The Benefits of Lying with Your Friend

by Alice

There are so many reasons not to do this, Lynette thinks as she traces small patterns across the brow of her sleeping partner. Her fingers move languidly between porcelain skin and flame red hair, suggesting a state of dreamy satisfaction. Yet her mind is focused and her eyes are sharp blue, alert, as she stares intently at the face opposite. If only she could read the implications of their affair through it alone.

The first thought that comes to Lynette’s mind is the sheer impracticality of their actions. Time is already limited in her harried life, there are barely enough minutes in the day to complete the most menial of household tasks – as the rumpled, unmade bed beneath their entwined bodies attests to. How can she possibly justify further abandoning her duty as a housewife? In favour of an affair that, due to it’s absolute improbability, can go no further than these rushed afternoon meetings, set within the confines of the very suburbia they are both trying to escape. Bree Van De Kamp is, if nothing else, practical and Lynette is amazed that she hasn’t brought the whole thing to a grinding halt on the grounds of practicality alone.

Then there are pressing moral issues to be dealt with, troubling questions of right and wrong. Lynette was never one for biblical morals (something that could not be said for Bree whose perpetual guilt is only hidden at this moment by the smooth mask of sleep) she prefers to live life by her own special guidance - gut instinct, a clear head and a sharp tongue. This maxim served her well in the business world, keeps her sane in domesticity and ensures that she can fully enjoy the immediacy of life around her. However, whilst each afternoon of stolen pleasure does not spell fire and brimstone for Lynette, she is not immune to twinges of conscience as she lies with her lover on the bed she is supposed to share with her husband.

And of course there is the social question. Lynette suspects social etiquette is almost certainly valued above morals on Wisteria Lane - you could get away with murder in their suburban paradise as long as your lawn remained neatly mown and your white picket fence was perfectly painted. Even so, if their affair became common knowledge she imagines the cul-de-sac might actually implode under the weight of suburban gossip – with a few of the more elderly residents (hopefully) suffering from heart failure in the process. This raises a brief smile to her lips, until she thinks ahead to the shattering effect the inevitable disapproving looks, rustling of net curtains and barely subdued whisperings would have on the woman beside her.

There is no doubt that these issues form a compelling argument for why she should not be in bed with her neighbour. Nevertheless, it is not the practical, moral or social implications that are really behind the restless worry that prevents Lynette from enjoying Bree’s arms wrapped tightly around her waist. Instead an altogether more personal reason keeps Lynette fitful and awake. She is afraid of losing her best friend.

Lynette is well aware that any friendship, let alone more, between the pair of them seems highly unlikely. Physically they contrast, her friend tall and willowy whilst she herself is shorter and dynamic. As they lie side by side, pale white skin laid over a sun kissed complexion, messy blonde hair mixed with shining strands of copper, this superficial difference is as clear as it will ever be. Such a contrast extends to their actions, with Bree appearing to move through life with effortless style and grace whilst she herself is more akin to a hurricane, haphazardly creating chaos wherever she goes.

When she had first moved into Wisteria Lane, and been introduced to the perfectly coiffured Mrs Van De Kamp, Lynette had been certain she would come to represent everything this vision of perfection hated about the messy world she lived in. Yet, rather than the pitched battles Lynette had been expecting (even secretly waiting to enjoy) she had found in Bree a lifelong friend, the basis of their friendship lying in deep, and unspoken, understanding. Lynette understands that underneath Bree’s layers of superfluous pleasantries and ice-like demeanour is a tumultuous mixture of fear, repression and fragility. In turn Bree understands that within Lynette’s disorganised bustle hides a bruised femininity and frustrated mind. Mutual understanding brings mutual peace. Each woman uses the presence of the other in order to gain respite from her outward performance of happiness. Their bond is essential to complement and balance each other out.

It is due to the invaluable nature of their friendship that Lynette is worried. She had (uncharacteristically) fought for many years against her attraction to her neighbour, successfully ignoring the -usually listened to - impulses that were urging her to make Bree more than just a friend. Across seemingly innocent chats and cups of coffee she could see a similar battle of attraction being waged in Bree’s eyes - although she suspects it was for entirely different reasons. All it had taken was one moment of weakness, just one impromptu and well-placed kiss, to effectively obliterate the barriers they had been at pains to erect, tumbling them both deep into the relationship they enjoy now. Lynette decides, as her fingers follow a new pathway up and down her partner’s exposed neck, that she won’t trade their affair for all the practical, moral or social reasons in the world. But she is increasingly scared that their new and dangerous relationship, more specifically its inevitable failure, will come at the cost of their old friendship. She isn’t sure that is a price she is willing to pay.

As if sensing Lynette’s unspoken need for reassurance Bree shifts into wakefulness. Her sleep glazed eyes flutter open and, more unguarded than she will ever be when fully awake, she instinctively leans forward, pulling Lynette’s naked body further into her own whilst pushing their lips together into a long and leisurely kiss. Lynette moans softly, and momentarily forgets all doubts – the contact of skin on skin obliterating any reason why this should not be done. Eventually Bree moves away and Lynette expects a rush of worry to flood back in exchange for the removal of physical intimacy. This trepidation lasts until she looks at Bree’s smile. A tentative smile, as if it’s unsure of it’s place on it’s users face. It is full of warmth and adoration and is entirely different from the one Bree uses for her other friends, guests, even Rex. It is then that Lynette knows her fears are unfounded; the affair she shares with Bree will not endanger their friendship. The two aspects of their relationship are inexorably intertwined by love.

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