The Games We Play
Get Ready, Get Set, Go…
Today I asked him if he liked to play games. That wasn’t the starting of our fiasco, nor was it an indication of the end, it was simply a development in the interactions we had had, thus far. I never expected it to end where it did, but of course we will come to that later. I am a married woman; happily married I might add. My husband and I have been together for 12 years with a few rocky situations in the middle but overall we have been a happy couple. I know the downfalls of extra marital affairs; I know the guilt that is associated with them. I suppose that is why I felt safe in my game.
You may be asking yourself why I choose to play this particular game, but I don’t believe I could satisfy your need for an answer. Since I was a young teen I have been wrapped up in the world of “boys” and that development didn’t subside once I reached adulthood. In fact it became more apparent. I wouldn’t classify myself as a player, I don’t sleep with guys just to sleep with them and I hold infidelity as one of the highest of crimes. I just enjoy the games, the flirting, the beginnings. I am honest enough with myself to stay deeply rooted in the reality of what happens to most relationships. I know that the romance novels I read aren’t based in reality, as a matter of fact they are as far away from reality as you can get. I do like the basic chemistry however, the looks, the nuances, the hidden meanings behind the actions. I play the game because I am curious. I want to feel the rush of deciphering a hidden meaning. I want to build something up in my head and then rein it in when it starts to get out of control. I want to be sultry and sexy, something I’ve never been, and I want to have anonymity. These are just some of the reasons, I’ll certainly touch on more later, but at this point I should probably get back to the game.
From the first moment I met my opponent there was a connection. I’m not sure if there was a novelty involved with our different cultures or if he just noted my obvious interest. My husband stood right beside us at our first introduction. I didn’t know what to say; my voice was lost, my train of thought running off the tracks. That started a series of flirtations. There were high points and there were low points but they were almost always there. He is the one that pushed it further. He is the one that made his intentions clear. I always remained safely hidden behind my words, behind the nuances and glances. His questions always caught me off guard though. They were so up front and glaringly obvious. “Come on and get me,” he said motioning me under the barn with him. “I don’t know yet if you are a rule breaker,” he indicated another day in the barn. “I’m a really good guy,” he said as he stroked my face. “Trust me” he said as he pulled me back to stand against his body. I was never physically aroused at those moments; I was shocked and left speechless. It was always after the fact that I came up with something good to say or some type of wicked innuendo to fling. The last meeting was my breaking point. It was the last time we did anything without a direct meaning.
I was standing in his office, close to him, so close that the warmth of our bodies fused us together. We were like magnets, drawn to one another and happy only when in the closest proximity. I felt safe, conversationally close wasn’t really a bad thing I thought. To mess with him I bent over the desk to grab a pen. Having been married for 12 years I know what a man desires. This man desired what was inside my tight breeches, so bending over the desk was my way of regaining control of a spiraling situation. We stood close again, going over the paperwork. It wasn’t a long conversation. It was only made longer by our desire to continue the unspoken portion of the conversation. When I turned to walk out he made his move. He reached out, pulling me close to him. My ass was flush with his erection, my shoulders squeezed by his hands and my hair mussed by his soft words.
“I thought you were a good guy,” I stated in my shock.
“I am a good guy. You have to trust me.”
My mind was going a million miles a minute.
“Trust me,” he whispered again.
Suddenly the silly movie phrase popped into my head alongside a very clear image of my very large husband. “Danger Will Robins, Danger!!” What the hell was I supposed to do?
“I’m dangerous, you know?” I muttered, pulling out of his grasp. I’m not really making any sense now and I know he knows that I know I’m not making any sense. He laughs at me, calls me out for my redness and lets me go. Once we are outside it is back to normal. Am I ready for tomorrow he’s asking me. Of course I’m ready, I answer back, but what the hell just happened in there. I’m moving on verbally but mentally I’m still in a whirlwind of what ifs.
