“Good evening, Eve. Adam, it’s nice to see you again.”
I watch as Dr. Woodrow accepts a kiss on the cheek from Adam as I settle in my seat. I haven’t opened my mouth, yet. I’m almost afraid of what will come out. Dr. Woodrow’s gaze shifted from Adam to me and back again. I have no doubt that she can feel the tension that is thick in the air.
“Please, take a seat,” she instructs Adam, sitting in her normal spot, picking up her notebook. “I can’t help but notice there’s some strain between you two. How about we talk about that.”
I feel Adam’s eyes on me, but I refuse to look at him. And, as childish as it is, I remain quiet.
“Eve is upset with me,” Adam sighs. I almost snort a not so nice rebuff, but I don’t.
“Would you like to tell me why, Eve?” The doc watches me for a moment before raising a questioning eyebrow. “Would you like to tell me about it?” she asks Adam.
“I would if I knew.”
“Seriously?!” Yes, that was my first word. Spoken with so much irritation that both of Dr. Woodrow’s eyebrows shot up into her hairline. I turn to Dr. Woodrow. “Ask him what he did when I tried talking to him about our sex life. Like you told me!”
Adam actually had the good sense to look sheepish and contrite. I wonder if he really thinks he was wrong, or if he just doesn’t like being called out by the ‘principal’.
“We had an argument. I tried being what she needed me to be. I tried . . . ”
“I need you to be you, Adam! I don’t need you to change!”
“If I were all that you needed you wouldn’t have these feelings for Lainey,” he says quietly, though I can plainly hear the accusation in the words.
I stare at him for a moment, afraid to say anything that I’m quite sure I’ll regret later. The best thing I can think to do is walk out. So, I get up and head for the door.
“Eve?” My hand freezes on the doorknob at the doctor’s voice. “Leaving isn’t the answer.”
“With all due respect, doc, leaving may be the best answer right now,” I counter.
“I’m asking that you stay and talk this out. That’s why we’re here.”
I take a deep, cleansing breath before acquiescing. I sit back down, back ram-rod straight, and cross my legs as well as my arms. Totally defensive posture, I know. And, exactly what I’m going for.
“I didn’t mean that, beautiful.”
“Yes you did.”
“No, I didn’t. I just don’t understand. First you say I’m too dominate, now I’m too . . . what is it? Sweet?”
“That’s not what I said, Adam! You’re misunderstanding everything that I said to you.”
“I don’t think I am. You used the dominate excuse for your reason to . . . ”
“I’m going to stop you, Adam,” Dr. Woodrow interjects. “I understand that this can be extremely confusing for you. Both of you. However, instead of jumping to your own conclusions, I think it’s best if we discuss this in a rational manner.”
Adam nods, as do I.
“Eve? Would you like to explain to Adam what you meant?”
I bite back the sigh that’s fighting to get out. I’ve tried explaining this to Adam for the past week. Ever since he got pissy about me saying something about our lovemaking.
“He thinks . . . ”
Dr. Woodrow raises a hand to stop me. “Talk to Adam, not me,” she says gently.
This time I couldn’t hold back the sigh. I turn in my seat and face my husband.
“Adam.” I pause, trying to figure out my words. “When you were here with me and you asked why I was with Lainey, I told you it was because I felt more control with her. I didn’t mean just . . . sexually. And, I certainly wasn’t complaining when I said you were dominate. I love how you are with me. I love when you lose control. Adam, I never wanted you to change the way you make love with me.”
“Then why, Eve? Why Lainey?”
“I don’t know!” I run my hand through my hair, jumping out of my seat to pace. “Don’t you think I would stop these feelings if I knew how? Jesus, Adam, I can’t fucking paint. I’m hurting you, and that’s killing me!”
Adam stands and steps into my path, wrapping his arms tightly around me. The gesture annoys me at first, as I want to just run away and lose myself in my art. Then I remember I can’t, and I’m even more annoyed. When Adam’s arms tighten even more, I lose that annoyance and feel guilt and sorrow flowing through me. To my utter embarrassment, my breath hitches on a sob. If that wasn’t bad enough for me, my legs give out and Adam sinks to the floor with me, rocking me gently.
“It’s okay, beautiful,” he murmurs close to my ear. “I’ve got you.”
If I could stop crying, I would in a heartbeat. I feel so vulnerable and weak as uncontrollable sobs rack my body. I remember the last time I cried like this. It was when I lied to Lainey, saying she meant nothing to me, and told Adam we were over. I wonder if Woodrow would give me a prescription. Just something to get rid of this pain inside. No, Eve. Don’t think like that. That part of your life is over.
