He’s wearing a dove gray T-shirt written, “KNOW YOURSELF” in bold white and a citrus scent. He thinks of throwing on his Technicolor scarf but thinks against it. She had raised an eyebrow about it but he told her it was a gift from work. “Honey you know these creative’s and their eccentrics,”—his fingers trail along her jawline softly “—they will buy you things that don’t match your style at all.” He looks at her lying in bed while he puts on his navy blue denim jeans. Her white, flowery, lacy, negligee nightgown inches up her thighs exposing her skin which is rich with oak tree brown color. It was another unsuccessful night. He furrows his brow and a crease forms on his forehead. Maybe he should tell her this morning, let things out of his chest once and for all. His teeth dig into his lower lip, he’s not up for the task.
“Good morning? You’re up early.” She turns and groans, her voice raspy like it has just been scraped with steel-wool and her eyes heavy with sleep. “Come back,” she says rubbing his side of the bed with her tiny intricate hands which spot lavender purple nail polish.
“There’s nothing I would love more than to slide back in those sheets and cuddle you out of your skin honey but there’s a little something called a job. It runs the whole day and makes sure we have money to live a somewhat decent life, ever heard of it?” He says sarcastically with a grin on his face.
“Come on, you can steal an hour or two, plus it’s an ad agency nobody gets there until brunch. Or is there something you’re not telling me?” She spits out the last sentence like venom in her mouth while searching his face with her eyes as if trying to lift the truth from his mind.
“You know I’m an open book, you also know I’m in management (He likes saying he’s in management a lot as if that title is the very prop that holds him up). I want to set some kind of descent precedent for the juniors.” He thinks about that word, ‘junior’ and he gets a kick from it remembering the junior who gave him that Technicolor scarf and a smile curls up his face like a kid on a sugar rush.
“If you say so.” She says smiling but the smile doesn’t get to her light brown eyes.
He moves closer and gives her a wet kiss on the forehead. “I’ll see you in the evening.” He coughs and disappears into the closet where their clothes are hanging out of draws like tomatoes and lettuce from a sandwich. He grabs his jacket and completes his look of a well-adjusted male, with a slight belly, who works in an industry he loves but before dashing out he reaches for the top draw and unspools the Technicolor scarf then goes on to inhale it deeply and after he’s had the first sniff he staggers as if drunk from the ingredients in it. He goes in for a second sniff then looks at it debating whether he should leave it behind or take it with him?
He sits in his Jeep Wrangler, which her fiancé considers unruly. She would prefer him in something like a Chevrolet Malibu or a Toyota Camry not a Jeep. He turns on the ignition his heart pulsing on his finger tips and the Technicolor scarf wrapped around his neck. He sniffs it again and gets another high before putting the gear into drive and in thirty minutes time he’s turning the lock on his office door. But before he can even settle down a young, skinny, excited chap behind horn-rimmed glasses with an overgrown goatee wearing a sky blue T-shirt, black shorts and sneakers walks in with a smile that could sell teeth whitener.
“I see you’re wearing my gift,” he says in a sharp, lilting, girlish diction while moving his hands in a flurry of gestures.
“It’s a nice gift,” he replies a bit uneasy.
“Did you see my weekend reservations, I forwarded you the email.” He teeters to his seat his cinnamon fragrance filling up the air and places his hands on his shoulders and electricity rushes from his collarbone to his groin and his mind explodes with thoughts. Not progressive thoughts but depraved caveman, carnal thoughts. Another touch and his underwear will start peeling off like burning paper.
“Open your machine, let me show you.” He goes on vivaciously. His hot breath blowing on his right ear like a Grammy winning song.
“Oh this is a nice hotel.” He says as the images of Lamu’s sandy beaches and quaint hotel foyers fill up his 13.3 inch MacBook retina display.
“I booked us in for the entire weekend just like we spoke.” He rattles and he turns and their eyes meet and he wonders what people will think? But he’s now at a point in his life where he doesn’t want to care about what people will think anymore. What people think made him get engaged to a woman. A woman who is now miserable and confused because he rarely touches her. What people think is forcing them to put up a face. A face that is killing them inside every day. He presses his lips on his lips and shudders a gasp.
He had been feeling this way for as long as he can remember but he cleaved onto something his being rejected because he felt like a social leper being himself. Everybody around him said it was sin and looked at his ilk as rejects—damaged anomalies who deserved nothing short of disgust from society simply because they loved differently.
He has gone to therapy, prayed, tried to seek council but the feelings kept cropping up. He pulls back, his head heavy with thoughts. He wonders what the people in the office will say. He’s lucky he works in an ad agency where people are a bit liberal and the much they will do is talk in stifled tones unlike some places where your life and your job could be on the line because of who your heart chooses.
“Let me go back to my desk, we’ll talk in the evening.”
They smooch and he picks up his phone as he watches him walk out the door and places a call to his fiancé. They agree to meet for lunch and when the hour hand clocks noon he gets out of his office, his Technicolor scarf wrapped around his neck—terror and excitement squirming inside him. Maybe today is the day he becomes truly free.
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