Dear Diary – Touch of a Stranger
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May 23rd, 2014
It all started with a casual browsing of the men seeking women section of craigslist—a bored wife engaged in a little idle speculation while her husband played Monday night baseball with his office team. One entry caught my eye. ‘Looking for casual romance with the woman wanting to be swept off her feet. No drama, no commitments. Let’s meet and see what happens’ the ad said. There was nothing else except for the reply button. I’m so torn. I want to respond but I know it’s wrong. I don’t know what to do!
I still don’t know why I felt compelled to answer. Perhaps it’s because I’m ready for a little casual romance. I love Josh, my husband, with all my heart, but after more than twenty years of marriage and two children, I wanted to be swept off my feet and feel the rush of passion I once felt for him.
May 27th, 2014
After three days of agonizing indecision, I’ve finally worked up the courage to contact the author of the ad using a new email address I created, just in case. Oh God! I hope I’m not making a huge mistake!
Somewhat to my surprise, his response was almost immediate. It was like he was waiting for my email. I was dying to read his reply, but I couldn’t very well read it in front of Josh, so it had to wait. Later that evening, as Josh yelled at the talking heads on the evening news, I slipped away to read his response.
Thank you for responding to my ad. To answer your questions, both asked and unasked, I’m a forty-eight-year-old, happily married man, looking to put some spark back into my life. I’m looking for a woman of approximately my age that is looking for the same. I love my wife, and I don’t wish to hurt her, but I find that I miss the excitement that we shared early in our marriage.
I’m looking for a special someone, someone that will reignite the flame of passion within me. As I said in my ad, I’m not looking for drama or commitments, only a woman that would like to once again feel the touch of a man interested in pleasing her. A man that won’t take her for granted.
Are you that woman?
I sat there with butterflies in my stomach. He’d described me perfectly. Josh was a good man, loving and warm, and while I didn’t feel like he took me for granted, there’s also no denying that the passion we once shared had cooled. We’d busied ourselves in raising a family, and over the course of time, lost what we’d once had. Now that our youngest was away to college I longed to feel the heat of unbridled passion again. I hovered the pointer over the delete button, ready to end this before it got out of hand, but I clicked the reply button instead.
I poured my heart into that email, telling Thad of my longing and desires. I gave no personal details, even signing off the email with my mother’s name. Knowing that I wasn’t alone in my feelings, and that others could love their spouse and still want something more, was a great comfort for me. If nothing else, that knowledge made me feel better.
August 14th, 2014
This thing with Thad is getting out of hand! I spend more time in the evenings talking to Thad than I do Josh. Slipping away to hide in our bedroom while I text or email another man isn’t right, but I can’t stop. And, I’m ashamed to say, I don’t want to stop.
Over the next two months, Thad and I began to email or text each other on a regular basis, sometimes several times a day. Every time my phone chirred with the arrival of an email or text, a tingle of anticipation coursed through me. I never admitted that my name wasn’t Barbara, or Babs as Thad had taken to calling me, but was Caroline.
Babs began to take on a life of her own. Through the emails I discovered Thad was the master of the double entendre, had a wicked sense of humor that was dry and rapier sharp, and Babs was a wild woman, free thinking and ready for any adventure. Thad allowed me to be, through the Babs persona, the person I’d always wanted to be. He didn’t judge me, seemed to thrive on the verbal jousting, and allowed me to express hopes and desires I’d never share with Josh.
September 5th, 2014
Today Thad asked the question I knew was coming. I don’t know what to do! I want to go, but it seems so wrong! Now I wish I’d never answered that stupid advertisement!
I stared at the screen, my stomach churning in fear and trepidation. Did I want to meet? Babs wanted to, desperately wanted to, but Caroline was afraid. She was afraid of what this might mean, afraid it would forever change who I am.
I continued to stare at the computer screen for what felt like hours, wanting to cry, and yet, feeling a tingle of excitement I hadn’t felt in years. Caroline ulus escort begged me to forget the whole thing, but Babs argued that I deserved to feel special again. Caroline and Babs argued viciously, tearing into each other with animal like savagery in a mental catfight of epic proportion. As the two sides of myself warred, I moved the mouse pointer first to the delete button, then to the reply, then back to the delete. Finally, Babs won out and silenced Caroline. With a near whimper, I moved the pointer to reply, clicked the icon, and began to type.
