When ‘No’ Still Means ‘No’

They’d had a fun night.  They’d been flirting outrageously all evening: suggestive comments, brushing against each other as though by accident, eyes locking intently.  They were both up for it.  They knew this was going to move to the next stage.

They were in a busy bar, surrounded by people.  She walked none-too-steadily around the side of the building, to see if there was a discreet area where they could get more ‘intimate’.  She came back and informed him with a giggle and a loud stage whisper that there wasn’t anywhere.

The night was warm, the sky was clear and inhibitions just seemed to fade away, making them feel reckless.  It was exciting, the possibility of being caught.  It made it all the more desirable.

They finished their drinks with the understanding of mutual consent and attraction fizzing between them.  He grabbed her hand as they left and intertwined her fingers with his, whispering to her how good she looked and how he couldn’t wait to see her white bits.  She giggled again and leaned against him.

They explored the possibilities; the park would be full of teens at this time and whilst they found the thought of discovery exciting, they didn’t want to emotionally scar someone for life.   They peered into a nearby field, some unused farmland, but the ground looked scrubby and unyielding.  The neighbouring houses backed onto each other, leaving no area that wasn’t overlooked.

They finally resigned themselves to the less risqué but far more comfortable option of a bed and made their way back to the house.  It had been a while since they had eaten and even though there were more pressing matters to attend to, the munchies that were the result of alcohol won out and they fixed themselves a snack.  To keep the mood going, they fed each other the eclectic mix of leftovers from the fridge.

One craving attended to, it was time to move onto another.  They used the bathroom separately, cleaning teeth thoroughly, using mouthwash, surreptitiously spritzing on extra deodorant and perfume or aftershave.  She checked her makeup was intact and wiped some smudged mascara from under her eyes.

They met in the bedroom, a little more sober now, a little shyer.  They laid down on the bed facing each other and began to kiss.  But then as the kiss intensified, she suddenly pulled away and put her hand on his chest.  The combination of alcohol, food and the late hour had made her drowsy, she said.  She was really sorry.  Could she take a rain check?

He was frustrated.  She had been coming onto him all evening.  There had been no question about how the night was supposed to end.  Surely she couldn’t just lead him on that way and then not deliver?  It wasn’t fair; she shouldn’t be allowed to do that to him. He didn’t deserve it.  She’d been nothing more than a prick-tease and she shouldn’t get away with it…

But of course she would, just like she had on other occasions.  She was his wife of ten years and they had three children together.  They were on holiday, visiting her dad in Spain and he had offered to babysit the kids so they could enjoy some rare time together as a couple.

He looked at her as she smiled sleepily at him and dragged herself into her pyjamas.  He rolled his eyes a little as she climbed into bed beside him but he knew there would be other times so he tenderly stroked her hair, gently kissed her forehead and drifted off to sleep.

She woke the next morning and remembering, squeezed him tight, knowing she was lucky to have someone so understanding.  She realised some men wouldn’t be and the thought made her shudder.  She apologised sheepishly to him and he of course told her it didn’t matter.  And he meant it.  He loved her and would never force her to do something that she didn’t want to do.

Because she had said ‘No’.  He wished she hadn’t but she had.  As far as he was concerned, that was that.  There was nothing he could, or would, do about it.  She thought about it for the rest of the day and on and off for the rest of the holiday.  And then she blogged about it.  Because regardless of the status of a relationship, a one night stand, a short or long-term relationship, a marriage, it’s all the same.  ‘No’ still means ‘no’.

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