David props himself cautiously up on his elbows and leans himself against the headboard. She lies on her tummy, the long, slender arm still resting around his waist. The sheets had slid down and reveal the well proportionedcurves of her back – the prominent lines of her scapulae, the regular impressions on her spine and the sweet dimples just before the apple like forms of her bum start. Sometimes he wonders if she’s a little too skinny as she’s so ambitious keeping herself in shape going to the gym on a daily basis.
The lazy morning sun casts flickering shadows onto her always slightly tanned skin. The brown, long hair spreads tousled over the pillow. She breathes deeply and relaxed. Every time she exhales a warm, soft stream of air brushes over his naked arm, making him pleasantly shudder.
I wish I could make it right for you, Jen!
He silently reaches for the mineral bottle next to his side of the bed. Losening the cap his full lips close around it’s neck and the crystal clear liquid disappears sip for sip. A tiny bit of water makes it’s way over his chin. With a swift move of his hand he gets rid off the rivulets. Setting the bottle back onto the floor he sighs deeply. Then a little smile flashes over his non shaved face.
At least their bodies still seem to know the language that developed between them over all the years. All the unspoken hints and gestures – the touches at secret places only one of the other knew it would drive the partner insane. It’s really not about not having had fun with her in bed. He nearly made her come six times – and his own needs were fulfilled as well not just once.
It’s the spark that seems to have gone – the curiosity, the lightheartedness. Being a devoted husband and wife is never enough. And nagging on this thought it finally hits him like a cold wave: It’s not really home anymore! The feeling of unconditional love kinda gone – exchanged with feelings of guilt, responsibility and laziness. Yes, if he was honest to himself he was just a lousy lazy bastard – trying to slip back into a convenient track of his life – hoping for the recurring forgiveness of his angel and family. Hell, Dave – you have everything one can dream of in his life – and you still try to fill up that ominous hole!
„Mmmmh, Dave...you already awake?“
She lazily turns in the blankets and fixes him with her dark brown eyes. He answers her with a soft kiss onto the tip of her nose. She giggles slightly and then lets her polished fingers wander over his stubble. He knows that sort of view.
„Umh – is my little angel waiting for a proper wake up call?“
He hasn’t finished the sentence when her hand already closes around his member.
„Geez, Jen – what got into you! You’re definitely insatiable these days!“
She grins at him and silences him with a wet kiss. Well, there were worse things he could give in and so he lets his tongue dart out, exploring her mouth as well. When she crawls over him, straddling him he knows exactly where that was leading to.
„Daddy, the plaster comes off tomorrow!“, Stella squeals when she returns with her mom from the hospital in the late afternoon. He’s just back downstairs – having been fiddling around with some ideas in the studio.
„Oh, that’s good news, my tiny star!“
„Well, I can’t use blades for a while and have to pause with the ballet lessons – what a drag!“
„Patience is a virtue, my sweety!“
Rosie pouts and then lets her pink backpack fall into one corner of the room.
„You better get that up and put it where it belongs – you know mommy!“
He winks at her and she stamps her healthy foot onto the wooden floor, obviously angry.
„Awww, come here!“
He squats and holds out his arms to her. Thinking for a second she waits – to then flying into his embrace – as good as the light plaster allows her.
„You’re good again, Rosie?“, he asks after a while.
Her voice is muffled in his t-shirt. He gently brushes over her back, her blond hair slightly tickling his nose. Is it peach or kiwi shampoo she was using this morning?
After she dashed to her room he walks slowly into the kitchen where he hears Jen rummaging for a while now.
„Need some help?“
She gives him a scowl.
„Want to rearrange the dishwasher?“
„Ah, come on, Jennifer! I haven’t done that for ages.“
Her face relaxes a bit and she throws some salat leaves into a colander, turning on the water.
„If you really want to give me a hand then be so nice and slice the peppers and tomatoes. The feta is in the fridge.“
He opens the brushed metal door and searches for the cheese.
„And I dare you to nibble at it!“
He rolls his eyes. The next would be if he washed his hands! Yet she seems too busy with her own stuff in the sink.
He reaches for a sharp knife from the wooden block and starts slicing the tomatoes she passed him over in a bowl. For a moment one just can hear the blade meeting the wood of the chopping board in a more or less steady rhythm.
„Why are you so bored?“
He looks up and meets her stare.
„I mean, you have sex with me but it’s not really the same any more – and you know it as well.“
„It’s not ‚us’ you wanted to say. I’m not bored – not in that sense, Jen.“
He lays down the paring knife and fixes an imaginary spot on the wall. Then he looks for her eye contact again and she swallows – seeing his pain there.