Essentially this was the starting block. This was where I decided to make a move. I wanted to be in control of this but not allow him to touch me. I wanted to flirt but I didn’t want to feel guilty every time he reached out to ensure I received his meanings. He has a few girlfriends; I know what I’m dealing with. So I formulated my plan. I would invite him to play my version of ‘hombre a hombre’. The key would be to leave me in control and him spiraling out of it. I approached him the next day, hoping to put my plan into action. He grins at me, probably instantly picking up on the apprehension. What if he says no, I ask myself?
“I have some questions to ask you” I mumble.
His grin grows; we’ve been here before.
“Some more good questions,” he asks, emphasizing the ‘good’ part of his statement.
“Do you like games?” He is instantly taken aback, but quickly recovers.
“Maybe,” is his response, cautious but curious at the same time.
“I like to play games,” I continue to prod. “If you like to play games I would like to challenge you to a game.”
Caution departs and he jumps in full force. “Yes I like to play games. What is the challenge?”
I smile just a bit, knowing that I have to say this clearly as to not lose something in translation. “You have to make me want to touch you.” I pause now, knowing that my forwardness has surprised him, wanting to keep him in suspense a bit longer. “You have to do it without touching me.” His eyes twinkle and I know he is game. “Do you think you can do that?” I ask.
“I think so,” he answers back securely.
“Do you think you can refrain from touching me,” I ask.
“I don’t know,” he replies. His answer doesn’t surprise me; that he admitted it, does.
“Good,” I say, “may the best player win.” I’m ecstatic; I’ve gotten the best of both worlds. He won’t touch me but I can still flirt. Nothing to feel guilty about until…
”What do I get if I win,” he shoots out.
I’m still in charge of this I tell myself. “What do you want?”
He grins again, “I want to call the shots. I get to pick what I want.”
I agree; I feel confident in my abilities. Only later do I realize that we haven’t clarified the rules enough. I knew how to remedy that, however. I had to pin him down next time we met up and clarify what exactly the parameters of our game were going to consist of and I needed to do it soon.
The Rules Are…
There is a point in the game when the mind becomes discontent with the parameters and everything they mean to the scenario. My mind was going to be the biggest part of this challenge. I found myself thinking about my opponent more than normal. I knew it was making the situation more difficult for me. All of a sudden I wanted more than I had previously and he was doing nothing to incite it. It was all my own doing!
I had a history of this behavior. I could rein it in and direct it on occasion but it had the nasty habit of being extremely difficult to control. In the past it not only caused my first extramarital affair, it also caused many incidents of over chasing any boys I was interested in. I become the pursuer, the chaser, the hunter, and no longer the wanted. I was now doing the wanting. I had built the sensations my game provided into something I originally had not felt, desire. I had essentially turned myself on.
Of course it didn’t help that I was having a particularly good streak of luck when it came to men. I was suddenly popular and appealing. I’ve never been popular or appealing and needless to say I was enjoying both. Whether it was fellow teacher asking me to befriend him and his wife or the coffee guy giving me a nickel so I didn’t have to break a dollar, it didn’t matter, men were coming out of the wood work to make me feel special. My blacksmith even held the horse’s feet as he burned the shoe into them. This was not a normal scenario here in
Germany, usually we both smell like burnt hair once that portion of the job is complete. Today was different. This week was special. I was special. I don’t normally flirt with men my husband knows this was a strange scenario. I realize the uncomfortable situation this can create and attempt to avoid it. The same goes for men in relationships. I try to avoid even looking at men with women, simply because I know that guys are dogs and I certainly don’t want to give any woman cause to worry. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that, especially since I had already been.
