Forever Yours, p.1InkSpell Publishing
The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, places, or events is coincidental and not intended by the author.
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Copyright © 2012 Shilpa Mudiganti
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The throbbing heartbeat when he was near, the longing for just one look, one touch, and many more sweet nothings– was it passion reigniting itself? The pain of the inevitable… so sweet. I wondered what this passion would bring to my life.
It’d been a long time since my heart skipped a beat at the sight of a man. I welcomed the re-emergence of this feeling willingly. More eagerly than I expected. I loved every moment of it and found myself enjoying it thoroughly.
I was tweaking the bits of my past, and giving it a new color and face. I was so immersed in it. The new makeover was so attractive that I simply desired to move with the flow it created.
I think I didn’t care if I survived or even what shore it took me to if I did survive. I just wanted to feel the waves soaking my body, my mind, my soul.
What would I call such a shameless passion? I wanted to name it infidelity, but I didn’t feel it was. The passion that was burning in me today was the passion for excitement in life. It was a demand for all beautiful things in life, which I deserve, and was within my reach.
Wouldn’t I be looking at some other place for things I need… if I’m not able to get it here? Is fidelity a prison where you lock up your heart and passion? Why should I turn my love in to a prison? Why shouldn’t I let it spread its wings and fly unexplored? Why should my love get locked up and become frustrated trying to find the kind of love which didn’t exist anymore? Should I cross all the lines of so-called decency and open my heart to the fresh air of a new romance? Is it the time? Should I or shouldn’t I?
Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?
- Robert Frost
I smoothed my crisp cotton shirt with my hands, pressing the stubborn folds into a line. My heart hummed in my chest as I took extra care to get that perfect look for the evening. I pinched my cheeks and touched the sides of my brow, to give my face a lift. According to others, I looked great. But I wasn’t convinced. I’d seen better days.
I shook my head as Aaron’s frustrated words seeped into me again.
“Why do I have to answer you all the time? Stop asking so many questions!”
He was almost always irritated with me these days. It was giving me a headache. By impulse, I removed the chain with the circle-shaped diamond pendant from my jewelry case and slid it around my neck.
“Aaron would like this,” I murmured.
Even as those words left my lips, I removed the necklace hurriedly. I took a deep breath.
“I’m not dressing up for Aaron. I’m dressing up for Damon,” I said to my reflection in the mirror. My own chocolate blue eyes drilled into my face until a flicker of realization distracted me.
Am I dressing up for Damon?
Butterflies tickled my stomach and my breath quickened as I remembered Damon’s crystal blue eyes on his chiseled face. Those eyes had held fire when I invited him home yesterday. Enough to ignite the aching fire within me. Sure, it was supposed to be platonic between Damon and me. Especially because I was in love with Aaron, my fiancé.
I’d always known love as Aaron had taught me. Strong, wild, and addictive. Only, it had morphed into something else as the years passed. It was still strong, but no longer wild or addictive. It was restrained, painful, and weakening against the constant demands of his work on our time. But we never even thought to betray each other. No, we’d never cheat. Our seven years together had moved us beyond that.
But Damon, my new neighbor, threatened it all.
When I met Damon, I hastily proclaimed my love and allegiance to Aaron with deep emotion, but Damon had kept quiet. Mostly.
“Careful, trela mou,” was all that Damon had said, his Greek origins coming to the fore.
My heart had grown wings and flown away at the tenderness of his words. I didn’t need to understand Greek to feel the passionate current igniting with those words. The blue of his eyes had burned bright with unmistakable possession.
I bit my lower lip, guilt gnawing at me for having such thoughts about someone else. I was supposed to feel such passion only for Aaron.
Yet, where is he? Three years of long distance and all I get is a voicemail!
I fisted the phone in my hands, palms pressing hard against the metal case, knuckles turning white. Anger pulsed through me at Aaron for ignoring my calls through the last three days, more painful because he didn’t bother to call even today. My birthday.
I almost jumped when the phone buzzed to life. It slipped from my hands, and hit the floor, the blue screen facing up. The display showed a number I knew by heart. It was Damon.
I took deep breaths to calm my racing heart, and then picked the phone. I hesitated a moment before pressing the button. “Hello?”
“Amelia?” Damon’s voice wavered in the gust of air, presumably from his car window that made a cackling sound through the phone. He was on his way back from work.
“Hi,” My voice came out thick and I cleared it. Nervous tingles crept up my face.
“I might be late. Maybe fifteen minutes. Traffic.”
I heard his disappointment and smiled despite my own frustration at the delay. I would have given a whole day to hear him pine for me that way.
“Is that a smile, Amelia?”
