"You can close your eyes to the things you do not want to see, but you cannot close your heart to the things you do not want to feel."
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I had forgotten the last time I had an incredible meal. My dinner was delicious.
Naturally, I was biased. And even though I was well aware of my pitiful behavior, I still concluded that Mia made everything better.
She had found an unopened box of mashed potatoes. She added small chunks of garlic and flavored it with salt and paper. Then she fried some thawed out pork loins dipped in flour and came up with a sauce that I couldn't quite figure, but tasted amazing anyway.
"Let's see… do you… maybe… any desserts?" She was mumbling incoherently as her head seemed to be rested inside the freezer. "Oh, yes! There's vanilla ice cream!"
I tried to ask her what she wanted to do with ice cream but my mouth was too full.
She grabbed a glass, filled it with water and placed it next to my plate.
"Don't talk with your mouth full. Didn't Aunt Patty teach you manners?" She joked. "And, I found some bananas in your fridge. I can probably make a smoothie for myself, and for you too if you still have room in that belly."
"Oh believe me, there's room." I swallowed another spoonful of mashed potatoes.
"Speaking of your mom, how is she doing?" She talked to me while facing my kitchen counter. She was chopping banana pieces and throwing them in a blender I didn't even know we had.
"She's great, you know, still hard-headed. She's starting a new hobby. She wants to invest in interior designing. I saw her about a month ago. We had coffee before I went off to our honeym---" then I stopped myself short.
I wasn't sure if I was allowed to say anything that regarded Hailey. It was both too shameful and too hurtful at the same time. Mentioning anything about my wife reminded me of what a horrible husband I was, and it also prompted me that falling for Mia was absurd, and by far the stupidest thing I had ever done.
"It's okay, Connor. You don't have to watch what you say." She spoke, so softly. "I understand."
Then she pushed the button on the blender and the noise drowned out our awkward and heavy silence. For about a minute, the whirring sound filled the air.
I had finished my meal by then, completely satisfied, and drank all the water in one huge gulp.
I carried over my dishes to the sink and stood behind Mia, as she stared at the yellowish blended juice mixing in the blender.
The smell of her hair seriously intoxicates me like no other. The scent brought back memories of so much craving, so much yearning. I looked down at her very attractive body. Her shoulders were lean, her waist was small and yet her hips were round and filled.
I couldn't suppress the deep longing, affection and lust any longer.
I wrapped my arms around her waist and nuzzled at her neck.
I had entirely given up on keeping myself in control.
"I'm glad you're here. Thanks for the dinner. It was great."
Despite her apparent hesitation and initial stiffened response, she smiled and told me I was more than welcome.
"It was easy. You could have done it yourself. You're just too much of a baby."
She turned and faced me for a split second and planted a small kiss on my lips.
God, it felt good. It was one of those situations when the word 'good' was an absolute understatement. Yet 'good' was the only word available for my simple mind and simple mouth to utter.
I looked at that mole on her left jaw, and felt my stomach weaken. I took notice of the soft skin of her neck and my principles blurred. I didn't think it was possible for anyone else to adore someone like I adored Mia.
My heart was ecstatic. I was never more excited for anything than I was then.
I ran my hands on the length of her arms and felt her smooth skin. Her hair smelled like strawberries and perfume, and it was like smelling heaven.
Before I knew it, I pulled her loose shirt a little lower and started kissing her bare shoulder. I made my way up to her cheeks but halted when she started giggling.
"Ha," I chuckled also. "Sorry, I forgot you hated people touching your cheek. You've always been weird about that."
"It tickles. It might not be a common place to be tickled, but nonetheless it tickles. So stop."
She beamed at me with a gorgeous smile and beautiful eyes. Damn, I was so into Mia.
She carefully poured the juice into two separate wine goblets (those were the only ones she could reach from our top cabinets) and I had watched her affectionately as she bit her lip in caution, not wanting to stain my clean kitchen.
"Here you go, drink away." She gave me my share and she walked back to the living room.
I followed her and placed myself next to her.
"Can I ask you something, Connor?"