Even my husband’s boss was oddly attentive. Matt was an attractive man, a few years older than me, black hair, prematurely graying and a lean physique. We had had a few conversations in the past and he was often very attentive but I had led myself to believe that he was simply enjoying my friendship. He was often cited with having many more female characteristics so this wasn’t way off the reality meter. Our previous conversations had covered everything under the sun and he was always quick with a compliment or even available for afternoon chats should I so desire. At one dinner he made it a point of sitting next to me even though it required making someone else move. Like I said previously, I wasn’t really sure what his original intentions were but he had me thinking about things best left not thought. This week he decided to not only tell me how much he liked my hair, but also to pop by the house with flowers and call me “sexy” at our first greeting. My husband doesn’t bat an eye, although I know it is grating on him a bit, and the situation leaves me curious.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I enjoy the attention, crave it actually, and even though my husband rarely seems bothered in this case he appears to act jealous in a mild way. But he says nothing. I want to question him but decide to wait until later. Incidentally this is where I get the extra pep needed to plan a future attack, but more on that later. This is Saturday’s story and we were still on Friday.
Friday was, we had decided last minute, our girls’ night out. I had an afternoon to wait for my girlfriend to meet me in town. I dressed early, with a secret agenda planned and met my husband for lunch. He was sullen, to describe it best… I believe he had an issue with what would be my third and ultimately most successful ladies night out. I’m not sure why tonight was the night he chose to have the problem but I tried my best to make him feel secure. Our lunch was uneventful but he did tell me how beautiful I looked and how good I smelled. I was already preoccupied however. There is something to be said for anticipation and I was certainly in that mode of thought. I was anticipating the game, not the night out or the lunch with my husband, just a few strategically planned words directed at my opponent.
My heart was beating with excitement even though I attempted to calm it down. I told myself that he wasn’t going to be there, that I wasn’t going to get the opportunity today, to make things right. Fortunately things worked out and I did actually get the opportunity. I met him during his evening chores which consequentially became a series of hits and misses. We sent innuendos shooting back and forth whenever we passed by each other. We tried to speak about some things but never quite got anything out before we were interrupted. It is intensely difficult to carry on a direct game with others around, but I suppose that adds to the intensity level. He asked me if was going to be there awhile but I couldn’t answer with any certainty. I knew he wanted to talk.
I eventually resorted to a text message. “We need to clarify the parameters of the game. Perhaps when there aren’t so many people around.” I sent it and then decided that I needed to get out of Dodge. I made my way to the car, my friend should be arriving any minute and I didn’t want to make her wait. I thought I’d give it one more shot and tried to call. In all honesty my mind was more in control than I was. Voice mail! I was agitated but it was honestly for the best I thought. My phone rang and I glanced down to see that we had the same thought in mind. He was calling me at the same time I was calling him. We worked it out; we’d meet in the back room in two minutes. I took my time strolling to the room; I needed time to get my heart rate under control. I mean what would it look like if I mauled him as soon as he opened the door? We couldn’t have that, especially since I was bound and determined to win this game.
We came in opposite doors. He was smiling and it was a particularly evil smile. He came close enough that I could smell his freshly brushed teeth. I was flattered to say the least. How many men make it a point to brush their teeth for a woman? I know my husband often forgets that his morning breath is enough to kill a toad so the irony of my opponent, the figurative toad, brushing his teeth for our rendezvous was not lost on me. He asked me right away what I needed to talk about and I re-clarified the meaning of my text message. Sometimes we lose quite a bit in translation.
“I get what I want when you lose,” he says to me.
“No, that isn’t what I mean. I mean what signifies a loss?”
“Ach so,” he begins to understand.
“If I shake your hand or run my hand down your chest does that count as a loss?”
“A kiss,” he says, “You lose when you kiss me.”
I’m not surprised that he came up with that but I am shocked at his next statement.
“It’s time for you too lose now.” With his body alone he pins me up against the wall, lowering his head, hoping like hell that I take the bait. A ringing interrupts the scenario. With a motion of his finger he orders me to wait, or essentially ‘hold that thought’, and he answers his phone. This gives me the opportunity to slip away which I do quite easily. I circle the room giving us some space. The smell of saddle soap and musty blankets masks both my perfume and his fresh breath. It is no wonder I have no physical reaction to his aggression. Normally I am all for aggression. I enjoy it in my husband and I enjoy it in my fictional characters, but here it was doing nothing for me. Perhaps the knowledge that nothing could happen made my senses dull, a form of self preservation if you will.
