Her eyes widened with surprise. He was about to do something he hadn’t done in years. The monotony of their lives had grown so, she could have narrated his every move in preface. Anticipation had become dreadful, which was almost as depressing as her eagerness to be finished.
She wanted to feel that it was not all his fault. She tried to accept some of the blame. The melancholy had settled into her hips and belly, she wasn’t nearly as attractive as when they had first met. But what, really, was the source of her neglect? Years of rejection she could only explain with his controlling nature, though it didn’t quite fill the whole void. Surely other men would have embraced a young, beautiful woman with such a voracious appetite? Other husbands would have killed for a wife who was as willing and eager as she. But he didn’t want her unless it was his idea, and it wasn’t very often. No matter how she looked, or what she wore, she was invisible until he decided.
It took eleven years to break her spirit, as she was not one given to brokenness, but the young, beautiful wife was gone. The room once filled with life and vibrancy had taken on an abandoned aura. She only slept there, and even hated to do that when he was in residence. She looked for any excuse to avoid the half-hearted groping, followed by the rushed, bland penetration, ending quickly with his singular climax. He never failed to compliment his own masculinity afterward, which was so insulting, as if somehow it was an amazing event and she had just been late to the party.
It had been three years since he’d kissed her full on the mouth. Every love scene she’d ever read about or watched on screen had begun with a kiss. Beyond all of her desires that had been crushed into dust, she longed for a deep, sensual kiss. She had attempted to initiate them, had even begged for them, to no avail. In fact, his lips had not touched her body in any way for much longer than she could remember, and she missed them.
Now, unbidden, he lowered his head past her collarbone. His fingers fumbling through her soft nether curls, as he dipped his mouth toward her breast and hesitated just above the peak. She was already imagining the long awaited jolt of electricity that would surge between where his lips touched and his fingers moved. That symphony of sensation that would finally bring release to her aching body and stir hope in her weakened heart. She watched as his mouth descended and covered her nipple.
She felt nothing.
She lifted her eyes to the ceiling, realizing her fate. A single tear slipped from the corner of her eye, and was gone, the last bit of disappointment drained away, leaving a gaping empty chasm in its wake. There was a kind of hollow freedom that came with the resignation. She didn’t have to spend another ounce of energy on the bitterness of unrealized expectations. She would never need utter the phrase ‘if only’ again. There was nothing he could do that would breathe life back into her. And she was committed to her commitment, so the death was permanent.
As he finished and rolled away from her, she was liberated from the necessity of hope.