Wanted

“I really want to kiss you.” he said, leaning far away from me in the front seat of his car. I echoed his pose, my shoulder pressed into the fogged passenger window.

He’d just given weight and an identity to the mounting tension sitting in the canyon between us. Our good-natured sparring in aikido practice had slipped into murkier waters, into a place where I couldn’t see the bottom or the top to right myself.

I wanted to tell him that I couldn’t hurt my newlywed husband.

I wanted to tell him that I was not in a good place emotionally, that my parents were splitting up and it had spun me dizzy with confusion. If they couldn’t make it, who could? It was certainly no time for me to be making rash decisions. I was grieving and not thinking clearly.

I wanted to tell him that I was lonely when Scott was at rehearsal and in the studio toiling away on productions and graduate studies for 16 or 18 hours a day. That my friends in Pennsylvania were his classmates and were as busy as he was.

I wanted to tell him that if he was a good friend, he would support my marriage and not try to insert himself in the middle of it. Friends don’t let friends make bad decisions.

I wanted to tell him that I’d thought about it, maybe even daydreamed about it. Wondered if his kiss was soft and gentle or insistent and hungry.

I wanted to tell him that he wasn’t my future, that I was married to my best friend and his family and that I would never jeopardize the relationships I cherished. That there was no excuse for hurting someone you love.

I wanted to tell him that it was okay and basically a freebie because Scott had messed around with someone while we were dating, but not yet engaged. That he’d told me then to do the same to him in a conversation that made me physically ill.

I wanted to tell him yes.

I wanted to, but I didn’t. I didn’t hesitate at all when I told him simply, “No.”

“No.”

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