I laughed louder, startled at how he knew it. My heart swelled at the soft laugh from the other side of the phone. His voice touched me in places I thought I’d closed doors to.
“You’ve got to save those smiles for me till I arrive, birthday girl,” he said.
A shiver of pleasure tore through my heart and I sighed.
“Don’t forget the gift,” I teased him.
“Of course, of course, Asteri mou,” said Damon. My eyes shone as another wave of love rose within me. He’d called me his star.
The silence from the other end indicated he’d hung up. I tried breathing even; reminding myself of the line I shouldn’t cross. I was in love with Aaron, even though he had changed.
How could I feel this way about Damon? When did I start feeling a lover’s pangs for him? Damon’s tender words sang a lot sweeter song to me than Aaron’s had in the past two years.
I suppressed the rising guilt. At that moment, I felt so alone. I checked my phone once again. Not for Damon. I checked it for Aaron. Aaron hadn’t called me yet and was not reachable. He had texted me once during the day informing me that he was busy. I wanted to believe the surprise birthday call would come. I fought the devil inside me, who kept telling me that Aaron had forgotten, and that unfathomable distances had crept in between us After all, he did no
“Close your eyes, Sweetheart, you are not supposed to cheat!” said Aaron.
“Okay...but make it fast! I can’t stand the suspense anymore,” I replied giggling.
I heard the sound of crushed paper and Aaron was unwrapping something. My imagination ran wild with all the possibilities that existed for the occasion. It was my third birthday with him, and he knew how much I cherished it. He’d always see to it that I enjoyed it immensely. With eyes closed, I waited for my surprise. Suddenly, I felt a tickling sensation around my ankles.
“Hey…what are you doing? Can’t you wait till you show me the gift?” I asked bewildered.
“Would you keep quiet for a minute? I am working on something. Stand still with your eyes closed,” he answered.
I was quiet for a while but the moment I felt a cold metallic touch against my ankle, my eyes flew open.
“What a beautiful pair of anklets!”
Eyes wide, I bent down to touch him but he said, “Hey, I am not finished yet!”
“There’s more?” I asked confused.
“Of course, there is. Would my highness please be seated on this not-so-flattering but comfortable chair?”
I laughed aloud and with an air of mocking elegance, took my seat on the chair. Still kneeling down, he unwrapped the second of the anklet pair. With my right foot on his thigh, he clasped the anklet around my ankle. Then, he lowered his head and kissed my delicately decorated ankle and the arch of my foot.
“Did I ever tell you that you have the most beautiful feet in the whole world?” he asked me, still holding my feet gently.
“No…you never did. But now that you’ve told me, I’d like to know how beautiful they are.” I replied playfully.
“It’d be my pleasure to show you.”
With a mischievous smile, he started slowly licking my big toe. Then before I knew it he was sucking it with enough passion to make me forget all about the beautiful anklets, but remember everything about the one who bought them for me. That day we made wild, passionate love. My new anklets jingled wildly to the rhythm of our bodies…it was a celebration of young love. On that day, I wished everyday were my birthday.
I jerked awake at the sudden clang of the doorbell. My mind still reverberated with the dream, which had been a reality not so long ago.
I have to save our relationship. I have to preserve the good part of Aaron and me. Even if it means falling in love. With someone else.
I glanced at my reflection in the mirror. My eyes danced with excitement in tune with my racing heart. The doorbell rang for a third time. I knew Damon waited for me on the other side of the door. I inhaled deeply, took a last look at myself in the mirror, and walked out of the bedroom toward the door. I was ready to usher a new man into my life. I had a plan.
And there is nothing left to do
But to kiss once again, and part,
Nay, there is nothing we should rue,
I have my beauty,-you your Art,
Nay, do not start,
One world was not enough for two
Like me and you.
- Oscar Wilde
Today was the last day of the one-month we promised to give each other. It was her plan initially but I was grateful and thought it was brilliant. We promised to live like lovers for that one-month, unhindered by anything or any one. No rules applied.
Arriving at her house, I paused to knock at the door. Every moment of this last day I wanted to freeze in time, so I could hold it forever in my heart. When Amelia opened the door, I stood at the door gazing at the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen in my life. The house was quiet and yet full of life. I could hear everything and nothing. There was a clock ticking on the wall, and yet I did not know the time. The oven beeped in the kitchen, but I didn’t care. The phone was ringing, however no move was made to answer it. I didn’t want to lose a moment of those last hours left. It was the last day of our tryst with love. I was glad it was coming to an end for it hurt to know that I could never her and I knew Amelia felt the same. Yet I wanted it to last forever. Just like Amelia did.
