This story is by rossriter and was part of our 10th Anniversary Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
My Divine Dalliances
How could this miracle have first happened, some 25 years ago to the day, when both of us were stable, middle class, married to longtime spouses, with wonderful children? We were both blessed with healthy families, and we were each respected members of our own religious, social, and neighborhood communities.
This soliloquy is made without remorse, nor guilt, but it is intended to discharge any need for future apology. My two beloved, now-adult children, both of whom serve our community as counselors/family therapists, shall someday want to learn all of the details of my story; of how their shy, quiet father found glorious gratification long ago but stayed with their mother, and them. The existence of the “supplemental” love that entered my life, through the grace of the Ultimate Force, in the form of that first, chance meeting was, it seems, both my and her destiny.
Both respected lawyers, with successful law practices in our hometowns, we happened by chance to be assigned to speak together, on a panel at a national legal seminar, in Manhattan, along with other lawyers from all over the USA. I came upon this initial, good fortune and the subsequent, life-long adoration by me, without any prior infidelity on my part. Until that life-changing event, I had only fantasized about such a possibility, but as I grew older, even that relief became only an illusion.
We met as agreed, the night before the conference started, in order to coordinate our joint speaking efforts, on the panel, at the conference the next day. Since then, my life has been incredibly enriched, even if only once a year. Those annual rendezvouses have always been re-energizing, and thoroughly satisfying to me.
That first night, we had dinner in the elegant hotel dining room, which the conference sponsors had provided for us. We shared our “life stories,” over a gourmet meal, and two bottles of her favorite French wine, neglecting to talk about our separate “presentations” the next day. Ever the gentleman, I walked her back to her hotel room, and we both smiled and politely hugged goodnight.
I turned to go to my room down the hall, when she reached for my hand and asked me, demurely, to “come inside for a nightcap.” Naively, at first, I thought she meant another drink. I had never strayed before, but the wine and our mutual, symbiotic disclosures at dinner, plus the warmth of her smile, made it impossible for me to decline. Reticent, but thrilled, when she dimmed the lights and kissed me lightly, I started to babble incoherently, as she slipped off my sport coat and her lawyer suit. She led me over to the king-sized bed. Her touch was electric, her kisses, divine. My unsatisfied thirst for romance at home, made this moment spectacular, in so many ways.
We stayed up all night, knowing that we would not be great panel members, but this moment had been ordained by some higher power. No one on the panel seemed to notice the next day, our presentations went ok, though we probably smiled too much, sitting beside one another. The rest of the conference was a blur because we never returned to the convention. We lived in her room, after flirtatious meals at Manhattan’s premier restaurants, holding hands under the table, gazing longingly, smiling incessantly, laughing heartily, like lovestruck teens, not really knowing what we were doing, nor why, only that it felt so right.
I made my dutiful calls back home and tried carefully to seem okay, but not too happy. We were both genuinely shy, during that first encounter, but relaxed and, more natural, every day thereafter. The momentum of our feelings for each other immediately outweighed even the bodily delights.
For the next 49 weeks in each year thereafter, I have conscientiously focused my life since then upon my family, and their needs, as each of us had sworn to do. Despite the time limitations of our annual dallying, I have been the beneficiary of much bliss/satisfaction, throughout each yearly coming-together. Due to the Pandemic of 2020/2021, we were unable to convene last year, to our great sorrow.
We both knew that neither of us was “whole” in our normal lives, the rest of the year, but we also knew that many others would be shocked, hurt and their lives would be torn asunder should we break our pre-existing marital vows. Our unspoken goal was to allow our existing, “other” lives to flow normally on a permanent basis. Know, however, that I hoped in my heart, that one day our charming, unshared dreams might, to some greater, extent become our new, divine reality.
The fabulous years of our love affair now have raced by. The affair has taken on a life of its own which I have cherished and reveled in. Two decent, human beings came together randomly, without intention, nor explicit motive, and found immeasurable comfort, and symbiotically pledged to continue, never knowing what the future might portend for us.
We have since become devoted soulmates, though due to our “other lives,” we have maintained our prior vows and performed them dutifully, out of the innate, familial love for our children. Our strict boundaries have been difficult for me, but compensated for, by the metaphysical love that I gained in return. The resulting robust, the connection has caused us both to consider, from time to time, to test those agreed-upon boundaries and to try to stretch the pre-determined limits that we both knew from the start, we must abide by.
I am an unabashed romantic and have spent my entire life longing to connect and engage with a partner of equal nobility and generosity of spirit. At our annual, joint venture of 21 days of quenching our ever-increasing passion for each other’s bodily delights, I have known earthshaking satisfaction. I have waited patiently every year to scream out to the universe that we were one soul and to know that no one could ever take away the lofty, spiritual, forces that bound us together, from afar.
The mutual craving that has gratified us both and which I have come to cherish, despite being subsumed, by the “rest of our lives”, made me live for every moment of each new, glorious annual connection, exceeding any of my prior experiences, or my “in-between fantasies.”
Despite our initial vow to keep our then-existing families intact and not disturb the status quo, I have been guilty of occasional, forbidden, dialogue as to how we might expand upon and enrich our “arrangement, ” to which no response has ever been received, fortunately. Shame on me. Kudos to her!
I am what one might list on online dating sites as “spiritual, but not religious.” You may not condone the behaviors I have exhibited, but if you knew what fortuitous, independent, but similar, circumstances brought us together, that first divine time, you might be more empathetic and perhaps, less judgmental.
Please do not immediately condemn us as we are both good persons, who never set out for any salacious nor earthshaking “mini-affair” that we happened upon. In our silent but true self-defense, life “just happened” to us, and we have each been blessed with the other’s intimacy, caring, and boundaries never exceeded, though excess has surely been craved, since our first delightful tryst.
Each of us traditionally brought the other an annual gift, inexpensive, but considerate, kind, and meaningful. This year, our 24th (damn Covid!) together seemed sacrosanct and different, having two years apart. In between, each calendar year, we were limited to one, a one-hour long phone call every month, emails, as needed by either of us, to our secret office addresses, but always restrained against whining, begging, nor regaling each other with romantic innuendo. Every three months there was a two-hour phone call, to check-in, flirt, and brainstorm about that year’s getaway ideas. By this time, we were very empathic, and ended each other’s sentences and read each other’s minds. We agreed in advance that this, our silver year (but for Covid), would be a unique one. Each person was to think of some never-before enjoyed gift, and hope that it would delight the other person. We agreed to no clues, nor intimations prior to the meet, no spending limits, no rules, just to use our imagination, and see whose present was the “winner” (her suggestion)!
Usually, we met at the hotel, in Manhattan, now “Our HOTEL,” where even the staff knew us and surmised the reason for our annual visit. This year we had agreed to meet at LaGuardia Airport, instead. Our flights always arrived at nearly the same time. We met this time at the baggage claim, where we hugged, kissed, smiled coquettishly, and held hands till the bags started down. My heart was beating rapidly! She had brought four giant suitcases! I brought two (2) one-way tickets to Negril, Jamaica.
This year, our loyal, devoted love was, at last, the Winner!