That night as Jenny lie in bed waiting for sleep to fold its arms around her she started thinking about Anthony. She had not thought of him in years and until now, she had been successful in blotting him out of existence. But now that she was reminded, the memories came flooding back.
When he first arrived at the restaurant she was stunned by his hot Italian looks. He was tall and lean so Jenny used to take in large gulps of his beauty daily as he floated around the restaurant charming all the diners with his broad flashing smile and his flattering repartee. For a few weeks Jenny was content to lust from afar, but when Anthony started to show interest in her she fell fast.
At first it was just a few drinks, at the restaurant bar, after work. Then one night when Mario was still entertaining some very good customers, after closing hours, Anthony suggested Jenny and he should take a bottle up to his flat. She was so smitten with the stunningly handsome man she didn’t hesitate to accept his offer.
Jenny arrived home quiet late that night, offering Daniel the excuse of a very busy night in the kitchen. Over the next few months Jenny had many early starts and late finishes.
Thinking back over the circumstances that lead to their relationship Jenny really felt no guilt. At the time she was getting little attention from her husband, she was feeling emotionally low and was ripe for the picking. It didn’t take much effort on Anthony’s part, but just the same she felt the feelings between them were genuine. It’s true he was a smooth operator but Jenny always felt his love for her was genuine. Even looking back on the circumstances now, she still believes he loved her. Despite having accepted the offer to leave, she still feels he did it for her.
She remembered the way he treated her, so gently, yet so passionately. She could not remember ever walking to his bed, because, no matter where they were in his flat, he would always sweep her up, carry her in his long strong arms and lay her on the bed. What followed was always bliss. Before Anthony, she could only remember the occasional orgasm. She always believed that two of them were the nights Jason and Christine were conceived. She was absolutely certain that she orgasmed the night Kevin was conceived because that happened every night she lie with Anthony.
Stripped down he was lean, lightly muscled, trim and taut. He had a smooth chest, flat stomach and a little line of body hair growing from his pubic area to his navel. As she ran her fingers along the line of hair, Jenny used to joke with him that over the years it would grow up to his chest and he would finish up as a hairy old man. In return he would cup her breasts and say that as she grew older her breasts would not sag as he would keep them massaged, firm and always attended.
She found these memories were warm and comforting and they took her back to one of the most exciting periods in her life. It occurred to her that she should really feel guilty about those feelings, especially as she lie next to her husband of twenty seven years. But she didn’t and that left her conflicted. Instead of trying to cast away those thoughts, she luxuriated in them and wondered if her in-laws had really done the right thing by her. She concluded that they really didn’t care about her; their only concern was Daniel’s happiness.
She wondered what life she would have led if she had stayed with Anthony. Would it have been a life of eternal loving attention from her man? Would he have been a good father as well as a good lover? Was any man capable of both, or did fatherhood change them? She just managed to stop herself from comparing the two men as there was no point now. She had made her choice; or had the choice been made for her? Maybe she would never know. She was certain that she could not have lived without her two elder children, but the complete unknown was would Anthony have been happy to raise another man’s children. Daniel had raised another man’s child, albeit unknown to him, but would his relationship with Kevin still be the same.
Just as she drifted off to sleep, Jenny convinced herself, that all things considered and with the benefit of hindsight, she had taken the right path, even if she had not been sure at the time. The life she had led was good, and although it was nice for a while to imagine what might have been, what-ifs were not going to cut it now.
She rolled towards Daniel, spooned up to him, put her arm over him and was reassured when she felt him put his hand on her arm.