A pretty blue, neither too dark nor light, just enough color to bring out the color of her eyes — he wished that he knew better words to describe it, but he was not that kind of man, and ‘blue’ was enough, really; a thin white gold necklace with a glittering diamond pendant —
Alex smiled, just a small smile that radiated the excitement he was feeling, with a small glance at the paper bag in his hands. He could imagine her wearing all of them, with her lips tinged with either the reddest lipstick he’d ever seen that made her the seductress that she is in his dreams, or the light, barely-there nude lipstick that made him unable to take his eyes off her lips.
He couldn’t wait to be home.
There wasn’t any special occasion; it was a random day of a random week of a random year — but not really, he paused, the year he married the love of his life. And maybe it wasn’t just any other week: it was the third week he’d married Norma. He’d just thought of giving her something. It wasn’t the first time, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.
When I opened my eyes, I was on my bed, and it felt dreadfully hot for some reason. I remembered clearly, before I closed my eyes, the air was dry and cold; I had to pull the blanket over my shoulders to keep warm, but this time, my blankets weren’t on me. I must have kicked them off in my sleep. My blankets were on the floor.
I couldn’t make out the time. On my bedside table stood a lamp, but my phone wasn’t there. I usually kept my phone at a close distance just in case there came an emergency, and I was certain that I placed it there before I slept, but it wasn’t there. In fact, there was nothing on the table but the lamp.
I stayed there lying on the bed. I could feel my sweat sticking to the sheets. Then I realized I wasn’t wearing a shirt. Then followed a creak of the door, opening and closing. There were no footsteps, but I felt the presence of someone else in the room, and there was a silhouette, of a woman.
Normally, I would have stood up in seconds, grabbed my gun from a nearby drawer. That would have been my first instinct. This time, however, I didn’t feel as alert. It wasn’t because I wasn’t feeling well, my body weak, or that I was feeling tired or sleepy. There was simply no sense of urgency in my body. My mind was blank. I did not feel any sense of danger. Everything was just quiet.
There was a faint rustling, probably the woman’s dress as it rubbed against her body as she walked. I couldn’t make out the color of her dress — in the weak light of the room everything looked a dull gray — but there was a floral pattern on it. That’s all I knew about dresses.
The woman stood beside me by my bed. If I moved my left hand a little closer, I could have touched her, but I didn’t. It felt like I was in a trance. It felt like a dream. It was how a dream should be. I moved my eyes to her face, and I felt familiarity. I knew her. And I probably smiled, I don’t remember. But I remember that she did. She smiled at me. And then her blue eyes sparkled — not literally, but it was how it felt like to me, when she looked at me as if she knew something I didn’t. Mischief.
She was barefoot. I saw her pale feet as she climbed on top of me. Even with her dress, she looked bare. It felt to me that it was the only article of clothing she wore. I could see her nipples straining against her dress. And the paleness of her foot ran to her calf, and farther up to her legs to her thighs under the flutter of fabric, which I could feel against me as she sat on my naked legs.
I didn’t recall undressing, but that hardly mattered at that moment.
She came forward, her arms to either side of me. She leaned her forehead against mine. I could smell her breath. I could see every movement of her eyelashes. Her face was so close to me, her essence so close, I could hardly see or feel anything else. For a moment, she looked in deep thought, her lips slightly apart, the small depression near her mouth making its appearance again. At that tiny window of time, I felt nothing but peace. I wanted to bask in it. I closed my eyes. But she brought her hands to my face, her thumbs touching my eyelids, and I opened them, and this time, she was smiling at me. A happy, infectious smile. I wanted to know what she was thinking.
I felt warmth on my face. I was probably smiling, too.
I wanted her to kiss me, but she didn’t. I wanted to lean forward and feel her lips against mine, but I couldn’t. I felt powerless — or maybe powerless wasn’t the word; that is not something that I feel when she is with me. It was just what it was: the passivity of dreams.
But I didn’t feel passive when she broke our nearness. I didn’t feel passive when she slid down my legs, knelt down, and I wasn’t passive at all when I felt her breath against my length, when her lips wrapped around me. Maybe I closed my eyes then, because I could see only darkness, but I could feel. I felt her fingers joining the warmth and wetness of her mouth. Her fingers surrounding me, stroking me. It wasn’t the rough, callused texture of my own hand from years of holding a gun, clasping the metal of handcuffs, tightly clenching my hands into fists as I punched the faces of men who deserved it. I only felt softness, and strangely, purity. I felt her tongue against me, teasing me, wetting me. And I felt her kiss me.
I wanted to move, the muscles of my hips straining as I tried my best to hold back. I could feel my stomach muscles tightening, too. It didn’t surprise how fast and how easy it was for her to arouse me, to bring me to the brink.
I wanted to come, but I wanted to prolong the moment. I could feel the tension building up fast, the pressure taking over my whole body. I wanted her to stop. I wanted to stop. Because in the back of my mind, I knew, that she would disappear right after I come.
I spoke to her, told her to stop, but there was no sound that came out of my mouth. I felt my muscles on my face move, my mouth forming words with an exhale, but there was nothing. Even if there was, she didn’t hear me. She continued what she did, her blonde locks moving against her face and sometimes touching me. She might have sensed my looking at her, and she stopped abruptly, her lips leaving my hardness with a wet sound, and smiled at me as she tilted her head in an inquisitive way.
