He presses his body against her, his chest against hers and she feels his heartbeat drumming hard. He has just climaxed inside her and is suspended in post-coital exhaustion. She holds him tightly and buries her face in his shoulder as the warm tear water starts to fill the rims of her eyes. She tries to think of something else but it’s no use; the tears are now fully formed. So she holds him for longer and he seems to want to stay there, oblivious to her silent crying. She controls the urge to sob and shudder, blinking hard and softly kissing his shoulder and chest.

She longs for the ability to transfer her emotion to him, convert him to her faith (her faith being him and his being her).“Please love me like I love you” she keeps saying again and again in her head. But to him she is nothing – just a hole to drill from time to time. “Please love me.”

By the time he rolls over she has swallowed back the tears and discreetly dabbed her eyes with the back of her hand. He hasn’t a clue that she felt anything other than carnal pleasure. He is relaxed, relieved to have shot his load, enjoying his post-orgasm lethargy. But it is the morning after and soon he will slowly start to move, get dressed and leave her here alone with his aroma still in the room. All that will remain will be the creases in the bed sheets, the dent in the pillow, an empty coffee cup and some faint teeth marks on her shoulder, which will have faded by the end of the day.

She is preparing for the emptiness, the longing. It always comes as soon as he leaves. She is just sex, convenient sex, a bit of a conversation, a few drinks then sex.

He starts talking about something completely unrelated and she feels the tears pushing their way up again, but he cannot see her. She cannot let him know she feels anything, so she swallows hard and turns away to take a sip of water. This buys her more time to compose herself, take a deep breath. She’s fine, relaxed, breezy. She could even attempt to say something witty and self-deprecating.

It works – he’s oblivious and she secretly congratulates herself for becoming such an expert at repressing her emotions.

He leaves, contented, untroubled, unaware.