Eliza could not get the lyrics of Madonna’s song, “Nothing Really Matters,” out of her head. It made her smile, the mixture of American and French songs and menu items that had been at the café where they were in. She felt her smile on Rafe’s chest, as the expanse of her cheek touched the top of her hand on his chest.
It made her happy that he was here, that Severine had told him where she was.
Severine was a rare bird, and Eliza could see why Rafe had fallen in love with her. She was beautiful and warm, and loved him enough to share him.
Like she did.
Sharing him was not something that Eliza had ever thought she would do, until she met and fell in love with Oscar. Looking back on everything, their relationship had gotten better as a result of other people in their lives. They stopped taking each other for granted. When she met Oscar, she was feeling resentful of who she had become with Rafe. She felt like a trophy fiancée, everything was so automated between them. Now she felt like a woman who had found someone she loved, and there was still room in her to love someone else as well.
And she had.
She swore that Rafe could smell that she was thinking too hard, because from his apparent slumber…
“What are you thinking about?” he said suddenly.
“Aren’t you asleep?” she said with a husky as if she had been asleep voice.
“I could feel your pensive position on my chest.”
She looked up at him, he was looking up at the ceiling. Almost like he was reaching for the stars with his eyelashes.
Eliza had fallen in love with his mind, he was gorgeous, but it was his mind that she fell in love with. For Valentine’s Day, once he took her to a gallery to see a Joseph Beuys multiple of a rose, surrounded by chocolate and meat. Rafe loved art as much as the next person, but he took her there because it was all dead decaying and yet worth more than the live roses and fresh chocolates most women would have gotten. Maybe even coveted. It was an inside joke because she had not really been a fan of Beuys who she had studied in college. There was so much of that between them.
“I was thinking about what it is like to be an American in Paris. I met a guy here who was obsessed with my Americaness,” Eliza lied because she did not feel like having a conversation about everything that had passed between them. It did not really matter, love was all they needed much like the lyrics in the Madonna song. She remembered reading a magazine article that said that that song was about Madonna’s new daughter. What would it be like to have a baby with Rafe? To expand their relationship even more than it was already expanded?
“Did you sleep with him?”
“Does it make a difference if I did or not?”
Rafe took a deep breath.
“So yes then?”
She pushed off of his chest, and looked down at him.
“I came here because I wanted to be with you, and you were not with me.”
“Are you saying I abandoned you?”
“You are saying it.”
“So you made love to me angrily?”
Rafe took another deep breath.
“I needed to be with you.”
“Were you even asleep?”
Rafe laughed, and sat up.
“I got here looking for you, was mad and Severine calmed me down. She said it was ridiculous that I was freaking out when I asked her to take care of you. Asked my lover, to take care of my fiancée…”
Eliza stared at him, not sure what to say, but knowing him well enough to know what he was feeling before he said it.
“It is hard for me to get used to you being with someone else. I know it is selfish, and I could not deny you when you said you wanted to open us up…but knowing someone else is with you…”
Leaning into him, she rubbed her breasts against him and wrapped her arms about him.
“Right now, you know you are with me…and nothing else matters does it?”
On her back and her face lit by the moonlight pouring in from the hotel window, Eliza understood Rafe’s silence more than his words from underneath him.
More Wicked Wednesday here:
joseph beuys dead rose & chocolate & dried meat multiple photo by f dot leonora