I love my husband very much but I feel like I’m just another one of his many possessions. He’s much older than me. We met when I was still in high-school and after a torrid affair, he married me against the wishes of his family. I’m black and so, they didn’t approve of me. My parents didn’t object because he’s wealthy. They like the kind of life they could enjoy with a wealthy son-in-law—the visits to our beach home in Turks and Caicos or the chateau in Nice or the villa in Seville.
Whenever we’re in public, I would smile a lot to hide my sadness. I’m tired of going out and meeting new people or socializing with the same ones. I wish he and I would spend more time alone together. It has been ages since we went away–just the two of us. I’m tired of being around his friends and associates. More often than not, I feel out of place. And it doesn’t help that most of the people I meet are over thirty. Very rarely would I meet someone in their twenties. That’s why it’s always such a treat when I can get together with my two best friends, Jasma and Naomi.
We have lunch together, go shopping or just hang out. They visited the hacienda in Austin, Texas which Sergius and I call home. The first time they came, I gave them a tour and they were very impressed. Every time I see them, they rave about how gorgeous my husband is and how lucky I am. I just smile. They have no clue. No one does, not even Sergius. He’s too busy with business ventures and meetings and endless social functions to notice. Sometimes, I wonder what he would do if I were to leave.
Last night we had a fight. We were in the bedroom having just returned from a charitable gala. I had already undressed and was wearing my favorite silk nightie. It was when he drew back the coverlet that I noticed that he wasn’t wearing his ring.
“Why aren’t you wearing your wedding ring?” I demanded.
“I have my reasons for not wearing it.”
That response infuriated me. “Maybe I shouldn’t wear mine either,” I retorted and would have walked past him when he caught me by the arm. I tried to yank it away but his grip tightened. Our eyes met. Mine were filling with tears and his were flashing with anger. His eyes. They are an unusual shade of blue. They darkened when he was aroused or angry. Right now it was the latter.
“As long as we are married, you will wear your ring,” he muttered between clenched teeth.
I didn’t answer. I glared at him. My chest was rising and falling swiftly. Even though I was furious with him, I was turned on because he was half-naked. My eyes dropped to his chest. I saw it heaving and my eyes returned to his face. His eyes were filled with desire and muttering under his breath, he pulled me roughly against him and kissed me. In spite of everything, I responded wildly. My desire for him was much stronger than my anger.
As soon as he freed my arm, I wrapped them both around his waist. He broke off the kiss to press his lips against the side of my neck, making me tremble. Then, he was removing my nightgown and I was naked in his arms. He pushed me gently down on the bed and after removing the rest of his clothes, he lay on top of me. I put my arms around his neck as we exchanged passionate kisses.
Our lovemaking was pretty intense and afterwards, we lay spent in each other’s arms. I fell asleep but when I woke up the next morning, I was alone. Perhaps he was in the study. I rolled out of bed, showered and got dressed. As I went downstairs, I ran into Ralph, the butler. “Good morning, Ralph. Is Mr. Diakos in the study?”
“No, Mrs. Diakos. He left ten minutes ago.”
“Did he say where he was going and how long he would be gone?”
Ralph shook his head. “No, Mr. Diakos didn’t say where he was going.”
“Thank you, Ralph.” Perhaps Sergius had some errands to run. I had my breakfast on the patio. It was a really beautiful morning. It was summer so university was out. I had one more year to go and then I start working. Sergius told me that I didn’t need to work but I told him that having a career was very important to me. We never talked about it again. My heart is set on being a Fashion Designer. I have a sketches upon sketches some of which I have shown to Jasma and Naomi who told me that I had real talent and to go for it. One of these days I plan to show them to Sergius. Hopefully, he will share their enthusiasm and sentiment.
After breakfast, I went for a walk on the grounds before I went to the library to read for a while. Lunch time came and Sergius still hadn’t come home. I decided to change into my swimsuit and relax by the pool. It was so nice and peaceful out there. There was a gentle breeze. I must have dozed off because Ralph was standing over me holding the cordless phone which was from the library. “It’s Mr. Diakos,” he said.
“Thanks, Ralph.” I took it from him and he went away. “Hello, Sergius.”
“Hello. What are you doing?”
“I’m relaxing by the pool. When are you coming home?”
“I should be home around 4, 4:30.”
“Where are you?”
“I’m at the office.”
“But it’s Saturday.”
“I know but there are some things that I needed to take care of which can’t wait until Monday.”
“Well, at least you’ll be home for dinner.”
“Actually, that’s why I called. We won’t be having dinner at home tonight.”
He called to tell me that we were invited to a dinner party thrown by one of his associates. Of course I wasn’t thrilled about it. I had hoped for a quiet, romantic evening with him. I had planned to have his favorite dish prepared after dinner. Afterwards, we would slow dance to our favorite music and then make love. I was very upset when we ended the call. I got up from the chaise lounge and went inside. After I placed the phone back in its holder, I went upstairs and changed into a tee shirt and pair of jeans. I went out onto the terrace which overlooked the gardens and sat down, waiting for Sergius to come home.
When he finally got home, it was at a quarter to five and he didn’t come bother to come upstairs. I’m sure Ralph must have told him that I was in our bedroom. Instead, he went to the study where he stayed until it was time for us to get ready for the dinner party. And here we are at this very swanky affair.
