Rewind, to a New Year’s Eve past. A small gathering of revellers, I was a friend of a friend, who tagged along and made your acquaintance. I sat opposite you in your lounge, making polite conversation to a doctor’s wife. I sensed a chemistry between us the moment we were introduced, although I was also aware that you were well on the road to being merry, which may well have explained your flirtatious behaviour.
Your guests moved freely from room to room, mingling as they do at such soirees. Your husband, playing the dutiful host, handed round canapés and offered to top up glasses. Amidst all this activity we continued to talk, semi-oblivious to the world around us. We’d laugh and nod in agreement to almost every topic of discussion and very soon I became transfixed on your perfectly formed mouth, hypnotised as each word oozed past your lips with such sensual delivery.
At the announcement that the supper buffet was now available in the dining room, the lounge quickly emptied and we found ourselves alone. You seemed to relax considerably in my lone company, possibly free from the shackle of the gaze of your friends, who may have been looking on at our apparent intimacy with disapproval. I too felt more at ease and sat back in your sofa and unashamedly stole the chance to study you in more detail, take in your striking beauty. You smiled at me, fully aware of what I was doing. There no longer seemed any need for words.
In the minutes that passed, we continued to gaze into each other’s eyes, soaking up an apparent affinity. In a semi-state of confusion, I was curious as to what was going on. Less than an hour or so ago I’d never set eyes on the woman before me. Two glasses of wine later and a little idle chat, and it was if I’d known her all my life. I sensed a bond between us that possibly transcended any other feeling I’d known in my life. But why did I feel this way? It was certainly not as a direct result of anything we’d said to each other during the earlier part of the evening. The topics of conversation had been, for the most part, irrelevant. I was at a loss to explain my wanton desire. For sure I wanted her, that part was easy to understand. I am all too often attracted to a beautiful woman; I’m sure I’m no different to any other member of the male species in this respect. And as so often on occasions such as this, I’d be more than content to take this overwhelming sense of lust away with me and contrive a most pleasurable sexual fantasy, in which the two of us unite and enjoy a mad moment of unrelenting sex.
But this was not simply about lust. I knew that the instant you chose to sit down next to me; the moment your hand brushed against my leg, sending an electric shudder down my spine. The way I uncontrollably reached out to caress your cheek and outline your lips with my fingers; the fact you made no attempt to prevent me. Who was this stranger before me? Was she friend or foe? Were we destined to meet like this? And if so, was it for the greater good of us both or to teach us a cruel lesson? My mind was in overdrive as we continued our gaze. The fact that you seemed to be torturing yourself with similar thoughts offered me a little comfort.
In a flash I came to my senses and realised that you had started to speak.
“I think we should join the others,” you said softly. As if waking from a trance I nodded in agreement. “Do you have your phone on you?” you asked matter-of-factly.
“Sure,” I replied. “Do you need to make a call?” I reached into my pocket and handed over my mobile. You took it and proceeded to tap away at the keys. A little shell-shocked from our intense moment of silence, I stood up and moved towards the window in an attempt to give you a little privacy. What was she doing? Who did she feel the need to call right now?
As I looked out of the window, taking in none of the immediate surroundings around me, I began to hear the faint sound of music coming from behind me. I turned just as you were reaching into your handbag. Was that an extract of Pachelbel's Canon? You quickly cancelled the incoming call on your mobile, placed it back in your handbag, stood up and walked over to me. Handing back my own phone you smiled at me knowingly.
“Let’s eat,” you said and turned to join the others.
I looked down at screen on my mobile and noted the number I had called was busy. “Retry later?” it said. Indeed I would, I thought, as I put the phone back in my pocket and followed you out of the lounge.