As a mother and a professional, when I hanker for an exciting change these days, I reorganize my closet.
Last time I did that, I was shocked. I mean, when did all my skirts gain an extra 10 cm of length? Why was my underwear drawer filled with things in cotton? Why did the bookshelves hold only kids’ books, law books, and my husband’s books, while all my favourite volumes of poetry were shoved to the back row? And my computer files? Three categories — Kids, Household, and Work.
From where I stood, thrill-seeking now looked like a disease. Itchy, embarrassing and contagious. Still, I would have been fine — if it were not for Will.
I bet Will often gave itchy, embarrassing, and contagious things to women. We met way back in university, when he taught one of my English classes and slept with half my girlfriends. Since I was spoiling his game by telling them he’s had more women than they’ve eaten sandwiches, he decided to befriend me once that class was over.
Fifteen years later, he just happened to call while I was in the middle of closet organizing. But no, Will had to think that my life was perfect and exciting. There was no way I’d ever complain to him.
“I am writing a book,” Will said.
Lucky Will. Last time I wrote something not work-related, it was a cheque.
“Hey, why don’t you write too?” he continued. “I could totally start you off. Will be fun.”
Yeah, he was all about fun. I remembered.
That night, once I put the kids to bed, I read Will’s one-line email:
You are taking an English class and you have this thing for the hot professor.
My closet was all organized, and my husband was working late. What did I have to lose? I wrote back:
I am the one in the second row, seat closest to the door.
And that was how it all started. Will had me hooked, but he kept making fun of me because I was so squeamish about letting the writing become steamy. “Marriage taking its toll” were his words.
That all changed, however, the day our hot water tank blew up.
I stayed home to deal with the boiler company, and while I was on the phone with the boiler rep, I casually opened the online file that Will and I shared. At that moment, Will just happened to be writing into it.
As I tried to convince the boiler rep that the boiler had to be fixed quickly, I read Will’s lines:
“Please,” you beg. “Yes,” you say in a breathy whisper.
So I said to the rep in a breathy whisper, “Please. I beg you. Yes.”
For a moment, we’re kissing, our tongues dance against each other, lips parted, but then….”
The rep came back with the news that I could expect a technician the same day!
A wild orgasm rips through me and my entire body convulses.…
Oh, yes! We were going to have hot water again!
The unexpected confluence of chores and fantasy was exhilarating. From that point on, I was ready to let it rip.
I knocked Will’s socks off when I wrote a BDSM scene in Chapter 12. Of course, I never revealed that I got the idea when I came out of my garage one morning and discovered all the snow that the snow plow people had dumped in my driveway. Chapter 12 largely comprised all the things I had pictured doing to the snow plow people (whips and handcuffs featured rather prominently, in fact) as I dug through the pile.
Will did not need to know that, though. I let him think he had missed out on the side of me that put Marquis de Sade to shame. I mean, what did Marquis de Sade know about clearing a pile of snow in -40 degree weather? Hah!
Messing with Will’s head became a pleasure all its own. I thought up the strip-chess scene after I chased the baby through the house to confiscate a chess queen she was bound to use to gouge out her own eye, and she, with all the deviousness of a two-year-old, threw her sock in my face to distract me. Will called the second he read it. He kept asking how much chess I played and, in particular, who did I play with?
My imaginary past bothered Will more and more, and I was fine with that. Once, my family came back from vacation, and one suitcase was all ticking and shaking. I freaked that it could be a bomb and suggested calling the police.
Glad we did not. It was just the kids’ vibrating plastic chicken. But the word “vibrating” got me going. What if it hadn’t been a chicken? And what if the whole thing wasn’t in the checked-in luggage? So when Will got that story (no chickens mentioned), he could only wonder how spicy air travel with me must have been.
Before I knew it, Will and I had written a novel.
At this point, my house was a mess. The poetry was all pulled out and piled up because I needed it to look up quotes. The biggest file directory was called “Heart Break Proof” and held my writing. The business suits were still the business suits, but the underwear drawer was silk and lace now, after all the research (and the consequent shopping spree) required for Chapter 9. And the nicest thing I got back was to have a man waiting — with bated breath — for whatever next thing I was going to come up with. I did not even realize I missed it, but here it was.
I no longer pretended to have a perfect life. As quaint as the life of a mother and a professional had become, deep down, I’d always known that something was missing. And what I got for it was itchy, embarrassing and contagious.
I do realize it is impossible to have back the carefree thrill of my younger days. But, turns out, even a grown-up reality can come with a side of “spicy.” No need to resign to boring… yet.
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