by Amber Hipple

I place my sweaty palm against the cool pane of glass. My fingertips tingle even though I am not actually touching him. I can picture myself touching him. His breath fogs the glass, obscuring his eyes, but I can still see every scar, every wayward hair in stark detail. I try to burn them, burn this moment into my mind. This is all that separates us, a quarter inch of cloudy glass. Could I break it? I would if it were possible. I’d like to ram my fist through it, shatter it into a thousand pieces.

I hope that it would hurt. I hope the glass would tear my skin to shreds. I would savor the ache as a physical manifestation of what’s going on in my heart. I’d like to carry a scar from it, an eternal reminder. Something besides the strange art work that he sends me these days, I would like to touch him again and smear my blood across his lips, as if somehow imparting a part of my life to him would heal him. I wish my blood were the balm of Gilead, to soothe whatever plagues him.

I cannot break it though. It’s Plexiglas. Perhaps I could if I had a blowtorch, but that’s just idiocy. So I am forced to watch his beloved features, his mobile mouth, through the scratched and bubbled pane. The telephone is pressed to my ear and I can hear him breathing but he says nothing. What is there to say anymore? I love you, I miss you, and the world is bleak without you... These things have no more meaning. They are just words. They cannot give him back to me. They cannot soothe the betrayal. They cannot soothe the hurt. They fix nothing. They only make it harder.

Years ago we were young. I can still see vestiges of that youth in his eyes, in his generous mouth and his slightly crooked teeth. When he smiles I see the man I loved, but he threw it away. For one night with her. One indiscretion cost him everything and I wonder if he regrets it. I wonder if he can regret it anymore. I remember... I wish I didn’t. I wish I didn’t remember anything. I wish it would fade like a bad dream.

* * *

He was my husband and my partner, when he came home smelling like perfume that was not mine I did not question him, nor did I question why his hair was wet and freshly combed. I did not question why he swept me into his arms and literally carried me to our bedroom. All that mattered was the fact that he looked at me as if he was seeing me for the very first time.

He undressed me with gentle clumsy fingers that caught on my buttons and in my zipper. With soft words and softer lips he roamed over the hills of my breasts, teasing my nipples until my sex ached with the want of him but no amount of pleading would draw him inside me. He was not done. He lavished attention on my stomach, covered with the angry red highways of stretch marks that were the testament of our child. His kisses were like a trail of fire down my body and I felt that he was branding me.

He ran feathery fluttery touches across my inner thighs and inhaled the scent of my sex, burying his face in the soft nest of curls at the ‘v’ of my legs. Almost imperceptibly he moved lower, parting my lips with two fingers and letting his tongue slip slide across my already slick clitoris. I came in a soft slow sigh but with shudders that racked my body and a series of powerful contractions.

I turned, lying on my stomach. I pressed my thighs close together trying to prolong the sweet mystery that is an orgasm. I felt his lips move along my back, the tender oft-neglected flesh there tingled with electric shivers. I wanted to shy away from him and yet I did not want him to stop. It was a sweet torment and it was too much for me. I backed my hips against him insistently and was rewarded with the sound of his zipper.

He met no resistance and slid into the inviting depths of my pussy and I felt that first penetration in my core. His hands on my hips massaged my flesh as he moved slowly and he reached around to cup my breasts, folding himself over me completely. I was covered and filled and there was nothing but the feeling of him moving inside me. It had been too long…too long since we had made love. I was not about to waste it.

He pressed himself against me, thrusting hard into me as he spent himself and I could feel the throbbing spurts of his cock. I lowered my head, letting hair hang in my face and sweat drip onto the bed. I felt him shudder and then roll away. I looked at him through heavy lidded eyes and leaning near him I placed a kiss on the corner of his mouth before I moved to the bathroom. His cum had dripped down my legs already, caught in my hair. I cleaned myself as best I could and then returned to our room, ready now to ask him what exactly had come over him.

I found him crying. I was shocked, speechless. In all our years he had cried only a handful of times and now, to see him weeping like a child with his head buried in his hands confused me. I went to him, wrapping my arms around his head, still speechless and he clung to me. I made soothing noises in the back of my throat and after some time he quieted. Sniffling, with anguished eyes, he looked up to me and confessed.

He professed his undying love and devotion to our child and me. He gushed about his weakness and the weakness of the flesh. He begged, he pleaded, and once again he cried. It changed nothing. He had committed adultery. Sitting naked before me, after making love to me, he confessed. He did not want me. His lovely worship session had been nothing but guilt.

The divorce was final six months after that day. That was also the day that my doctor informed me that I had syphilis. I felt the needle enter my skin and I cried. It was one pain of many added to the other pains and indignities I had suffered that day. At least this sting would bring with it the miracle cure of penicillin. Would that all my hurts could be so easily mended.

* * *

He never knew, I don’t think. Not until it was to late at least. By the time he found out, the disease had already eaten away his brain like a moth in a second hand clothing store. There was nothing left to the man I loved. But somewhere in the back of his rot-riddled brain he remembered me, requested me, and I came. Like I fool, I came to see the mad man who was once my husband, who was once the center of my world. I still love him. Dying and decayed as he was from one night’s debauchery and lechery, I still love him. Aye, and there’s the rub.

That is what hurts the most, that I still love this man who brought all this pain and suffering on us both. He was the cause of our misfortunes and yet I pity him and find room in my soul for the unconditional love that I promised him twenty years before. I cannot forget the last time he touched me and my fingertips itch to return the favor. I cannot... Now I hurt myself, knowing that I still want him, knowing that I still love a madman.


Amber Hipple resides in the Metroplex area with her husband and pets. She writes to retain sanity and to satisfy her vanity. She has been previously published in several e-zines, including Mind Caviar, Ophelia’s Muse, and Clean Sheets. Current projects include learning to knit and a short story collection. Futher information may be found at her Website:

email Amber Hipple

Madman © 2004 by Amber Hipple
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