Flash Fiction Friday: Heat
Yellow shone through the blinds, his silhouette a black hole in the middle. Hot light poured a puddle on the floor as he stuck his finger between the slats and pulled down. She was naked on the couch, wrapped in the only blanket. If she turned her head just right she could see the v of muscle cutting across his abdomen. She could feel the heat baking the asphalt through the cheap glass. She remembered the tingle of midday rays on her bare shoulders as she’d moved across that parking lot only two hours before, her heart pounding as she slipped across the black top. Anticipation of this meeting turning her joints to rubber bands. He’d opened the door before she’d had a chance to knock. He’d been waiting, watching then too.
“I don’t want to go out there while he’s out there,” he said, peeking out.
“My neighbor. He sits on the stairs right out there and smokes. He talks too much, I don’t want to get stuck out there… He has the most epic mustache though.”
“You don’t like talking?” She knew this wasn’t true. She knew his middle name, about his concealed carry permit, his bitch of an ex and his obsession with Oreos.
“You should see his moustache.”
She pulled clean panties from her purse and slid them up her still quivering thighs. Slipped her dress over her head. Taking the three steps to cross his tiny divorce apartment, she bent over and peeked. Her gaze caught on an older gentleman sitting only feet from the door. Blood rushed her cheeks, if he’d been there only minutes before, he’d have had an ear full.
“That is impressive,” she said, pulling away from the piercing light and directly into his equally penetrating gaze. His body was a magnet for hers. She was more comfortable being a brain girl. She liked men with fancy jobs and big ideas, not broad chests and nice bums. She felt the familiar pull starting below her belly as her phone made a god-awful racket.
“You can get that. Might be important.”
He liked telling her what to do, and she liked being told. It was their thing. Could they have a thing, having only met twice? She could still feel his hand around her throat, the red hot palm print on her bottom.
“It’s my get out of Eric’s apartment alarm.” Two hours ago, she’d thought she’d need the reminder to leave. Had envisioned the alarm going off and having to drag herself out of his arms, not releasing it while she stood fully dressed and he hovered by the door.
She’d hovered when she arrived, too. She’d never been here before. She’d looked at him with wide eyes and bit her lip. He’d wrapped his arms around her and pulled her body tight to his. Her soft body melting into his hard, their heartbeats speeding and slowing together. In the ensuing hour he’d pressed her against the wall, the kitchen counter and the bed, but his first embrace still made her warm to her toes.
He’d hummed as he pulled her lips into his mouth. Cupped her jaw as he’d kissed her. He didn’t break eye contact even as he’d entered her the first time, not the last time either.
“Ah, well, sort of important.”
His eyes were always on hers but she couldn’t read them. Milky blue mirrors reflecting back only her own. She wanted to tell him to stop looking at her, she felt naked in front of him. But wasn’t that why she was here? So someone would look at her? See her, notice her? After, he lay on his back. He held her hand, spinning her wedding ring around her finger. She’d put her head on his chest.
“I’ve never been single as an adult,” she’d said. Maybe it was a confession. Maybe it was a question. The picture of his kids, the same ages as her own peeked at her from the side table.
“Me neither, before this,” he replied. “it’s got ups and downs. I get to do what I want. I don’t have to compromise. But it’s you know…”
“Like when I was in college. I was single, and it was great. There was always something to do. People around. But like now, it’s…” He looked at his hands. His hands were so strong and sexy. “It’s lonely.”
There it was. The magnet. It wasn’t his muscle bound 6’2″ frame and soft lips. Twin craters trying to fill themselves, opposite poles drawn together. His newly divorced seclusion, her married isolation, a perfect match. The realization bittersweet, a watershed. The affair would have to be over, this was too real, too close. But relief too, a logical explanation. In some way she was proud that it wasn’t just lust.
He was watching out the window again.
“I don’t mind him,” she said.
“You can go, if you want, but he’s going to talk to you.”
He didn’t say anything about seeing her again. She reached up to kiss him. He bent to meet her but not as low as before. Her hand gripped his bicep and then brushed her favorite place, the divot in the top of his shoulder. His hands found her waist but didn’t slide down to pull her close as they had only hours before. He sighed as her mouth left his. She opened the door, stepped out, and pulled it closed without looking back.
Bright yellow heat pressed her into the pavement. The man in the plaid shirt sat smoking on the step. His huge moustache curled around smiling lips.
“How ya do, miss?”
“Wonderful.” She lied. “And, you?”
“Me too, I reckon.”
Shoes sticking to the pavement, she squared her shoulders and swung her hips. The cave in her chest yawned wider, threatening to collapse. In the car, she maxed the AC, letting the tears finally escape and wondering what the mustachioed man knew that she didn’t.