"D called. Wants to know when you will be home."
Cady grinned at the splotchy paper that was held
to the fridge with the frog magnet. He must have called while
Mrs. Turner was dishing out Sammy's dinner. Her scrawly
penmanship screamed irritation.
She took a deep breath and looked around the simple apartment. Sammy was asleep yet the tv blared on heedlessly. In the near gloom of the coming night she watched the shadows cast by the briskly moving images. She had to pace herself.
"Yippee!" she screamed and went tearing into her bedroom. She stripped off her clothes in two moves, slowing to unfasten her bra and slide her panties down, admiring the woman looking back at her in the full length mirror.
She wasn't the starving student she had been when
they first met - all angles and tautness. Now she had fullness
and roundness to her hips, breasts and face that was, he often
said, more inviting.
Her hand wandered over the curve of her breasts and she fluffed them playfully remembering his dark head buried there and the way his little moustache tickled her flesh as he licked and sucked her nipples hungrily. She stood there recalling how the sensations would pool in her stomach and slowly spread over her electrifying her down to her fingers and toes.
For seven months he had been on assignment in Egypt. Before he left, he had been careful to end their relationship in his quick decisive manner, explaining reasonably that this was best for all three of them, that he didn't want her heartache and loneliness to lead to her inevitable betrayal. He had said he didn't love her, all they shared was Sammy, not a mistake but certainly not a reason to stay together.
She skipped into the shower throwing on the lights as she sailed in. She wiggled in response to the warm jet of water. Blindly she sought and found the bath gel he had sent her. It smelled of oranges and limes and had little grains in it that rubbed her skin smooth. A little extra went to his favourite parts - where her bottom ended and her long legs began, the backs of her arms and her long funny toes. She smoothed conditioner over her skin, a trick she had heard of recently from a girlfriend. This would make her feel like a silk robe to his touch.
Her fingers slid into her warm wet lower lips and she ruefully decided on a quick trim. He loved the soft downy feel of her hair down there but she didn't want to overwhelm him with a forest. More conditioner and she was almost done. Her face would require more than a splash of water, she lathered up the moisturizing cure-all that would make her beautiful too.
She had stopped emailing. This was a definite fly in the ointment that he had not considered. Even when he called, Sammy answered the phone and he pretended not to hear when Daddy asked to speak to Mommy intent as he was on absorbing all of Daddy in a phone call. Sammy was too young to care about sharing.
Frustrated, he sent her an email simply: ???????????
She didn't respond. And she always used to, always
used to send him a thousand jokes and a thousand lil notes all
through out her day so he could laugh and cry right along with
her, a thousand reminders that she missed him. And now because he
meant to be serious about their break up, she wouldn't talk to
He stared at the computer screen, feeling helpless.
In a box at the back of her cupboard was a package, untidely encased in all manner of popcorn paper and big bright stickers showing all the ports through which this box had passed on its way to her. She blotted herself dry thinking of that box.
She lit the candles and the incense and poured the oils on the cones, naked and unafraid. She didn't want clothes just yet. The laptop winked a sleepy red light in the darkness of her room and she decided some music would enhance the mood. She had made a secret folder of all the songs to which she wanted to make love and they numbered in the hundreds - tonight she would let them all play, bathing them in rapturous sound as they made their own crescendoes.
The bed was free of clothes thanks to Mrs. Turner, her new sheets and the extra pillows were arranged invitingly. Perfect.
It had been three months, and after a week in the desert on a particularly difficult job order, the reality of her mail stunned him speechless. He paused at the door, looking around, waving automatically at someone who blared a horn. Their camp was luxurious by Egyptian standards but nonetheless a prison for them as they were expats. Their business was the oil and their interest in naught else would be tolerated.
He sank down on the steps, feeling happy as child, weighing the brown package in his hand. Tearing off the paper and casting the wrapping aside, his heart stopped when he saw it was an album.
Without even opening it, he knew he had been a fool. He felt her warmth, the tattoo of the sun that hovered sexily over her ass, her hands finding his in the dark even as she slept, her breathy greeting as if she had been up to mischief before she took his call. He groaned, sitting on the steps of his lonely apartment, feeling the sun burn him through his clothes.
He wouldn't open this here.
She was sitting on the couch about to switch the channel when her phone shrilled.
"Hello, open the door for me, please."
She had hoped but hadn't really thought he would come straight to her. Even in the dark she unerringly found the keys. He had remarked on this habit of hers many times - how she loved to prowl about in the dark. She unlocked the door but didn't open it wide, she stood a little way behind it and opened the gate.
"What's up with you?" he asked coming to a hush when he swept in and found that the moonlight was all that she wore.
She smiled slightly, the keys jangling in her hands the only sound in the stillness of the moment.
"I couldn't decide what to wear." Unthinking, he reached for her; she laughed and turned away from him. She went to the kitchen, replacing the keys on the correct notch. She was talking - asking politely how his flight was, if he was hungry or thirsty. Would he like to sit, well she was about to eat these mangoes right here, would he like some, she had sprinkled a little salt on them.
She sat down on the couch and arranged her legs
prettily at her side like a mermaid, her upper body held high and
And then she looked up at his face. In the distance she heard the high-pitched voices of cartoony characters but her attention was held rapt by the look in his eyes. Her mouth closed over the yellow-orange slice sucking in the juices on her fingers too.
He sank to his knees in front of her. He had been mad to think he could live a moment of his life knowing she was in the world and not doing everything in his power to be close to this woman. He had been wrong to leave her. This painful truth stirred in his heart and he felt the sting of moisture in the corners of his eyes.
She sighed and leaned forward feeding him a slice too. He smiled weakly at her, everything draining out of him as he looked up into her kind bright face.