“My turn! My turn!” Melissa squeals and wraps her legs around Eric’s waist as he lifts her up, carrying her down the hall to the bedroom. Their lips lock in a wanton kiss as she throws her arms around his neck.

I suddenly feel like the interloper, trailing along behind them like a fifth wheel while they carry on like newlyweds. This wasn’t supposed to happen. But now that I am complicit in their game, it is as if I’ve given them the green light. They no longer have to hide their obvious passion for one another.

In the  bedroom, Eric doesn’t wait for direction. He ploughs right in as they tumble onto the bed, seemingly oblivious to my presence now. As my eyes adjust to the darkness, I see them now, all arms and legs thrusting and grasping. Their grunts and moans echo in my ears as I locate my jeans and t-shirt where I left them on the floor and slip out of the room.

I finish dressing in the guest bathroom then grab my carry-on bag by the front door and head back out into the night.

I check my phone in the car. A text message from Christophe.

“Are you back in town yet? We have so much to talk about, girl!”

He likes to add a liberal sprinkling of emojis to his messages. I smile as I point my car toward downtown.

It’s not as if I am innocent. And maybe that’s why I indulge this Melissa situation. Penance perhaps for my own secret indiscretions? But what Eric doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Knowing about what happened between me and his ex-partner Sam last summer certainly would.

To be continued…