September 9th, 2014
I must be crazy! Crazy! I’m actually going to go through with it! I keep telling myself it’s just a fling and doesn’t mean anything. I’m going to send Thad a message and cancel the whole thing! I shouldn’t be doing this! It’s so wrong, and I know it’s wrong, but I can’t stop. I need this.
We agreed to meet tomorrow, at one o’clock, in the restaurant of the Four Seasons hotel. We’d traded superficial descriptions of each other, but I’d know Thad by the single red rose, and he’d know me by the yellow sun dress I’d purchased for the occasion. Just thinking about what I was about to do caused my stomach to churn in anticipation and dread.
September 10th, 2014
It was magical! Thad was everything I’d hoped and wanted… devastatingly handsome, incredibly attentive, and he fucked me like I’d never been fucked before. He made me feel wanted, and special, like I was the most beautiful, the most desirable, the most important woman in the world. He made me feel all the things Josh used to make me feel, but I haven’t felt in such a long time.
I can still feel him between my legs, a pleasant soreness that makes me smile every time I think about how I got this way. I’ve placed my roses in the center of the dining room table, so I can see them every time I walk past, and remember.
Josh is going to be home soon, and I want to have a nice dinner ready for him. It’s the least I can do, considering how I spent my afternoon.
I felt like I was crazy, sitting there waiting for a near stranger to arrive. I knew the chance of being seen by someone I knew was almost zero, but I was nervous just the same. I stared at the door to the restaurant, terrified over who might enter. I held my wine glass by the stem and slowly swirled the wine, watching the rich red liquid roll around inside the glass as I refined my cover story. I slowly shook my head, my lips pursed at what I was doing. At first, the thought of meeting someone new was exhilarating, but now…
I’d left work early, changing out of my conservative business suit into the light and breezy sun dress in the bathroom. I’d flounced out of the branch like I didn’t have a care in the world, but inside I was sick, sure the three tellers knew exactly what I was up too. In my nervousness, I’d arrived for our rendezvous too early and had ordered a glass of wine to help still my jangled nerves.
I watched the wine as I swirled the glass again. It wasn’t too late to leave before Thad arrived, to call the whole thing off and chalk it up to a lesson learned. I hadn’t crossed the line, yet. I could still stuff Babs into a box, lock the lid, and go back to being Caroline McGarrin, to being a wife, mother, and banker. But Babs wanted this and she wouldn’t be denied.
Motion caught my eye and I looked to the door. A man, neatly turned out in tan shorts, white shirt, and deck shoes, stepped into the restaurant, casually pushing his stylish sunglasses to the top of head. He was of average height, perhaps six-feet, with a stocky build. He obviously worked out and appeared to be fit, but the most striking feature was his hair. Cut in a classic businessman’s style, his hair was full, thick, and the color of burnished copper. God, I loved gingers. They got my motor running like nothing else, and I felt my heart speed up.
There were only three tables occupied, and I was sitting at one of them. Other than the bored wait staff, I was the only woman there, and they weren’t wearing yellow sun dresses. His gaze quickly found me and he burst into a smile as he walked toward me, rose in hand.
“Barbara? I’m Thad. Nice to meet you,” he said, his voice pleasantly deep and smooth.
“Nice to meet you, Thad,” I said, rising from my chair to greet him. “Would you like to sit down?”
His smile broadened and he waited, a brief pause until I began to sit, then followed suit, placing the rose on the table in front of me.
“Thank you. Now this rose is no longer the most beautiful thing I’ve seen today.”
I swear, I felt like I was blushing like a sixteen-year-old, my face suddenly incredibly hot. One thing had become crystal clear as Thad and I exchanged emails, and it’s that was he’s an yenimahalle escort accomplished flirt. While Caroline blushed and flustered, Babs took over.
“You’re not so bad yourself. I was halfway expecting some overweight, greasy haired loser with missing teeth to come through the door.”
“Disappointed?” he asked with an easy grin, his eyes crinkling with his smile.
