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A Necessary Affair.
She rolled over towards me, yawning irksomely. I flinched as her cold, lanky arm constricted my chest in a way that some people would view as affectionate. In comparison to Esme, Emilia looked so plain in her sleep.
Her full lips did not seem as appeasing as Esme’s; her freckled face was no longer attractive as I had once thought. It did not hold the same picturesque serenity yet subtle softness that Esme’s did.
Her strawberry blonde hair had no life to it and splayed out across the pillow like Medusa’s snakes. It was not like Esme’s smooth, thick hair. Soft to the touch and looking like brown silk.
Her eyes slightly fluttered open to reveal her large blue eyes. She kissed my neck caringly.
“Well good morning there stranger” She joked
Her lips felt hard and cold against my neck, I flinched and gently moved her face. Just her subtle sign of affection made me feel sick. Yet that shouldn’t have made sense after last night, since after the hundreds of nights we had spent together.
“Good morning Emiliana” I said coldy.
She noticed the barrier I was trying to set between us and reluctantly moved away from me. She started to stand up and retrieve her clothes
“I told you,” Emilia said “my grandmother is called Emiliana. Call me Emilia” she smiled.
I stayed silent, observing her ungracefullness. Why did she seem so digusting to me today? She had never seemed so unattractive in her life. Maybe it was because she had met Esme… seeing them together had been a harsh reality check to me. My life had been going all too well, Esme had to find out. But how could I tell her and still carry on? How would Esme understand that this strange relationship I had with Emilia could never stop in the near future. It was mandatory to me. I wanted to stop, yet I didn’t know if it was possible.
“Pretty awkward meeting Esme the other day wasn’t it” Emilia commented, continuing my train of thought.“ I mean, she must be pretty stupid not to suspect anything”
“She trusts me” I told her, guilt building up inside me. Why should she trust me? That was the question.
“Well she shouldn’t” Emilia said abruptly. “Women shouldn’t trust anyone they don’t know”
“She knows me”
“No she doesn’t” Emilia said sternly “She doesn’t know you’re sleeping with me does she? So she obviously doesn’t know you that well.”
I stayed silent as she lit a cigarette, only wearing one of my shirts.
Emilia was right. Esme didn’t know me. She didn’t know what I did when I wasn’t with her, she didn’t know about my other life.
Emilia knew all about that, yet how couldn’t she? Emilia was so much a part of my life.
Esme knew the emotional me. She knew what I needed and she was trying as hard as she could to give that to me. Esme was my saviour, I didn’t want to lose her, I couldn’t.
“Why are you sleeping with me Conor?” Emilia asked me, breaking my train of thought.
“I don’t know” I replied, telling the truth. I had many theories yet I would never know for sure. What was it that kept me with Emilia? That made me use her with no regard for her feelings or Esme’s. Only with a regard for my need, my need for the war. For a connection with the war. That was a part of it I knew, yet why did I still need that connection with the war? That was something I would never know, but wished greatly to solve.
“I didn’t you knew... You see I’m in love with you Conor” Emilia told me cocking her head to the side.
I stayed silent again.
“You didn’t know that did you... Well I do. And that shouldn’t surprise you. I’ve been seeing you for nearly 3 years now Conor. Don’t I deserve someone who loves me too?”
“How do you know I’m not in love with you?”
“I’m not stupid Conor. I can see it. You always talk about her, even when you’re with me. She is absolutely stunning I know, but that’s not it is it?”
Silence seemed all too familiar to me, my only friend in this confrontation.
“It’s her spirit right? The way she can look at you once and grasp your heart just like that” she snapped her fingers.
She took a drag of her cigarette; a pained look appeared on her face.
“I’m beautiful too you know.”She said.
“But you just don’t see that anymore do you. I’m a model for crying out loud. I earn a living looking amazing yet... every time you look at me...” She shook her head and looked out the window. “I feel like the ugliest woman alive.”
“But not to you.”
She walked over and slapped me in the face. Tears ran down her cheeks uncontrollably.
“Don’t you EVER lie to me Conor. Okay? I can’t take this anymore, I just.” She grabbed her clothes and walked slowly to the door. And then she stopped.
“So I’ll see you next month?”
“Of course, Emiliana. Of course...”
“I love you” She whispered, her voice filled with hope, loss and desperation.
I stared at her apologetically
“I’m sorry” I told her, wishing I could tell her I loved her too.