I unlock the door and walk inside.
“Hi honey!” Sheila comes around the corner from inside the kitchen. I hope she hasn’t decided to do any cooking while I’m gone. The last time she tried I had to get a new stove; that was less than two months ago.
“Hi. What are you up to?”
“Oh just making some cookies.”
I exhale and realize I’d been holding my breath. “I see you’re sticking to things you know for sure you can do?”
“Yeah, I still feel bad about the last stove.” She pauses as I walk down the small hallway and into the bedroom. I strip down till I’m naked and when she comes around the corner into the hallway I’m heading into the bathroom.
“Oh. Why hello…” She smiles, and I watch her eyes slowly grazing over my skin as she looks down, and then slowly taking me in as she looks back up. I can feel my heart slowly beating faster as blood starts moving towards my groin. Her head stays low while her gaze travels back up to my eyes. I turn into the bathroom and call over my shoulder. “Showering. Just got back from the gym.”
“I just popped the cookies into the ov—” I close the door and flip the switch for the bathroom fan. My groin continues to receive blood as I rinse off the sweat, lather myself up, and rinse off. I think about what I saw at the café to avoid thinking about what’s going to happen after my shower. Thinking about him doesn’t help what’s going on below the waist.
When I get out of the shower I barely dry off. I know Sheila likes seeing me wet. I let myself start to think about what’s to come and grab a condom from the drawer in the bathroom. I palm it, and keep my hand behind my back as I open the door, turn off the light and the fan and step into the hallway.
I round the corner into the kitchen and Sheila puts down her phone. The text message screen is visible from where I’m at. We have sex in the kitchen against the counter-top. A seagull lands on the patio railing of the apartment across the street. The person smoking over there shoos it away, then snaps a photo of us with his phone and goes back to whomever he was texting as he heads back inside. He shuts the blinds after him.
After we’re done, I take another shower, thinking about him. I’m already planning a return to the café so that I can watch him again. Lesser men would treasure it as one might treasure seeing the Mona Lisa once: something beautiful once gazed at, but never to be seen again. I know I’ll see it again; I just have to be patient. I begin thinking about how best to approach him, to keep it untainted and preserve its beauty. I put on some shorts and a t-shirt, then go into the kitchen, wipe down the counters, and start making dinner while Sheila showers.