Amelia stepped back to allow me inside the house. I brushed past Amelia, causing her fragrance to touch my senses. My heart faltered. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I walked into the living room, with Amelia following me.
“Aaron is coming home today. His flight arrives at eight tonight,” said Amelia.
The words hit me like arrows. I hurriedly glanced at the clock. It had just struck six, mocking me and our remaining time together.
I turned to face Amelia and took few steps back to view her whole figure, imprinting it onto my brain. There she was, full bodied, slender yet strong, Amelia who changed my life forever.
I remembered the confused, depressed Amelia I’d met a month ago. I had fallen in love with her from the very first glance. What was it about her that enchanted me the most? Her beautiful, expressive eyes. The same pair of eyes that were staring back at me now, longing for the embrace that I desired and she deserved. I closed the distance between us in two strides and stood close enough, yet not touching her. I could feel the tension in her body rising as she sighed with passion. She looked even more beautiful now. How can one be so beautiful and yet unaffected by it? I touched the side of her face gently taking in the loving look on her face. I deserved it and no one else in the world could experience the same affection from her. It was special and unique. Here stood a woman who was madly in love with her fiancé but yet loved me as well. The world called it infidelity – I would argue it was true love. I know no matter how many days and nights we would spend together, her heart and soul would belong to Aaron. Even if, he never deserved her.
I lifted her chin high enough and touched her lips gently with mine. Her lips trembled lightly and Amelia closed her eyes. I leaned in and deepened the kiss. They tasted exactly the way they did when I kissed them for the first time. A month ago on her birthday.
As I opened the door to leave, she stood there waiting for me. There she was, in all her grace fighting against her inner self, fighting against the desire to love me. Can love be so deep that she can love two men at the same time? If so, whom did she love more? Is she in love with Aaron or me? Or was she in love with love? I knew that every word she spoke was true - her feelings, her loving look and the care. There wasn’t any deception about the depth of her feelings for me. Then why was it that I had to share her with Aaron?
I wished I had met her before Aaron did. Once you bathed in her innocence, looking at any other woman became futile. No other woman seemed to have the beauty that surrounded her.
Thinking back to the first time I’d made love to her, when I touched her gentle body, I felt the hunger in me rising more than ever. The soft curves, the gentle breathing, her defenseless surrender gave birth to a craving for her soul that I hadn’t known before. Later that night, when I asked her what love meant to her, she answered – freedom. My heart twisted inside me with her demand. How could I not cage her when all I wanted to do at the moment was to hold her tight in my arms lest she slips away?
When I look back at that night, I wonder what made it so magical. Was it sex or making love? When her soft lips touched me and eventually locked themselves with mine, I wondered if I had lost my physical body. She seemed to be everywhere and nowhere. Everything I touched seemed to be her and yet I felt I didn’t touch her.
She curled in my arms that night and said she’d never forget this night, not because we made love to each other. But because every touch of mine awakened something in her. She thanked me and told me she’d learnt something valuable that night.
When goaded for an answer, she told me that she’d always thought and spoke the way people wanted her to. Therefore, she’d always tried to behave the way other women would in a relationship. She said when my hands explored every corner of her body, s
Yet, when I looked at her after making love, she seemed to glow with happiness. It seemed as if she was taking in every moment and every sight I could present her. But still, I couldn’t see any desperation in her.
I didn’t want to see the light of the next day. I wanted to spend my whole life looking at the angel in my arms. When she curled up in to my arms and drifted in to deep slumber, I marveled at the beautiful sight God created. The serenity of her face, her graceful curve, and her small, soft lips would give away such warmth that sleep could never embrace me. Not when that meant I had to close my eyes to the sight of her in my arms.
Today when I’m alone, despairing for her every touch, I wonder what she must be feeling. Would she remember the sparks that flew that night or would it be gone when she would curl up in Aaron’s embrace? No, she couldn’t forget our time together. If it was so casual, she would’ve never had the strength to surrender herself to me the way she did that night. Can I ever replace Aaron? Perhaps no. But would she ever think about me when she would make love to Aaron? Perhaps yes.
Before I left her that last afternoon, she handed me this note.
They say anyone who comes in your life has a reason. They come because you asked for it. Before you came in to my life, I prayed God to reignite my love of life. I asked him to strengthen my resolve to face odds and still smile. I begged him to show me the light.
And then you came. You taught me love and life. Today, I embraced not you but life. I can never thank you enough. Seasons might change, reasons might change, but whenever I would face another obstacle in my life, I would remember this wonderful time we had together and realize that no problem is too big. And no matter where I go, I know I’m still safe in your heart locked away from all malign. I do not have to tell you this – I am yours, anytime, any day.
I know I can never lose her. It is just the definition of achieving that is different between us.
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