In the living-room, the Windmill Waltzes CD was playing. I’m in the bed-room when Salvador walks in. Automatically, I cover my body although both the bedside lamps are off. I prefer to have the light off. I’m self-conscious about my body. I still can’t believe that a man with his looks and sex appeal would be attracted to me let alone marry me.
“Why are you covering up?” he asks. “Let me look at you.”
“Why do you want to look at me?” I ask.
“I think you’re a very beautiful and sexy woman,” he replies.
“But I’m not slim like the women you used to date before we met. I’m heavy waist down, I have love handles and a big butt. Then, there’s the ugly scar on my chest.”
I got the scar years ago when a complete stranger attacked me and tried to rape me at knife point. He used the sharp tip to cut open my blouse and it grazed my skin, drawing blood and a lot of pain. Fortunately, I managed to scream and a man came to my rescue. I was on my way home from school. I was shaken and my cut required several stitches. The scar is there to remind me of how God intervened and prevented me from being violated. My mother, fearing for my safety, sent me to live with my grandmother in Seattle.
I met Salvador at a mutual friend’s party. He was dating Rita Hernandez, the Cuban-American District Attorney and she was stunning. I thought she was a model. The hostess introduced us and I was tongue-tied. Rita was very friendly. I tried not to stare at her boyfriend but it wasn’t easy, especially when each time I glanced at him he was staring at me. I couldn’t figure out why he was staring at me. I’m not beautiful and I’m very dark. And my lips are too thick.
While Rita was dancing with someone else, Salvador asked me to dance. I wanted to decline but thought it would be impolite so I allowed him to lead me to the dance floor. It was a slow jam and he was an excellent dancer. Until I met him, I never thought that dancing could be sensuous. By the time we were finished dancing, I knew I was in trouble. I wanted him but what was the point? I could never hook up with a man like him.
It turned that I was wrong. The following day, he called me and told me that he had ended his relationship with Rita and that he wanted to go out with me. To say that I was stunned, it would be a gross understatement. He got my number from the hostess. Our first date was dinner followed by the opera.
We dated for several months and then he asked me to marry him. I was shocked and I cried. I accepted, of course and we got married the following year in a small but elegant ceremony. Cheryl, the hostess of the party where he and I met, was my matron of honor.
Salvador and I have been married for two and a half years now. I’m still bowled over by the fact that he’s my husband. Out of all the women he has known and been involved with, I’m the one he ended up marrying. Sometimes, I think that this is all a dream and that I will wake up one day.
“I love you,” he tells me now. “I love every inch of you.” He removes his robe and it falls on the floor as he walks over to me.
Gently, he removes my hands and holds them at my sides while he lowers his head and kisses me on my scar. I gasp, closing my eyes. When he buries his face between my breasts, I reach up and clutch his head, my fingers gripping his hair.
As he drags his lips down the length of my body, I stand there, trembling as waves of pleasure wash over me. I’m lost and lingering in the knowledge that in spite of what I think about myself, he desires me. To him, I’m beautiful and desirable. What I don’t love about myself, he does. Tears spring to my eyes at this realization. If he could love me for the way I am, I should learn to do the same too.
He picks me up and carries me over to the bed. After laying me gently down on top of the sheets, he stretches out on me and his lips find mine. We kiss for several, exquisite minutes and then we make love.
After that night, I have embraced myself. I no longer hide my body or look at it in the mirror in shame and embarrassment. I have accepted that God made me this way. My husband loves me this way. And that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and shades.