“You called me?” He asks.
“Yes, we called each other at the same time.” I see the amazement in his eyes. “Scary isn’t it?”
“Yes very scary,” he replies with a grin.
“You haven’t told anyone about this have you?”
“Are you crazy?”
He doesn’t know me well if he has to ask me that question. What female isn’t a bit crazy? Our minds run a million miles a minute; we think about the topic at hand in relation to the world around us before the men we are with can even formulate the topic into a coherent sentence. Regardless, I’m curious now, I want to know some answers to my most perplexing questions. I want to know the whys and why nots. It kind of goes against the game but I’m a curious person by nature so I think the bending of the rules should be permitted. “Don’t you care that I am married?”
“What do you want with a married woman?” I prod him along although it isn’t fair in the least to call one’s conscience into the mix.
“I don’t see a married woman,” is his reply.
Now I’m confused. The situation calls for a forward march but I want to go back into parade rest and discuss the new issues. I choose to move forward, this can be revisited later, and perhaps I can run the questions by my husband to get his approval. So moving on, I want to know more. ‘Why me’, looks to desperate. I need to play my cards right, clarify my dialogue, sharpen my questions. So I ask him, “Does it bother you not to be able to touch me?”
He pulls his hands out of his pockets, something I failed to notice when he came in the room before. “I keep my hands in here so I don’t touch you, but it is difficult.” His fists are balled up and white from the pressure of remaining clenched. I wonder if they are sweaty but refrain from touching them.
“Does it bother you that I can touch you? Does it bother you when I do touch you?” I ask, running my fingers up the outside of his jacket sleeve. My opponent is an attractive man, in an Anderson Cooper sort of way. He isn’t what I’d call ‘my type’ since I’ve always been attracted to much larger men. He was around the same height as my husband but weighed considerably less. Six feet tall with bulk I enjoy; six feet tall with angular leanness really doesn’t make me feel very dainty. My opponent was angular. His arms weren’t as large as my husbands, his body fat and girth were not very substantial. The only thing he had going for him was that his overall package was pleasant and he happened to be in a position of authority. I have always been attracted to men in authoritative positions. As I run my fingers up his arm I can see him squirming.
“I like it,” he answers back.
I run my hand inside his jacket, up his ribcage, squeezing as I get to his side. Like I was feeling up the plumpness of a holiday turkey I poke and prod, getting a pretty good estimate of his actual size. “You’re pretty small,” I say out loud.
“You haven’t seen all of me yet,” he whispers.
The, oh so, subtle meaning of his words was not lost on me. I glanced down at his pants noting the enlargements of certain parts of his body that had been previously unnoticed by me. This can be looked at as unfortunate for men or fortunate for women, but regardless of how it is looked at, the male erection is a sure communicator of a man’s mind. I knew he was turned on, but he had no idea where I was in the mix and that is where a woman becomes more powerful than the man.
He wants to know where we are going this evening, but since we have made no plans I cannot tell him for sure. He asks if we will be going to
Heidelberg but again I blow him off. I don’t want this to go anywhere; he is not a part of my nightly plans. A noise from the hall distracts us and I decide that it is enough for one day. I rush to meet my friend.
The night was intensely fun. We eat, laugh and dance. There really were no men involved at all but I felt safe. I felt safer than I had in a long time. Tonight I had crossed the no crossing zone and I was becoming a different person because of it. Tonight I wanted to hide from everyone and be someone completely different. There were to be no barriers, no requirements and no necessities. I blew off everything and everyone, dancing by myself and speaking to few. I realized that I didn’t want to have an affair; cheap sex was not in the least bit attractive to me. I had done that before. I wanted to explore myself, my thirty year old, post mother, college degree self. It had come to this after years of patching up relationships, creating lives and pursuing a degree. I needed to know who I was and now I was ready to listen.
