I am sitting across from a girl who is the sister of a man I used to fuck a number of years ago, long before my second marriage. She was in eighth grade back then, her clothes were too big and her thoughts too small. She would spy on us having sex in their parents’ pool. I caught her once. We made eye contact.
My husband knows he has no reason for jealousy. If ever we are apart, we miss each other in desperate ways. Like looking for candles during a blackout; the need for a spark on a freezing cold night.
Her name is Natalie. Her boyfriend’s name is Neil. I did not invite them to my house. They are passing through with a neighbor. My husband and I moved away as far as we could.
“One day I’ll buy you an orchard,” he promises when we lay together during our favorite times. Pre-dawn or post 2am. The quietest moments, moments without houseguests, invited or uninvited.
My neighbor is telling us about her recent trip to Barcelona, the one when we watched her cat, Adicus. Natalie is getting fingered under the table. It makes Neil uncomfortable, but he knows the way she is. He leans forward like he’s listening closely.
Natalie is the type of girl who needs physical contact. Kindness is not enough for her. If it was, she wouldn’t say the things about us to Neil that she’s saving for the car ride home.
“Wait until I tell Melody about those two. They are so not going to last.”
My husband is cooking baked potatoes on our coal burning grill because the only ingredients in our refrigerator at the moment are potatoes, sharp cheddar cheese, a gob of butter and some bacon left from breakfast.
We weren’t expecting guests, or intruders. But he and I are the type to offer everything we have to anyone who asks.
“It doesn’t matter what they have to say,” he whispers in my ear on his way back outside with butter in his hand. I’m in the kitchen pouring drinks. “We know what really goes on.”