Clouds in my head have been parted with grace
By the voice of an angel revealing her face
And her words they make sense and I do understand
Falling in love isn't part of a plan
“Relax, sweetie. It’s just sex.”
I looked at her, and tried to tell my body to loosen a little, to relax and feel comfortable in her arms. She smirked that smirk of hers that always hinted of emotions and passions unsuitable for any proper woman to ever share with another.
Of course, when had this ever been proper?
I smiled back at her, a weak attempt at concealing everything that had been bubbling up inside for the past week and had now risen so close to the surface that if one more thing went out of place I knew I’d explode into a million pieces of Sobbing Bree. And I couldn’t do that.
She swept a stray strand of hair out of my face and tucked it behind my ear. I closed my eyes at her touch, wanting to feel something, anything that wasn’t this toxic combonation of grief, fear and pain.
I opened my eyes and simply looked at her. Blankly and unblinking, I steadily met her gaze.
“That was a stupid question, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah,” I said sharply, perhaps a bit sharper than necessary. I turned away from her, bringing the blanket up around me.
She sighed audibly, though more out of concern than frustration. I felt her hand slide up my arm, her gentle touch a never-ending source of comfort.
“Have you cried about him, yet?”
I shook my head to that one, too. How could I cry over man who died when I was cheating on him with my best friend? When I had been the infidel long before he took up with the woman who would willingly wield a riding crop? How could I do that, and not feel like the world’s largest hypocrite?
“Bree, you can’t hold everything in. Let it out, let it go. Or you’re going to keep letting it build up until something insignificant sets you off and you absolutely fall apart over what seems like a smudged window.”
Oh, how she knew me.
“Lynette, stop. You’ve been pressuring me ever since he died to let it out, to let myself cry. But I can’t. It isn’t something that I can turn on or off.” I rolled over to look at her again. “I feel like I’m going to lose it and I muster enough control to keep everything together until I get someplace where it’s safe to fall apart and, when I get there, I always feel…neutral, rather than upset.”
Her eyes bore into mine inquisitively and, for a moment, they flashed recognition.
“It’s not just him, is it.”
A statement, not a question.
I nearly wondered if her eyes were going to reveal her move again, but there was nothing but a brief rising of her eyebrows, urging me to go on.
“No, Lynette. It’s not important. Not now, not with everything else.”
“Bullshit, Bree. I’ve been seeing that look on your face for close to two months, nothing that stays that long is not important. Stop putting up walls, for once. Don’t do this to yourself. Don’t do it with me. What’s going on?”
How do you tell your best friend with whom you’ve been having a very passionate and very illicit affair for the past five years that you’ve broken the Golden Rule set up in the beginning and finally decided that you love her?
“It’s not ‘just sex,’ Lynette. If all of this,” I gestured to us, the bed, the clothing on the floor, “were just for sex, we wouldn’t be here right now six days after my husband died. Normal people who were just fucking each other for the sake of fucking each other would put a freeze on the sex until the one whose spouse died was a little more over it.”
She had visibly recoiled at my language, totally unaccustomed to anything stronger than “gosh” or “darn” coming out of my mouth.
“What are you saying?”
“I…I don’t know.” I looked away again. Shying away, once again, from the opportunity to say those three little words, from the possibility of pulling out the final peg and sending my entire world crashing down around me. Survival tactic.
“Fine. If you won’t talk, I will. You’re my best friend, Bree van de Kamp. I know you loved Rex more than anyone will ever know, perhaps even more than you know. And I know that the marriage counseling hurt like hell, that finding out he was cheating on you hurt…and discovering that the two of you had a chance again only to have that stolen from you must have hurt the most.”
I pulled the blanket nearly entirely over my head and curled into a ball, squeezing my eyes shut tight against tears that I knew I couldn’t hold back.
“I also know that we’ve had this relationship for five years and it’s me you’ve always come to for advice, comfort and a shoulder. We’ve been there for each other since I moved across the street. And I’ll always be here for you. But I’ll be here for you first as a friend, and secondly as a lover.”
I knew what was coming next. My only consolation for the knife that was poised in front of my chest was that I never said anything to her. For once I had followed my common sense and kept silent. She was the only person with whom I felt I could be completely honest, whom I could tell everything. And the one simple thing I couldn't her was the one thing that hurt the most.
I blinked and felt a tear fall softly. Since my collapse the day Rex died, I had not cried. I had held back emotions just to keep up the idyllic wife image that I had crafted to perfection so many years ago. I knew I was slowly losing control over that image, that I had been losing the battle for days and it was taking its toll on how I looked and physically felt.
“It is just sex, Bree. I’d hold you and curl up with you on the couch and let you cry until both shoulders of my shirt were soaking wet even if we weren’t sleeping together. I would spend the night with you holding you in bed to make sure that you’re okay even if we had left everything as friends. Any of this cuddling stuff? We’d be doing it right now anyway, but with clothes on and a few more calories."
She paused. "You know that,” she whispered.
I gave up. I knocked down whatever mental walls I had left and let my body take control.
I just cried.
Forces within me mix reason with lust
But I’ll try to accept it and not make it worse
Cause I know I might lose it by taking the chance
But love without pain isn't really romance
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