“Hardly. You didn’t say you were a ginger.”
“Uh-oh. Is that good or bad?”
“Oh, that’s a good thing… a very good thing,” I replied, allowing my voice to drop into a suggestive tone.
Before I could be shocked by my actions, Thad burst into laughter.
“Excellent! And while we’re on the subject, you didn’t tell me how beautiful you are. You never said your age, but you implied you’re in your late forties. Sitting here, looking at you now, I don’t see how that’s possible. You can’t be a day over forty, and more likely in your thirties.”
My face heated again. “Aren’t you nice?” I asked, breaking into a smile at his compliment. “I try to stay in shape, but the older I get, the harder it is.”
I ignored the implied question. If he wanted to think I was in my thirties, I wasn’t going to argue with him.
“Well, whatever you’re doing, keep it up,” he said, then gave his eyebrows an exaggerated waggle before smiling again.
I knew at that moment I was taking Thad to bed. If not today, then soon, but he was going to have to make the first move. Even Babs wasn’t that bold.
“You’re such a flirt,” I murmured, feeling all warm and squirmy inside. I looked at my wine glass, unable to meet his gaze.
“I assure you, I’m not just flirting.”
There was something about his tone that caused me to look up as my brow furrowed in confusion. “I don’t understand.”
“Flirting is just innocent fun. I don’t expect it to go anywhere.”
I felt my breath catch in my chest as my heart began to thud. “So… you’re trying to seduce me?” I asked, not sure I wanted to know the answer.
“What would you say if I said yes?” he asked, his voice soft, calm, and sure as his gaze held my own.
I took sip of the liquid courage in my glass. Even Babs was rocked back on her heels by his directness. “I would say…” I began but faltered, totally at a loss, my heart pounding so hard I couldn’t hear my own thoughts.
“Speak your mind,” he suggested gently. “You’ve never had a problem doing that before,” he added with a smile that took the sting out of his words.
I took another sip of wine as I fell back on the Babs persona. She could handle anything, and wasn’t as easily flustered as Caroline. “I would say I’m flattered. It’s been a long time since someone… tried to seduce me.”
“Then your husband is a fool. He doesn’t know what he has.”
His voice was soft, but for reasons I couldn’t name, I bristled at his criticism of Josh. “My husband loves me!”
There must have been something in my tone because he held up his right hand in a peace-making gesture. “I didn’t say he didn’t. I just said he’s a fool for not knowing what he has. I wouldn’t make that mistake.”
“You don’t know me,” I protested. “All you know is what I’ve told you in an email. I might be a class A bitch at home.”
He smiled, his eyes dancing. “Somehow I find that difficult to believe. But even if it’s true, that might just add some spice, don’t you think?”
I looked at him, really looked at him, trying to decide if he was feeding me a line just to get into my panties or if he’s the real deal. “What about you? Why have you and your wife drifted apart?”
He smirked. “We’ve been over this. I don’t think you trust me.”
“I hardly know you, Thad. Just tell me again,” I said, my voice just hard enough that he should know I meant business.
He sighed. “Very well. We haven’t really drifted apart so much as the passion has gone out of our marriage. We’re stuck in a routine, in a rut. It’s really as simple as that. Like you, I love my spouse, but I want something more.”
“So why don’t you take your own advice? Maybe she’s feeling like you take her for granted. Why don’t you apply some of this smooth talk to her?” I challenged.
I felt another rush of heat in my face at my criticism. Who was I to criticize when I was doing the exact thing he was doing? Maybe Josh would like a dose of the wild and carefree Babs.
Once again, his gaze held mine. “What makes you think I don’t?” he asked quietly. “Perhaps she’s content with how things are and has no desire for them to change.”
How did I know indeed?
“Perhaps she’s as much a fool as my husband then,” I said, looking into my glass as I searched for answers.
We sat quietly for several long moments. I was lost in my thoughts, wondering how I’d allowed myself to arrive at this place, and Thad was either lost in his own thoughts, or was waiting for me to make the next move.
“Barbara, if you don’t want to do this, I understand. We can part friends now, or we can delay… this… to another time. I don’t want to pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do,” he finally said, breaking the growing silence.
