— 1 —
David Ames could make a woman forget herself.
Kari knows because it just happened a few minutes ago on this quiet Sunday morning. Surrounded now by the hot water and steam of the shower, she reflects on the last hour and the intimate moments with her husband.
It feels good to forget. To just let go. Yet lately, it seems Kari hasn’t been letting go as much as she’d like. Perhaps this is just what happens when a couple has been married for eight years. The thrill of a touch or a kiss is too often overshadowed by the needs of a child or the demands of a job.
With her eyes closed, Kari knows it’s more than that. It will always be more than that.
The busy day ahead of her is put on pause as she thinks for a moment about David and wonders what got into him. They haven’t made love like that for a while. She feels full but also curious, wondering what had triggered the sudden urge in him.
She can’t remember the last time they had been intimate. Perhaps that’s what caused it, the ticking clock of the calendar. Or maybe it came from the stress of David’s job at Tulane University and the need to let it go. She doesn’t know and didn’t ask him afterward. She wants to enjoy this feeling and let everything else slip away.
The bathroom is a blanket of fog when she gets out of the shower and wraps a towel around herself. She can’t help thinking of those days when she first encountered David, when a young and naive woman fell in love with his sensitivity and his smile. The well-dressed professor had always been very careful, never crossing the line or being inappropriate with her while she was in his class. David himself had only been teaching for a couple of years, yet he had still carried himself like a seasoned professional.
Professional or not, Kari knew the moment she stepped foot in his classroom what was on Professor Ames’s mind. She knew more than most women what men really thought about, what really drove them.
Am I still the young woman he fell madly in love with? Kari wonders as she wipes a hand towel over the mirror to look at herself.
Inspecting herself in a mirror has never been a desirable thing, but she still likes what she sees looking back at her. Maybe she is thirty-six years old and maybe she’s no longer the young woman in Professor Ames’s classroom. There will always be someone younger and more attractive in his lecture hall. But there won’t be another Kari.
David resisted at first, yet soon fell for her because she was strong. He told her that the first time they kissed in front of his old house. She fell for him because he was a gentleman, a man of faith who tried to live by that faith and not by a belief in himself.
Kari knows it’s nice to be reminded how beautiful David thinks she is, and how well they fit one another. Physically and mentally.
It was a nice way to start the day. Yet as the steam fogs up the mirror again, Kari knows there are some things you can’t escape.
Things like the past and the person you once were.