Daddy named her Lucy the day he gave her to me. We were at a carnival and he won her for me by shooting water onto a tiny target to make a small horse win a race against other shooters—mainly me and my brothers Andrew and Mark. From all the toys he could’ve picked, he chose the little rag doll with the orange dress, and as soon as the attendant gave her to him he smiled and handed her down to me.

“What’s her name?” I asked while hugging her.

“How about Lucy?” Daddy answered, whistling and singing an old Beatles song.

“I love her so much, Daddy!”

Lucy’s arms and legs fit perfectly in my hand so that I could drag her around with me wherever I went. She had this long gold curly hair and she wore an orange and green dress. I tried changing her clothes more than once but it never worked; the dress was just a part of Lucy. Sometimes I’d put other clothes on top of the dress but after a while, I just let Lucy be who she was.

I was seven when Daddy gave her to me. I remember a lot about that time. We all went camping and stayed in a pop-up camper with no running water or electricity. But we had so much fun. Lucy was at one of the carnivals near the campground we stayed at. That was also the vacation when I learned how to swim because my older brother Andrew pushed me into the pool. I wasn’t so happy about that and it took me a day before I’d go back near the water but then when I did, I wasn’t so afraid of going underwater anymore, and I started swimming through the water with my whole body submerged. It was pretty awesome the way the whole world just kind of turned into a blur as soon as I was under the water. I loved pushing the water away in front of me and kicking my legs at the same time to glide along. I imagined myself up in the sky, finding my way through a big white fluffy cloud.

That was the best summer vacation ever.

Mommy made french toast over a campfire for breakfast one morning, then fried some fish we caught one day for dinner one night. We went on hikes through the forest and slapped our skin to rid itself of bug bites. We ran and hopped on the hot sand dunes to get into cool water to go for a swim in the lake. We ate ice cream and ice cones like it was our job.

I don’t remember a lot from my youth but some things can’t be forgotten. And every time I see Lucy on the shelf next to some of my favorite books in the world, I always think of that summer and smile.

Life was really good then.



always and forever

I stopped staying late at the office after the incident with Andrew. I knew I couldn’t trust myself.


Instead, I put all my energy where it should’ve been—my engagement with Jason. We spent the next several weekends scoping out venues, narrowing down choices, picking a date. But the fact is we still lacked any real physical intimacy and that bothered me. A lot.

What was I going to do? I was living in this tiny fucking apartment with Jason, whom I loved with all my heart, but he wouldn’t touch me.

Why was I just now letting this bother me? Our relationship was never very physical—ever—so why was it bothering me now? The idea of spending the rest of my life with someone who didn’t touch me is why. Hello, Karianne! Physical intimacy is important. It may not be everything, it may not be the end all to living the rainbow life, but it’s important.

I called up my best girlfriend who lived back home, fifteen hundred miles away, and told her what had happened. I told her about sleeping with Andrew, I told her about wanting to do it again, I told her about him being married with kids, I told her I was a slut and a home wrecker. I told her my life was fucked.

“What the hell are you gonna do?” Sharon chimed in when I finally stopped yammering.

“I have no idea.”

“You love Jason, right?”

“Ohmygod yes. Of course.”

“Can you live without sex?”

“I mean…” I pressed my fingers to my head in the hopes that it would prevent my head from pounding further. “Not forever.”

“Well, maybe you need to initiate more?”

“Sharon! I’ve tried. I’ve done so many different things. He’s been like this forever.”

Sharon didn’t say anything.

“Six years we’ve been together, Sharon. Six years.”

“I know. And I know you love him, but if it’s always been like this, what makes you think anything will change?”






Most everyone else was long gone when I went into Andrew’s office and just looked at him.

He sat at his desk with his back to the huge windows overlooking the streets 18 floors below. I could see my reflection in the window as well as the reflection of his spreadsheet on the computer screen. I just stood there leaning against the open door until he looked my way.

“What’s up?” Andrew finally said.

My eyes bored into him, telepathically telling him that this was it: I wanted him, he wanted me; he was to take me—right then and there.

It worked.

After a second of looking at me with a raised eyebrow, he stood up. A smirk washed over his face as he looked me up and down and saw that I was barefoot. No shoes, no stockings.

Soon he’d find out there was no panties.

Our eyes locked. I stepped forward, releasing the door so that it closed, but the door had failed to latch.

He moved in closer.

I just stared at him.

This was it. I could turn back. But I didn’t want to…did I?

What about Jason? What about him? What the fuck about him? It had been months since he last wanted sex. Months since he last made a move. And I was damn tired of being rejected. Fuck him because I was a maniac and I was about to fuck Andrew.

Andrew knew it, too. He pierced me with his eyes as he moved closer and closer to me. He put his hand behind my head and moved it closer to his. Our mouths met.


I had never in my life kissed someone with such hunger.

There was no turning back.

Within a second, he had me up against the door which smacked shut. His hands were quickly discovering there were no panties to remove as he hoisted me up so that I could wrap my legs around him. He swung around carrying me to his desk, pushing away its contents as he sat me down.

“Take off your fuckin’ pants,” I begged.


It was near 10PM when I finally made my way home to the studio apartment on the third floor of a walkup building on the Lower East side of Manhattan that I shared with Jason. I felt so alive, yet so dirty. Sleeping with a boss wasn’t exactly something I had on my bucket list. Especially my married-with-kids boss. Yet, a fantasy was fulfilled by having sex in an office–I couldn’t deny that. And I wanted to do it again.

But I didn’t want to lose Jason.

I loved him so much. I know that sounds crazy because when you love someone as much as I love Jason, you don’t fuck someone else. I get that, but… I would love to fulfill my fantasies with him, but he won’t even take his shirt off unless the lights are out in the apartment. And the lack of sex is weird. And no, I don’t think he’s sleeping around on me the way I am him. I mean, I didn’t intend for tonight to go down the way it did and I haven’t cheated on him before. It wasn’t premeditated. It just happened. (And it felt amazing. And, honestly, if something doesn’t change with Jason, I can see doing it again.)

What the fuck am I doing with my life?

I’m 33 years old. I should’ve been married with kids already! But I’m not. I’m fucking my boss while being engaged to a man who doesn’t even touch me anymore!

Who am I? Who have I become?