„I’m tired, baby. Tired fighting myself – making all the same mistakes. I really wonder why you came back after all the fuzz in the past months. I’m a hopeless, old bastard!“
„Dave, you know the answer – I love you. What about you?“
„It really scares the shit out off me – I actually can’t say. My feelings for you have never changed – yet there’s a miss I can’t lay my fingers on. The last thing I want is to hurt you – but it looks I can’t avoid it.“
„The black hole that never rests to get fed.“
He lowers his head and nods silently.
„Would it be of help if I told you I had a lover myself?“
„Yes, David – I’m seeing somebody since our last big fight.“
He’s kinda shellshocked. That’s the last thing he would have thought of – strange enough! Letting himself fall onto the next chair he tries to control his breath. Why is he so surprised!? She’s just paying back in the same currency.
„Do I know him?“
She takes a seat opposite him at the table, adjusting a strand of hair that keeps falling into her face.
„No. He’s not from the music industry.“
She blushes slightly.
„Playwright. He works for one of the Broadway theatres.“
„Serious as in ‚Siv’?“
He smacks his fist onto the polished surface.
„Yes, it’s hell living with you at the moment – this way! I get the body, but the real David slips through my fingers, his mind entwined with the yearning for HER!“
„So you do it to punish me. Serves me right, OK! Happy now?“
„No, Dave – you punish yourself – you don’t need me for that.“
She looks tired and exhausted now. Her usual healthy face colour turned into a pale tone.
„I felt so lonely and he was there – caring, understanding. I need what he can offer me – as I don’t get it from you. He’s by far no replacement. I always only wanted you – yet, where are YOU, David?“
„Are you fighting again?!“
The teary voice from Rosie in the doorframe. They both completely had forgotten about her being in the appartment.
„Rosie, please open the door!“
„No, I won’t!“
„Angel, it’s OK. Mommy and me want to talk to you.“
„Baby, we stopped being angry with each other.“
„But you will do it again – like always! I’m sick of it!“
After some more minutes Dave and Jen give up for now. She’s so much his daughter – a little thickhead at times!
It’s way after midnight. The appartment lies dark and silent. Stella carefully unlocks her door and peeks into the dim lit hallway. She can hear Jimmy snoring next door. On tip toes she sneaks through the living room to the front door – fully dressed with her white fluffy coat, boots, the knitted cap from uncle Mart and the much loved pink backpack. Her cuddly pet under her left arm she reaches for the door handle. Shit, locked! As she expected that she opens the deadbolt first and then looks for the key on the dark wooden board. Inserting it she already can hear the lock move.
„Where do you want to run, my little star?“
The little lamp next to window now bathes the room suddenly in a low, warm light. David rests on one of the couches, covered with a blanket, naked feet on the arm rest.
He pats next to him. Slowly she walks into his direction, the disappointment clearly written into her little face. Then her expression changes.
„Aww, Daddy, don’t you cry!“
She jumps onto the couch and cuddles into his open arms, starting to sob as well.
„Shush, it’s alright.“
His long, slender fingers run through her blond strands of hair.
„I’m so sorry, Rosie! I can’t tell how much.“
„Daddy, I love you! Stop being sad!“
„Angel, I love you, too! More than words can say.“
„I know that.“
„Why did you want to sneak out? It’s dangerous outside on your own! Please, never try that again!“
„I called uncle Mart if I could come to visit him. He said OK.“
„But how on earth would you have gotten to him to Santa Barbara?!“
„I made him book me a ticket on my name.“
She nestles in her pocket and pulls out a neatly folded piece of paper.
„Look, flight number and time of departure. He told me there would be a nice air hostess watching me during the flight.“
„Bloody hell! Oops, sorry!“
Dave checks the note. Looks quite convincing. How could Martin do such a stupid thing?! He looks for his blackberry which lies on the couch table. Darn, he switched it off! After activation two textmessages pop up.
„Hi, Dave! Seems you have a bit of a problem there at home. Rosie called to visit me. She talked me into issuing her a ticket. I called the airport to keep an eye on her if she really should make it there. You have a damn adventurous daughter, mate! Call me asap! –Mart“
„Damn, Dave – why do you always switch off your mobile when I need you! Anyway – if the worst case scenario should happen – airport police is alert. Keep me informed! –Mart“
Jumping up, checking for the answering machine he sees the blue light blinking. He tried landline as well! At nights the phone sounds are off, only the mobile usually on. Usually! He lifts up the receiver and ticks speed dial. Doesn’t take long and his friend answers at the other end.
„I caught her before she could leave the house, Mart.“
„Geez! Well, I will call the airport then to cancel the alarm.“
„Thanx for helping out, mate! I’m still trembling here.“
„You get your mess assorted there, Dave! Rosie told me you and Jen were at each other again?“
„OK, let’s talk at a more civilized time later.“
They both hang up. David turns around and sees his daughter peacefully sleeping on the blanket, still in her coat and stuff. A litte smile flashes over his tired face and he gingerly opens one button after the other, freeing her of the extra clothes. She slightly moves and whines, not waking up though. Letting her boots slip to the floor he crawls back into the cushions, placing the little girl safely in his arms and pulls the sheets over them. She intuitively snuggles against his chest, now breathing calmly.