"Shoot." I pulled her feet from the ground and placed them on my lap. She, in turn, started laughing.
"What did you first think when you found out it was me who owned the Bentley?"
"I thought…" I wavered. "I thought… It was a nightmare."
"A nightmare?" She urged me to continue.
"Look, Mia… I wanted nothing to do with you. In my book, you rejected me. You made me miserable." I forced a light chortle. "And that was--- that was---"
"I know, I'm sorry." She didn't let me finish.
"Don't be." I assured her. "What about you, what did you first think?"
"I wanted to hit you with the bat in my trunk."
"What!?" I exclaimed.
"You hit my Bentley. I was extremely angry!" She giggled.
I leaned over and kissed her lips again. It was despicable. Every time she laughed, it felt like being under a spell.
"Hmm…" She moaned with a smile playing at her lips.
"I've always imagined how it would feel to kiss you." She had whispered, so seductively. Well, at least it was to me. I doubted though that she was trying to seduce me.
There was no need to. Her breath already elated my senses, effortlessly. For a second, a million thoughts detonated in my head. Thoughts that were, of course, unspeakable, unfaithful and very unfair to my wife. There were thoughts that I had disgracefully dwelled on, all the while ignoring my commitment to someone else.
"Yeah?" I asked, my voice sounding huskier and breathier.
"Oh, yeah." Mia answered, opening her eyes. "In high school, you were all I daydreamed about. I never went out with anyone else, Connor. You do remember that."
"I do…" I agreed. "Yet you never told me anything."
"You didn't tell me about your feelings either." She countered.
"I was scared." I confessed.
"So was I." She looked down at her glass and pretended to survey it, not wanting to gaze at my eyes.
"But Mia, I really was insanely in love with you." I murmured.
"I wish you had told me."
"Well," I began. "I never saw any signs that could have pushed me to admit to it."
"I told you," She said. "I was just a better actor. I didn't want to do anything that'll push you away."
How ironic. Those were my reasons, exactly.
"Why did you have to hide it so well?" I voiced a rather dumb, rhetorical question.
She remained silent, and so did I.
The regret we were both pondering about was so tangible. If it were to be solid, a great cloud of black will formulate from our breaths and symbolize the severe feeling of grief and disappointment.
Our lack of words and courage in our younger years thwarted a what-could-have-been wonderful love story.
I gently grabbed her hands and intertwined my fingers with hers.
"I would have proposed to you."
"I would have said yes." That was her short reply.
We were quiet for about a minute or so. My hand was holding hers tightly. It felt so small against mine.
Then out of nowhere, she started smiling again.
"Oh, nothing. It's just Kristine."
"What? What about her?" I insisted.
"Well, I just remembered right now that she had asked me if I could take a picture of you."
"Why would she want a picture of me?" I smiled.
"Apparently, she's jealous that someone as gorgeous as you are like or you know, liked me. And she said, life's not fair and as a consolation prize, she deserves a picture."
"Ha," I scoffed. "She's silly."
"She is, actually. I mean, she's absolutely accurate about being jealous but she cannot have a picture of you. Can she?"
I laughed. "No, of course not. But… she thinks I'm gorgeous?"
Mia rolled her eyes and sipped more of her juice. "Don't be so smug."
"No, I'm being honest. I don't see myself as 'gorgeous'."
Mia perked up with shining eyes and looked at me half amused and half annoyed.
"That's definitely a good thing. I'd hate for you to think that you're handsome when you're obviously not."
Mia had the power to make me smile from ear to ear.
I had no idea what phenomenon was occurring inside me. I just knew that I was floating in the air, happy as a free bird. My stomach was secretly tying itself into knots. I was nervous, I was giddy, I was eager and I was feeling things I didn't even know I was capable of feeling.
"See, I told you I'm not at all great---"
"Oh please, Connor. You must have an idea about the effects you have on women."
I leaned over again, kissed her and gave her an arrogant smirk. I pecked at her lips and tenderly brushed my nose against hers.
"Why don't you tell me the so-called 'effects' I have on women."