The rules of the game had been set for both my opponent and myself. Now I had to see if I could abide by the rules. I wanted a challenge, a personal one. I needed to know how much I had changed since 2002, the last time I did any real self reflection, and I was using the game as a means to an end. Dancing, on a bar, in
Germany, alone, had awakened me to the reality that people only know what you show them. So what else was I hiding?
The Game Plan…
Guilt is a funny thing. Anytime you step outside the normal or the acceptable guilt tends to ensue. I was often able to control guilt but it never really disappeared. Had I developed a new found sense of freedom from it? I was able to dance all night and I was able to flirt with out feeling guilty or so I thought anyway. Was I truly just running away from the issues that had become common place in my life? I knew I had crossed a line in my desires and yet I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do about it. The guilt was clear but my method of dealing with it was not.
To combat my guilt over my opponent I had been keeping my husband informed of every little thing. Until of late he had been aware of all interactions and my appreciation of them. He had wanted to hear them until recently. After my opponent’s first attempt to touch me my husband had decided that he didn’t want to hear anymore. I really couldn’t blame him but with the sudden loss of that dialogue I felt like I was hiding something. There was room for this to grow into something neither my husband nor I had originally wanted, a secret affair.
My friend made the assertion that it was only things we imagine that get us stirred up. The things directly in front of us were always the easiest to brush off and that was exactly what my husband had done. The Friday night we went out was by far my most enjoyable evening in a really long time. It was also my tamest. I flirted with no one but the wait staff and ˝ of them ended up being female so even that was harmless. My girlfriend and I chatted, bantered, laughed and fantasized; we made fun of the people singing karaoke and danced until three in the morning. I had the perfect buzz and the knowledge that my husband was at home angry at me for whatever he was imagining.
That night we had it out and consequentially the whole weekend was spent in conversation about what people want and what people can have. Since I hit thirty years old I have done quite a bit of reflection on what I want out of life and if I have reached those goals. It has been a difficult time for me and an enchanting time. I seem to have everything but around every corner is another option and another stark glance at what I had to drop in order to pick something new up. I was a child in a sense; one capable of reflection and analysis. I was becoming more and more selfish as my thirties progressed. The more I gave, the more I expected in return. The more people sucked the drab from my life, the more I craved my own personal excitement. The problem being, my family was in fact sucking the drab out of me. Dinner, education, weight, finances, the lists of my responsibilities seemed endless. These were aspects of my life, but not necessarily part of my life’s game plan.
Relationships are hard work but I feel my husband and I have a pretty good one. This situation with the game certainly put a damper on the relationship but only briefly. We had things to work out, things to discuss that had nothing to do with my other agenda. There were things much more important than my opponent. My husband decided he’d rather know what was going on and prompted me to continue on. Now I was left with the wonderment at his reasons. Did he want an excuse to go out? Did he think he had to choose between losing me or allowing me my freedom? I wasn’t sure at first but as the day went on I discovered that he understood far more than I gave him credit for. We’ve been together for 12 years; he knows me better than anyone else and he is a guy that is more than capable of some really deep thoughts. He knew I was having issues and he also knew what issues they were.
The woman wears many hats. We are mothers, wives, lovers, students, political activists, gun control lobbyists, police officers and coworkers. We are teachers, planners, medical professionals and event coordinators. In my case I was also a horse back rider. I had reached 30 and not accomplished everything I had set out to do. I felt like a failure and as time went on I also felt like I wasn’t doing what was right for me. I loved my children, but playing Candyland was not the pinnacle of my day. I was coming to terms with my idea of a mother. I met my main goal of not being my own mother but wasn’t quite sure I was meeting the rest of them. My hats were becoming tighter and I wasn’t sure any of them were the right fit.
