SAMPLE SUNDAY: From ‘Wife’

KeishamorningKeisha loved snow.

It hadn’t stopped since late the previous afternoon, coming down in determined curtains, making it difficult to see even the buildings across the street. Around six p.m., the storm almost seemed to be losing strength, though the sky remained gray, and Jay had gone out to clean off his truck, preparing to get on the road so he wouldn’t have too bad a time of it later. Keisha remained inside, crossing her fingers and toes, hoping for more snowfall. Her wish was mercifully granted, and Jay returned only a half hour later when a new round made it impossible for him to remove snow as quickly as it took for the truck to become covered once again.

And so their evening had been spent watching television, eating take-out from one intrepid pizza place that was still doing deliveries, and playing cards. Keisha remained on alert, waiting for him to say he had to at least try to get home. But she knew he’d given up when around eight-thirty he took off his boots and shrugged his long-sleeved shirt over his head, leaving only his undershirt, and tormenting her with the view of his strong, tattooed arms and hard, broad chest.

Watching three movies one after the other, it was almost two in the morning when Jay finally helped her pull the sofa-bed back out, and Keisha showered and changed into a long tank, for sleep. Jay showered as well, emerged from the bathroom with a towel wrapped about his waist, apologizing for having to sleep naked, because he couldn’t put on what he called “stale drawers” after getting clean. He kept the towel on while he watched yet another movie, lying atop the covers while Keisha snuggled beneath them, trying to stay awake in case he decided he wanted to touch her.

She didn’t know what time it was when she finally fell asleep but it was very late, the snow was still falling and Jay still hadn’t touched her.

As the sun rose in the horizon now, casting a pale light into the room, Keisha was up with it.

Next to her under the covers, Jay slept on. All night he had remained carefully on one side of the bed, his back turned to her. Keisha knew because she woke intermittently, tired though she was, just to make sure he was still there. But now he was facing her. She liked this new haircut, the Mohawk that faded so his hair was low on both sides, but peaking in the center.

Wanting more than anything to lie there and stare at him, Keisha realized her bladder had other plans and slid out to go pee. She hoped he would remain asleep while she was gone, and stay asleep for many more hours. If he did, she wouldn’t wake him, and when he got up she would use as an excuse the fact that he had been up late, and she didn’t want him to be too tired to drive back upstate in bad weather.

But no such luck. As she was brushing her teeth, she heard the television come on in the other room, and the sound of changing channels.

“You up?” she called, trying to sound less disappointed than she felt.

“Yup,” Jay’s voice was hoarse. “Hurry up in there unless you want me to wet your bed, or piss in your kitchen sink.”

“God, Jay that’s disgusting.” Keisha emerged from the bathroom and almost swallowed her tongue.

Overnight, Jay appeared to have abandoned his modesty and was standing in the middle of her studio apartment stark naked, the indisputable evidence of his manhood straining to point due north, but bowing under its own weight.

“Sorry,” he said, putting down the TV remote and pushing past her. “Gotta go.”

Keisha stood stock still for a moment, trying to regain some semblance of composure.

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