Recently Julian has been driving me nuts. Or, because I can’t say Julian has changed, maybe I’m driving myself nuts.
That’s the great thing about him; he never changes. That’s Julian. Steady, polite, unchanging. He is polite to everyone, including me. Can you imagine how that feels? We’ve been together long enough and I know he loves me, but I still feel he is polite to me? Politeness is meant to be for outsiders, for strangers. I should be special, and I feel special when he opens a car door for me or holds my coat, except I know he would do exactly the same for any woman, even one he had never seen before.
All this time, and we have never had an argument. Really. We never fight. He lets me know what he wants or how he feels and, if I disagree, he changes his ideas. He is just so reasonable it’s sickening. He says he doesn’t want to upset me, and that I have as many rights as he does, so he tries to think of something different.
No, I have just read what I wrote, and it not right. He doesn’t change his ideas, he just puts them on a back shelf. And he certainly does not do what I want just to please me. He is all about velvet compromise, but only up to a point. If we go to the movies, his choice is usually a complicated thriller. If I turn my nose up at that, it won’t worry him at all. He will let me choose instead, and that should be fine. Trouble is, I know if I choose an outrageous chick flick, or something about idiot vampires, he won’t enjoy it. He will sit beside me and I will know that he is simply being polite again. You have no idea how that can spoil a film! I end up compromising myself, and he will thank me by being especially considerate all evening, but I still have not seen the film that I wanted.
Julian is intelligent and well read. I call him my encyclopaedia. If we are out with friends, he will usually be at the centre of some serious discussion about politics, science, history and people defer to him simply because he knows about stuff like that. He has strong ideas, but he never stuffs them down anyone’s throat. He is too damned polite.
He has strong ideas about me, too. He knows how he likes me to dress and to look. I don’t have to wear the clothes he likes or keep my hair this length, but he showers me with compliments when I do, and rewards me. If I choose to wear something he dislikes, he lets me know gently (and politely) but does not mention it again. I cut my hair quite short once. I don’t know why; perhaps because other girls in the office had nice short hair or perhaps I was just feeling rebellious. When I got home I already felt nervous and believe I was even trembling when I asked him if he liked it. He sighed and said it would grow back. That was all. My hair was not mentioned again and I swear it grew back more slowly than any hair in the history of the world. I felt bad about it all the time, and I let him dress me in shorter skirts and more revealing tops than ever before. I looked like a tart and did not care. Anything to divert his attention from my hair.
Julian likes looking at me. He is the only man I know who pays real attention to his wife’s appearance. He notices new earrings. He tells me what he thinks of my make-up, and he has a good eye for what works for my face. True, he is not at home to subtlety and I usually leave the house with more lipstick and shadow than Mother would approve, but I am noticed when I walk into a restaurant. As we sit at our table, he makes quiet comments about the other female diners. He is absolutely merciless if they have not dressed to please, and fans my ego by saying I am the only girl in the place who is not dressed like a frumpy librarian.
He likes watching me dress and undress. If we are going out, I am not allowed to put on my dress until the very last minute, so he can enjoy watching me trot around the house dressed in lingerie, stockings, heels, jewellery and make-up. If we are early - he cannot be late for an appointment or table reservation - he may even take me dressed just like that, in all my finery except clothes. Many times he has slipped into me as I rested on my elbows over my dressing table. We can watch each other in the mirror, and I am proud of how I look and how hungry he is for me.
A silly thing has come up between us recently. He persuaded me to join him at an Art class. I have the artistic ability of a dormouse, but I went along, expecting to paint stylised flowers on table mats along with other women my age. The class was not like that. He signed us up for figure drawing, and we had to work hard. It was interesting, and I made some progress. I can now sketch a figure from life, although faces remain a problem. Julian had no trouble at all. Although he is an engineer at work, he quickly became the star artist in class. While the rest of us were struggling in pencil, the teacher soon had him working in charcoal and pastels, and his portfolio is impressive.
The trouble came when he wanted to draw me, at home. Not homely portraits of wifey in the kitchen, but of me the beautiful courtesan, dressed to provoke and posed to demand attention. This portfolio contains the best work he has done so far, and it stays at home. There is absolutely no chance any of our fellow students are going to see it, or even suspect it exists.
I really liked those portraits. It is a tremendous thrill to see myself through his eyes, to know that when he looks at me he imagines this wonderful, fantastic, sexual woman. When he completes a portrait and we sit with it on the easel and raise our glasses to it, I know I am only minutes away from another special session of love-making and the thought makes me melt.
Then he spoilt it all by showing the secret portfolio to our teacher. We had invited him home for coffee, and when I came from the kitchen, there were my portraits spread over the coffee table. I felt stunned, abused, worthless. My naked body, no secrets left, something that should have belonged only to him but now on display to a stranger. It was all I could do act naturally and serve the coffee.
Our teacher was effusive. He felt sure that the pictures deserved an exhibition. They would sell like hot cakes, and for hundreds of dollars. Even thousands for some of the bigger ones. He complimented me, of course, but mostly he praised Julian. This was real art, a privilege to see and even more of a privilege to own.
Once he had gone, you can imagine I wasted no time in letting Julian know just how I felt. He was shocked, he did not understand. “But you look wonderful,” he kept saying. “You heard what he said...” Then he apologised and was genuinely contrite. I remained furious and still felt violated next day, but what can you do? Life went on, but without the posing. For the moment, at least.
And then one day, as we made love in our front room, he lifted me onto all fours. I liked that. I like it doggy-style, I like the animal feel of it and the way it feels inside. But instead of mounting me immediately, he began to stroke me, running his hands over my back and bottom. That felt good, and I did not resist when he pushed down on my shoulders until I was resting my head on my arms. My hair fell about my face and I could not see what he was doing.
“You are beautiful like that,” he said, “Beautiful.” He was running his hands up and down my back. Along my sides, and the sides of my breasts. “Beautiful. I love the way your arse sticks up in the air. You are showing everything.” He bent to brush his lips across my pussy. “Everything. Like this, you are pure sex, nothing else. The woman that every man dreams of. I want to draw you like this.”
Not a chance. He had spoiled the moment and I push him onto his back to sit on his cock. Any future pictures had better show a real, thinking woman or else. I think he understood, but we said nothing.
So that is why I am here, in the house alone, waiting for Julian. I have put a towel over the coffee table to make it more comfortable, and dragged it around so my back is to the door. I am dressed the way he likes to see me, stockings, heels, jewellery and too much makeup. In a moment he will walk through the door and see me on the table, head down and my bum in the air, showing him everything. Just as he dreams of me. What will he think? I know, and I know what he will do to me.
So what happened? Have I stopped being a thinking woman and become a sex object? Of course not. It may have taken a little confusion, but I have decided to be both at once. He loves me, he respects me, and I have taken his portfolio to a gallery. We are talking money and dates.
His key is in the door. Unbelievably, I begin to tremble. I bury my face as I hear his steps behind me.
Jacqueline lives in Far North Queensland, on the shore of the Coral Sea. She keeps herself busy with her cats and garden, and by writing books - some of which are far too naughty for her own good. You can find out more about Jacqueline and her books at www.jacquelinegeorgewriter.com