The tremendous amount of love and attention with which Martin had surrounded me throughout those few months was incalculable. Having lived all my life in a society in which men exercised power over women, such lavish display of emotions seemed a welcome difference. Iraqi men, however chivalrous and gracious, are substandard lovers. They are more enamoured with what is due to their manhood than with lavishing affection upon their other halves. Their verbal manifestation of love is often graceless, and at best, mediocre. The most our poor females can expect from their other halves would be a few words quoted from a love book or memorized from a romantic movie, or possibly gained through the generous reciprocity of friends. Such insipid and jejune love expressions stood short of sending the heart throbbing or of stirring a luscious shiver. Thus being introduced to such a wellspring of spoken passion was so intoxicatingly foreign for me, the offspring of a strict culture and heavy-handed tradition, as to shake me off balance. Martin sent me walking on air to the seventh heaven, strictly banning the way down. Having such a wonderfully loving man in my life seemed more like a beautiful dream. Waking up was my nightmare.
Notwithstanding his arduous job that entailed colossal responsibilities and crucial decision-makings, I occupied a good proportion of his thoughts. It thrilled my heart to pieces on watching how resourcefully he devised the means, even during hectic times, to pull himself out of some extremely demanding job, even if it were only for a few brief moments, in order to visit me in my office and shower upon me his ethereal love and unbounded attention. His numerous trips to the coffee maker during lengthy meetings, which he deliberately organized to take place at Tom’s neighbouring office, incited my guilt pangs for the harmful amount of caffeine his body consequently absorbed. Those trips were his adroitly exploited respites. They were mostly designed in order to find opportunities for making tender love to me through words.
His shuttling trips between our offices, his and mine, must have contributed enormously to his ‘physical fitness’, since it consumed at least an hour of each day just spent in walking between the buildings. As a corollary of this arrangement, he stayed behind late each day, an hour or two beyond his departure time, probably catching up on what might have been shelved to one side in order to manoeuvre our meetings.
The expressive style of his eyes constantly challenged that of his eloquent mouth. Thirsty, passionate and obsessed, his eyes indefatigably hugged me. When our luck deserted us, and the chances for a love talk were embargoed by the presence of other staff, his eyes, at such times, would defiantly and determinedly take over his mouth, performing as a splendidly expressive vehicle through which he conveyed his intense emotions. The satisfaction of my feminine ego soared through the roof upon realizing how copiously I was loved and how attentively I was cared for. Even at times when he tended towards gravity and firmness, he would still be a gushing fountain of love. Had the reservoir of his love been spread over the whole of planet earth, there would still have been a great deal left over.
His infatuation with my innocence was profound. He hardly missed an opportunity for purposely stirring up my bashfulness. It seemed that the red colour rising on my cheeks heightened his love by beguiling his manhood. We were on our own in the office one day, having one of our intimate chats. He was sitting behind Jack’s desk. Towards the end of the chat, he stood up and drew closer. Facing me, less than a meter away, he stared at me silently for a few moments. “You don’t know what you’re missing”. I looked up at him, smiling, and I innocently replied with a question, “What?” Eyes sparkling, he smiled back, with a meaning look that betrayed his desire. I felt blood rushing to my head. I lowered my head and sustained my bashful silence. After a few tense moments, I heard him addressing me again, “It’s this innocence that’s holding me up”.
To Be Continued.......