We often met over coffee. Nearer my place than his, on my way home from work, and he’d be waiting there at the booth in the corner, the lid still on my French Vanilla to keep it hot, and a cruller on a napkin in varying stages of disappearing. I always caught sight of his blond hair first, always a little messy, like he’d just put his hands in it. It was the first thing I wanted to do in the gallery that day; put my hands in his hair.
He always saw me coming, and always stood up; today, after yesterday’s somewhat awkward confessions, he cupped my elbow instead of his usual bear hug, and kissed my cheek. I wasn’t sure what to do. Was I supposed to kiss him back? It was made more awkward by the fact that I have a couple of inches in height on him. There was still that pesky moral issue hanging between us.
I sipped my coffee and told him, “I don’t want to be the other woman. It bothers me.”
He never took his eyes from my face. One thing I love about Adam? He never hides from the hard things. I hoped he had an answer. But all he said was, “I know.” He finished his cruller after offering me a bite. Then he wiped his mouth and beard with a napkin, and sipped his coffee.
After a few minutes spent just looking at each other, which sounds awkward, but wasn’t, he finally said, “You know what our relationship is like. There’s nothing left there. I think we just don’t know how to end it right now.”
“Do you think I’m a whore?”
His fair eyebrows jumped. “Why would I think that?”
I felt that an obvious question not really deserving of an answer. I can be a bit of a snob in that way. Then he reached his hand out, on the tabletop, palm up. I didn’t hesitate, I put mine in it, he covered it with his other hand, then switched so that my palm was up and open, and with his other he started tracing the lines in my palm and fingers. It was exquisite. It had a surprising effect on my nether regions, and I’m sure my face flushed. “I think sometimes our timing is off, Babe. I think this is bigger than you and me, and bigger than me and her; I think we can try to ignore it and hope it will go away, but it won’t matter.” He met my eyes, his fingers still stroking and caressing; I was starting to squirm. “I think what I feel for you is bigger than anything I’ve ever felt, for anyone, ever.”
Then he was leaning across the little table, and his lips brushed mine, tasted, teased, softly kissed, and his whiskers tickled my nose, and my bad feelings disappeared. All that mattered was that I have more of him.