Saturday, January 17, 2009

His Immoral Affair

"What's the matter, Steve, afraid to take what you want?"

In reality, her clothes never violated the bank's very proper dress code and yet every stitch still steamed with sexiness. As she leaned across his desk to pick up a pen she conveniently forgot to bring in, her soft, luscious hair and intoxicating perfume were an irresistible feast for his senses. He was back in school again secretly watching cheerleader practice - only this time the cheerleader noticed him.

"Oh, no," Steve protested. "I know which project I want to take. I mean I can start right away on redesigning the risk algorithm. No one else will want to take that on but I will."

The vibrant beauty congratulated him. "You're a smart boy, Steve. You know what Marilyn Monroe said about Einstein don't you?"

"No, what!?" panted Steve.

"There's nothing sexier than intelligence."

"Really?" Steve adjusted his collar as the room temperature went up another ten degrees. "I always thought girls like that just wanted football players, or guys like that."

"She wasn't a girl, Steve. She was a woman."

"Yes," he agreed. "Yes, she was." And then Steve wondered if he deserved a woman.

His wife was no woman, that much he knew. She'd been called the "good girl" all her life; mocked for it as a child, praised for it by dying adults. He wanted so much more but that was the story of his life: not to lose everything by doing what he wanted. This struggle against the forces of nature left him with a growing pride for his will. So often voices had called him away to lead him away to a different path. He never forgot his skipped youthful rendezvous with the dreamily pretty Sherri so he wouldn't miss handbell practice for church. He still wondered of her.

But a little voice told him his time had come. He found himself excited but with no explanation for it. His sleeping wife - who kept her private thoughts private - was certainly not one to share his newfound joy. If only he had a good buddy he could tell anything to. Wait a minute, wasn't that what Father Tim was supposed to be? Nah, he'd never understand this - and probably wouldn't approve anyway. No, there was only one person he could share this joy with: her.

Feeling like he was starring in a second rate melodrama on the Lifetime channel, Steve paid cash at the hotel front desk and carried in his fake baggage. The surreal trip up the elevator and down the hallway was forever etched in his mind. Two businessman rode on the elevator with him and Steve recognized himself in their demeanor - and thought them losers. They were stuck here doing dreary business - he was the one doing life. The role reversal was delicious after so many aching years spent watching enviously on the sidelines. Now Steve was the bold soul saying, "What the fuck!"

The winner walked into the hotel room where history was to be made. Never before had he done anything without an eye to increasing his moral standing - and never before had he felt as good about what he was doing. Torturous childhood insecurities would finally be laid to rest. Steve didn't know what, but there was something on the horizon - something good and full of light - waiting for him. Was this fantasy for real?

His answer came with a knock on the door and heaven walked into the room. She was smiling and her glow of life radiated onto the generic hotel furniture. Everything she did sparkled. Every graceful moment of removing her clothes to the way her body spoke to him in perfect pleasure thrilled Steve as he'd never been before - and she knew it. She laid across the bed, relishing the joy of anticipation on Steve's face. She came to bring a priceless gift - and the giving of that gift would be her own reward.

It would be a moment to change his life.

His long suppressed teenage fantasy was laid out before him in silky smooth skin. Redemption at last! pounded Steve's heart. What a glorious - and dangerous - feeling to believe in himself. Never before had any soul accepted his naked desires. The universe was at his fingertips. Anything was possible! Had he wildly shortchanged his life all these years? Without realizing it, he whispered a realization, "God loves me."

But other voices spoke too.

Mom and Dad wanted to know what in the heck was he doing. Father Tim too. And his wife's parents at the Bible college, what would they say at the sight of this towering erection for life? Have you been lying to us, Steve? Why aren't you at home? No more Steve the Good Boy who lived for others, but rather he'd be labeled Steve the Selfish Bastard. You can't just do what you want! People will see you for what you really are!

"I can't do this," he deflated. "It's wrong."

"What? Are you kidding me? Look at you! Tell me you don't want me!"

"It's dishonest to do this."

"It's dishonest not to do this."

"I have to be strong. I can't give in."

"Giving in is strong. Doing what you want is strong. Do you want to die a little boy?"

He replied with a quote meant to please ears not his own. "Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from Christ." Steve did not notice his Freudian slip.

A shocked seductress was stunned by the stupidity. People like this still exist? Haven't they all died off yet? If not, they sure as hell will.

"You know what? I'm an idiot. I was a fucking moron to believe in you!" She dressed as she steamed. She stood face to face with him on her way out. "You know what? You blew it. You had your chance and you fucking blew it. Go home to your sniveling wife and your sniveling life, boy. You're beyond hope. You're fucking pathetic."

"I resisted temptation," he meekly protested to the slamming hotel door. And the room went dark.

In his car on the way home, the propaganda campaign swung into full force. See? I knew a woman like that would never want me. I did right. I know I did. I can confess this! Maybe I'll even be a hero. Father Tim will congratulate me. They'll be mad because I was weak - but I came through in the end! This proves my love is true. Yes, yes it does. What was that joke that pained me so much? Oh yeah: "What do you call Pharaoh's wife after she repents? Divorced!" God that one hurt - but I beat it now. Who can contest my faithfulness? Man, I feel like total shit right now, this is horrible. But all I need is one person to say I did good and life will have meaning again.

But it was an empty house he was driving home to. His wife, hoping to break her lifelong addiction to approval, had moved out and moved on. It had gotten to the point where simply having a body next to her at night was not enough. For wasted years she fed at the trough of companionship, ignoring its increasingly bitter taste. Until one day she found nothing left and asked herself why. That voice - that voice that hounded her for years, the one she demonized in the night - she finally let overtake her and fearfully listened to its horrible truth: marriage has no benefit if you're with the wrong person - in fact, it's a liability. No longer could she feign the role of the happy prostitute.

To the end, the self-professed moral man held tight to his lies of holiness - and he cried till the end of time.

Trust me.

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