Rules Of Engagement
An adaptation of a true, beautiful story – may be too esoteric for some.
Her own family’s particular church bequeathed at birth, she lived and pursued her life with sanctioned obedience, following strict rules and instructions, that included marrying another in-house worshiper at the cuff of sexual maturity not long after they had exchanged childish admiring glances from across the dividing aisles, presenting him later with two boys.
A tall, lithesome woman, endowed with extreme natural beauty, she had a gentle, friendly manner so demurely presented in both word and dress, that it readily belied raging torrents of maturing passion left ominously untapped below.
For, unknown to all who knew her, Nature had left a finely fused thread from eyes still vulnerable to what she might witness beyond their guidance to a guncotton primer slowly developing in a slumbering animalistic heart.
Still curious and excited about all that was on offer in the wider world, an architect student, she happened to be holidaying alone as part of a placement in Barcelona, resting in the tranquil coolness and darkness of an ancient church, when the bohemian fine cabinet maker came into her life.
Thinking he was alone too, he had only entered the church to run sensitive fingers up and down a carved nave support in tactile appreciation of thousand-year-old timber, an act which caused instant emotional detonation when their eyes met, and a week of erotic abandonment, the pair hardly leaving their small bed to eat or sleep.
By chance, a landsman, she had left a desolate family to move in with him on returning home, and had been living with him for several weeks when she came to me for help.
Satisfied directly that suicide was not an option, I told her I wasn’t a priest, no ease of conscious was possible by confessional forgiveness, by repenting any nagging sins. The decision to resolve the painful dilemma between two loyalties was hers alone. She said Nature was so unfair.
Though adamant about remaining objective throughout our contact, something primal in me, presumably, some hard to conceal initial aesthetic interest, may have revealed itself and attained deeper meaning from the tense, intimate process while being closely confronted by her physical beauty and on hearing too, descriptive detail of her recent love-making history, an unfortunate occupational hazard. After all, love is awoken by acceptance and I in return felt strong predilection towards a client struggling with renegade feelings that nevertheless seem so right.
Later, barely a month after our contact had concluded, she rang me in the evening on my work mobile. I could hear she had been drinking as she quietly sobbing in soft voice ridiculed all we had talked about over several sessions.
The shunting breaths between strings of words, her phone tapping rhythmically on the frame of her glasses, revealed the activity they were engaged in. Behind her, he too, benefitting from the rewards, was trying to mitigate his suffering, equally guilt-ridden, now free-falling with her. Gasping as she climaxed, her confusion was now resolved and my punishment fully completed. So ended their last day together, God had won, she said (venting her anger towards His moral shackles through me). Her children would be happy.
It was then I had the tragedy of the human condition well and truly confirmed to me. While evolution is a series of active interdependent circles layered up from the biologically primitive to the intellectually sublime, there’s no recipe for problem-free living, for the perfect life.
As I presume with most people who met her, my being unintentionally affected when confronted by such beauty, unable to fully conceal it, in circumstances requiring us both to keep feelings fanciful, and transient, would appear, nevertheless, to be a contributing factor in helping her arrive at a decision representing perhaps the most self-sacrificing, less damaging, means of obtaining pressure relief, and emotional peace for all concerned, hopefully, for those still deeply in love too, in the long run. How can one ever be sure?