We will get to the masturbatory element next time....I promise (it's the Irish storyteller in me..)
I stood up and started to clear my papers away, my brain whirring very fast. I needed a minute to think. I found myself saying that yes, there was a place right across the street but it tended to get very crowded (with a lot of my colleagues!) in the early evening but that there was a very nice, quiet lounge area in a small but elegant hotel about a ten minute walk away where we could sit and have a cup of tea. He agreed immediately and I gave him directions and said I would meet him there in about twenty minutes or so as I had to make a few quick phone calls back in my office. I walked him to the lift and he disappeared smiling behind the closing doors.
I went immediately to the ladies' room and went into a cubicle and closed the door. I breathed deeply a few times to calm myself as I realised I was shaking. I suddenly had stomach cramps and the urge to open my bowels, which I did. Emerging and feeling a little better I went to the mirror. I have a habit of talking to myself in the mirror whenever I get stressed or worried about anything. I looked at my reflection:
So, what are you going to do Anne-Marie?
I don't know.
Yes, you do.. you just don't want to admit it.
This is so wrong, I shouldn't be doing this.
What's wrong about it?
He's married to someone else.
He said he was free to live and act as he sees fit, with her consent.
How can that be? How can this not affect her or their marriage?
Well, you can't answer that or be responsible for others' choices, only your own. What do you want to do?
I want to go.
Well then, go?
But then I'll feel like a piece of shit when he gets back on the plane to Madrid and goes back to his wife?
Okay, then don't go, protect yourself. Go home, stand him up.
What are the consequences, for you, of going out with him tonight?
I may have a fantastic night of fun, pleasure, romance, intimacy with someone I genuinely like.
What are the consequences of you going home right now and not showing up?
I'll go home and open a bottle of wine, talk to my cat, maybe call up Steve downstairs and see if he's free.
Okay, so instead you'll end up fucking a man you don't want to share a bed with?
I'm not going to fuck Julio!
What are you afraid of Anne-Marie?
I don't have an answer for you on that one but all I'll say is that not living will hurt you more in the long run.
So I should go?
I can't say that. It's up to you....
You sound awfully biassed to me.
That's as maybe.
What would YOU choose....???
Jesus, Mary and Joseph! It's one night of your life Anne-Marie!! Just go and have some fun...
By this point I was smiling at myself in the mirror, laughing at this ludicrous yet oddly helpful dialogue. I put some lipstick on and powdered my nose and went back to my office, clearing away my desk at top speed, throwing files into drawers. Before I logged out of my computer I sent myself an email to receive the next morning. Just one line... it read 'Good morning Anne-Marie.. smile and don't be blue'.
I walked the ten minutes to the hotel through the brisk, autumnal air feeling elated and slightly high knowing that this was a little dangerous but it was good, I felt alive. I got to the hotel and walked around the lounge scanning the tables. It was quite crowded in there but no one I recognised, fortunately. I couldn't see him anywhere. I walked around again this time a slight panic setting in. Where was he? He wasn't here. Had he got lost? Changed his mind? Stood me up?
A waiter then came smiling up to me 'Hello there...you must be looking for your husband? He said it was too crowded down here and he's gone straight up to the room. It's room 23, on the fourth floor...'
To be continued...