just Sex

In a moment of weakness, a marriage dissolves.

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1. Just Sex

It was just sex, I thought. Nothing more, a purely mechanical, physical release of emotional and physical pressure.  I looked at my hand and reminded myself of my son and wife, then looked over at this other woman, and her own equally adorned and unique ring, and at her face, her thoughts and feelings were similar.  She had said so in the beginning, and on the surface, this was simply a business agreement.  No money had changed hands, safety precautions had been taken, our respective spouses knew of our plans, but both in their own over indulgent ways had planned around, and out the idea of infidelity.  In a way, sexual surrogacy is much like prostitution, the act of a man and woman coming together intimately for the sole purpose of pleasure, except that in prostitution, the other party is just an object without concern or care.  In this case, I had worked long and hard at keeping the idea of my loving wife in mind as I was copulating with another married woman, if anything, I would love for my sexual partner to be my life partner.  Therein lies the problem that started this whole unique arrangement. I had met Christine at work a few years ago, we work in a stressful law practice, where few things are planned for, but everything is constantly on the edge of failure.  She worked in the same department as I did, but technically, I was superior to her, in that I was a manager of all the equipment and computer systems she used to maintain an inventory of support items I needed.  So in truth, we mutually depended on each other to keep everyone else in the firm able to do their own jobs.  It was unique for us, constantly having to stand in for our ever needing bosses, yet never able to completely make our own affirmative decision without first proposing and convincing the higher ups of the usefulness of what we would end of having to do regardless.   She, like I had, a difficult history, and had come to accept the role of mother and wife as just another things one needed to appear normal.  Years of abuse from both parent and husband changed how she had come to approach love and work. She loved her husband, and children and spoke constantly of how  stable and good her family life is, yet still a light of sadness remained.  I saw her come to work one day after one of her more difficult endeavors at home.  Something was different, her usually cheery and joking demeanor had been reduced to that of silence.  I asked her what was different, and after a few rounds of the usual, “Nothing, I'm fine” answers, she broke. “I know my husband loves me, and cares for me, Its just that he doesn't seem to care about me as a woman.”  She said, looking straight, her face with a tinge of a tear, an unusual feature on a usually cold, emotionless surface. “What do you mean, he stopped bringing you flowers, no more candle light dinners?” I responded, jokingly to force a laugh. “No, all of that is still going on, he still loves me and give me all the things I need financially, it all just seems superficial.  I no longer feeling anything that I did when we first got married.  There just is no passion between us.”  She said, her eyes grinning at me, she slyly added, “You know what its like to be deprived, don't you? I just haven't been getting any.”   This frank and in context inappropriate statement caught me by surprise, and I squirmed a bit in my chair, my stomach flipping just a bit as I began to feel that I knew exactly what it she was feeling.  I was confused at best, as I had always thought that the man is the one whose needs are purely physical, and that woman just needed the emotional side.  But, in the case of my own wife, the same had completely happened.  She had completely lost all interest in my as anything more than a wage earner, and replacement for her for my son.  For years, this problem of fidelity has wracked my mind with sorrow and confusion, I just understood this as my own unique problem, largely to be resolved and dealt with as a result of my own failure as a husband.  And yet, as soon as Christine had said it, an idea came to me that would ironically solve each reciprocal problem.  She and I had exactly what each other needed, but the bonds of our own love for another kept us apart.   “Me neither, since my son was born, my wife has been completely distant, I still love her, but there is just nothing between us any more, too bad we are both married, else we would be good for each other in just this case.” I said, unthinkingly, of how awkward and inappropriate what I had just suggested to a married woman had been. “Do you think it would be an affair if we both used each other for the sake of intimacy?” she said, timidly later that day.  It took me months to work through the answer, but after a month or so of indirectly asking, and researching the concept of this mutual fulfillment of needs, I had convinced myself that it would not be.  I even jokingly asked my wife one day after we had been unable to keep each other motivated for sex, if she would give me permission to “have another woman” in your place. My wife's reaction, though cross and pensive remained true: “Sure, as long as I knew about it, and never saw her after.” When my wife said it, I only half believed her, her face reassured me that we would remain the same. I had given her permission and license once to have her own change with an old flame.  