Mrs. Rose was the type of woman who always left you wanting more. I first met her when her husband invited me to a soiree they were hosting. They were the type of people who used words like soiree, darling, lovely, and bosom. Her husband, Mark Rose, was an accountant at the paper I worked for. We became friendly over scotch one cold, winter snow day when no one else bothered to show up to work.
That day, we drank and he told me about his wife, who in his opinion was the perfect specimen of womanhood and femininity.
“Not that she’s dainty, darling,” he emphasized over and over as he told me more and more about her. “She has a body. Oh what a body!” I’ll spare you the details. Alcohol and thoughts of Mrs. Rose’s body would make any reader blush.
“How did you two meet?” I inquired, which led to a long story of a trip to India and ashrams, where he found her meditating. Something about the light hitting her just so and she looked so otherworldly. He obviously envisioned her a goddess.
Is it any surprise then that when I met her I had the same impression? She really was a goddess and she captivated people with the most banal conversations. Hearing her talk about the weather could be a spiritual experience.
I bet you’re dying to know what she looked like. I know I was after all that Mark had told me. Well, comparing her to a young Jayne Mansfield would not do her justice, but it’ll have to do.
I don’t know of anyone who was not smitten with her upon meeting her. I was no exception. I fell and I fell hard. Her hair, her skin, her eyes, and THAT body.
She truly was a goddess.
A goddess who adored her husband.
Despite my friendship with Mark, I spent the next several months plotting how I shall find myself alone with Cynthia Rose. How I would entice her and somehow make her fall madly in love (or at least bed) with me.
You can judge me. Go ahead. You’ve never seen her. You’ve never met her. You don’t know what that kind of woman can do to a mind.
Soon enough, though, I would learn a secret.
Mark and I met up for drinks after work. For some reason the fool thought me trust-worthy enough to divulge some very important information. Mrs. Rose had a voracious sexual appetite and she had many lovers to the dismay of Mr. Rose. His love for her was patient and kind and he turned a blind eye, which does not mean he was not in pain. That is why he turned to me.
That evening I plotted the most devious of plans, and I got Mark to help, all under the pretense of helping him, of course.
With our plan in hand, I soon became a regular dinner guest at the Rose household.
It was an exercise in impulse control.
Luckily, friendship with Cynthia came easily. We were soon like two girlfriends chatting in a corner. Our talks were of literature and often her love of the opera. She lamented her husband’s disdain for the theater. I saw my chance. I consoled, and I offered to accompany her to any production she wished. This only endeared me to her even more.
You would think that flirtation (and eventual seduction) would come easily from this point, but it was not so. I was awkward around women, especially ones as beautiful and intoxicating as Mrs. Rose, Cici as I was now prone to call her.
One particularly blustery February evening, we attended Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier. We both enjoyed it immensely and were moved to tears several times. Later, Cici admitted that what attracted her to the opera was the strong emotional response it always invoked in her. I had to agree, the opera always moved me as well.
After the performance, we wound up at a bar not accustomed to patrons dressed as we were. We found the contrast enjoyable and shared a pitcher of a local brew. Buzzed on the beer, I could no longer hide my fascination.
I told her things I am sure she had heard millions of times before. I spoke of her exquisite beauty and captivating charm. I was not original, but it was genuine. She laughed. I swear I had detected a bit of a blush or was that just the alcohol? I will never know for certain.
My lack of originality did not seem to bother her. She soaked in my compliments and that night I had her in my bed. I finally had her. I finally tasted Mrs. Rose and it was supreme divinity. That night will forever be seared in my brain.
Cici and I were now in full affair mode, practically right in front of her husband. My plan worked better than I had anticipated.
He suspected nothing.
I half felt guilty, but quickly resigned.
I wish I could say my life had become better as a result of my love for Cynthia Rose, but we all know that love without pain is not possible. Pangs of guilt sometimes attacked me in the night, but only when I was alone in my bed. Maybe they were pangs of emptiness without her?
What happened next was not the turn of events I would expect.
I spent one fairly pleasant afternoon with my ex-husband at a bistro nearby my apartment. It was something we did once in a while to remain in each other’s lives. We had no children and we parted amicably, so we felt those few hours spent together every few months were a sort of homage to the we we used to be.
These meetings had a similar pattern by now. We’d meet at the bistro. He’d order the buffet, I’d get the house salad and onion soup, we’d split dessert. Then we’d go for a short walk, talk a bit, and part in front of my building.
This time was no different.
Except for one slight detail. A slight detail important enough to alter the course of history.
He began, as he usually did, to tell me about a new girlfriend. A relationship with a woman so perfect, so beautiful words could not do her justice. With each sentence he spoke, my heart sank further and further into the pit of my stomach.
I couldn’t bear to even ask her name when he finished. I knew, but I wanted to be in denial. I did not want to have confirmation of what I already suspected. From what he told me, I gathered he did not realize that she was married. It didn’t matter; we were in the same boat as her husband – playthings. At least her husband had her in some way.
Where would I end up in all this? Soon I’d be tossed and forgotten. I loved her. I loved her as I had never loved any human being before I met her.
That evening, home alone going insane with my thoughts, I desperately needed to see her. I called her, but it went straight to voicemail. I called Mark and told him I had an urgent matter to discuss with Cici. I think he assumed it was about their marriage so he promptly had her take a taxi over to my place.
She flew in with kisses and affection, began caressing me. I let her. I wanted her near me. I wanted to keep her as long as possible. I forced myself to believe this moment was real and that it will last forever and I let myself melt into her. This was no schoolgirl infatuation. This was love, passionate, furious love.
She stayed the entire night and I begged her to stay longer. She worried about her husband. That is when I asked her to do the unimaginable.
“Leave him. Be with me. We can move away. We’ll go wherever you want. We can be together. I know I make you as happy as you make me. I love you, Cici.”
“I love you too, Diana,” she said as she began to kiss me with such fervor I could have died in that moment. And I let myself melt into her.