by Stacy David
It started as a Girlfriend Experience in Bangkok.
Nok has her shower while I copy our Bangkok photos onto the Internet. It was great fun sampling this Oriental culture. We went to Buddhist temples, had a boat ride down riverside canals, sampled spicy food, and had romantic dinners. It was wonderful!
While waiting for the photos to upload, I phone my wife. With a sound of indifference she inquired of my health. She told me that our son was fine and the weather was cool. When Nok comes out of the bathroom our eyes meet. Back to my phone call, I tell my wife that my work is done and I will see her tomorrow in America. Then I hang up the phone. Nok turns away, she knows who I was talking to. Silence passes between us while she goes to her suitcase to finish getting dressed.
While I am getting ready to have a shower, she receives a phone call. She talks English in a low voice which was odd because she always talks on the phone loudly in her native language. When I close the bathroom door we each have our privacy. When I finish showering I can still hear her talking English. As I open the door, she says, “I cannot, I am busy,” then turns off her phone and puts it away.
I know what the call was, I know she has a history with other white men because we had first met at a hooker bar and spent the night together. In the morning I had paid her as we had agreed. After such a transaction, a woman of this profession would normally run like a kicked cat. Nok however was a part timer, a freelancer, she had not been jaded by the work; she was in no hurry. I liked her and asked her to join me for breakfast. After, we spent the day sight seeing. We had a good time and decided to stay together for the week while I worked in the local office. It was a Girlfriend Experience, she treated me like her boyfriend, and I treated her like my girlfriend. When our time together ended, I gave her money. Not money for sex, it was money as a friend would give to help another friend.
When we went our separate ways, we exchanged email addresses. I had thought it was the end, however, it was the beginning of a two year clandestine relationship. Each time I returned to the Far East, we would live and play together.
Knowing her past and I a married man, it should not bother me when she talks on the phone to another man. But still, I feel off balance, confused. Behind Nok, I spot the statue I had bought at the local market, it is Buddha sitting cross-legged with a meditative smiling face. I take a deep breath and relax. I become as calm as a monk who is mature in age. With peace of mind comes insight, and I realize she had the same type of phone call with that man, as I had with my wife. We each had communicated with people outside the world Nok and I have been building.
It is my good fortune to have been influenced by Nok's Buddhist ways. I sit on the edge of the bed feeling solemn. I know she heard me talking to my wife, and she knows I have heard her talking to a former lover, a past customer.
With a clear caring voice, she asks, “Are you all right?”
“Yes,” I say.
She stands and walks toward me. I stand and face her.
I say, “I'm fine.”
She continues coming toward me. Feelings of joy grow from inside shine outwards as a loving smile. My pleasurable change is reflected in her giggling. I take her into my arms. I truly feel good holding her as she snuggles into me. Wrapped in a cocoon of warmth, we return to our world. Our life together is as fragile and as beautiful as the wings of a Tiger Butterfly.