“I won’t mention her to you,” he said, “I promise.” The smile he gave me genuine. He was convinced I was the lucky one for he was interested in me. After all, hadn’t I been the loyal friend to lure him into bed? The fact that he had just left his wife and now asked to move in with me a form of flattery for him, a sign of devotion not shared by me.
When he comes home, she’s half asleep on an empty couch. Her favorite show runs on TV, she hardly hears his keys turn in the lock. Shoes in hand, he’s on his toes, careful not to wake her up. He hangs his coat, grabs her glass and finishes a sandwich she has left for him. Resting next to her, he gently pulls her head onto his lap. He seems exhausted, melancholy in that way of his. She is too sleepy to open her eyes and ask how late it is.
“Is that when Perry loses his case?” He points the glass towards the screen. She nods her head and mumbles a yes. He loves the show, knows all her favorite scenes. She loves his scent surrounding her again, the silence that’s only comfortable with him. She feels his fingers drawing lines and circles on her skin. Perry’s voice a familiar soundtrack to their novelty routine. His fingers toy with her hair, her cheek, the lobe of her ear. “I missed you.” She feels he means much more than that. Her heart is pounding loudly in her chest. She knows she loves him, can’t bring herself to say the words. She pulls him down, her kiss is tender, resting her case with a gasp instead.
She is leaning against the door frame as her eyes scan the room. Postcards on the walls, a painting of a lighthouse on an ocean shore. No evidence of the people in his life. He is sitting at the kitchen table, skimming the morning paper, a cup of coffee in his hands. His face looks scruffy, he hasn’t shaved, his eyes alert, a playful smile turning into a frown at the corner of his mouth. It is strange for her to see him so early in the morning. His kitchen is organized like so many things in his life. Sandy colors, blueish tones – it’s like taking a trip to the sea up north. He can’t hide his origin.
“Breakfast?” He looks up from his paper and points to a pan of scrambled eggs. She nods, although it’s too early for her to take a bite. For him she doesn’t mind getting up at 6 a.m. He smiles, sees the lines around her eyes and hands his lover his cup of coffee. “Good morning, baby.”
She stifles a yawn, it tells him enough. He didn’t mean to wake her up. She nods her head again, reluctant to tell him that his sheets were cold and empty, that she missed his presence and his touch. Like him, she doesn’t talk much in the morning but welcomes his embrace. He doesn’t mind, enjoys his paper and her head leaning against his chest. It’s 6:30 when he gets up to leave.
“Go back to bed,” he laughs and locks his coffee-soaked lips with hers, sleepy and soft. She closes her eyes and makes him stay five minutes longer, her body pressed against his, her arms flung around his neck. 6:35, he has to go, his voice is low, he almost whispers. Another kiss, his arms still tugged around her waist, another minute and off he goes, leaving that taste in her mouth for more of him.