Tae’s Problem

“I need to talk to you,” Tae said, sitting down on the stool.

Clare stopped typing and looked over at him. He looked very troubled. “What’s wrong?”

“I have a major problem and it concerns Wen.”

Wen was his fiancee. “Does it have to do with your parents not approving of her because she’s Chinese?”

“No, this is something else.”

“Tell me what it is.”

“Well, it has to do with how things are between Wen and me in the bedroom.”

“I–I’m not sure you should be telling me this.”

“Please, I need to talk to someone about this and you’re the only one I feel comfortable talking to.”

She sighed. “All right, go ahead but not too many details.”

“Every time we’re in bed, about to have sex, in the moments before we touch, I close my eyes and see another woman’s face.”

Clare gawked at him. “What?” she exclaimed. “You’re in bed with Wen but you’re thinking about another woman?”

“I’m not thinking about her. I see her when I close my eyes. And–and I become really turned on and Wen and I end up having rough sex.”

Clare leaned back in the chair, hands behind her head, her expression stunned. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She couldn’t imagine Tae having rough sex. He was so reserved. “What was Wen’s reaction the first time?”

“She was shocked but she has gotten used to it.”

“The woman whose face you see, is she someone you know?”

He lowered his eyes. “Yes.”

“Who is she?”

“I–I’d rather not say.”

“Do I know her?”


“Oh.” Her mind was spinning. First, she had to get used to him being with Wen and now there was this other woman. Who was she, she wondered jealously. Now she wished she hadn’t encouraged him to tell her about it. Yet, what were friends for if not to share your sordid business with them? “This is a huge problem. What are you going to do about it?”

“I don’t know. What do you think I should do?”

“Well, if I were in your shoes, I guess I would tell Wen the truth.”

He balked at the idea. “Tell Wen?”

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“Don’t you think she deserves to know that her fiance sees another woman’s face every time they’re about to have sex?” She realized that she sounded a bit harsh but that was the jealousy burning inside her. She felt like getting up, walking over to him and slapping him hard across the face–not for what he was doing to Wen but for what he was doing to her. She had a good mind to tell him that she didn’t want his friendship anymore.

“I suppose you’re right but it will hurt her terribly.”

“Yes, it will hurt like hell but it’s better than hiding the truth from her. The worst that can happen is she breaks off your engagement.”

“What would you do if you were in her place?”

“I’d dump you so fast that your head spins. I can’t be with a man who sees another woman’s face every time we’re in bed.”

“What if instead of telling her about my problem, I just stop having sex with her?”

“And what are you going to tell her when she asks why you two aren’t having sex anymore?”

“That I think we should wait until we are married.”

“And what happens after you’re married and you still see that other woman’s face? Oh, Tae, stop being such an idiot. You have to tell Wen.”

“All right. I’ll tell her.”

“What are you going to do about this other woman?”

“I don’t know. It’s half-past twelve now. Would you like to have lunch with me?”

“No, thanks. I have to finish this project. It’s due tomorrow.”

He got up from the stool. “All right. I’ll take a rain check.”

“Goodbye, Tae.”

“Goodbye, Clare.”

She returned to her typing. Minutes later, she heard the front door close. Her fingers stopped moving and she closed her eyes in frustration. Damn you, Tae.

Posted for August 2020 Writing Prompts – #30 – The moments before we touch

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