Just This Once

This is a short story (more of a skit) I wrote about 10 years ago. I hope you enjoy it.

Just This Once
By Violet Yates

My hands flew to my mouth, inspecting my lips for damage. I could feel a few hairline cuts and blood, the salty, bitter taste of blood.
“Let me see. Come here,” he said. His previously enraged voice had tapered off into a consoling, professional tone. ‘So now he’s a doctor,’ I thought, repulsed.
Yet I allowed him to examine me. He dabbed my bloodied lips with a discarded tissue, careful not to press too hard. It was easier to give in than to refuse.
“I’m sorry,” he cooed. ‘You’re sorry,’ I thought, staring at his fingertips, coated with my blood, when only moments before, they’d been a part of the mechanism that had brought the blood forth. ‘I’m sorry. As sorry a woman as there ever was.’
Then I stood before the bathroom mirror, checking the damage. I peered into the glass and saw a stranger stare back at me: blank-faced, a sallow complexion, bloodshot eyes. A frown where once there had only been smiles. Eyes that once had lit up with love, now only knew grief. ‘I’m sorry,’ I repeated, a tear traveling down my cheek.
Knuckles rapped on the door behind me.
I turned around and muttered, “What?”
“Everything okay in there?” he asked.
“Yeah, sure. Just great.”
I gazed back at the stranger once more, reaching to touch her pitiful face, before I exited the bathroom.
“Let’s go to bed, hon,” he winked. I shrunk away from him. ‘Not again,’ I thought. Another roll in bed after a night in hell. I felt dirty. But I didn’t refuse. What does that make me?
To bed we went, where we simultaneously removed our clothing as if performing an ancient ritual. Even when we fight, it’s like this.
I removed my shirt, torn in the fray, exposing my naked flesh beneath. He turned to me, his eyes caressing my skin, my breasts, burning a hole into them. ‘You’re mine,’ they seemed to say, ‘every inch of you.’
Stepping out of his pants, he kicked them to the side and closed the space between us in one stride. I began to breathe deep, hesitant breaths, steeling myself for the inevitable. Yes, I allowed it to happen, and it’s my fault. But there’s no other way. ‘Just this once, just this last time. That’s it. I swear.’
He ran his work-roughened hands up and down my goose-bumped arms, instantly warming them from the chill of winter like a blazing fire chases ice from cold feet. ‘Just this once,’ I reminded myself, because I knew I could falter.
Taking my hair down from its ponytail, he weaved his fingers through my hair, gathering it in a lump with his fist. He then twisted it and tugged my head back, leaving my neck exposed to his mouth. ‘Just one time,’ I told myself.
Lowering his lips to my neck, he opened his jaws and nibbled the nape, sending chills down my back. In spite of myself, I began to respond to his ministrations, my breasts becoming taught and alert, awaiting his next move with a mixture of delight and awkward longing.
He folded my body into his, whispering apologetic words into my ear as he pushed me gently onto the bed.
“Aww,” I sighed. Then I realized: I live for these moments, after the fights. That’s when he really loves me. Who says it won’t work? Only me, and maybe I’m wrong. I drew him closer so we were skin on skin and flesh on flesh, a tangle of erotic pleasure. Maybe there won’t be a next time.
There we copulated, all actions and words forgotten like so much dust, as time passed by. Just this once, he and I are one person, one body, one soul. Just this once, that is all that matters.
Afterwards he climbed off of me, his sweat mingled with the leftover remnants of blood on my lips. I rolled toward him and smiled into his eyes. He covered my face with kisses then slapped me on the rump.
“Hey, thanks babe. Love you,” he slurred, sleep already closing in on him.
“You too, hon.”
“Nite.”
“G’nite.”
Minutes passed in silence as I stared at the ceiling of our tiny room, the moon casting a glow across our motionless bodies, while thinking, ‘Just that one time. That’s all it took, to start it all over again.’
Turning my body away from his, I laid cupped in sleeps’ embrace, trying not to think of the next time I’d pay to have a moment like this.

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