I close my eyes and remember: I am staring at your lips as you speak. I am trying to hear the words you are saying. They are important words, guidance in a time of trouble and hurt. But all I seem to be able to focus on is your lips and the way they move while you speak. Staring at your perfect teeth. At the way your lips move over those teeth. At how soft they look. I can’t hear your words, only the deep rumble of your voice. It vibrates through my chest like a peaceful lullaby. Your lips are all there is, and my mind is screaming “kiss me! please kiss me… kiiissss mmmeeeeeeee…”
I yearn to feel their warmth pressed against mine. I long to feel, anything… it’s been so long since I have felt something besides exhaustion and resentment. I almost feel like your lips can bring me salvation. But I do not say “kiss me” out loud. Because I know you won’t. Because we have rules. Because I am married and in bad place and you have refused to take advantage of that, even though you know I would let you.
It is an unspoken rule to our friendship. No touching. Not even a handshake. Not a hug when I cry. NO TOUCHING. The temptation is too strong, the attraction runs too deep. The longer I know you, the more we speak, the deeper it seems to run, right down to my very soul. And the damage it would cause is far too real.
It would be stolen love. Stolen, even if freely offered and gladly received. Stolen things do not bring happiness. Stolen things do not endure. They cannot last. And so I try to focus on your words because I know what you are saying is for my benefit. You are sharing with me your heart, your soul, the painful wisdom gained through your own personal experience. So I look away, try to forget your lips and listen.
Time can feel like the enemy. But there is a time and a place for everything, and that was not the time. It was not our time. I wonder now what the future might hold. I wonder if now, all this time later, our self imposed rules can be broken. Now that I am free to offer more than just friendship, when now I can offer all of me, my heart, my body, my mind. Now that you are free to receive it, if that is what you want. I wonder if what I have held on to so tightly has any truth in it, or was it just a lie I created in my desperate need to be heard, to escape.
How can this work? Really, can this work? It was such a beautiful friendship, and no matter what we choose to do I want it to remain so. It was so carefully cultured over time, so much time. And then I just left. Without a word. I disappeared like an apparition in the mist. Goodbye would have been too hard. But you say you understand. You say that it was best that way, at that time. I am so uncertain. I am afraid. The cord that bound us together is still there. I feel it. But time has a way of changing things. So does distance. But I know that if we want it there is time to try.
Is this our time? Or am I still creating desperate lies… I must learn once again to trust.