What followed with Alec was month after month of passion, friendship, and exploring what we both wanted from life, and our relationship flourished. We took every opportunity to be together, phoned each other daily or more often. Alec called me all kinds of endearing names I wasn’t used to: Sweetheart, Beautiful, My Love, simple little things, but to me, they were a novelty that I soaked in like a purring kitten.
“I adore you. I need to feel and taste you. I worship you. When we are apart, I am hurting.” I was counting the days till we met again.
“Four and a half,” I once said when he called on a Monday morning.
“93 hours, to be precise,” Alec replied. Longing is such a delicious need when you have someone who is longing back.
We had wonderful times together in different places. Christmas and New Year’s Eve together in Dublin and a trip to Rome for my birthday, which was so memorable that it took away the sting of getting older. Alec was the most intuitive and considerate man I’d ever met, and I didn’t exaggerate when I told Chuck that Alec was the best lover. I couldn’t find any snag about him except that dispensable cash seemed to be a rare commodity.
A niggling thought kept creeping out of the woodwork and showing its nasty head. Did it matter that we needed to look for the absolute cheapest flights and best deals and that we didn’t go to expensive restaurants? I had a good-looking, loving man on my arm. Did it matter that his Christmas present looked somewhat cheap? I had hankered for a certain watch, and he gave me a cheap imitation. On the other hand, he sent me wonderful roses on a regular basis so that the local flower shop deliveryman greeted me like an old friend when I opened the door. Did it matter that he didn’t buy any tiny Christmas present for my children? I suspected he didn’t expect them to give him any in return. Did it matter that he didn’t own a monkey suit for our New Year’s Eve ball, but had to rent one? Wasn’t it most important that he worshipped me?