Things are different when you are married, and in a 'committed' relationship, even when she was given full permission an a knowingly blind eye, she still regretted her freedom.  My wifes reluctant tears of joy when she returned proved her true devotion for me still ran deep, no matter how tempting passion may be. It always confused me at how passionate and eager my wife would be when she knew there was not any chance.  Ironically, her most passionate and playful times where when she was most busy, or most unreachable, women seem to get a kick out of teasing.  In a lot of the same ways, Christine was just that, I think she enjoyed teasing me, expressing genuine love and affection to a point, and skillfully pulling back.  The tension kept both a us afraid, while at the same time wanting to see just how we could push each other, while keeping a straight face.  She would call me randomly, and say that she 'loved me', as a method of complimenting.  I knew she was dedicated to her husband, and just wanted to give my a little bit more than all of the other people whom we both dealt and received disappointment from daily.  A part of me would always wonder it things were different, would our desire be stifled by the trifles of life.  My wife and I experienced that same thing in our early marriage, so it seemed as if the problem of passionate novelty is uniquely to that of the happily married.  Paradoxically, the more stable one is with another, the less danger, and thus the less exhilarating fear there exists.   Initially, Christine and I were at lengths cordial, trying hard to maintain a business friendship.  Our mutual history of being the strongest of many made us bound instinctively when trying times came up.    Ironically, it was when we were at each others throats the strongest that we got the most work and progress done. Consequentially, long hours and impossible circumstances make unique environments.  One such night, something snapped between us, and our restraint left for a fleeting moment.  She had gotten used to staying late with her new responsibilities and role as accounts payable manager, constantly, the company tried to hire and train an assistant to take part of her load and tasks, but there was always a point at which Christine's innate jack of all trades ability made her own performance more efficient than that would be assumed from training and equipping another.  I understood and sympathized with her long nights, feeling bad when I would leave at a normal time when she would have to burn the midnight oil.  At times, I thought I could intentionally cause something major to fail, yet do just enough to keep her productive.  I think she knew my struggles with our antiquated equipment, and learned to wait patiently, knowing that I was in control.   This night was different. The worst night of the week for anything to go wrong computer-wise, was always the day before payroll, and yet in accordance with Moore's and every other common law, the moment when a fragile system is most needed is always its more fragile point.  The problem cropped up out of nowhere and surprised me, it was around 4:00 on Thursday afternoon, and I was just getting ready to go home and see my son.  My wife had called earlier in the day, reminding me of how much money we didn't have, again begging me to finagle yet another early check.  The mortgage was due, my phone had not stopped ringing with constant reminders of obligations I was willing to, but not yet able to fulfill.  Of all the times that I needed my wife to stand as a buffer, I had the least support.  Our collective poverty had blinded my wife from any amount of joy she could derive in knowing that her husband would be able to take of things in one more day. Patience runs thin when drawn over time.  I understood the conundrum all too well, and had learned to deal with it.  My wife, being the recipient, still was in the process.  When a system starts to fail, one expects a warning light, something obvious to pop out, as as child does when in crisis.  In theory, with all of our safeguards and precautions, this is true, I had prepared and maintained countless backups, and redundant setups.  Almost in the back of my mind, I knew that as long as only one thing fails, the system keeps running.  If a machine is acting slowly, I could reboot it, or just move the data somewhere else.  If one internet connection fails, I would just redirect everything back through the one fallback.  In technology, and in all of my life, I would always have a fallback.  In this case, my fallback always assumed that one crucial piece of equipment as unbreakable.  Lightning has a funny way of making the impossible all too common.  In seconds, and a sharp flash of light, everything went from working and fully functional to dark.  Then, the lights come back on, and life is expected to move on.  But, in spite of a calm hush, and a eery silence devoid of phones, and fans, a growing bit of panic rose in my throat an gut.  Trying to get everything back up failed, as the machines that would never died become sudden zombies.  Because the loss of power had been so short, the batteries did not have to time to kick in, thus the machine that depends on a continuous stream of power lost everything in one second.  