Someone brought this story up on another post and I realized that I’ve never done a Teaser of it. It’s a segment out of the middle of a finished novel called Other People’s Dead Relatives. The first chapter of the book was published as a short story by Vagabondage Press and a smaller segment of it was pubbed by The American Drivel Review.
Dena had finally settled herself, begun to calm her irritations of the day, when her bedroom door opened. She sat up and said, “What?”
“Nothin’.” Geddy crossed the room and went down on his knees next to the bed. Slipping his arms around her waist, he leaned in to kiss her. First, she resisted. Second, she succumbed. Third, she pushed him away.
“Not tonight,” she whispered.
“Why not?” he said in a normal voice.
She put her finger to lips to hush him. “Because I don’t want to.”
He kissed her again, and she let him, let him unbutton the top three buttons on her nightgown. When he tugged her closer, tried to put her legs around him, however, the bed groaned. She pushed him back again, frowning
“He’s right there.” Dena jerked her thumb toward the wall behind her bed. The sofa where her nephew slept was on the other side.
“So come into my room,” Geddy said.
“I don’t want to.”
“Because I don’t want to.”
For an instant, they were still, glaring at each other, she in annoyance, he in frustration. Against her leg, she felt how hard he was, but still she put her hands on his shoulders and pushed him away. With an exasperated snort, he went back to his own room, and a few minutes later she heard the now familiar box springs symphony. It drove her nearly to madness and, kicking the covers off, she stormed through the bathroom and opened Geddy’s door.
“Am I keepin’ you awake, ma’am?” he said. Even in the dark she knew he was smiling.
Dena snatched the sheet off him and said, “Get up.” When he was up, with his pants on, she took him by the arm, led him through the kitchen, and up the stairs to the third floor. The honeymoon suite was palatial and sumptuous in the moonlight. Dena had never slept in the bed, and even though it would require her to change the bedding again in the morning, she pulled back the coverlet and pushed Geddy down on the silk sheets.
They went at each other with a rabidity that Dena couldn’t remember having experienced before. It was the sort of wildness she thought she should have felt at all those orgies and never had. When all of the hollering and humping was done, Geddy rolled off her, panting, and laughed.
“Well, alright,” he said.
“Now, that’s what a honeymoon suite is for.”
“I’ll tell you what.” Geddy rolled onto his side, kissed her shoulder, but instead of going to sleep, he said, “You was married. Did you have a good honeymoon?”
“Oh, gag. Let’s not talk about that.”
“I didn’t mean nothin’ by it. I was just curious.”
“Mediocre wedding night. Mediocre marriage.”
“That’s a real shame.”
“Not for you. I definitely would not be fucking you if I were happily married.”
“You better watch that dirty mouth of yours.” He tugged at a piece of her hair.
“Or what? You’ll wash my mouth out?”
“Might. I know a thing or two about it.” Dena thought there was an innuendo in there, but then Geddy said, “You know, I can’t hardly believe how you let Cole talk to you.”
“Oh….” Dena had been about to say, “He’s just a kid,” but he wasn’t. She didn’t have an answer for why she put up with Cole’s rudeness. She settled for a lie. “I don’t really care.”
“I ever talked like that to my Aunt Claire, she woulda took a belt to me.”
Wanting to get back to that silly, half-drunk feeling, Dena ran her hand down Geddy’s belly. The sheets were already dirty.
The second time, he had the decency to fall asleep immediately after. Dena lay in her floating bubble of happiness. The one that Cole always popped. Usually, she got her bubble if she went walking in the evening and saw something lovely: a perfect sunset, a budding flower, two romancing lizards, a happy squirrel. She never let herself think about how unlikely it was that the squirrel would survive the summer without getting run over.