Piece of Cake
A slice of life
I can glimpse the hallway in the gap between his forearm and the side of his body. The light coming from the bathroom is feeble, an arc of yellow that illuminates a patch of wallpaper, an expanse of floor. The rug is crooked, or maybe it is just the angle of my head. I move slightly to the left. My hair, caught under me, pulls. The tug borders between gentle and pain. The rug is crooked from this angle as well.
The man above me groans. The sound is more than an exhale of breath. His eyes are closed, his face a mask of desire. The St. Christopher medal I bought him years ago flashes in the moonlight. His hands hold mine above my head, my arms bent inward at the elbow. He holds me like this a lot, now. Under him, pinned. It gives me freedom. Freedom to relax, to not have to move, freedom to let my mind wander.
My hips move under his, keeping time as old as time itself. My body responds to his automatically. We are, he has said, made for each other. Hand in glove, fits like a glove, smooth as silk. Made. For. Each. Other.
He moans again and his head bends toward me. He rests his forehead in the crook between my jaw and shoulder. My skin tingles when he buries his face in my neck. The sensation is not all together pleasant, yet wholly erotic. The stubble on his cheek digs into my flesh. I close my eyes and picture the ocean. Waves lapping at the shore. Bits of sea glass flashing in the sun. My mind travels down the beach while my body responds to the increasing rhythm.
When I open my eyes again, I focus on the hallway wall visible above the arc of light. The pattern of wallpaper is not clear. My home has become peppered by dark and shadows. A rainbow of black shades, fading to purple, edging back to ash.
I know that somewhere in that expanse of gray hues are photographs. Our wedding picture hangs in the center, surrounded by the children’s school photos. We are staring at each other in the picture that holds the place of honor on our hallway wall. Our smiles, it seems to me, say it all. Pure. Simple. Promise. He held me so gently then, like I was delicate and precious. Like I was his.
I remember how he brought me a slice of wedding cake after we made love for the first time as man and wife. Chocolate crumbs dotted the white sheets and satin comforter and he laughed as I tried to brush them away. His laugh was contagious and instead of trying to clean the smears of buttercream, I laughed with him, lay back on the bed. I remember how he fed me that last decadent bite, how the sweetness of chocolate melted on my tongue. I remember how he kissed me, licked frosting from my lips. We could see the ocean from the bedroom. The sound of the waves crashing onto the rocks was not a crescendo, it was a lullaby.
I wonder if the woman sharing his afternoons now likes the ocean. I wonder if he has taken her to the ocean’s edge and kissed her until her body is on fire, while her feet, in the icy Atlantic, turn blue. I wonder if she has felt sand beneath her back and if she has dug her toes into the white earth sown with seashells and glass worn smooth by time. I wonder if he has fed her cake in a rented room bed.
I lay on my back, my eyes open, looking out into the hallway while his body releases into mine. I imagine the taste of chocolate and hear the sound of waves.
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