On the stairs, Elena got close to those roses to feel their perfume and, mainly, to hide her tears from Lorenzo, fighting to stop crying. She had cried countless times because of their problematic love story, but none of them in front of him. It won’t see today that he will see me crying…
Lorenzo embraced her and, slowly, they climbed those remaining flights of stairs together, in silence. He felt increasingly strong feelings towards Elena since the time they wrote each other. Even so, he had been with other women during the separations from Elena or when seeing her in secrecy: single or divorced women, prostitutes. He had the opportunity to build other feelings. None of them compared to what he felt towards Elena. There were times when he drove back from his dates, wishing it was Elena in the car with him. In one of them, back to the time Elena was threatened to death, he had cried behind the wheel, listening to a romantic song thinking of Elena with other woman on the passenger seat.
The fact that Elena had left the party to allow him the freedom he valued, only made him afraid of losing her.
“I never lied to you, Elena and I won’t start today. I did enjoy being the center of interest of women, including that silly young one. I am much older and I experienced the vanity to have the girl offering herself to me in public. But that was for fun only. When I was not able to see you around, I checked the phone and there was no message. Then, the fun was over and I felt insulted because you left without saying anything. I could have taken that opportunity in order to be with that girl. But it was not what I wanted for my night.”
After some seconds, Elena replied:
“You can’t imagine how relieved I am, Lorenzo!” she embraced him back with her free arm around his waist, “Don’t you expect me to administer your life or control it: if I ever think that you are with me just because I am holding you, I’ll leave.”
“And I tell you that I don’t know what will be of my life if you leave me, Elena. I can’t run the risk of losing you!” he said as they entered the apartment.
He changed the subject:
“Would you bathe me? I am pure sweat and women perfumes. Some exaggerate in the quantity they spray. It seems an olfactory war for male territory and a total invasion of nasal airspaces!”
Elena felt the happiest woman in the world, bursting in laughter with that witty man while they crawled from the living room to the main suite, just in case of monitoring at that time.
They made emotional love then. Lorenzo kept saying, “I can’t lose you, my girl!” and Elena kept saying, “I love you, Lorenzo!”
It was one of those times in which both felt like crying after coming. Exhausted, they did not take long to fall asleep, afterwards.
Lorenzo was the first to wake up, around ten o’clock. Looking at Elena, he had to control himself to not wake her up kissing those breasts. Her attitude was still in his mind. In the last twelve months in which he knew many different women, all of them spoke about respecting individual spaces, but nearly all of them expected commitment from the second date on, even if previously agreed that he dated to enjoy restaurants or dancing clubs and, possibly, sex without intention of starting relationships.
When one of these women, who enjoyed going out with many married men only to compete against married women, fell deeply in love with him, he realized that a woman may tell she wants nothing serious, doing exactly the opposite. During the first separation from Elena, he dated this woman named Mara five or six times. He was honest with her from the very beginning, telling he was mandatorily far from someone whom he liked very much and he would not be able to offer more than some nights of fun. She replied, telling to want only nights of fun too, naming married men she dated. It seemed a win-win relationship. However, when he started going out in secrecy with Elena again, he informed Mara he would not be equally available. Mara asked to go out as friends only and he accepted it once or twice, to circumvent Veitena’s suspicions that he might be seeing Elena again only by the gaze in his eyes. In the first of these dates, Mara shaved his chest, sending a message to Elena, who loved them. In the second date, at Lorenzo’s, Mara filled the bathroom cupboard with men’s perfumes bought for him. When Elena saw the bottles Mara left in his apartment, Elena informed Lorenzo that she would not enter in any dispute for him with anyone, because he was no object; the woman who shaved his chest and put those expensive bottles there could have him entirely to her and they could only write each other. Lorenzo stopped seeing Mara, willing to be with Elena, more than writing to her. Mara claimed to have been used.
He remembered the years with Veitena and how she controlled even the clothes he used, prohibiting any jeans cut allowing the curves of his buttocks to be outlined. She controlled his contacts, the activities he was allowed to do on his own, his friends and fishing trips, his appointment book and cell phone. The worst: he allowed it for forty-six years of his life, in the name of the sacred Catholic family ruled by a woman because man were naturally prone to falling in temptations of the flesh, in the name of being the husband of the recognized missionary laywoman, in the name of an immaculate Christian family life.
During the first thirty days of relationship with Elena, before the first separation, he asked her for help to choose new clothes. He recalled all the jeans he tried, delivered to his apartment by the store as the local celebrity he was; Elena helped him there:
“Oh, very hot... Approved!” or, “No... Butts not beautifully outlined… In my opinion, disapproved.” and sometimes, “Oh, yeah... Women will line to grab this ass, God help me! Approved!”
Lorenzo smiled, remembering how Elena enjoyed feeling the curves of his buttocks with her hands, with her breasts, how she included them in the path of her kisses, how she embarrassed him initially, moaning in pleasure, kissing and licking places that he never imagined could be kissed and licked before.
The fact was that Elena truly respected him as the person he wanted to be. After what she did in the wedding, he loved her even more. I can’t lose her…
Elena made the first movements waking up. When she opened her eyes, Lorenzo looked mesmerized at her, smiling.
“What?!” she cooed, coming closer to the chest that she loved to kiss every morning.
Lorenzo put his arm around her shoulder:
“Good morning, my girl!” he whispered tenderly, “I believe I know all that I need to conclude I want to spend all my life with you, Elena. I would never forgive myself if I lost you forever because I was exercising my vanity with a silly girl or with a bunch of women around me!”
Lorenzo noticed how much Elena was happy with those words by the way she embraced him tighter, getting even closer. Then, she said:
“Lorenzo, I would be honored to spend all my life with the man I knew and started loving in e-mails, who had no courage to admit his desire to live his life in wholeness. I will be the happiest woman on Earth if you choose to spend the nights with me. But I prefer to make this choice one day at a time. I’ll do my best for you to keep choosing me and this includes respecting what you need as a person.”
“Oh, my God! Now, I am the one wanting to tie you to me! I can’t lose you my girl... You are a treasure!”
It was impossible to additionally tighten their embrace.
The hand that gently rested on her shoulder, moved upwards, holding the hair on the back of her head, as if Lorenzo could secure her forever. Elena moaned in pleasure, while Lorenzo kissed her mouth vigorously as they used not to do before brushing their teeth if they felt the need to kiss as the first thing in the morning.
“Wait, Lorenzo; let me get rid of this ‘umbrella handle taste’ in my mouth!” she used Lorenzo’s expression to name the awkward morning taste in his mouth when she wanted to kiss him. Both brushed their teeth before going back to bed; there would be plenty of kissing on that late Sunday morning.