I sat, fighting the urge to cry. I didn’t know what I wanted. Caroline felt guilty and wanted to flee while Babs wanted to experience Thad’s touch.
“No,” I finally replied, staring into my glass, my voice barely more than a whisper. “It’s just that I’ve never done this before.”
“Nor have I.” He took my hand, touching me for the first time, and held it, saying nothing, until I looked up to meet his gaze. “Nor would I do this with anyone other than you. I told you I was looking for that special someone. It’s you. I’m sure of it,” he said, his voice soft and understanding.
He continued to hold my hand, his gaze locked onto mine, allowing me to see the truth his is words. I gripped his hand, trying to draw on his self-assurance.
“I want to. I do want to. But… I’m afraid of what this might mean.”
“It’ll mean what you choose for it to mean,” he said, slowly caressing the back of my hand with his thumb. “Come with me to my room. Let me show you what’s it’s like to be desired again. Then decide. Take what we discover together home to your husband, or keep it between us.” He grinned mischievously, lessening the darkening mood. “If you decide to use me for a quick afternoon delight, I can accept that. Allow me to hold you this one time, and if I never see you again, at least I’ll always have the memory of you.”
I looked deep into Thad’s eyes. “You’d let me go back to my husband without complaint? Just like that?” I asked, again not sure I wanted to know his answer.
“Babs… Barbara,” Thad said slowly, holding my gaze, “I wouldn’t be letting you go. I would always have you here,” he said as he tapped his temple, “and here,” he added as he tapped chest, “and if you discover something, and take it with you, then at least I can be happy in the knowledge that I have helped you in your relationship with your husband.”
Caroline began to scream in my head. She wanted to call it off, begging to run back to the comfort and security of Josh’s arms, to apologize for all she’d done, and hadn’t done, to beg forgiveness for all the little things that had brought me to this point, but Babs wouldn’t be denied. Not today.
“Take me to your room,” I whispered.
Thad smiled before he stood and gently pulled me from my chair.
“You’re sure? No regrets?”
I kissed him softly on the lips, placing my hand gently on the side of his face. “No regrets,” I breathed.
Thad’s smile softened as he retrieved the rose from the table and led me away. We rode the elevator in silence, his arm around my waist, his big hand resting possessively on my hip. I remembered when Josh held me like that. Caroline felt a rush of guilt, but Babs was thrilling in Thad’s touch, and I melted into his side. Caroline was becoming easier and easier to ignore, and I enjoyed the warmth of his gentle embrace.
We stepped off the elevator and walked slowly down the hall, his hand on my hip until he guided me to a stop. He opened the door and stepped aside, allowing me to enter first. Inside were four dozen red roses, and the room was full of their sweet scent. I struggled to contain my surprise.
“What if I hadn’t come back with you?” I asked as I moved deeper into the room, Thad following and closing the door behind him.
I looked around the room and breathed deep, taking in the aroma of the flowers before I dropped my bag into a chair. The large room was on the tenth floor with a floor to ceiling window making up one wall that overlooked the city below. The curtains were pulled open and the room was flooded with light.
He woofed out a short laugh. “The money spent on the flowers would have been the least of my disappointments,” he said casually as he moved to the vase nearest the bed and carefully returned the rose to its mates. “I hope you like roses.”
“What woman doesn’t?” I asked, flabbergasted that Thad would do such a thing.
Perhaps I was more than just a lay for him. He seemed to be going all out to impress, and it was working. A room at the Four Seasons, at least a couple of hundred dollars in flowers…
He turned to face me. “It’s not often that you have a chance to meet the woman of your dreams. This is no time to chintz out,” he said softly, his smile almost loving.
I melted with his words despite myself and wondering how much of that ‘woman of your dreams’ stuff he really meant. He was acting nothing like a stud only looking for a quick tumble.
“Thad, you hardly know me,” I pointed out.
“I know enough. I want to know more.”
He slowly approached and my heart began to speed up in anticipation. He stopped in front of me, his eyes intense, and yet, somehow soft. “Promise me something. I want you to promise me that for today you will be here with me. Forget your husband. It’s just you and me, Babs and Thad. Can you promise me?”
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