Between my last Valentine’s Day as a married woman and my first as a divorced woman, (see Valentine’s Day), I spent my one Valentine’s Day as neither one nor the other holding hands with a handsome, dissolute, notorious lady’s man named Marius.
The setting for our tryst was La Perla, a restaurant on Playa la Ropa in Zihautanejo, Mexico. Our table sat alone, the furthest from the restaurant, the closest to the shoreline. Moonlight, starlight, gentle waves, warm breezes, the sweet sound of soft voices and laughter drifting to us from the few boats in the bay; this should have been the setting for The Vixen Divorcee’s First Kiss, right?
Deep brown eyes stared soulfully into mine as their owner reached toward me from across the table, covered my hand with his and squeezed it tenderly. That romantic kiss on the lips must be soon to follow, wouldn’t you think?
No, that was not about to happen. Not with Marius and me.
Knowing him, knowing us, he probably did kiss me that night, maybe even on the lips. I was too distraught to remember many of the details.
Marius and I had known each other for 25 years. From my position as wife of his best friend, I’d seen countless women enter and exit his life. He had watched from close up as my relationship with Alan blossomed.
Like lots of other refugees from snow and cold, Marius spends as much time as possible each winter painting in the sun and warmth of Zihua. This was our first time together since Alan left me.
So, when he held my hand and kissed me on the beach that night, he was offering the love and solace that comes from a long friendship.
These are the words he spoke to me that night:
“Alan and Georgia. It’s always Alan and Georgia. Whenever any of your friends talk about you, your two names always run together like one. Alan and Georgia.”
“Our friend Sylvia told me about seeing you two last spring, out to dinner, holding hands, smiling and laughing together. She quoted Oscar Wilde, something like, ‘They’ve got to stop airing their clean linen in public. It’s too distressing for the rest of us.’”
He cried. Marius actually shed tears in the moonlight. “I can’t believe it. I had no idea. If you two can’t make it for the long haul, who can?”
I comforted him. He said, “I don’t know Alan. Guess I never did. I believed he loved you, totally, that there’d never be anyone else. That you two would be the one constant in my life.”
His words, his closeness and his touch gave me exactly what I needed that Valentine’s Day. Far more than any fleeting, superficial kiss of momentary romance would have given.
I wasn’t wearing the perfume, Morning, that night. I threw it out after Alan moved out of our house. But, a new bottle of a scent every bit as exotic has crossed the ocean from Oman. This bottle is waiting to be sent to the winner of my drawing (see Win a Rare Perfume for details on how to enter). Maybe it will be you.