A tiny trace of light on the floor down the corridor lets him look up again. Out off the darkness Jennifer silently moves into their direction.
„I heard voices.“
„Sorry, didn’t want to disturb you.“
„What’s she doing here? Couldn’t sleep?“
His expression is stern. Quietly he whispers back, pointing at her coat and backpack.
„She tried to run away. The key is still in the lock me thinks.“
Jen covers her lips with her hands. Her eyes grow bigger.
„Nah, don’t you start to cry, too! We two here already had our share. You can thank Martin for being that clever to call the airport.“
„She had a ticket to Santa Barbara.“
Jennifer softly brushes over her daughter’s cheek.
„Jen, let us carry her over to our bedroom. I want her with us tonight.“
Now a tear makes it down from her right lid. She nods and David lifts Rosie up. They walk along the hallway and Jennifer closes the bedroom door behind them.
„We can make it, don’t you think? Why not this time as well?“
„David, that’s what I was trying to tell you all day – I’m still there and I know you so well. Nothing’s really going to change that, but we have to be fair with each other.“
Both glance at their daughter sleeping in their middle. She looks like a little fragile princess – one from the numerous fairy tales she already kinda inhaled.
„She’s still so helpless.“
„Yes, sometimes I think she’s a porcelain doll – but with a very strong will!“
„If she kicks it’s hard.“
„Remember when she kicked for the first time?“
A soft smile on his face now.
„Oh yeah – I couldn’t get enough to rest my face against your tummy. Then I definitely believed she was real and alive.“
„Oh, and all the nights she coulnd’t sleep, crying her lungs out!“
„Well, I could have made it without!“
She pokes his chest.
„OK, OK! At least it was my hearbeat that made her slumber every time.“
„Yes, it looked so sweet how she rested on your bare chest.“
His eyes slightly darken and he holds her view.
„Move her carefully over to your side, baby.“
She obliges, assuring Rosie still is asleep. Then he drags her gently into his arms, pulling off her long shirt.
„Now you rest at my chest. Listen to my heart – it’s calling you.“
I nervously stirr my coffee till the clean white of milk mingles with the dark brown into a creamy hazel colour. It’s still hot and I burn my tongue taking the first sip. Damn! Hopefully that’s no omen for the day ahead as I’m going to visit Andy in rehab. My stomach complains again. Feels like a heavy lump in there, burning and uncomfortable. Finally I put the half empty mug onto the table again and sigh.
Joanne enters the kitchen, still half asleep.
„Oh, lovely – coffee!“
„Help yourself – I’m too nervous already.“
„Meeting Fletch later?“
I nod and dump the apple back into the fruit basket. No, I better don’t force anything in that doesn’t really want to be in there.
„Perhaps some chocolate?“
She smiles at me and pats my shoulder, taking a seat.
Actually that reminds me of Dave. Not a bright idea. I definitely miss him by now. My body is yearning for his touches, I need to smell and taste him. A red tinge flashes over my cheeks.
„Oh, sorry! I forgot about David.“
It’s not really my top priority to have a chat about him now – with his ex – in her kitchen early in the morning – facing the inevitable.
„By the way – Jack left this for you. He’s back to his flat. I told him ‚Hotel Mama’ is closed for now, ha ha ha!“
She hands me a sealed envelope. The surface is uneven as if something else than paper was sticking in it.
Tearing it a blue sodalith drops into my hand. Unfolding the letter my eyes wander quickly over the ink of his handwriting.
Hey, Siv! I was told that this type of gem gives you strength and a clear mind. I thought you might need some ‚inspiration’ when meeting Andrew. Squeeze it when the going get’s tough – before or instead of kicking his big ass. Usually he’s a really nice guy – so I hope everything will be running smoothly for you two. –Jack
P.S.: If he’s still acting the prick – so be it! You know I’m very good at making you feel alright afterwards!
This little, horny bastard! My mouth has fallen open slightly and I swallow. He’s so sweet anyway!
„Miss, I’m afraid Mr. Fletcher is not really in the condition to see you.“
The spectacled middle aged man in front of me offers me a seat in his office. His name tag says ‚Brian Fisher, M.D.’.
„So he doesn’t want to see me.“
„No, he’s emotionally not capable yet, I think.“
His brown eyes muster me. I can’t help it – knowingly. Andrew must have talked a lot about me.
„I just tell you as he insisted on this meeting. Don’t be surprised it might turn out differently than you expected.“
„Dr. Fisher – I expect nothing – except the fact being hurt again and vice versa.“
I nervously play with my amethyst ring.
