no labels

he loved writing with his finger 
on her bare back
a kiss for every word guessed right.
the sex was good 
but these little things they did after -
that’s what made their bond stronger.

she hated waking up in the middle of the night
because of his loud snoring
but she loved watching him sleep.
she often lay awake at night,
her hand on his chest, 
moving in sync with his breathing.
feeling his heart against her palm made her feel alive.

they never got to do the regular things 
like making breakfast together in the mornings
but they showered together before dawn.
he would then dress quietly and put on his shoes
while she watched him silently, 
still wrapped in towel.
he’d kiss her on the cheek and leave
and she’d then be left alone - 
in this beautiful house he had bought for her.

he’d live his life, the routine
drive to office, attend meetings …
spend his evenings with his son
read him a story in bed and kiss him goodnight 
he’d wait for his wife to fall sleep 
and then sneak out at night.

she’d wait for him, her routine
she had nothing to do and she knew no one
this was not the place she wanted to be 
when he was not around.
she’d have a drink or two -
try on dresses he had bought for her.
make him dinner because she knew he’d be hungry
he hardly ate at home.
they’d have dinner together when he came ‘home’
and do the dishes together. 
sometimes, they made love but -
sometimes, they just lay in bed together 
spooning with their clothes on
or sometimes they’d just cuddle on the couch.
being together mattered …
these moments they spent with each other 
were more important than the sex.

it was extra-marital affair for others
for them it was something more.
they did not want to label what it was -
because that came with limitations
and burden of expectations.
for him, she was the shelter in storm
and he was the reason she was alive.

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