I had to admit, flirting with Mia was such a rush. Yes, I was being pathetic, acting like a foolish boy again, but I didn't care. At that specific moment, my morality and values just crumbled down and all that mattered was Mia.
"Hm, let's see…" She innocently responded. "Let's start with your blue eyes."
"Many people have blue eyes."
"I'm not finished!" Mia faked anger. She failed at it, she was too cute. "Your eyes aren't just blue. They… they are the kind of blue that stands out and attracts you closer. The kind that makes me want to just melt… I could stare at your eyes forever, Connor."
"Then…" She continued. "Your eyelashes are long and pretty."
"Pretty?" I mocked.
"Yes, pretty." She confirmed.
She finished her glass and set it on the coffee table. I copied her actions and settled once again on the couch, cuddled next to her. She was leaning on my chest, her hair strewn all over my neck and my shoulders.
"Then of course, there's that strong jaw line. And I sort of like it when there's the five o'clock shadow like you have now…"
And she traced her index finger along my jaw.
Hailey hated that five o'clock shadow. She preferred me clean shaven and less furry. I predictably, agreed with Mia.
Holding her was like holding a trophy, the one I had been dreaming about since day one.
"Your brown hair is always up. It works with gel and not a lot of men can pull that off."
I watched her intently with exploding adulation. There she was, on my chest, her eyes were excited and dancing, and her face appeared so sweet and fresh. She was giving me so much entertainment simply by just talking.
"Then that straight nose…" She kissed it. "And firm lips." She kissed them too. "And cute, weird ears."
"Your opinions are subjective." I laughed.
"No, of course they're not." Mia said. "I see the way other women respond to you."
"Remember when you took me out for dinner?" Mia said. "We were just walking down the aisle and I already caught a couple of them look up and stare."
"I'm not! Even Kristine was gushing about your broad shoulders. She said these---." And Mia delicately caressed my shoulders. "---were her favorite. Or was it your muscular arms? I'm not sure, she was too infatuated, she was mumbling."
"Then you just have this raw sexual appeal that can make any girl swoon."
Then she paused again and gave me a sigh. I could see love in her eyes. I knew it. And that look of love was fatal.
"Well…" I started. "I think you're beautiful."
She tittered. "You don't have to return the favor by describing me."
Then I stared at her deeply, realizing and actually feeling myself fall even harder, if it was possible. Her face was glowing, and she just consistently lured me nearer and nearer.
"You take my breath away." I persisted. "Your long hair, your big brown eyes that always look so excited, your weird ribbons and the color of your lipstick, your tiny hands, your large purses, your favorite flats, your bracelets and rings, and especially that sway you have when you walk--- I adore them all.
"Even these toes." And I touched them. "And this belly button, and your legs, your thighs, just everything about you, I love them all."
She grinned widely. "Connor, stop. You're making me blush."
"And this body---"
Then all of a sudden, I just kissed her. I carried her above me as I laid flat on my back. I pulled her head down -a bit harshly- and allowed her lips to crash against mine.
I kissed her passionately, lustfully. My hand roamed around her back. I felt myself begin to harden as it encountered her bra clasp. My other hand favored her butt and couldn't stop squeezing and tapping, and I was going wild with desire.
Mia started kissing my neck and the sensation brought me over the edge. Her breath on my skin was enough to drive me to ecstasy.
"Hmm..." She moaned.
I made up my mind.
I picked her up and brought her upstairs. She kept nipping at my cheeks and nibbling on my ears, causing me to become even more aroused.
I opened the door to my room and was about to enter when Mia called out my name.
"Please don't bring me inside there." She stated. "That's your room with your wife."
"You're right, I won't." I resumed kissing her as I took the next flight of stairs to our attic.
The room was cool and quiet. The floor was clean (Hailey cleaned it all the time) and the furniture were not at all dusty. I turned on the light only to discover that the bulb was already almost dead. It gave off just a shadow of light and hardly illuminated the room.
I placed Mia on the large couch and slowly positioned myself on top of her. She immediately unbuttoned my polo and threw it on the floor.
