Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Honesty, by Sally

She had had her eye on him for a while. Tonight was another weekly planning meeting. She stood in front of the full length mirror in the corner of her bedroom, smoothed her hair, ruffled it back up, and peered across her shoulder at the fit of her carefully chosen pants to make sure the contour of her arse was fitting well. MMMMMM nice, she thought. She chose a simple blue top, everyone always commented on how gorgeous she looked when she wore it and went to the dressing table to rummage through her bowl of earrings. The glass ones, they matched her eyes and a pendant of similar hue to hang jut above her cleavage, just a tiny provocation.

Her make-up was in the bathroom, along with her favourite scent, the final touches. A moist gloss for her lips, some enhancement around her eyes, to widen them and lengthen the lashes.
She put her scent in her cleavage, behind her ears and ruffled some more playfully through her hair….he doesn’t have a chance.
She knew he was attracted to her, even though he was married and always very careful not to overstep the mark.
He was looking forward to the meeting tonight, a little more than usual and wasn’t sure why. She had called the night before and asked if it was possible for him to pick her up to go to the meeting, his wife noticed that he was wearing one of his best shirts as he went out the door and was vague about when he would be back. She had also noticed that he was slightly evasive when she asked about who would be at the meeting.
He parked at the front of her house and beeped. As she swung open the door a waft of something on the air, a sensation of pleasure through his groin. She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek, a flash of blue and a hint of cleavage.
“Hi” he said, “Had a good day?”
“Fabulous, found this great new masseuse, I have had absolutely every ounce of tension smoothed out of my body, I feel fantastic.”
“I bet you do” the thought passed almost imperceptibly through his mind, stirring again the swelling in his pants.
“Great” he said “You look……. relaxed”
She squirmed in her seat making sure her breasts moved provocatively from side to side as she feigned the adjustment of her seat belt.
“You look great, as usual” she said smiling.
They sat across from each other at the meeting, she made sure her eyes met his at intervals throughout, and looked away smiling each time.
For some reason he found it a little difficult to concentrate on anything except her pencil poised on her lips, her fondling the side of the glass, her breasts…….
Mmmm nice tits he thought almost without thinking, he averted his eyes.
On the way back out to the car she laughed, at his comment about the President, put her hand on his arm and squeezed in affirmation, brushed past him as he found himself opening her door. She looked up at him and smiled. He moved to the other side of the car.
The planning meetings usually finished around nine, he should be home soon. She made herself a hot chocolate and started on the last few chapters of her book. It had been a long time since she had found a good read, the pace was gripping. For several months now she had been wrestling with chronic headaches and finally she seemed to have found a treatment that allowed her to remain relatively pain free. She made herself comfortable on their over stuffed sofa and lost track of the time.
They sat in silence on the way back to her place. He was vaguely uncomfortable though not sure why, she was relishing the tension that she knew was growing between them. As he pulled into her driveway she was nonchalant,
“Are you up for a cuppa? I’ve just got a few issues after tonight, I’d love to bounce them off you”
He liked to be helpful. Glanced at his watch, no big deal.
“Sure he said, I can spare a minute or three”
Once inside she kicked off her shoes and pointed to the couch.
“Have a seat, I’ll just put the kettle on, unless you’d prefer a whiskey, I have a bottle of Glen Livet from my last trip to Thailand”
He didn’t mind a good single malt and for some reason, right now, the idea appealed.
In the kitchen she undid the top button of her shirt and filled two crystal glasses with ice and a double measure of whiskey. She smiled to herself.
“Shove over” she said as she handed him his glass and sat, legs curled up under herself, just touching his.
“Cheers” she said meeting his eyes. “Don’t forget to make eye contact” she said “Or it’ll mean seven years of bad sex”
He laughed and returned her stare. “Well we wouldn’t want that now would we?”
“Thanks for coming in, I just value your opinion so much and I am worried about the direction that the planning seems to be going. What are your thoughts about the budget proposal?”
He felt the whiskey, warm on the back of his throat. Smelled again her scent and felt the pleasure of her knees against his thigh. He took another mouthful and spoke briefly on his understanding of the issue.
“Oh of course!” she said, her hand on his knee and forehead tipped briefly to his shoulder. “You’re such a genius!”
“Not really”
The black lace of her bra was just visible in the opening of her blouse, her hand, still resting on his knee, squeezed for a moment, warm. He finished his whiskey, cheeks slightly numbed by the alcohol and turned his face towards her to say goodbye.
“I so value our time working together on this,” she said “It’s so rare that I find a man that I can relate to.”
“Yeah, I am enjoying working with you too. Maybe I’ll pick you up next week again, but best be off for now”
He rose to leave, she followed. At the door she kissed him briefly on the mouth.
“See you next week’
He drove home with a hard on
His wife looked at the clock as she heard the car pull into the drive.
“Hi honey, that was a long meeting.”
“Yeah we had a few extra things to go through,” he said
As he bent to kiss her she noticed the smell of alcohol on his breath.

The Boy by Uma Anyar

 The boy visibly relaxed in the man’s arms. It was as if, some long held shudder escaped from his soul and his head sagged onto the grizzled man’s shoulder. His face close enough that he could feel the child’s breathe on his neck. It was the only moist air in the permanently parched landscape.

 It had been years since the lad trusted him sufficiently to sleep in his presence. Lord knows he had done enough to deserve the boy’s mistrust. But now, he was determined to change all that. Maybe, if he tried hard enough he could right the wrongs of the past. The boy was still angry but he had a wanting nature, just like his mother who lay in a pine coffin in her sister’s front parlor. She had been a pretty woman whose damaged spirit had attracted every loser she encountered.  They sniffed her out like mangy dogs. They danced with her, they kissed her then used her to empty their desires, their ills, their hates on her available, vulnerable body in the storage shed behind the New Moon Bar and Grill.

Eventually, death became her final dance partner.

She had been a good mother, she loved the boy, any one could see that.  Secretly, he had envied the child. Why couldn’t she throw a few scraps of affection his way? He would have tolerated the cheating if only; she slept with him sometimes, cared for him occasionally, spoke softly in his ear every now and then.  But he knew she found him insufficient in some way he could not fathom. Her neediness felt like some endless hole, a well without a bottom. He was helpless with inexplicable shame and fury, He called her names; names men degrade women with and slapped her around. On the last day they fought he shoved her through the bedroom door. She let out a single scream just as her wrist snapped like a dry tree branch. She didn’t crumble or cry, just raised her self up off the dirty floor, her cotton dress ripped, one breast exposed. He hated her but still wanted her. She saw this in his eyes, in his clenched fists. “Do it!  She screamed, finish the job! Fuck me or kill me! You coward.”

 He slammed the door and drove off into the ridiculus yawning sunset. Past a string of for sale signs and abandoned farms, their fields riveted with forlorn furrows, wind blown to the bone. Feeble tears streamed down his dusty face.
The boy had seen it, heard it all from his bed behind the paper-thin wall.  The covers pulled over his head had been useless, hopeless, against the raging storm in the kitchen.

Now, he was back to see her calm in the coffin, that spiteful look of satisfaction on her still lovely lips.  She had won the battle by escaping life. He was alone, alone with the boy who could be his son, a boy who had her blue eyes, her wavy hair, a boy who needed a father.

 He bent down and kissed his wife’s cold cheek. Now, she was gone for good. He needn’t wait up for her anymore. He started to leave then turned toward where the boy sat straight and still, in his Sunday suit, watching him, waiting for what came next.