Computers, like people, need a sense of continuity to remain productive.  One small segment missing makes us all lose step.  For a machine, this means that everything is one shifted one step ahead, corruption works like that.  It only takes one small segment to be out of place for any complex machine to dissolve into a pile of components.   A minute is an eternity when your frame of reference is shifted, adrenaline doesn't help much either.  But, the shriek of a ringtone brings one out quickly.  As if everyone in the world had the sudden need and urge to talk to me at one, I was quickly inundated with reminders of “the network is down,” and “what happened to what I was working on”.  I stopped answering the onslaught after a minute, and pretended to forget where my phone was.  The problem at hand was clear to me, solutions take more.   Frantically, I was doing all that I could to get even the basics up, but nothing worked.   Suddenly, the thundering of footsteps bounded up,the boss asking me dumbfoundingly when I would be able to get things back up, and my mind spinning fast and faster into a tighter ball by the second.  My mind had gone blank, and by then I had fallen back on purely parasympathetic responses.  I didn't realize by then that an hour had passed.  The network was still not up, it was then end of the day, everyone had gone home.  I decided to take a walk downstairs, to check the network just one more time before giving up for the night.  I completely expected the empty parking lot, and the darkness, as at the end of the day, everyone has a family to get home.  But, to my surprise, was one person.  Befuddled, I didn't recognize Christine in the darkness. She smiled wryly as I came up to her terminal.  I had forgotten that her machine had been denoted the catchall server for the accounting department.  She tried to not catch my confused look, trying to keep working, in spite of the overwhelming latency. “It still works, I don't know how, but all I need is one thing, and its here.”  She said, waiting exaggeratedly long times for the simplest action to complete. “Any chance you can help me out, you know, get things back to speed again?” She continued trying to make as if nothing had happened. “Don't know, I really need to start some sort of payment system for times like this.”  I said intentionally meandering around. “You couldn't afford me, besides what would your wife think of you working out so late, especially with a woman all alone.” She said grinning, knowing her husband would echo the same concern about her working alone with a man. “Guess that means I have to go on credit.” I said, an idea striking through my head, a solution tearing me away from my other self. “But it is only now that we are able to spend it.” She said, twinkling her eyes.  Immediately, I didn't know what to do, she swung her desk chair, playfully wrapping her arms around my neck.  The smell of smoke wafted briefly up over her perfume.  I knew this would never happen again, so I decidedly to take it, reluctantly returning the hug, pulling her closer to me.  This caught her by surprise, in a mixture of joy and revulsion, she started to pull away, slapping me lightly. “You know this is a sin, and we could get fired for this, especially with all these cameras around.” She joked, looking directly at the security cameras that were thinly veiled by fake wall plates and smoke alarms. “Guess that means they will have to get another HR manager too.” I responded, knowing Christine as the one who hired me. “You are free to go, just let go.” We both said, attempting to disarm each other, giving each other a way out of where we both never thought we would be. Our lips met. Our bodies shuddered, we didn't even notice our own mutual blindness until we both opened our eyes to see each other intimately.  She had never noticed his small freckle on his cheek, and I had never paid much attention to her flit of green eye shadow.  Now, what to do, we had both started what could easily cost us everything, but in that split second, we chose to go on.  She began to tear at the buttons on my shirt, fumbling at each.  Eventually, she pulled with all of her might and tore my shirt completely off, leaving it in pieces on the floor.  At the same time, I was frantically kissing her neck, fumbling at her back, trying to unclasp her bra.  She noticed my ineptitude and jokingly remarked “The years of marriage have made you out of practice, hey stud.”  She reaches around, and quickly my problem fell to the floor with a clink.   At this point, completely guilty, without doing anything, we stopped, staring at each other.  She with her shirt draping lightly over her buxom breasts, me with only my pants.  At the moment, our minds met.  Ironically, not on the overwhelming passion or exhiliration of the moment, but instead of our children and husbands.   “Its bad that I can never feel this way with my husband.” She said, her eyes looking down at her ring, the diamond sparkling lightly in the dim emergency lighting. “It makes no sense to me either.  We have a choice.  Stop now, and go on with our lives, take our punishment for what we haven't yet done, or just complete our respective jobs.  No questions asked, no strings attached.”  