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A Short Story -
I don’t stare at you. I deliberately don’t look at you, while you stomp around the apartment in dress-socked feet. As if you’re the one who’s been wronged. I scoff and shake my head.
Not only will you not have apologized when you know you’ve fucked up, but you’ll have tried to make me feel guilty for being too pissed off to say it back.
You yelled at me—took your awful, stressful week out on me—but I’m the heartless bitch who can’t say I love you back. I’m just one more thing in your life that won’t go right. Won’t cooperate. Won’t do and be and act the way you want me to.
My eye twitches when I hear you and your temper slam doors as you move through our home.
I love you.
You know I do.
But right now, I can’t stand to be in the same room as you.
I hear a loud crash, followed by a stream of swears.
Sighing, I shut my book and set it on the coffee table.
Enough is enough.
I stand up and walk toward the kitchen and your grumpy muttering. With each step, I take a calming breath, trying to let go of my own work stress as well as the added irritation that’s been building since you came home. It won’t help if both of us lose our cool.
I stand in the doorway.
You’re on the floor, still in your work clothes on your hands and knees, an assortment of kitchen utensils strewn on the tile around you.
What a mess.
I frown and adjust my t-shirt and sleep shorts before bending down to help.
“I’ve got this.”
My spine snaps straight at your tone. “I was just trying to help.”
You grunt. “It’s my mess; I can clean it up myself.” You reach for a wooden spoon close to you. “I’m not completely incompetent.”
I raise my eyebrow. “I never said you were.”
“Sure.” The word sounds more like a scoff, a bark of sarcasm.
I shake my head and turn around. Whatever.
“I’ll just do it all by myself.” I can hear your heated grumble behind my back. “I’ll just do everything by myself.”
I whirl back around. “I try to help, you don’t want it. I let you handle it and you’re still not happy.” I throw up my arms. “What do you want?”
Gripping the spoon in your hand tight, your knuckles bulge as your fingers tense. I stiffen, thinking you’re going to yell again.
Instead, you sigh and hang your head, your shoulders hunched and your back bent. “I don’t know.” Scowling in frustration, you throw the spoon in the corner. “I just…” You look up at me, your gaze tired and overwhelmed. “I just want it all to stop.”
Your boss’s lack of appreciation.
Your coworkers’ counterproductive competition.
Your clients’ unreasonable demands.
Your nagging, know-it-all wife’s annoyingly articulate silences.
I wince. Yeah, I can understand that.
You want it all to stop?
I raise my eyebrow. I can do that.
I put my hands on my hips and square my feet, feeling my attitude—my persona and aura—change, a new one slipping over my body like a coat.
I feel my posture, my expression, my mindset shift. Very aware of my lips as they curl almost cruelly, I say, “You can do this?” I bend down, my lithe body feeling sly, and pick up the smooth ceramic utensil crock, feeling it heavy and purposeful in my hand. “Then do it.”
I can see it as my tone and stance register in your brain—in your blood—recognition surging quick through you. The corners of your frown lift and a small laugh touches your voice. “Now?”
I nod. Now. I tap my toe. “Do I need to repeat myself?”
Your back straightens even as your gaze drops. “No.”
I see you reach out your arm toward a spatula.
You freeze, your body tense and eager to please.
I grin. “No hands,” I say and tap my lips thoughtfully. “And no feet.”
You pout, poor baby. I know you’ve had a hard day—a hard week—but I know what you need. You need a challenge you can accomplish and someone who believes, who knows, you can. You need to know that, whatever I ask you to do—whatever I do to you—not only can you handle it, but it’ll pay off in the end.
It’s an enticing promise that most people—most things—in this world can’t keep.
But I can.
I always do.
You bow your head and begin to crawl toward the spatula. I can’t quite see, but I imagine your cock lengthening behind the fly of your slacks. Leaning down, you open your mouth wide and bite the kitchen tool’s handle with your teeth.
I suppress a giggle as you turn your head this way and that, trying to get a good grip, your lips brushing against the tile.
Your hands fist behind your back in a tight twist of fingers to show how determined you are to follow my direction. To prove—to me, and to yourself—that you can.
You lift your head, a look of pride on your face. You smile around the spatula, a bit of a swagger in the swivel of your hips as you crawl on your knees toward me.
It should have been humiliating. Would have been, if it wasn’t you, wasn’t me. But this is what you need.
I need it too.
Even now, I know—in the mundane, everyday part of my brain—that I should feel bad, awful and guilty, listening to your knees squeak across the floor. But the clank of the spatula as you put it into the crock I hold out to you sounds melodic to my ear.
You look at me, your head tilted, almost like a puppy looking for attention. Or approval. I feel myself melt. For a moment I see the weight of all your effort—to be everything for everyone, to push yourself further than you want to and possibly further than you should, to prove yourself to people, to a world, that can never completely accept you. Can never give you what they expect from you.
I want to be different.
I want to be worthy. Worth all that effort.
So I lean down and kiss your lips before I push you back down and nod to the rest of your mess.
Read Part Two Here