What if I worked my way through half of my closet and all of my shoes in search of the perfect evening outfit? Something that was one part professional and two parts sexy. Something that highlighted my confidence without overpowering my presence. A pairing of classic elegance with youthful sophistication that properly indicated a je ne sais quoi. And in the end, I slipped back into exactly what I had worn all day long. Well, except I switched up the accessories a little, adding a necklace and upgrading the purse.
What if I edged onto a rustic wooden stool at the bar and failed to flirt? That I crossed my leg and dipped my stiletto clad heel but in the other direction and out of his view. That I leaned my weight on my elbows and casually pulled my hair off my neck but I still steadfastly faced forward. That as he slowly inched in my direction, I kept myself positioned as if I were communicating with the bartender instead of the gentleman to my left. Though as disinterested as I may have appeared, I did playfully rest my hand on his arm when he said something amusing.
What if I spent more of our dinnertime chat prying and questioning him instead of flaunting me? As I slipped out of my blazer and draped it across my chair, I asked how he’ll manage when his son heads to boarding school in the fall. As I placed some cheese atop a thin slice of green apple, I inquired about his plans to disappear in Asia for a solo adventure spanning many months. As the waiter presented fresh glasses of wine, I noted he repeatedly dates women who are a little odd and a lot imbalanced. Though in the midst of my inquisition, he turned the tables and questioned my dating flaws. What habits I repeat and can’t seem to shake. So as much as I tugged at the truth, he had a way of involving me in the confession.
What if I stepped into the hotel elevator alongside him without questioning where I was going and whether I belonged there? That I followed him into his room, kicked off my shoes, grabbed a New Yorker from his pile of reading material and skimmed the articles. That after going to the bathroom, he cleared things out of the way so I could sit more comfortably on the chair. That just after he clicked the knob of the table lamp to cast some light in my direction but before collapsing on the bed, he delivered a freshly poured glass of white wine and delicately ran his fingers through my hair.
What if as time ticked onward, the lights dimmed to darkness and the span of space between us narrowed to nothing? As I tucked my glasses in my bag, he asked me to turn off the lamp near the television. As I crawled onto the bed and curled against his body, my head resting comfortably on his chest and his arm pulling me tighter against him, I felt the warmth of his hand as it dipped under my shirt. His fingertips tracing my spine and passing across the curves of my frame. My hand slightly slipped between the placket of his button down to reciprocate the gesture.
What if I was there participating in the moment instead of drifting off in search of what came before? That as my fingertips slipped a button through a stitched hole, his hand slid under the lacy strap pressed against my shoulder. That as I nuzzled against the nape of his neck and ran my hand over his thigh, he reached between my legs and dragged upward until landing on my belt and releasing the clasp. That the softness of his lips as they connected with my bare skin caused my lower back to tighten and my breath to halt.
I’m just asking – what if...