„He might have told you about my past?“
The therapist nods sternly.
„I have the impression though you are the stronger part at the moment.“
Can’t hide a sarcastic grin.
„Funny! Most people seem to think that about me – and that from you as a specialist!“
I face him directly.
„It’s not true. And no – I don’t want councelling from you now.“
A little smile slips over his face.
„He’s right about you. Perfect description!“
Then he gets up from his swivel chair.
„Let’s go before his nerves will burst as well.“
Damn! Well, why I’m surprised? He’s a good observer.
Andy turns around from the window when the door opens and Dr. Fisher and me enter his room. God, he looks pale and obviously lost a few pounds!
„As I told you, Andrew – I can stay with you if you want.“
„No, I don’t think that’s necessary.“
Andy sits down onto the couch, obviously waiting for me to make the next move. The counceller leaves and shuts the door.
I still feel a bit clumsy and reach for the little stone in my pocket. Then I hesitantly sit down opposite him on a dark green padded chair. The colourful huge painting hanging on the wall irritates me a little due to it’s abstract, kinda yelling forms. My view wanders back to Andy.
„I have no idea where to start.“
„Same here, Siv.“
Then he stretches a bit in his seat.
„I could tell you all the bits my docs advised me – yet it doesn’t feel right.“
The blue-white speckled gem wanders around in my palm during the whole conversation. From time to time I have to swallow or breathe in deeply. From a certain point on I just need to move closer and get up, joining him on the couch – yet still sitting away far enough.
„Siv, you see – I want to be as open as I can. This is not easy for me – and that’s no whitewash.“
„I got that one, Andrew. Lots I’m definitely not responsible for – though that eases the load just a little.“
„I know, angel.“
He holds my view and the blue of his eyes give me that certain tingling I already felt when I met him for the first time. And then it’s too late to react properly anyway as his arms are suddenly around me and his face snuggling into the crook of my neck.
„Are you allowed to have sex here?“
I don’t believe that I’m saying this!
He now bites my neck and gasps slightly. His voice sounds a bit muffled.
„Don’t think so – but I couldn’t care less!“
He moves back a little, facing me again.
„Are you sure you want this?“
„Would I ask otherwise? Hell, Andy –I have no idea why but I want you!“
My hand wanders into his crotch and grabs the growing bulge there.
„I know how absurd it feels – the more I have no idea where this all will lead to at the moment!“
He breathes hotly against my skin, his face coming nearer.
„Andy, they might have cameras in here! You’re going to get kicked out!“
„No more excuses – I don’t give a damn, Siv!“
„But I do care, Andrew Fletcher!“
Dr. Fisher’s calm voice interrupting our heated up conversation. My face must turn scarlet! Andy growls in disapprovement.
„Yes, we have a camera in here. For some reason. I really don’t want to be a killjoy, but at this point of time it’s just not helpful.“
I fall back into the couch cushions. Fletch’s fist hits the arm rest.
„Want to talk about it now, Andrew? What do you feel?“
„Fuck, isn’t that obvious?!“
„OK, disappointment, anger, frustration.“
„The urge to kill you!“
The therapist lets out a deep laugh.
„I’ve been threatened a lot so far. You get used to it.“
Then he turns serious again.
„Trust me – you’re not ready for this. Your body might tell you different – but we all know about that lust topic. You need to work out your feelings – as it’s them that cause all the pain.“
He blinks over to me.
„Same advice I can give to you, Lady! And it’s free of charge.“
„I see you as soon as I’m out of here, baby!“
Andy hugs me again tightly – still under the eyes of his therapist. Then I take my way down the corridor, inhaling the odd clinic smell. They can make it look as much as a 5 star hotel – the scents are unmistakable!
Sitting in the taxi my thoughts again wander astray. Do I need therapy, too?! The interrupted petting really was kinda killer! Now I’m horny and full of longing! Shit! The little gem, still in my hand, reminds me of the person who gave it to me – who still wanted to ‚give it to me’! And as if the devil was listening carefully again my mobile buzzes!
„How are things? Are you still in there?“
„Geez, Jack! You could have disturbed something!“
„Then you wouldn’t have picked up.“
That cheeky little tease!
„His therapist interrupted our attempt to have impromptu sex mercilessly.“
Laughter at the other end of the line. Then his tone changes slightly.
„So you are still all hot and not satisfied?“
I have to swallow hard and he for sure hears it.
„You come over here now – as fast as you can!“
„Oh, yes! I told you I will make up for it! It’s about time.“
„I need to finish this call now – the taxi driver already looks a bit indignant. He must think I’m up to some phone sex in his car!“
When I ring the bell, it doesn’t take long for the buzzer in. I must be mad, out off my mind! When I enter his floor, the front door opens and he drags me quickly in.