I feel beautiful and alive when we are together. Alan’s quiet, gentle presence arouses my feelings of maternal affection but they are highly sexualized, too. Although he becomes adept over time at pleasing me, often he just wants to be held. We spend hours in bed just exploring each other.

We don’t date, per say, though I want very much to have a primetime relationship. I take what I can get with Alan and that usually means late night meetings or phone conversations.

We talk about music or what we are watching on TV—anything, I feel, to keep him on the line, to hold that connection that feels so fragile. I don’t know his friends and I’ve never been to his apartment, just two miles away. Our relationship is separate from all of that.

I begin to fixate on him, my hunger only growing more intense. His absence exposes a gaping abyss of need, of desperate longing. I hope, over time, that his feelings for me will grow and develop into something more stable.

He spends the night sometimes. It makes me so happy to wake up with him. I love just to watch his face when he sleeps. So peaceful. I want him to always feel this way with me. I decide the way to keep him with me is to use the hold-on-loosely approach.

I tell him I want him to be free and this is true. I don’t want to hold him where he doesn’t want to be. I want the strength of his desire to keep him coming back. In this, though, I feel powerless. I try to hide my possessive leanings, but it becomes increasingly difficult to act nonchalant.

One night while lying together in my room I start to question him about a pretty, young manager at work.

“So, what did Erica say to you?”

“Oh, just some shit about inventory night next week,” he sighs, rolling over onto his back.

“I don’t like the way she looks at you. Does she know about us?”

Our bodies lie flat against the bed and we are not touching at all. This makes me feel  suddenly cold and disconnected. I reach out to stroke his arm and he pulls away.

“Hey, this is starting to get…”

“What?” A chill of alarm rushes through my blood.

“I don’t think this is working for me.”

My heart sinks. I never should have dared to stake my claim. I assured him everything would be free and easy, all the while I burn inwardly with obsession. Now I’ve scared him away.

To be continued…