A Trick Of The LightIt’s Friday evening and as I load the dishwasher I try notto think how weary I am feeling. Sam has had a busy daytoo, I’ve heard about it over dinner, his unreliable officestaff and how the majority are taking time off due to‘stress’.‘Stress!’ he exclaims, they’ve never done a day’s workin their lives, how can they have stress?’I turn the dial, it clicks and I hear the whoosh of waterbeginning to fill the dishwasher. It’s a signal to Sam; hewill appear in the doorway and wink at me. I know thisbecause it’s Friday and for the greater part of our marriedlife we always have had sex on a Friday evening. Andthere he is, one arm resting on the doorframe, I notice he islooking older than his forty-four years but, as he winks, hesmiles and his face lifts, I catch a glimpse of the youngman I once knew.‘Time for bed then,’ he announces, it is more of astatement than a question.‘Of course.’ I say making my way past him towards thestairway. I wish he would take my hand or tap my bum orsomething but he never has and I think it’s too late to askhim to change.In our bedroom we fall into our pattern of bedpreparation, we are like synchronised swimmers in ourown home, an intricate pattern of our bodies weaving butnot actually touching. Sam is in the en suite, cleaning histeeth, gargling with mouthwash. The laundry bin lid shutswith a bang but I know he’ll still be wearing his boxershorts,he will remove them just as he gets into bed. I usethe family bathroom, and after f******n years of marriage Istill dab a little perfume in my cleavage. My nightdress isshort, Sam commented on it once in a disapproving way.The lights are off when I return to the bedroom but it’s notcompletely dark, there is a gap in the curtains and thestreet lamp outside the window shines orange. As I slideinto bed Sam places his hand gently on my thigh, I turn tokiss him, we rarely use tongues, although I can detect hismouthwash, it’s spearmint and too strong. We dispensewith foreplay, Sam is aroused almost immediately andmanoeuvres himself on top of me, as our faces meet hekisses my forehead, I raise my nightdress, shuffling gentlyso it’s above my bottom. He pushes hard to enter me, I’velearned over the years how to relax my legs, he groansvery quietly. In the semi-darkness I can see his face, eyesclosed and brow creased. It will not take long, Sam alwayscomes quickly, a little bead of sweat will appear on his toplip, he will groan and it will be my cue to breathe andgasp. As he comes he shudders and for a moment his bodyweight falls heavily onto mine. He rolls to one side andinstantly grabs at the box of tissues at the side of the bed.Before he slips into a contented sleep he kisses me again,just once on the forehead. It’s not so bad, once a week andmy man is happy. Tomorrow as he washes the gaziantep escort car andmows the lawn he’ll wave to me as I stand at the kitchenwindow. I’ll smile and wave back happily for he doesn’tknow, after three years, he still doesn’t know.*****Ritchie is twenty-five, when I met him he was the mostarrogant and gorgeous man I had ever come across. Threeyears on not much has changed, he’s fiercely independent,a solitary soul who keeps everything about himself and hislife guarded. I met him on a rare night out with mygirlfriends; we kept colliding into each other visiting thebar. I remember smiling and saying something trite like‘fancy bumping into you again’ and he offered up a halfsmile. By the end of the evening we were both at the barfor last orders and, fuelled by too many white wines, I feltconfident enough to attempt to chat to him. He barelyacknowledged me; instead he slid his business card acrossthe bar to me, collected his drinks, turned and wanderedback to his friends. Most of me wanted to leave it there onthe bar, its sharp white crispness soaking up the beer slops,but the temptation and intrigue got the better of me so Igrabbed it and closeted it away in my handbag.It took me two weeks after that night to muster up thecourage to ring him. Surprisingly he remembered who Iwas and commented how long it had taken for me to get intouch. Within minutes he had made arrangements for us tomeet at a small pub miles away. And so it started – mymeetings with Ritchie. Within weeks we dispensed withpubs, I would visit him at home and three years later I stilldo.I have a key; I’ve been discreet enough to keep it on aseparate ring, zipped away in the back of my purse. As Iarrive, it’s beginning to rain. I like to visit Ritchie in therain. His apartment is light and airy with skylights. Therain can be deafening at times; it reminds me of being ac***d on camping holidays in caravans, being safe andcosy inside. He’s not at home, he often runs late, owninghis business and taking hours out here and there tends tocomplicate his day. I open the fridge; it is stocked mainlywith wine, Ritchie being a take-away/eat out person. Thereis milk so I fill the kettle; he’ll want coffee, good coffee‘none of that instant crap!’ As I pour the coffee I hear thefront door open, then shut, and him throwing his keys onthe small table, they jangle noisily. He arrives in thekitchen, his hair damp from the rain; its messiness suitshim.‘Hello.’ I say, returning the milk to the fridge. Withouta word he picks up his coffee mug, it’s one that I havebought for him picturing a boat in Whitstable Harbour. Hewinces; the coffee is too hot, he returns his mug to theworktop.‘Alright?’ he asks, but he turns away before I answer.He removes his jacket and throws it haphazardly on thesofa and walks over to face me. He kisses me, a forcefulkiss that pushes me backwards. I reach out to him tosteady myself. Instantly he pushes my hand down to feelhis groin, he is hard. I like it that within moments of himseeing me he is aroused. I run my hand along the innerseam of his jeans, his kissing becoming deeper and deeper,his tongue encircling mine, I can taste the coffee, at firstmildly acrid. I can feel his hands on my shoulders, pushingme downwards. I break the kiss and kneel on the floorbefore him. Deftly I unbutton his jeans, lowering themwith his boxers to the floor, he steps out of them. His penisis so hard and erect. I instantly want to taste it, feel thefamiliarity of it within my mouth. I take him as far as I caninto my mouth, cupping my hand around him too,rhythmically I lick and gently suck. His hands weavethrough my hair, pulling my head back occasionally so hecan watch. I can hear his breath catching in his throat. Hepushes my head back more forcefully to stop; as I stand upto face him, he smiles. He has a wonderful grin, cheekyand boyish which is hard to resist. His smile is anindication to move to the bedroom. Within seconds ofarriving, he is pulling at my clothes, feeling for mybreasts. He squeezes my nipples hard making me gasp inpain, he laughs but then takes each breast in turn into hismouth, sucking them gently. I can feel his hand up myskirt, he never allows me to wear trousers, his fingerspushing my knickers to one side and feeling me, enteringme, one, two, three fingers. He knows that I can climaxthis way; he likes the control. He waits until I’m about tocry out and stops abruptly.‘Not yet.’ He says pushing me backwards onto the bed.His bed is huge, bespoke. With a wrought iron forged headand baseboard; it dominates the room. Ritchie reachesunderneath it and pulls out a small wicker basket and flipsopen the lid. I know what is inside and the thought of itmakes my stomach clench with excitement. Firstly heremoves silk scarves, then handcuffs, serious ones, not thepink fluffy ones I see in gift shops.‘I’ll use these.’ Without hesitation he grips my arm,forcing it backwards towards the headboard, I resistslightly, teasingly, he bends down and bites my shoulderhard. I am conscious there will be a bruise there tomorrowto disguise. He secures one wrist then the other; the snapof the metal locking heightens my excitement. Ritchiepositions himself over me, an impish smirk plays on hisface, it never fails to frighten me just a little. Using thescarf he loops it around my head blindfolding my eyes, thefabric is sheer so everything is now visually hazy, softenedat the edges.‘Kiss me,’ I urge and without hesitation he crushes hislips onto mine. He draws away to run his hands down mybody, hesitating at my nipples, then my navel, circlingthem with his tongue. He begins to nibble at my innerthighs, I shiver and pull gently on the cuffs; theyreverberate against the iron of the headboard. He sensesI’m ready and nudges my legs apart with his knees. Helowers himself into me, it’s gentle at first but then heforces deeply, above his loud breathing, and mine, I’murging him on, again I hear the cuffs clattering noisily, itturns him on even more. He lifts my legs high, forcing intome even harder. I can feel in the smallness of my back thesensation of an orgasm building, tiny nerve endingsspringing into life. I cry out to him, his timing is perfect aswe climax together. Within seconds, he moves off me andinstantly releases the cuffs, as he lowers my arms he kissesmy wrists gently. His tenderness is in stark contrast to hisearlier arrogance, but he doesn’t say a word. And neitherdo I!Sam, staring at the computer screen, sighs loudly, noamount of manipulating the figures will make the officebudget work this month, he thinks wearily.He was tired; his eyes became unfocused as they glancedover the series of debits on the spreadsheet. It was Fridayand already he was running late. As he began to gather histhings his secretary appeared.‘I’m off now, have a good weekend, Sam.’‘Thanks, I’ll try.’ He tried to joke.‘I’ve left all the post in your tray. A courier came.’ Shegestured towards the wire in-tray precariously balanced onthe edge of Sam’s paper-strewn desk.Sam flicked through it quickly, hesitating at thecouriered package – it was in a white jiffy bag headed up‘private and confidential’.‘Thanks Sheila, see you on Monday.’ He dismissed her.Using the silver letter opener he sliced the top off theenvelope and reached inside. One DVD disk; unlabelledwith no letter accompanying it. Sam reached across andplaced it into his computer drive. With a few clicks of themouse his screen came to life. A bedroom – well lit with alarge iron bed and his wife tethered to it. Sam breatheddeeply. A small noise outside his office door made himjump, the cleaners were starting their rounds. Sam ejectedthe DVD, rose from his chair unsteadily and went to thefiling cabinet in the corner. Selecting a key, he unlocked itand withdrew a mobile phone. Accessing the address bookhe selected a number and pressed ‘dial’. It rang twicebefore it was answered.‘Did you get it?’‘Yes, I’ve just checked the quality.’‘Good. Is the cheque in the post?’ Ritchie all butlaughed.‘As always.’ Sam confirmed seriously.‘Fine then, we’ve made arrangements for nextWednesday.’‘Good, adjust the lighting maybe. I have a beautifulwife; she’s not to be kept in the shadows.’ Sam requestedbefore he ended the call.He was happy. Tonight they would make love andtomorrow, as he carried out all his husbandly chores, hewould cheerfully wave to her as she stands at the kitchenwindow. She will wave back to him and smile because shedoesn’t know, after three years, she still doesn’t know.