move

Her body was no longer her own …

She couldn’t give it to Paul even if she wanted to.