I knew that we would have an affair when he showed me the scar on his stomach. Seeing, touching the stretch of silvery skin, knitted back together, and hearing the story that went with it were far more intimate to me than anything we would do in a hotel room. Or a car. Or a park.
My stepfather stabbed me when I was 19. He was trying to stab my mother but I came between them.
I didn’t know, had never known, people who behaved this way. He certainly didn’t behave this way now. He had a normal life, a normal wife, a job, a house, some kids. He brought nothing of that life with him, except this scar, at least as far as I could tell.
I almost died, but somehow I got to the hospital, got stitched up, got some blood, and left.
I left the house, left the city, left my mother. I never called to find out what happened next. I never offered to take her with me. I was running on pure instinct, pure survival.
I just left.
I found out years later that she left too. So we were two lost and wounded souls, wandering, not even knowing if we could or should try to find one another.
I asked him if he missed her, if he knew where she was now.
He leaned down and kissed me. I don’t know if my questions inspired him, made him think I was worth kissing, or if he just wanted me to stop talking. But yes, that moment was the moment I knew that I, and he, would do this.