I said, fulling expecting to walk away, starting to slowly reach for my shirt. “I've always done the right thing, but this will never happen again.”  She said, lifting my head, slowing pushing my mouth down the front of her blouse. “I won't if you don't” I said, as she slowly backed me into the chair behind me, lifting herself up onto my lap.  I reached for her zipper, and carefully undid her jeans.  She had to stand up briefly to get them below her knees.  By then, she had loosened my trousers, my boxers lightly caressing her thong. “It's not too late to give up,” she said, teasingly trying to get up, while at the same time grinding against me, moaning lightly.  If she had not made a sound, I would have kept my will and wits.  But by then, a combination of pheromones and a general must had filled the space between us.  I cautiously pulled her thong aside, revealing her already inflamed vulva.  Lightly, I ran my finger along the edge, causing her to coo.   “Is that all you got?  You're not going to give me anymore than that?” she challenged, grabbing at my already bulging self.  I separated myself, and extended out the front of my boxers, causing her to shift slowly.  Her warmth overwhelmed me, as she carefully enveloped me.  At that point, my sympathetic nervous system went  alert, as I realized that I had not any protection on.  A look of shock crashes over my face as I quickly did everything I could to control myself as she started to move me around inside of her.  Her eyes opened quickly when I did not respond. “What's the matter, not feeling anything?” she said, grinning, attempting to spur me on in a mixture of self gratification and cruel manipulation. “Oh, no, I'm definitely feeling something, I just don't want to lose control, this feels too good.” I said, focusing on her eyes, trying desperately to think of anything that would keep me from reaching orgasm inside of her.  She guessed my pensiveness and understood immediately my concern. “Don't worry about anything, I got my tubes tied years ago after my second daughter was born.”  Christine said, attempting to console me, while at the same time pushing even farther down onto me, letting a deep moan.  By then, my body and mind had become so disconnected, part of me wanted to grab on to Christine even harder and match her thrust for thrust, but a greater part was on my own wife, and the conception of our first child.  Feelings of guilt and shame washed over me as I began to tear up.   By then, our one momentous fervor and ecstasy had deflated much like I had into insolence.  I hadn't even noticed that I had become flaccid and had completely slipped out of Christine's once swollen crevice. We both reluctantly pushed away from each other in silence. She, pulling her pants back up from her ankles, cleaning up what little I had leaked onto her.  I, reaching down for my own pants, thinking back at what fun and freedom I had just felt, while at the same time, negotiating with myself as to whether to tell the truth to my wife about the real reason I was late.   The rest of the night went comparably quickly, oddly enough, these last few minutes of adrenaline had given me new insights and energy.  From nowhere, the very thing I had been neglecting to reset came to my mind.  From this point, the right side of my brain kicked back into control, and logic led me to reestablish and restart each server, methodically restoring what had once been a sea of chaos into calm, humming system.  By the time I had finished checking and verifying everything was working, midnight had come.  I was exhausted, and slowly walked back towards the exit door.  Seeing Christine's monitor had gone dark, I assumed that she had already gone home.  I set the alarm, turned off the lights, and locked the door.  My initial fervor and lament regarding my lackluster love life had taken on a new dimension, now that I had crossed this unwritten line.   As I got to my car, the parking lot was completely dark.  I quickly opened my car door, as the rain had been bearing down all had returned again.  I almost didn't want to look at my phone, but by habit or instinct, I took it out of my pocket, acknowledged the numerous missed calls.  At this time of the night, I was too tired to deal with explaining and answering the scores of needy people that I knew from each number.  But just as I was about to drop my phone into the center console, it chimed lightly.  I fully expected the worst possible message to appear from my wife, whom I was sure had some greater meltdown in my absence but to my surprise, it was from Christine. “Thank you for being there for me,” she wrote, ending with a smiling emoticon. I have wanted to pick up the phone and respond, but a part of my held back, confused by the concept that we might have actually done a good thing for each other in the midst of our act of carnal and sinful lust.  I kept the message up and the phone active as I pulled out of the parking lot and started for home. My mind was already working through the worst possible outcomes of how to respond to what I was sure my wife had already found out about.  For some reason, I felt a sense of joy when I looked down and at Christine's small statement of honest gratitude.  Adultery is a twisted, complicated mess that I was sure I had not any way out of, but in that moment, I didn't care, and was once again proud.

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