After a moment, my vision cleared enough to see that Dr. Woodrow had joined us on the floor and was currently holding a box of Kleenex out to me.
“Thank you,” I whisper, my voice hoarse from crying.
“I know you don’t like feeling like this, Eve. But this was good for you,” she says softly.
I wonder if my glare is as intimidating when I have red, puffy eyes. This certainly doesn’t feel like it’s good for me.
“It doesn’t feel good, I know, but it is.” There she goes again, reading my damn mind.
“I hate this,” I whisper.
“I’m so sorry, beautiful. I should’ve listened better.”
“Don’t do that, Adam. You can’t take all of the blame for this.” God, I wish my voice wasn’t so weak. “I can’t explain it to myself, how can I possibly explain it to you?”
“Eve, I handled this all wrong. I let my ego replace my good sense, and I hurt you because of it.”
Dr. Woodrow still sat next to us – on the floor – but said nothing. I suppose she’s letting us work it out ourselves.
“I never meant to bruise your ego, baby. I only tried to explain that I didn’t need you to change.” I lift my hand to his cheek. “I love you the way you are. I love the way you make love to me. None of that has ever been a problem.” I pause again when I remember a conversation I once had with Lainey. “I once told Lainey that she was ‘safe’ for me.”
Adam frowned. “Meaning?”
“Meaning I knew neither of us could give ourselves fully to one another. I knew she is in love with her husband, and I’m in love with you. But I didn’t know how to give myself to you. I was able to open myself up to Lainey because I knew her life belonged to someone else.”
“But I thought you told me she almost left her husband for you.”
I shake my head. “No. She thought maybe she wanted that, but I knew it wouldn’t happen.”
“So, why did that make it easier for you?”
I shrug. “I don’t really know. Perhaps because I knew there wasn’t a chance that I could lose myself with her.” I look to Dr. Woodrow for confirmation, and she nods.
“Do you feel like that with me? That you could lose yourself?”
“I do lose myself with you. In you. That’s not a bad thing, but at the time, it scared the shit out of me.”
“And, your feelings for Lainey are the way they are because she was the first one that you allowed yourself to be open with?” Adam asks, and to my surprise, there wasn’t reproach only curiosity.
I shrug again.
“If I may?” Dr. Woodrow cuts in, then continues when I nod. “It took a lot for Eve to be honest about her past. In order for her to be able to do that, she had to have immense trust in that person, as well as a feeling of complete safety. Please don’t take this as an insult to how Eve felt about you. Truth of the matter is, Eve’s feelings for you were too strong for her at the time. That, coupled with her fear that she wasn’t good enough for you, caused her to back away from you.”
“Did you not feel that with Lainey?”
I sigh. “What I feel for Lainey is strong, but my love for you eclipses anything I’ve ever known. It’s overwhelming sometimes. In a good way,” I add hastily. “Don’t change because you think it’ll change the way I feel for Lainey. I have to work that out on my own. But I don’t want what I feel for you to change. Love me the way you always have. With passion, baby.”
Adam lowers his forehead to mine. “It scared me when you wanted to talk to me about our love making. I felt inadequate, no matter what I did, I felt like it wasn’t enough.”
“I’m so sorry. I never meant for you to feel that way. I should’ve been more clear.”
He leans forward, brushing his lips to mine. Forgetting where we were, I deepen the kiss, feeling that oh so wonderful feeling of arousal.
“Ahem. I think that this would be a good place to stop for tonight,” Dr. Woodrow states, standing up. “At least my part in it,” she chuckles.
Adam laughs as well, and, I’m blushing again. “Sorry,” I murmur.
Adam stands, reaching his hand out to mine, helping me up. He wraps his arm around my waist, pulling me close to him. “We needed this, Dr. Woodrow. Thank you.”
“That’s what I’m here for,” she smiles. “Just remember that stubbornness and ego do not help the situation.” She looks pointedly at both of us. Apparently I’m the stubborn one. “You two can choose whether the next session will be together or just Eve.”
“Thank you,” I tell her, walking to the door. I stop when I hear her call my name.
“A session with Lainey would help as well,” she reminds me.
I feel Adam stiffen for a moment, before relaxing against me again. I nod to her, glancing at Adam. When he winks at me, I know he’s okay, and we’re on our way home to finish what we started. I hope he is in the mood to go back to the way he was before. I know I certainly am.