Love letter # 616

“I’m not opposed.” you said. How was I meant to proceed after that? Sure, it was consent, an allowance, but it wasn’t even lust, let alone love.

I had courted you, and in the process my desire had deepened beyond affection and into genuine care. And then…a first kiss. My body and heart on fire. Yet, beneath the surface of ardour…a hesitation. Not so much a recoiling but an absence. I wanted you; but you were merely prepared to acquiesce, as if my advance was something you had priced into the equation. A fee for ongoing allegiance.

After I got over the slight, I understood the awful subtext. It was clear you liked me – that you found a form of refuge in my company – and, after a couple of kisses, that although you did not share my desire, you would, if pressed, nonetheless yield. Even in my rush of blood, I knew what the cost of consummation would be. For both of us.

I remember stepping back. I recall the look of relief in your eyes. Like startled prey.

I do not claim a saintly mantle, nor offer to liberate the oppressed, but I know what I want. To be loved, not just be permitted. For there to be hunger, not mere feeding. More than that, to know that I have not added to the store of unsatisfactory bargain. I do not wish to be the next notch on the bedpost of ritual disappointment.

I wanted your body, to wrap it, stripped and sweating, in my embrace. You may not have been opposed…but I was. Perhaps this is normal for you. Offering your body up for the promise of connection. Sex as transaction. I’ll admit I was tempted; but when examined, even temptation could not obscure the brute evidence.

So I have withdrawn. Maybe this is a weakness in me. An absurd, romanticised naivety – flinching at the raw animal exchange. Or vanity. Bruises on the ego of virtue.

Either way, I shall not ask again for your touch. For I do not wish you to accede, nor I to discover, too late, that the tenderness we both want has been replaced by its more vigorous imposter. Leaving us empty, and even further apart.

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