Lonely Hearts (Short Story. NSFW)

I wasn’t sure what I thought about him at first. He was a rather quaint man, with his cavalier demeanour and suave, savoir faire. I’ve always found myself naturally suspicious of anyone I found more charming than the average person.

So I observed. I watched him intently as we spoke. I made a mental note of every quirk, from the way the right corner of his thin lips would pull up in a nonchalant half-smile, to how held his glasses of scotch with care-free elegance. He seemed to ooze expense.

One particular night, I met him at a bar he frequented. It fit cosily into one of the many floors of the Shard and as per usual knowing him, spared no expense. He appreciated the finer things in life and wasn’t ashamed of it. I often wondered what he exactly did for his job. I understood it was somewhere high up in advertising, but he seldom spoke of it. He hated talking work outside of the workplace, he’d say.

He spoke to me at length about his nasty divorce over overpriced cocktails he refused to let me pay a penny for. His wife was apparently trying to claim assets from him she wasn’t entitled to and despite the court’s dismissals of the cases, she kept coming back. He never spoke of her in spite, I noticed, like most in his position would. He just seemed perplexed by the notion, more upset than anything else.

‘But…’ he thanked the bartender, who delicately placed a fresh drink on the table, ‘I could have been a much better husband. All those long hours and business trips can’t have been easy for her.’

I said nothing as he talked. I think he just wanted someone to listen more than anything. Someone who wasn’t linked to family or work. Just a random stranger also seeking comfort as remedy for their mutual loneliness.

‘How about you?’ he asked, straightening the lapel of his pinstripe jacket, ‘What’s your tale of woe?’ I scoffed and stared out at London’s night lights.
‘Boyfriend cheated with my sister.’
‘Shit. That’s rough! How long ago?’
‘Five months. They’re happily married now.’

He said nothing. The shocked crinkle of his forehead lines said it all as he sipped at his drink. What was there to say? It was what it was. There was nothing to gain by wasting my well-earned time ranting about them.

“Come on,” he smiled lazily at me, “Let’s get out of here and head somewhere more private.”
“Your place?”
“If you like.”
“Sure.”

I wasn’t expecting sex and neither was he. I figured he thought if we going to get deeper about why we were both so lonely as to cross paths, a public bar wasn’t the place to do it. That being said, if he offered, I wouldn’t have turned him down. If I offered, he wouldn’t have either.

The spark was in the air. It went without saying, but it wasn’t expected like some sordid obligation just for the drinks now swirling noisily in my belly. I suppose that’s what I liked about him. He never demanded a thing from me, nor I anything from him. Just being in each other’s company sitting in utter silence was enough. We just didn’t want to be lonely anymore.

His apartment was one of those sleek, upmarket getups in Knightsbridge. The type with giant leather couches and a marble kitchen that blends in to the living room. He offered camomile tea. I readily accepted, while I jettisoned my stilettos on the cream shag pile carpet. I made myself comfy on the couch, admiring the view.

“It’s lovely, isn’t it?” He asked as he handed over the warm mug.
“It’s gorgeous.” I blew over the brown-yellow liquid before and sipped. A wash of calm soothed me. Home in a cup. He fell back on to the couch beside me and draped his arm around the back.
“I never grow tired of it.” He swallowed a mouthful of tea, “I think I might stay here in to my old age.”
“I wouldn’t blame you if you did.”
“You’d still come and visit me?” A cheeky grin flashed across his face. For the first time that evening, I saw genuine joy in his eyes.

“I’m sure I can spare a few minutes.” I teased.
He wrapped his arm round my shoulders and I nestled in his warmth. There was no build up for more, no anticipation for a kiss or a mutual fondle between the legs. Just…comfortable.

Like the familiar, golden light of a candle burning on a chilly night.
I could feel my eyes glisten, but I blinked back the humiliated tears threatening to show. I thought I covered my upset well. Obviously not as much as I thought, when he pulled me in to a comforting embrace.

“It’s ok, love. Shhhh…” he muttered against my hair. Before I knew it, dry, heaving sobs regurgitated from my diaphragm, squeezing my chest so tight I thought it was going to break. Fat tears fell mercilessly down my cheeks. My shoulders shook, purging all the hurt I’d bottled. The anger at my ex for laughing in my face when I caught him with that lascivious harpy I loath to call a sister. Damn him, I thought. Damn him to Hell and back.

All the while there was my lonely companion, gently rubbing his hand up and down my back with his calming words while I stained his shirt with blotched, cheap mascara.
“I’m sorry…” I sniffed, seeing the smeared makeup. He cupped my face in his hands.
”It doesn’t matter.” He said simply, “You are a strong, beautiful woman and any man would be lucky to have you.”

I didn’t believe him, but I nodded nonetheless. After a while, I lay on my side, resting my head upon his thigh while we looked out to the city in silence. It truly was beautiful at night. I rested my head in his lap, relaxing in his warmth while he stroked his fingers through my hair.

“If you were mine, I’d never dream of doing that to you.” He murmured.
“Really?” I asked.
“Really.”
“I don’t know,” I brushed away a section of hair that had flopped over my face. “I don’t think you’d say that if you really knew me.”

“What makes you say that?” he asked.
“I don’t think I’d be yours after you’d find out I bite my nails when I’m nervous and take meds for anxiety.”
“Doesn’t bother me at all. I take meds for depression.”
“Hooray for us crazies!” I pumped my fist above my head in mock celebration. My head wobbled on his thigh as he chuckled.
“Hooray indeed…” he smiled lazily.

“If you were mine I wouldn’t use our kids as a weapon if I didn’t get my own way.” I snuggled further back so my head rested against his stomach. The slow rise and fall of his breath soothed me.
“We’re having kids now, are we?”
I shifted on my back and gazed up at him.
“Yeah, why not?” I said, “Two girls and a boy.” The corners of his lips turned up as he carried on threading his fingers through my hair.
“I look forward to it.”

His forehead touched mine and we kissed. No fireworks, no shifting of the Earth’s tectonic plates, but a mutual warmth of two people simply finding comfort in each other. He was my glowing little light in the abyss and we weren’t going to let each other go so easily. I would almost say platonic, but that would be too tame.

There was electricity, but more a mutual understanding, that whether romantic or platonic, we clicked. We knew we’d be an important piece in each other’s lives. No matter for how long or short the time, we’d be thinking of the other when we were old and grey as we regretted not drinking enough and worrying less.

We kissed again, entwining in an embrace only lovers know, when I took his hands and stood up to take him somewhere more private.
“You’re sure?” he asked. I nodded.

We made love that night in the heavenly comfort of his bed that greeted us like an old friend. He was a kind lover. He was gentle and tentative, unlike my ex who most of the time, just mounted like a rutting bull. I lost myself in the warmth of his bare skin against mine. As I lay naked in his arms, he showered me in tender kisses while his hands roamed my back and hips. He didn’t just have sex, he worshipped, and in turn I worshipped him.

Maybe one day we’ll grow to love each other like a husband and wife should. Maybe one day we’ll both stop hurting and find our own light at the end of the tunnel. Until then, we’ll be our own lights, guiding each other through our darkness before we can see our world in daylight again.

*
©2019 – Life of Violet. All Rights Reserved.
*Picture – Pinterest

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