“Hey Shaun, can I have a cuppa please”, Sofia said as she walked into the lounge, dressed in one of Shaun’s white shirts. She had woken up about 20 minutes earlier, but had decided to stay in bed, reminiscing on the encounter with Shaun.
It was indeed a beautiful evening with Angela and her friends. She hadn’t been sure she’d make it as she had only arrived in London from Paris late that evening. Angela had called a day earlier inviting her for drinks to celebrate her 35th birthday. She had insisted, and as usual, was keen to find her a new bloke, not that she was in anyway searching as she had said to Angela on numerous occasions. Angela never seemed to listen, after all, she considered herself the queen of matchmaking!!
At 32, Sofia enjoyed her life of a single woman. She had being in a long-term relationship with Jeff, her first and only true love. She still shuddered with grief thinking on how it all went wrong.
Jeff had been quite charming and considerate, good-looking and full of energy. He was the kind of bloke you’d take to visit your parents. Her mum had loved him instantly and dad thought he would make a great partner. For dad, being a lover of classic cars, Jeff’s knowledge of all things classic and antique was good enough for him. He was quite hands-on, especially that second weekend they had gone to see the parents in rural Lincolnshire. Jeff and dad had spent the whole Saturday afternoon clearing the garage and working on one of dad’s classic cars, the 1957 Austin Metropolitan 1500. It was great to see dad come alive and spending time in the garage, especially after the mild stroke he’d suffered 8 months earlier.
She had met Jeff at a business meeting in Manchester, when she was 26. As an accountant, she worked long terrible hours and her social life was evenings with the nerdy gang straight after work. She did enjoy travelling and was glad she had a job which involved lots of travel.
That evening, Jeff, a legal practitioner with one of the ‘Big Four’ firms, had been quite interesting. He seemed fascinated by her long blond hair which she had put in braids, having seen a picture of Beyonce looking great in one. After the meeting, they’d exchanged numbers. He had called her a couple of days later and they’d met a few times. Slowly she’d falling in love with him and the first night together was one of her best nights ever. Oh well, that was years ago!!
Before Jeff, she had dated a few guys, had sex with perhaps 3, but meeting Jeff was like her dream come true. She wanted a family, maybe 2 children. Jeff had said he wanted the same. They talked ceaselessly about marriage and buying a house together. She loved him immensely and was in no doubt as to how Jeff felt about her, until the night 2 years ago when her world came crashing down all around her.
Jeff had walked in through the door at about 10.00pm, reeking of alcohol. She knew instantly something was wrong as it was unusual for Jeff to drink much alcohol. That had been something she had loved about him. Quite a level-headed guy.
He had responded to her greeting and kiss rather nervously and had avoided eye-contact. “What’s wrong Jeff?”, she remembered asking him. His next words had been like a ton of brick hitting her. Her world ceased to exist at that very moment. ‘Sofia, I’m sorry but I have some bad news’. She waited for him to continue. ‘I love you immensely and never thought I would ever hurt you’. “What have you done Jeff?”, she had managed to whisper, tears running down her cheeks. She could feel the pain inside her, ripping her very soul apart. She had been scared to press him on but knew he had to say it. ‘Anna is 4 months pregnant Sofia, and I am responsible’.
Next thing she knew, she had woken up at the hospital, her mum sitting beside her holding her hands. Dad was staring out of the window, shoulders drooped. It had taken her a few seconds to recollect what had happened but the pain she felt in her head made her lift her hand to her head as she felt the bandages. Mum had told her Jeff called the ambulance when she fell and struck her head on the glass coffee table and then passed out. Memories of the brief conversation had come flooding back. She had cried and demanded to see Jeff alone. She could see the pain in dad’s eyes as the tears kept flowing down, soaking her cheeks and the bed linen.
Jeff had been ushered into the room by dad and he and mum had walked out, waiting just outside the door. She had demanded Jeff told her the full story and when he was done, she knew she could never forgive him. Anna was Jeff’s colleague who had been transferred from their New York office a few months earlier. She had met Anna at one of Jeff’s office dinners. She had liked her, especially her Southern American accent and deep blue thoughtful eyes. She trusted Jeff implicitly and never could imagine Jeff ever having an affair with anyone. She was even more hurt knowing that Jeff and Anna had been having an affair for months, while Jeff would come home acting like all was okay, even making love to her. After Jeff had told her everything, she had screamed at him, telling him to go home, get his stuff and out of her life for good. He had pleaded but she knew they could never be the same ever again and it was pointless anyway, as Anna was expecting Jeff’s child. That was the last time she and Jeff ever saw each other.
The pain had lasted for months until one day she had woken up and swore to herself to live her own life, be happy, embrace her own self and live as best as she could, for herself! Almost 2 years on, she had avoided getting into a relationship. The occasional sex was good, no strings attached.
Meeting Shaun last night brought back memories of Jeff. And now here she was just after one night, her feelings that seemed to envelope her, entrap her, were pleading for release. For the first time in almost 2 years, she had this sudden urge to free herself, to love again. That night, sex with Shaun had been great. She had allowed herself to explore his body mindlessly, drinking in his scent. She had felt the rage inside her burst into a passionate aggression, trying to claw out his very soul. He had matched her aggression, lifting her up and ripping off her clothes with the wildness of two boars. She had been catapulted into a vortex of water, drowning, yet loving the feeling of near death. Her body had convulsed in rapid spasms and when they were done with each other, she had slept straightaway, lost in a dream of roses, of stallions galloping through the fields, mountains bursting their bellies with gushing hot masses of liquid running down their great thighs.
What is it about him? What is it about this brute of a man that attempts to forcefully throw open the stony wall she had successfully built around her heart? Only One Night?! He had seemed quite cool and somewhat reserved, well-mannered. When he laughed, he came alive. She had not missed the sparkle in his eyes that seemed to ignite her heartbeat each time he looked at her from across the table. They had danced and drank and for a couple of hours it seemed as though the night had been made for just them both. When he took her hands and said, “it’s time to take you home Princess”, she couldn’t utter a word.
As she sat on the sofa watching him brew her coffee, she wondered about him. She remembered him saying he had two daughters, ages 6 and 8. She loved kids, wanted to have her own children, but if she did want him……’Stop it!!’, she reprimanded herself. Angela had told her Shaun had been single for four years and loved the freedom of dating several women and no commitment. Until last night, she was exactly like Shaun. ‘So what’s happening to me?’, she thought, as she reached out and took the cup from him…..
P.S. To be Continued……