She checks her innocence at the door, room #324 to be exact, leaves her conscience by the trash can/ash tray with the butts shoved deep into the sand on top. The room smells of cleaner, they’ve been there recently, cleaning up someone else’s mess, tidying things for this man and this woman and God knows what. Fresh sheets, not unused, sex and anger and bodies separated by the night have laid here, what next? Her wool coat shimmies down her shoulders, folds at her elbows and she throws it on the bed, perfect, not perfect, there’s dog hair on the collar. He’s in the bathroom, the light spills out in a single sheet from beneath the door, “I’ll be out in a minute” is muffled by a buzzing sound. “Okay” she says, trying to sound relaxed, she’s not, she’s thinking of the bar, the wine, the music that beat her insides while he asked about her job and she twisted the ring on her left finger. He didn’t notice, he only noticed her eyes, her lips, so he said. He just wanted to talk, so he said. She stares at the sheets for a while, counting the pink diamond shapes while she waits. She could leave, her legs tremble, but she doesn’t. He steps out, a towel in his hand, wiping his chin, hadn’t he worn a beard before? He looks so different now, what am I doing? The lights are dim, still, but an hour ago things looked much brighter. Could I identify this guy in a lineup? “Come here” he says. She hesitates, she twists a corner of the comforter between two nervous fingers, she sits and grabs a pillow and pulls it into her lap. He laughs and pulls it away, to the edge of the bed, it falls to the floor but he doesn’t notice. She does. “What now?” she asks, she really wants to know. “Clothes,” he says, already pulling his off. She does too, but stops after shirt and pants. “I’m nervous,” she admits. “Why?” he asks. He is foreign, his breath smells of whiskey and garlic, there’s a mole on his left cheek she hadn’t noticed before. In the light his shirt is wrinkled, on the floor. He lives alone. “Why?” she repeats. “Kiss me,” he responds. His mouth is on hers before she can decide and he tastes like a cliff-hanger. She tries to talk, her mouth flailing while his presses on and there’s a gap and she bites him but doesn’t mean to, but he’s angry now, she did it on purpose, she must have, but she’s pleading. “No,” she says. “No,” she says again. It’s empty, throwing a rock into an abandoned cave, an echo heard by no one. Really? What will they think now? Her children. “Don’t take it away,” she says. He doesn’t know what she’s talking about. He doesn’t ask. What does he care?
A sit-down to write a Romantic Monday post turned into something quite the opposite….but I decided to go with it anyway.
BUT – go here for a post by the founder of Romantic Monday, and of course links to other Romantic Monday posts.