Keeping Secrets

In walks the man.  Yeah, that one.  An establishment type.

A man of influence.

“Do you know who I am?” He asks.  “If you mention my name, or discuss my family or try to capitalize on this in any way.  I will destroy you.  First, I will ruin any chance that you have for getting into a good school. Next, I will make sure that you are never employed by a decent firm.  I own you.  Do you understand?”

I put my foot between his thighs, and a finger to my lips.  “Shush.  Are you here to run your mouth, or can you use it for something else?”

He begins to loosen his tie.

“Let me.”  I loosen the knot and look him right in the eyes, as I hold the trailing material in my hands like a leash.  “I’m in charge here.  Do you understand?”

I absorb his steely glare, taking his power, making it my own.  It’s a role reversal.

I instruct him, “First, we’ll take a bath.”  I remove his shoes, and massage his feet. Crouching on my knees, before him I rub my face on his hands and purr.  I imagine that he used those hands to sign a harsh directive or to write a powerful speech given at an exclusive club.  The kind that would never accept me as anything but a waitress.  It amuses me to know that he comes to me every, single, night.

I love him, but I never say so.

We’re a secret.

He comes to me on the night of his Wedding Anniversary, wearing a tux and a twinkle in his eye.  He carries an evening dress in a bag from an exclusive designer.

“Put it on, I want to see you in it.”

It’s his wife’s dress.  I saw her wearing it in a magazine at a special, VIP gala.

“Can you speak French?” He asks.   I shake my head no.  The dress doesn’t fit.

I look at him from across the room, tears threatening.  “We can never go dancing?  Can we?  You will never take me to a nice restaurant and order champagne for me, will you? Well, I want to dance.  I want to go out while I’m young.  I want everyone to see us.”

He takes my hand, kisses my forehead and hugs me close.  “People can be hurt.”  He says this while holding my chin steady, forcing me to look him in the eyes.  The implication isn’t lost on me as to who could be hurt.  In that moment, I stop loving him (or so I tell myself).  I completely and utterly lose my fascination with his so-called power and influence (I try to convince myself).

It is then that I realize that one day, someone will cherish me because I am special.

I am the prize.

We dance like it’s our last night for keeping secrets.

Copyright © 2011 Kimberly Yarbrough Carpenter
Music suggestion:  Save Your Love For Me, Nancy Wilson

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