In that particular second, I knew that in my waking life, I felt deeply for her, that I loved her.
Then that second ended, and she pulled the straps of her dress off her shoulders, and she pulled the hem of her dress up, over her head. She threw it on the blankets on the floor.
And she was bare before me. She was so pale, even in the darkness. I could see the beautiful swell and dip of her collarbones. I could see her pale breasts and the hard nipples that pushed against her dress, and her navel. I could smell her scent on the air — the scent of a woman, the scent of her . I could feel how wet and soaked she was, how slippery, when she rubbed against me, providing just the right amount of friction that I wanted. She took me in her hand, and the next thing I felt was the delicious pressure, the wetness, and the warmth. And I heard it, the first sound I’ve ever heard since the door’s creak: her sigh.
And from then, I could hear everything. Every breath she made, every moan, every sigh, every inhale — They were all clear to me. We breathed together. I watched her as she inhaled as she rose, and exhaled as she fell. It was slow, and intimate, and I followed her breath. I inhaled and exhaled as she did. I wanted to be one with her in other ways than physical. It felt strange, dreamy, good. I felt pleasure. Her face was so close to me. She could probably feel my breath on her face, too.
I could move. I touched her. I held her. Then her moans grew louder, her breaths faster — and so did mine — and I could hear my name lost in her moans and shaky sighs. Her pace became faster, uncontrollable. I could hear from her moans that she was close, so close. She rose slowly, her wetness gliding against me, and when she came back down, her thighs trembled, and she lost herself. She came.
I waited before I sat up, taking her quivering body in my arms, folding my knees and moving inside her, a few strong thrusts and I followed, finally letting go of the tightness I’ve been holding.
We breathed, but this time it wasn’t together. As I caressed her back, I could feel the sweat under my fingers. I pulled her closer into me and fell back on the bed. I just wanted to have her close to me. I tangled my fingers in her blonde hair. I wanted to bury my nose in it.
She moved and arranged herself more comfortably on top of me. She had her chin on my chest, and her smile was directed at me. I remembered thinking how much I loved her eyes in that moment. They were so blue.
Maybe we talked.
Maybe we kissed.
Maybe we made love again.
When I woke up, I was clothed and it was cold, my phone was on my bedside table, and I had forgotten everything. But when I felt and saw the stains, I didn’t have to guess. And it would soon go back to me in pieces.
When Norma smiles, she smiles . You could feel her happiness emanating from that smile, as if she holds all the joy in the world, and when she smiles, all that joy bursts out of her uncontrollably.
She’d been smiling a lot lately, Norman noticed. When she thought he wasn’t looking, his mother had that dreamy look on her face, or when they’re having dinner together, out of the blue, a quirk to her lips, as if she had been holding back a laugh, would appear. Then he would ask her, “What’s funny, Mother?” but then, she would reply with her special smile for him, “Nothing, honey,” or she would say how she was reminiscing moments from long past when Norman was little.
He didn’t believe her. Not a bit. Because she had been lying to him. One day, when Norman forgot something for school and he had to go home to retrieve it, he found it but not his mother in the house. He had expected her to be there — both Norman and Emma had gone back to school, so there was no one to man the motel — there was not a trace of her at home. When he had asked her about it later, she said she went to get some groceries, and he replied, “Oh, okay, Mother,” like he believed her, as if she had never used that excuse so many times already.
Maybe he should be happy to see his mother so happy. Maybe, but she had been keeping secrets from him. They were supposed to know everything about each other.
But then she started getting home late at night. She would say that she had been with a friend. Norman remembered how she would go out to parties with her friend Christine, but as far as he knew, they didn’t talk anymore. Then it got more and more frequent. He remembered Deputy Shelby. It was like this with him, too.
Then, one day, she came home earlier than he expected. She didn’t even have to tiptoe upstairs so that he wouldn’t hear her footsteps as she sneaked to her room. This time, she simply came in to the house, with her beautiful blue dress — Norman’s favorite — the dress she wore when she left home this morning. She looked surprised when she found him sitting in the living room. She expected him to be tending to another dead animal in the basement.
“Where have you been, Mother?”
“Oh, I was up in town, giving out some flyers to other businesses, you know, just in case they would like to support us.
“Which we need with the bypass and everything.
“What? Why are you looking at me like that?
“Anyway, I decided to come home early today, because…,” Norma smiled mischievously and went up to him, took his arm and dragged him to the sofa, “I want to spend some time with you.”
They plopped down on the sofa, her one arm still around his.
And then he noticed it. Norma was smiling excitedly. It reminded him of the first day they came to the house, when she plopped on her bed after she showed him her room with the excitement of a child. She wore the same dress, too. But it wasn’t only those things he noticed. Something else. A whiff. A scent.
She smelled different. It was all over her. It wasn’t the strong aroma of a perfume — none of hers, at least. It was weak, something you would not notice unless you were physically near to someone. It was the kind of fragrance that you notice on yourself after you take a good bath.
“Soooo, what do you want for dinner, honey? I’m gonna cook up a huge dinner for both of us! Let’s watch a movie! How about we watch our favorite…”
His mother’s words were like wind to his ears.