Ceaseless winds all night; weather prediction mentioned likelihood of passing storm fronts. Seasonal changes rolling up from the south west, pushing squalls across the city. Impossible to sleep, rain beating down on roofs.
On this windy night, Rosa had already been up twice shutting various windows she’d forgotten were open. Rain is tumbling in, the carpet is wet. It sure needs cleaning up in the morning. Usually she would have closed windows or Jonathon would, double checking them all, due to his pedantic nature. Bloody coffee table, best move it before I fall over in the dark and really hurt myself. With Jonathon gone, who’d call an emergency if I’m laid out on the floor? Neither of them needed ambulance help, ever. But now his death threw all sorts of things into disarray.
The digital clock’s flashing broke through sleep, this time. Its normal consistent glow was not something Rosa even perceived. Those emanations came from the table on Jonathon’s side. Why did he need to know what the time was, couldn’t he just sleep through the night times, seemed negative to be aware of darkness hours.
Searching for a light switch Rosa struggled, groped about, fingers reaching out, flicked it three times, and then realized a power cut, again.
Seeing the smashed window, jagged edges caught in another phosphorus lightning streak, brought fear swelling up. What if she hurt herself?
‘Shit, this is bad.’ Speaking aloud made noise reverberate in empty corners. Echoes of those words hung in the air. Reaching out for Jonathon’s reassuring warmth, but of course his side of the bed, long cold.
Tears blurred the dim night-time outlines of furniture. Even in this minimal light Rosa noticed glass across the bedroom floor as liquid looking carpet blobs. Curtains were shredded, and flopped about in blustery air.
A whimpering struggle for the door. Solitude was almost attractive following his death; now emptiness intimidated. Fleeing across the living room, feeling no pain as slithers of glass left red streaks under foot. Athletic, fit, in control, Rosa blamed this painlessness on shock. Something will begin to hurt soon enough.
‘Calm down, it’s a storm; lightning, thunder, rain, a smashed window, the power out, all explainable,’ she mumbled.
Sign of insanity, talking to herself. Rosa justified whispering, keeping her voice down, avoiding bothering those encroaching empty spaces.
The bedroom door flew open; wind, she thought.
‘Must shut the door. Damn storm. Be floods for sure.’
Silent tears of relief fell, as Rosa countered earlier panic.
Shit! Her feet. Rosa pictured a trail of bloody footprints right across the new carpet they’d laid after completing bathroom renovations.
Rosa became aware that tears were again spilling over, not in pain but recriminations for getting blood on Jonathon’s new carpet. How could she help herself get over things that dragged her down? Just a storm, no reason to let panic set in.
‘How stupid – some tough lady, you are.’ One tiny problem brought on blubbering like a toddler left at child care, away from daddy for the first time. Falling apart easily reinforced the benefits of not producing children.
‘Pull yourself together, woman.’ Another sonar of words to tumble out into these empty rooms, ready to play with all the others.
Leaning back against the door, Rosa became aware of a power. Light appeared to be spilling in from dark streets. A repeated warning flashed.
‘More lightening,’ she waited for the inevitable bump of thunder. But heard no noise, except her own sharp, dry mouthed gasp. Nausea rose, eyes spun about trying to look in all corners. But Rosa soon realized the single illumination source was dribbling out from below the bedroom door.
Peered out the lounge window onto a balmy night, and knew a mill-pond ocean murmured beyond. Invisible but Rosa pictured cotton candy clouds floating overhead. Even the distinct metallic smell of summer rain was absent. Blinking away tear blurs she even made out warm streetlight halos dotting the familiar view. So what was going on behind the bedroom door?
‘God, let me wake up – or let me sleep.’
The couch beckoned paradise. Rosa rested, gasped in faint leather smells, trusting the seat’s warmth under legs, feeling steady, delirious. Face still tear wet, wiped away with their arms rather than let them fall on their couch. Johnathon’s favourite.
‘One day when you least expect it, I will make love to you on here.’ He’d promised.
Felt first in her feet, an intense, slightly damp prickling, then something inched upwards past knees, into thighs; bewildering. Pleasurable but at the same time Rosa wanted to pull away. Even if able to find words, make a sound emerge from dry, uncooperative mouth, this feeling indescribable, a type of euphoria; almost worth an earlier panic; absolute peace. Impossible to think of anything else. Stronger now around thighs; then a warm tingle fluttered through her belly, lifting fine silken hairs. Hands guided in removal of the old T shirt now part of her night attire.
A layer of cloth, no matter how old, no matter how crumpled, but these layers allowed Rosa elements of a reasonable night’s sleep. Didn’t feel right to buy widow’s pyjamas yet, but at least some of his old gym wear created the ambience of Jonathon’s presence.
While sitting, slightly on edge, wanting these feelings to cease, moist warmth moved from within, teasing legs open, embraced buttocks, demanding pressure forced a lift to be closer. Rosa’s breathing quickened, sweat glowing on her now naked torso. Hands moved to squeeze breasts, exactly the way Jonathon liked. Drawing legs up, eager for the feeling of penetration. At first gentle then more rapid. Ecstasy overpowered. A moan escaped as contractions grasped. Afterwards composure slowly returned.
Then renewed concern pushed in, a smell; pine with slight musk. ‘No, it can’t be… yes, his aftershave.’
A sensory memory fell into place, cologne mingled with sweat; penetration. ‘Oh shit. Damn you. Leave me alone. You’re dead. This is not fair!’ She yelled as fresh memories of those pleasure contractions subsided and became painful.
The bedroom door blew shut. Noise startled her awake, vaguely aware of another dream. Heat and sweat pooling. Sleep, blissful sleep, a craved commodity. Rosa sighed as heavy weightlessness took over. Even with neck and shoulders pushed uncomfortably against couch armrests. Sinking into slumber as if she’d drifted into a satisfied, ruffled state, such a familiar conclusion to their love-making.
A wind gently cooled blowing across her still naked body. Restful now Rosa slept, calm, exhausted, eyelids fluttering. Unaware of a peaceful breeze fluttering storm shredded curtains inwards. Strike like lightning dragging a gashing across the bedroom.
Culled from blog.reedsy.com by Karen Lethlean