Short Story

Othello & the Pink

There’s a chip in the wall opposite my bed. Many small beauty marks such as this decorate the walls of my bedroom. This particular chip has a pinkish hue underneath the vanilla cream paint. I’ve spent hours staring at it in the dull light of morning. The world will wake soon and pull me from my slumber. I can hear her strong breath hit the stiff sheets she cocooned herself in. It’s the sound heat makes on brisk mornings. I stare thinking how I would love to wrap her tighter inside her cocoon until the sound stops and the heat cools.

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The force of my thought causes me to shut my eyes as if to stuff it all down into the place where we keep all dark things. Then the alarm sounds and our eyes open.

She moves quickly from underneath the covers to the edge of the bed. Coldness fills the space she once warmed. I lay there as she sits for a second. We say nothing. Then like a mechanical creature we start the routine that has passed 12 years this way. I reach for the toothpaste, she steps backwards. I bend to spit, she side steps. To get to the coffee pot between the sink and kitchen island we circle one another. It’s a dance of sorts. It has a rhythm our routine. Even the way we drive is orchestrated. She still takes the route to work one Tuesday out of every month as if she’s clocking in on time. We bob and weave out of traffic. As I pull into the parking space across from the hotel she side steps to avoid a businessman walking through the hotel door. There’s a certain beauty to our dance. But I grow tired still. And my head is beginning to ache from trying hard to keep the thoughts at bay.

I never liked speaking much. Her voice however was a sound a liked the most. Now it offends me even with the simplest sound. The sound of her chewing on her pen cap as she works her spreadsheets. The clack of her heels on the hardwood floors; I can imagine the microscopic scratches each step makes. She hasn’t even noticed. I set the plates for dinner and she clacks her way to the dining room. She removes her shoes as she sits and sighs. I imagine asking if her day was busy but I don’t feel like hearing the sound of a lie escape her lips. I say nothing and sit. Dinner is just a formality. She makes a joke and I attempt a laugh. I pass the dishes and we eat. The dance continues. We let the window up above the sink. A breeze filters through and cools the stale air.

It freshens for a moment.

Our hands touch in the soap water. I had forgotten the feeling of skin. This soft, rubber like organ that fascinates the darkest of my senses. We pause. A giggle escapes from one of us. Maybe both of us. Soapy water drips from her fingers as she tucks a braid behind her ear. A tiny purple pool sticks to the side of her neck. She must’ve forgotten to keep it hidden. I use to do that for her. Then I feel an intense need for another touch of skin. I wrap my arm around her and pull her hips to mine.

Lips find their way around each other, down necks, to chests. We find our way to bed. I had forgotten how wonderful skin feels against my skin. I know there’s a climax approaching. Her phone rings in the other room and her breathe stills. I try to bring her back to us but I can tell she’s distracted.  I release and with it the thoughts I stuffed loosen.

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My hands find their to way to her rubber like neck. I want to see how much pressure it will take to warp this thing that fascinates me. A minute or two passes. Her moans turned gargles. Her hands grasping, scratching like a passionate lover. She releases.

The circle enclosing her neck begins as a soft pink then slowly fades to an angry red, then purple or maybe black. It reminds me of the pink chip in our bedroom wall. I turn from her and begin staring at it in the silence. The sun dims and moves across the room. Even the vanilla paint turns an orangish red until I am bathe in a room of crimson. I sit in it feeling more relaxed than I know I should but somehow it all feels like home now.

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