I am wearing the new ankle length black dress with the cap sleeves which he bought me today after he left the office. I wore my hair up and the matching diamond earring and necklace set he had given me for my twenty-first birthday. He looked very handsome in his tuxedo. I noticed the way other women looked at him. When he introduced me to them, they looked astonished as if they couldn’t believe that I was his wife. Some of them were gracious while others simply ignored me and flirted with him. I was upset and excused myself. I went to the bathroom to compose myself. I wanted to leave. I would have preferred to be in bed reading a book or watching television.
When I returned, I saw him talking to a couple of the women. I debated whether or not to join them. I didn’t want to be treated as if I were invisible or subjected to resentful and envious scrutiny. As I stood there, undecided, one of the waiters came up to me. “Junia?”
I stared at him for a moment and then exclaimed, “Mark Harris?”
He nodded, grinning. “Yes. You look great!”
“Thanks. How have you been?”
“I’m doing well, thanks. I’m working at this great company as a Graphic Designer. My brother-in-law is the host of this party. One of the waiters couldn’t make it so he asked me to fill in. He’s here somewhere.”
“I met him earlier. He seems very nice.”
“He is. So, who are you here with?”
I was about to answer when I felt a hand on my hip and a voice say caustically, “She’s here with me, her husband.”
I watched poor Mark’s face turn red. “Oh, sorry,” was all he said.
“Excuse us,” Sergius said to him before he escorted me away.
When we were out of earshot, I said to him, “That was rude.”
“I didn’t like the way he was looking at you.”
“He was surprised and pleased to see me. He’s someone I know from university.”
“He’s a waiter.”
“Tonight he is but he’s a Graphic Designer. And he’s the host’s brother-in-law.”
“I don’t care who he is. I don’t want him talking to my wife. For the rest of the night, I want you by my side where you belong.”
“Yes, Master,” I retorted and was rewarded with a withering look. We stuck together like glue after that. I couldn’t wait for the night to be over. At dinner, I was seated between Sergius and an older woman who was friendly. I didn’t mind talking to her. She was married to a retired judge who was sitting next to her. Sergius was talking to a stunning French model. I tried not to get jealous but it wasn’t easy. I hated her throaty laugh and how she kept placing her fingers with the bright red nail polish on his arm. I bristled. So, it was okay for him to talk to other women but I couldn’t talk to Mark.
After dinner, Sergius and I were with the host and hostess. They invited us to join them for a week at their chalet in Switzerland and Sergius accepted. I wasn’t particularly thrilled but I smiled and told them that I had always wanted to go to Switzerland. We talked for a while, although I didn’t really say much and then, thankfully, it was time to leave. I wanted to say goodbye to Mark but I didn’t see him. I think he was avoiding me. Poor guy.
The drive home was quiet. I leaned my head against the back of the seat and looked out of the window. Sergius reached for my hand. “You were the most beautiful and desirable woman there tonight.”
I wanted to pull my hand away because I was upset with him. “I’m surprised you noticed,” I muttered.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You were surrounded by all those beautiful women.”
“Don’t tell me that you were jealous.”
“Wouldn’t you be if you were me?”
“You have no reason to be jealous of any of them.”
“What about the French model? She couldn’t keep her hands to herself.”
“So was Mark.”
His mouth tightened. “I didn’t like the way he was looking at you.”
“And what about the way those other women, including the model, were looking at you?”
He sighed. “Let’s not fight about this any more. I’m sorry I was rude to Mark but I was jealous.”
“I didn’t realize that you were jealous. I thought you were treating me like you always do.”
“How do I treat you?” he asked, frowning.
“Like one of your many possessions.”
“Is that what you really think?”
“Yes, Sergius.” I explained to him what I meant and as I did, the tears came. All the bottled hurt and anger poured out. When I was finished, he put his arm around me.
“Oh, Honey, I’m so sorry. I had no idea that I was being such an idiot. You’re more precious to me than all of my wealth. If I had to make a choice between you and it, I would choose you in a heartbeat. My life began the day we met. I took one look at you and I knew that you were the girl for me.”
“Your family didn’t approve of me.”
“They wanted me to marry a Greek woman but after meeting you, I knew that there wasn’t any chance of that happening. I wanted you.”
I drew away from him. “You mean you wanted to possess me.”
“No. I married you because I loved you.”
“You’ve never told me that you loved me.”
He looked surprised. “Haven’t I?”
I shook my head. “No.”
He leaned over and kissed me. “I love you, Junia” he murmured. “I love you so much it scares me sometimes.”
“I love you very much too, Sergius.” I was over the moon now. Things were going to be better between us now.
For the rest of the ride, we held hands and I rested my head on his shoulder. When we got home, we went straight upstairs to our room. As I got undressed, he said, “Remember how upset you were last night because I wasn’t wearing my wedding ring?”
“Yes. You’re wearing it now.”
“Well, I took it to the jeweler to have it inscribed. I went and picked it up this afternoon before coming home.” He slipped it off and gave it to me. “Read the inscription.”
I held it up close so that I could read the inscription which said, Junia, our love is eternal. Tears sprang to my eyes. “It’s beautiful.”
He smiled as he took it from me and slipped it back on his finger. “I wanted it to be a surprise. That’s why I didn’t tell you why I wasn’t wearing it.”
“I’m sorry for the way I acted,” I said.
He smiled and pulled me against him. “You can make it up to me,” he murmured before he lowered his head and kissed me.
On Monday, I took my ring to have the words, Serguis, our love is eternal inscribed on it. And I got my wish. Serguis and I began spending more time together and next week, we are flying to Montego Bay for a week. Just the two of us.
Source: The Knot