I had a degree in English and a graduate degree in Education but I was planning to go back into the computer field. I hate computers really. There is no magic to them. There is no subtlety to them. They expect exact keystrokes and logical thinking. You can’t win them over by caress or a kind word. I don’t like the coldness of computers; I don’t want to learn their language. It is certainly not a language of love. But I find myself starting a job in three weeks that I’m not sure I want any part of. The only really exciting part is the money, beyond that I am apprehensive to say the least. Working in the classroom, although I would have never thought it, turns out to be something I love. Regardless of this fact, the chances of me teaching in an actual classroom over here in
Europe are slim to none. I was definitely moving on, back into the IT field.
On top of this I have been researching a possible book topic, that until recently had been very hard to write. I had little fodder for the subject I wanted to write about and little opportunity to get any. With my opponent’s recent approval of the game it seemed like a perfect opportunity to get that much needed data. The words began to just flow onto the page. The problem is that it was just a smidgen of what was going on in the situation. There was more than just that desire to write a book; I wanted to be the inside girl. I wanted to understand the basic nature of people and I wanted them to trust me to find out. This is what led me to realize what my secondary intentions truly were. I wanted to know what my opponent was thinking, reacting too, assuming and assimilating. I wanted to know what made him tick in the rawest of senses.
My husband believes it is a form of entertainment for me and I suppose it is, but in some way it answers a basic human need for connection. People like me, they tend to open up to me and tell me their deepest, darkest secrets. Lately I have begun to feed off of that. Like an adrenaline junkie, I just soak up what ever information they are passing. Recently we, my friend and I, decided to conduct an interview. I composed a series of questions concerning basic male attractions and rules to the attractions and I sat down with numerous friends to have them answered. The men opened up to me. They spoke to me about how they felt, how they flirted and how they acted on feelings of attraction.
I got all of my interviews answered but one, the one from my opponent. For some reason he backed out, but not before showing me that his comfort level with me was not of that sort. He shot out of the sitting room faster than my three year old can gobble up jelly beans and left me feeling very uncomfortable. Since that time I have seen his interest piqued and his desires grow. I’m sure my shock and awe mentality struck a chord with him at least in the interest of being different. He isn’t a talker, nor does he flaunt his playboy attitude, but the reality is obvious. He is a playboy. He is a man king of his realm but uncomfortable when placed out of it. It helps to explain that although he is a high caliber rider he has yet to even attempt a ride in an international event. He is scared to step out of his comfort zone; I am vastly different.
Knowing my requirements I went ahead and sent him another text message. Knowing that I had sent him one or two more than I should have I made sure that this was my last one. “I am thinking about what I want when I win.” I wanted to sound overly confident, for a bit of a challenge. The next time I saw him I assumed would be to work out my winnings but instead it wasn’t a chance for anything but setting a few things straight.
I ignored him, plain and simple. I walked around like I had better things to do and no time to do them. I wasn’t going to speak to him at all but I needed a tool. I needed a leather puncher to repair a bridle that I was putting together. But even during that visit I kept him in line. I didn’t want to be alone and the questioning look in his eyes told me he was concerned. He had questions and he wanted some answers.
“Are you leaving?” He asks me as I walk back to my barn.
“In a little while,” I respond.
“I’ll meet you in the tack room,” he whispers.
I’m clearly getting the old tack room request but I don’t want it. I don’t want to sit and wait for him like some sort of love struck teenager. I don’t want the girls at the barn to suspect anything but I also don’t want to be the one waiting for his time. When it happens, it happens and that is the beauty of banter. I answer without words and leave him to watch me walk in the other direction. There are too many people here, not enough time and very little incentive on my part to meet him somewhere alone.
Uneventful some might say, but well worth the effort. Backing up and reassessing the situation is often necessary to make sure one is on the right path. Sometimes I wish I could use that method in my jumping because sometimes it really is at too fast a pace. I’m pacing myself here because my game plan is now clear, my agenda is set and guilt had to sit on the sidelines.
To be Continued...
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Elizabeth Jordan.
Published on e-Stories.org on 07/09/2009.