By Courtney Sunday
“What did you do today?” he asked.
She paused to think of a story much better than the truth. Much better than doing dishes and changing diapers and calling her mother. Something passionate and thrilling that would make the twinkle in his eye appear. She was too tired for creativity.
“Nothing much,” she admitted, sighing without meaning to.
He threw the remnants of his lunch on the counter. “Great,” he said, as if he had not really heard her. “Going to get a quick run in,” he remarked over his shoulder, beelining for the bedroom.
She followed him into the bedroom, watching him change, his familiar body older, as confident as when he had chosen her. She remembered how they forgot to eat in the beginning, so rapt with each other’s bodies. Now he was naked and he knew she was there and neither one of them looked at one another, afraid of what it would mean, afraid of where it would go.
She looked over at her lingerie drawer, which had mostly become a sock drawer. She opened it, fishing to the bottom for something silky, for something sexy. She found an old negligee, see-through enough to be provocative, forgiving enough to hide stretch marks. Touching it made her blood feel warmer. She took it with her to the bathroom, trying it on hurriedly, as if she were making an impulse purchase, or doing something forbidden. It’s your husband, for God’s sake, she told herself, flipping her hair upside down to make it look messier. She opened her standing cabinet and looked beyond the nipple cream and hair remover to find a red lipstick, which had a weird funk to it but still made her lips pop. She smiled at herself in the mirror. She turned sideways and sucked her belly in and stuck her butt out. She flirted with the woman she hadn’t seen in awhile, coquettishly looking over her shoulder, like Betty Boop and Marilyn Monroe and every vamp that never knew what it meant to smell like baby spit-up.
“Bye, hon!” her husband called out, again halfway out the door. It slammed behind him just as she opened the bathroom door, her bare feet skidding across the floor. She looked out the peephole, watching her husband whistle, fiddling with his phone to find his workout music. Her baby laughed in the other room. She wiped off the counter, wiped off her lipstick and opened the nursery door.
Courtney Sunday is a freelance travel and health writer originally from Toronto who resides in Philadelphia. She is currently editing her first novel while she teaches yoga to people who don't believe they can do yoga. She can be found at www.courtneysunday.com or in a Philly coffee shop.