She lies there, counting the tiny red circles on the ceiling. She has to squint to make them out in the dimly-lit room. She doesn’t feel as embarrassed as she has the times before. Today she feels numb. Numb, unsatisfied, and awake.
Forty-three, forty-four. She counts in time to his snores. Of course, he’s asleep. He always falls asleep the moment he pulls out of her. She expects no less. He does most of the work anyway. Most nights, she lies there and rolls her eyes at the ceiling as he grunts his release. She doesn’t get much out of it, not since Oliver. But that is not a thought to be had in another man’s bed.
Sometimes, though, when she’s had a bad week, she joins in the fun. She lets go and brings her wild side out to play. On those nights, she almost comes. Almost. But those days are few and far between.
Her phone buzzes beside her. Jason. She hits Silent. Kyle can be nasty mid-sleep. She slips into the bathroom.
You’ve been quiet
I’ve been a little busy
You sound out of breath
I was just finishing up some laundry
Oh, this late?
So, talk tomorrow?
Love you too, J.
She sighs. She loves Jason. She flushes the loo and trudges back to bed. She loves him more than life itself. She tells him every day, almost. She climbs over Kyle and settles in bed. The sheets have cooled in her absence. She squirms. Kyle cradles her close to his naked, heated skin. She smiles. Almost.
Who was that
Go to sleep
She does. She dreams of herself in Kyle’s arms. But it’s not magical. Just mechanical. Tomorrow she’ll tell her best friend that she loved every second of this night. She’ll even believe it herself.
When she wakes, her pill is waiting on the nightstand. Next to it, the alarm reads 8:13 AM. He always gets her emergency pill. Says condoms make him uncomfortable. Take the fun out of it. The first time he said that she just nodded. Hasn’t brought herself to argue since.
As long as you get the pill yourself
He’s been doing it and she likes that.
He is seated on the couch. A rugby commentator blares from the wide TV. He sounds Australian. Or South African, she’s not good with accents. Unless they’re English. Or directions. He looks up.
She walks to the kitchen. It is a mess from last night. She hates doing dishes. She’s told him countless times, but he doesn’t think an African woman should dismiss her chores. She never touches the mop, however, or his laundry. So, at least there’s a line.
When breakfast is ready, she is not hungry. He wolfs down the food before him and criticizes it mid-bite, as he always does. Today it’s ‘too much sugar in the pancakes.’
He slips into the shower. She curls up with the remote and switches to The Good Doctor. She likes doctor Shawn Murphy. When she first saw him, she had been getting over a hangover from the night before: the last good birthday she ever had.
She was still sore from when her best friend had shoved his rough fingers up her vagina, despite her drunken protestations. Another thought she shouldn’t be having in another man’s house.
I’m going to town. Just throw in the key through the window when you leave.
He leaves. She sighs. That’s not how she’ll tell it to Jules. She’ll include a passionate kiss she never gets and maybe a pat in the butt. Yeah, that sounds better than ‘leave the key when you go.’
She’s too drained to walk home right now. She snuggles deeper into the couch. She’ll just stay here till 3. About an hour before he gets home. Then she’ll shower, plaster some makeup and a smile on her face, and walk her sore legs home.
Her phone pings. Mum.
You’re making dinner today.
6 thoughts on “Chapter 1: Kyle”
What a piece!
Thank you Boaz
I just discovered your blog the other day. Loving the experience so far. Gotta ask, is this a continuing series? Do we get to read more chapters?
Welcome to The Chie Space, Dave. Yeah, absolutely! Watch your email for updates every time I post another chapter.
I got totally lost,,, so deep…👍
Aah, what I like to hear. Glad you enjoyed it. Kyle was a special piece.