"Wow…" I heard her say. Then she bit her lip in embarrassment and giggled. "I've never seen---"
"Shush." I kissed her.
I kissed her hard, kissed her like how I had been wanting to since I was fifteen. I lost my hands in the big bundle of her hair and I took off her shirt in one swift motion.
I felt her chest, kissed her stomach and left a trail of bite marks on her skin. She was breathing unevenly, moaning and saying my name. She was slightly cold from the breeze and was easily more prone to shivering, which stimulated me even more.
I nibbled on her lower lip while letting my arms play with her body.
I was enjoying every damn moment of it that I had honestly forgotten that I was married.
"Connor… Connor, hurry… " Mia whispered, so sexily, as I fumbled around her zipper and jeans.
My name sounded so alluring from her mouth.
I strongly pulled off her pants and stared down at her body in red underwear, top and bottom.
"God, Mia…" She was so stunning.
She smiled up to me, so lovingly and waited for me to take up my position again.
Soon after, my own jeans were off and we lost ourselves in the bliss of the night, disregarding all the restrictions we both knew we had.
I woke up just to see Mia staring at me. Her make-up was somewhat smeared. Her lips were naked and dry, and her hair was a great mess. But she looked lovelier than ever.
"Good morning, baby." She murmured.
I felt myself drift away from the married man that I truly was. Hailey, her parents, her friends all became nothing but names in my head.
I had decided right then and there that waking up next to Mia, hearing her say my name, being called "baby" from her mouth and holding her in my arms every day were all I needed.
"Good morning, babe." I mumbled also. And I placed my arms around her and drew her closer, feeling her naked body across mine.
For what felt like forever, we just stayed in that position, enjoying the moment while it lasted.
"I'm so sore." She quietly told me, teasing.
I just had to smirk. It was a compliment.
"Would you like some pancakes?"
I opened my eyes completely and shook my head.
"No. I want you to stay here with me up in the attic until night falls. Between now and then, we can have more rounds."
She laughed. "Aren't you hungry? After last night, I'm starving."
I chuckled. "Alright, alright. We'll have breakfast." Then I looked at the clock. "Or lunch."
"Oh, it's noon already?" Mia was slightly alarmed. But then she brushed it off instantly. "I guess I'm not going to work today."
"I guess I'm not either. Today's my fourth day out. Mike's going to be pissed."
"It's okay. Last day, okay? Tomorrow you'll go back. And never miss another day for the next three years."
She kissed me. I kissed her back.
She positioned herself on top of me that next time. She took my hands and put them on her back. She started nibbling on my ears, and ran her fingers through my hair. I felt myself harden again, and on the wooden floor, we had another long hour of pleasure.
"I'm going to pass out." She stated weakly, with a playful smile.
I was fingering the locks that fell on her face.
"Mia, you're beautiful." I repeated
She looked at me bashfully. "Now you're the one who's exaggerating."
"I love you. I still do." And I meant it, with all my being.
Her eyes widened for a moment. But my solemn face assured her that I knew what I was saying.
Her eyes lowered and she held my hand. "Unfortunately, I love you too."
I kissed her fingertips and secretly begged her never to leave. As I gazed at her brown eyes, I was silently praying that we could stay cooped up in my attic forever, away from gossip, away from confrontation and away from judgment that I was certain to receive if anyone found out.
"What do we do now, Connor?" She asked me, sadly.
"We---" I sighed. "We… Honestly, I don't know."
"So you're not--- you're not…" Mia began tearing up. "But you're not leaving Hailey?"
"I don't know, Mia. It's much, much more complicated than that."
"I—I see." Was all she said.
She wiped away her tears and stood up. Over her naked body, she wore my white polo and started climbing down the stairs.
I quickly got changed into something decent and followed her.
I quickly grabbed a hold of her hand and buried her in a tight embrace.
"We'll figure it out, alright?" I whispered, as she stood by the table in my kitchen.
"O-Okay." She replied sadly.
We both knew that we were trapped.
We just pretended that we had the answers, because the moment was much too precious to lose.
But I really had no idea what the hell I was going to do.