Jack

starting fresh: a conversation

He is on a day-long leave from the half-way house, where he’s lived for two weeks and will continue to live until the end of the week. They are mulling over options for Friday night, the first night they’ll spend wrapped up in each other since before he checked in. Before he relapsed. Before he’d broken her heart for what she hopes is the last time.

They’d planned to spend the day outdoors, picnicking in a shaded park, reading with legs entwined, a relaxing coming-together that depended little on conversation or explicit intimacy. But the rains came — torrential downpours, really — and so they packed up the picnic bag and the blanket and headed inside. It wasn’t long before the clothes were off, and the love-making began.

“You don’t know what make-up sex is until you’ve come five times at the hand of a man who’s thoroughly disappointed you,” she thinks, but doesn’t say. (He knows, though. This is how it was after the last relapse, too. It doesn’t need out-loud status this time.)

Hours after the love-making, still a while before he’s due back at the half-way house, she says, “Let’s order in Thai food on Friday night, and just spend the whole night and then morning in bed.”

“Okay,” he says, and she knows he means it. If there’s one thing that isn’t a problem with them, it’s the physical. And by “physical,” it’s not (just) the sex. It’s a feeling of satisfaction of being able to sink into another person without having to close your eyes and wish or imagine it were someone else. Even if the person you’re with may not be perfect, he’s the one you want. For Friday night, and every Friday night after. The sex? It’s just the cherry on top.

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