Story 86

He looked at her sitting at the table, across him; her mesmerizing eyes staring back – expressing love and devotion she had just for him. He had been selfish lately, avoiding her and ignoring her needs; needs which, as a husband it was his duty to fulfil. She had been understanding, perhaps too understanding towards him, accepting the way he was, the way he had returned from war – broken. 

He had seen too much, been through too much to come back home and lead a normal life. His time at war had changed something inside of him, he was not the same man he used to be. How was he going to tell his wife that? How was he going to tell her that whatever had happened at the war was irreparable? Nothing, no treatment would ever be able to ‘fix’ that in him. He had lost a part of himself there, left the remaining part there willingly and now he was just an empty shell that moved around doing things he had to do, just for the sake of doing it. There was one thing he was not capable of, anymore. He could not love. 

When he had returned home, she had welcomed him with love. She had hugged him and kissed him on the lips. That hurt. The hug had felt as if he had been tied with a rope and the kiss burned his lips. He had not been able to kiss her back and that’s when she had known that something was wrong. She had maintained her distance since then. She had let him sleep alone on the couch, the way he preferred. She had requested him to go to therapy for his PTSD. He knew he was far gone beyond that. Yet, he went for the therapy.

Things seemed to be improving, or that’s what his wife thought. He was back on their bed but the distance between them still existed. He used to have nightmares but therapy had helped him with the nightmares. There was something else though, which the therapy could not help him with. As far as his wife was concerned, she was happy to see the positive changes in him; she did not know what he was going through putting up an act like that for her only because he thought she deserved that much happiness from him. 

It was their wedding anniversary and he had asked her out on a date at their favourite restaurant. This much he could do for her. He was worried about what was going to come later on. 

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He did not know whether he was ready for it just yet. He looked at his wife again, a crease had formed between her eyebrows. He smiled and she relaxed. For the first time, he had done something without telling her but he had no choice, he had excused himself to go to the washroom and there he had popped the pill. 

They stepped out of the hotel after dinner and she shivered and wrapped her arms around her once they were out in the cold night. He had not brought his car saying that they’d walk back home. He removed his coat and put it around her. She held his hand and they walked together. He was not in a hurry to go home. They walked until she said she could not take the cold anymore. It had been pleasant earlier, it was not supposed to be this cold. 

As always, he did not feel anything. He was used to extreme temperatures but his wife was not. It made no sense dragging her on the street while she was cold. He hailed a cab and they got in.

They stepped into the warmth of their apartment and his wife relaxed but he tensed. They walked into the bedroom after removing their shoes and his wife took off the coat and placed it on the couch. He sat on the couch and took off his tie. He did not make eye contact but he could see that she was looking at him. As he stared at the floor, he saw his wife’s dress falling off on the floor. He did not look up at her; and assumed that by now she must have changed into her night-gown.

He started to unbutton his shirt as he realized she was not going to take the initiative. He had to be the one to start the foreplay, she was giving him his time. He could have said no and she would have not forced him to have sex but that would have perhaps shattered her from within. He was broken already, he did not want to break her, too. 

Finally, he looked up at her. She was standing in front of him, in her underwear, next to the pile of the dress she had just taken off. She was staring at him. He could see it in her eyes. She wanted him. She needed him to make love to her. He was going to fulfil that need of hers. He took off his shirt and got up from the couch. He walked towards her and placed his hands over her waist and kissed her gently. That much of initiative was enough for her desires to come forth with force. She kissed him hungrily and started to unbutton his trousers.

... continued as Story 84.

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