THE LAST NIGHT
by Rosalinda Hutton
He sat on the edge of the hotel bed attempting to tie his shoelaces as she leaned her body close to his. ‘I can change’ she whispered breathlessly, ‘I’m learning all the time’. He turned towards her and held her face gently in his hands, looking closely at the desperation in her eyes. He was amused at her childlike attempts to please him, but he felt uncomfortable and threatened. He needed to calm her, to quieten her down. He leant towards her softly shooshing her fears with light butterfly kisses. Her lips responded and moved to meet his, but he broke the spell and turned to continue dressing. He toyed with his tie, occasionally allowing one hand to fall behind him to stroke and caress the seductive body, reclining sensually on the bed.
She had turned away from him and was lying on her back, her eyes now filled with tears. He looked down at her and spoke reassuringly. ‘Don’t ever change - I like you just as you are’. He spoke to her like a father, stern and masculine, and normally she would have melted. Normally she would accept whatever he said, she admired and looked up to him so much. She felt safe when he was with her, protected. She could see the pain in his eyes too, the overwhelming need, the love, the desire. Sometimes she thought he was as vulnerable as she was. She knew that what he said made sense, acknowledging their affair would wreck both their lives, she knew that, but yet?
He could sense a storm brewing, and he was anxious to avoid a scene. He playfully undid the button of his trousers and looked up at her bashfully with his hair flopping carelessly into his eyes. Ok it would make him a few minutes late, but he was starting to become worried.
She sat up abruptly, brushing his hands away. ‘I need a drink’ she muttered angrily, as she stumbled across the floor, trying desperately to hold onto her dignity. She was angry, she wasn’t going to let him get away with it, not tonight. She wasn’t prepared to stay in the background any longer. She was as good as his wife, just as good, in fact, she was better - she had made it on her own.
She needed more than this. She couldn’t bear to be alone any longer. The continual days of solitude that ran into each other as she waited for a brief phone call or a stolen afternoon. Never a night! Oh no, never a full night. She needed to feel his arms around her, to fall asleep with her body moulded into his. To share their warmth and their pain together. Why didn’t he feel the same!
He watched her walk across the room, struggling to walk straight and to hold her head high. He felt a mixture of pity, amusement... and lust! She had pulled the satin negligee back into place, and the folds of material rustled invitingly, the lace clinging to her voluptuous curves. She had poured herself another drink and had turned to look at him with her glass swaying unsteadily in her hand. He remained sitting on the bed and gazed up her sweet baby face. Her eyes were blotched with black mascara and her lips were puffed and swollen. Her blond hair was mussed up, sexually bedraggled. She looked pathetic and wanton. He could feel his groin stirring, the passion rising in his chest. He didn’t know whether to embrace her or hit her! He wanted to overpower her, to dominate her, to hate her. He didn’t know if it was anger or desire!
He wanted and needed her desperately, but having her would destroy him. He watched in silence as she gulped back the large glass of straight liquor, and he felt disgust and loathing, even for himself.
She turned back to the bar and poured another drink. ‘Leave her’, she mumbled. He heard what she had said but remained silent. He sat with his head hung down, his hands clasped together in desperation. Any previous feelings of passion he had were now overtaken by panic. She was becoming too clingy, even unhinged. In the past few weeks she had become more unstable, telephoning him constantly, day and night, even at his home. He was terrified of what she might do.
‘I can be like her, I can be anything you want me to be’. She was starting to scream so he rushed over and held her tightly in his arms. If only she would understand. He tried to pacify her, whispering into her ear. She had heard it all before, she knew the reasons. She wanted to understand, she wanted to be patient, to do the things he said, if only he would give her one last chance.
She knew in her heart that this was their last night, that she was losing him forever. He rarely returned her calls, those early heady days of passion were a distant memory, he had lost interest in her, he had moved on. She had had to beg him to meet her, for what she knew, would be one last time.
She buried her face into his strong chest, he smelt wonderful, the soft sensuality of his damp, freshly showered skin overwhelmed her senses. She could feel him pushing her away, but she held tight.
He was the most beautiful man she had ever met, and she had met many! He oozed power and confidence, something she had never had. At least not without the booze and pills. He was adored, idolised. Everyone who met him was instantly won over by his handsome looks and charismatic personality. Why should she be any different? Yet she knew she could be so good for him. The family would accept her, why wouldn’t they? if only she could have a chance to meet them!
They stood in the centre of the room, locked in an embrace. He breathed in the smoky, musky perfume of her hair, she smelt of their lovemaking and again he felt aroused. He was losing his resolve, but he knew too that the situation was getting out of hand, it was becoming too dangerous. He tried to push her away, slowly and gently, terrified that the smell of her might cling, and that he would need another shower. ‘The kids are too young’, he pleaded. ‘ I would be crucified’. She stepped back and looked at the defeated figure in front of her, she knew that she had lost him.
In her mind she searched frantically, clutching for a word or a reason to make him stay, anything that would mean this was not the end. ‘It doesn’t have to be everything - not straight away’. She banged her glass down onto the bar, ‘can’t we just be seen together... go to a restaurant!’ He looked up at her and smiled, half laughing, he spoke softly, ‘you know that’s not possible’. As he spoke there was a knock on the door and he walked back a few paces to acknowledge it. He watched her in silence, he didn’t know what to say, what could he say? She had poured another drink and was fumbling in her handbag for pills. She looked so sad. She tilted her head back in a dramatic gesture as she swallowed the tablets with huge glugs from her overfull glass.
He felt guilty as he walked towards the door, that was what she had wanted him to feel.
The voice from behind the door spoke urgently, yet softly, ‘we have to leave now Mr. President’. He turned back for one last look, she was struggling to maintain her stance and her dignity, gazing down at the mixture of pills in her outstretched hand. ‘Don’t drink vodka with them Marilyn’, he said, as he closed the door behind him.