Greg texted me when I was in bed that night. – Are you home? May I come over now, babe?
I looked at the clock, it was almost midnight. Something must have happened, he only contacted me when he felt bad or needy.
As soon as I texted, “Sure”, he knocked on the door. Impatient, selfish, and ready to use me as a battery to jump start.
– Aren’t you supposed to ask first and then get into your car and drive here?
– I actually asked prior knocking, – he sat down on the couch and turned on the TV.
– Do you want anything?
– How are you?
I sat next to him and reached out for the TV remote; he smelt like hospital and sweater.
– Maybe water?
– Just chill, Vixen.
– How are you?
– Had to go in for an emergency, same crap. I am lonely. I can give you a massage in your bed if you like…
I looked at him in amazement. It was the first time I heard him talking to me like this; no toughness, no selfishness, no introversion. He was normal, unusually normal, surprisingly normal. It was weird.
– You’ve never talked to me like this before Greg. You sound like you have feelings.
– Of course, I do. You just never listen. All you care is my cock.
– Of course, I love your cock.
– Is this the only thing you care about? – He kept staring at the TV screen.
– Are your kids ok?
– How is Emy?
– My wife is fine.
– Is there anything I can do to help?
– Yes, sit here and be quiet.
– Ok, – I shrugged my shoulders. It was late, the TV show was stupid, his behavior was strange.
– How are you dealing with her panic attacks, Vixen?
Wow, he never inquired about my wellbeing before. I could not believe my ears.
– You should start taking medications.
– No, – I kept looking into the TV screen in fear that once I glance at him, he will shut down, and turn into the Greg I had always known – tough and unbreakable, cold-mind and hot cock. – I am not taking any meds, my dear. It is the sign of weakness. I am strong.
– Bullshit, I took meds before, they helped a lot.
– I had to use Sertraline to function when my mom passed away.
– I am sorry about that.
– Watch TV, be quiet.
I suddenly realized the Greg I used to know never existed. The image of the cool and tough guy with no feelings and constant erection collapsed, I finally saw the real person, vulnerable, insecure, with a bunch of complexes carefully hidden behind silence, surgical cleanliness, and the desire to bend others and toss them after like used paper napkins.
I stood up ready to go to sleep. I needed some rest prior another work day.
– Wait, where are you going? – he kept watching the show.
– I want you here with me, – he was still talking to the TV screen not bothering to look in my direction.
– Unfold the bed, and I will sleep here.
– It’s a pull-out couch, it converts to a sleeper.
I was watching him struggling with dragging the bed frame down to the floor when I returned from the bedroom with pillow cases and a comforter. My perception changed, he was a human being, smelling like steak and steamed vegetables, waiting for another promotion, arguing with his wife about disciplining the children, and fighting his belly fat. Feeling his hands all over me while falling asleep that night was different. He was neither better nor worse than anyone else; the magic was gone, he felt and tasted real, just live and real. It was the new Greg, the one I had never had a chance to get to know before, the Greg that had nothing to do with the picture that was previously created in my head.