On request of my writer's group... (some facts; we do have a wine fridge, we are married, we do give the Valentine's Day presents as mentioned, and those were some of my vows...but mostly fictional)
To make such a confession right after Valentine's Day, could come as a bit of a shock.
Or maybe it's quite fitting. Does Valentine's Day become a bit forced after so many years of marriage? Does it actually point to what could be wrong in relationships?
I don't know...
I remember I used to find Valentine's Day cliched and I swore never to be sucked into the commercialisation and shallowness of it all. But then I met my husband and suddenly I wanted to be corny with someone on the 14th of February. I guess that's why this year I still made him the usual music mix and he bought me beautiful red roses.
But let me get back to my confession... my secret affair. That thing I promised on my wedding day would never be an option. "I promise to laugh at your silly jokes and make you feel like the most important person in my life (the words echo through my mind, accusing me of forgetting too soon).
It all started the day he told me he wanted to buy a wine fridge. I did not approve. It felt like a waste of money and space in our already cluttered home. But I finally gave in and it arrived and my husband stocked it with a gallery of wines; white ones, red ones, different vintages and blends and selection wines from smaller vineyards. Names I never heard before suddenly became well-known in our house - for instance; David and Nadia, Boschkloof, the Sadie Family and Mullineux.
I soon realised this was more than just a hobby. It was becoming a hobby and an expensive one.
I was feeling angry and neglected... Isn't that how most affairs begin?
I would look at him as his fingers touched these bottles in such a tender way, exploring the suppleness of every new one he took out. Undressing the bottle with his eyes, opening them with such care, scared to spill a drop of it's precious content. Then pouring it into the glass, looking admiringly at the colour, taking in the intoxicating smell and finally bringing the glass to his lips, taking that first sip, getting completely lost in its taste.
I wanted him to look at me like that, to smell my hair like he used to, to taste me and loose himself in our embrace.
He asked me to drink with him and share in his new hobby, but I refused. Maybe out of fear of loosing control or maybe because of the joy this seemed to bring him and how it accentuated the emptiness I felt.
After a few months, I could stand it no more. It was time I took action... I needed some excitement of my own. I wanted all my senses to be stimulated, reminding me that I am alive.
I waited until he had a meeting at the office that I knew would continue until late. I showered and put on my new lingerie that I knew showed just enough to make someone feel enticed and wanting to see more.
I put on my favourite perfume and red, slightly daring lipstick to make my mouth seem fuller, more inviting. I went downstairs slowly...my heart was pounding now. I had no idea if I was ready for what I was about to do.
I open the door of the wine fridge and take out a tall, dark bottle. It was a wine I was not familiar with, called Beeslaar Pinotage.
My glass was already out and I pour the velvet, deep red wine and watches as it moves from side to side, like waves in the searching ocean, before it settles.
I look at the colour - it appeared dark in the bottle, but holding it up against the light I can see that it is lighter than portrayed at first glance. I take time to really smell it - like I have seen my husband doing so many times. I close my eyes and forget about my surroundings while trying to only focus on what I can smell. The subtle nuances of pomegranate and plum with just a hint of spice tease my nose. I continue to keep my eyes closed and open my lips slightly, and take the first sip. I don't swallow it immediately but swirl it around in my mouth, exploring the tempting taste with my tongue.
I feel a slight explosion of senses happening in me, creeping through my body, making me feel totally relaxed
I think back to the last few years. My husband sometimes trying to smell my hair, but me pushing him away, because I am busy with a household task that cannot wait. I remember so many times he folded his arms around me and kissed me in my neck, and me focusing his attention on something he didn't complete yet for me.
I take another sip - the first ecstasy wearing off and now leaving me with a content feeling - knowing what I have in the glass and the feeling it produces in my body.
I have what I need, I realise. He wants to share his new love with me because I am and will always be his first love. He wants to touch me and taste me and show his love to me...
I pour myself another glass and wait for my lover to come home.