As always, I was on a damp and overloaded train right in the middle of rush hour. Everyone was grabbing everything for balance but right next to me, there was this couple who were seemingly in blissful misery. The wife, I assume, was holding on to a bar and her husband had his hands clamped on to her waist and there they stood for 15 minutes in stone cold silence, looking like they could be so much happier elsewhere. They weren’t even facing each other; he had to stare at the back of his wife’s head the whole journey. Now, I particularly loathe couples that partake in PDA overzealously. You know the ones. The ones that are only doing all that rubbing and touching and kissing and hugging just to make sure everyone else knows they are indeed together. Fair enough, some couples aren’t into PDA too, maybe the couple next to me was like that but their coldness to one another was so unnatural. You could feel the tension between them.
For some reason, my mind wandered and I came up with a scenario that could have occurred when they got home. I just couldn’t help myself. I’ll call the wife Jenny and the husband Ben because they looked like Jenny and Ben to me. Enjoy.
Jenny and Ben walk rigidly up the stairs to the 4th floor apartment. The rain soaked through their clothes, chilling them to the bone. Ben hurried ahead to open the flat, almost leaving the door to slam on Jenny’s face. He wandered into the kitchen. Without a word, she claimed the bathroom, locked the door and stared at her bare face in the mirror. Was this who she had become? Was this what marriage had done to her? To them? She pulled her thin gold wedding band from her finger and almost threw it. Instead, she delicately placed it on the counter by the sink before filling the bath with piping hot water. As she discarded of her clothes, they slouched and squelched on the ground. So what exactly was the problem? They didn’t have money problems, they had come to a mutual agreement about having kids: not yet, maybe never; he was there when she needed him and he was gone when she’d had enough of him. But that’s the thing: she never really had enough of him because he wouldn’t touch her. She slipped into the water and let it consume her, warm her. They hadn’t made love for weeks. He was always too tired, not in the mood. The furthest she had gotten was unzipping his jeans but he quickly grabbed her hands and said “not now, Jenny. I promise you, later but not now.” But later never came and her every attempt to have her husband was rebutted. For a second, she thought he was gay but she’d been through his internet history. He was watching things but not that way inclined. She even thought he was cheating but then again, no. Look at him, no one else would want him but her. She sighed as she closed her eyes, swirling about in the soapy water. It wasn’t until a timid knock on the door shook her out of her reverie and there and then, she decided the only way forward was to confront the situation. She wrapped herself in a towel, unlocked the door and walked straight passed her husband who watched her carefully, wondering how much she knew. By the time he got back to their bedroom also in a towel, she was lying on their bed, wearing absolutely nothing staring at the ceiling.
“Jenny,” he called. She looked at him and smiled the smile that used to stir feelings in him when they had first met. He would do anything to feel that passion, that lust but he simply couldn’t.
“Why don’t you want me, Ben?”
He sighed and walked to his side of their room-length wardrobe and began to pull clothes out, throwing them onto the bed, onto his naked wife. He couldn’t look at her.
“Please get dressed, Jenny,” he groaned.
Suddenly she was beside him, pressing her body against him, the only barrier between them being his thin towel. Her hot breath streamed against his ear, the hairs on his body stood on edge. He would do anything but even this proximity didn’t help.
“Don’t you love me anymore?” she whispered. He turned to see the pain in her eyes and he almost shook her. You’re the not the problem, I am.
“Of course I do,” he said as he tucked a strand of her straw-blonde hair behind her ear. She leaned in to his hand and before he knew, she was kissing him, hard and unrelenting, hands grabbing for towels but just before he could stop her, his towel fell to the ground and all his secrets were exposed. She looked down at his limp self and all the pieces fit into place.
“Wait… do you have what I think you have?”
“I didn’t want to tell you.”
“You have erectile dysfunction.”
“I couldn’t tell you. It would wreck us.”
“But there are medicines, treatments. We’ll get through this.”
He held her hands and in that moment, he loved her more than life.
And that, guys, is what my mind procured in 15 minutes. My imagination didn’t run with me, it ran from me, I had to catch it.
Song of the Week
If you haven’t already, please read my guest post for SnatchedXO.com here. It’s empowering and all that jazz.