She’s not listening to me. I’m not listening to her. I won’t take a nap. I need to be as aware as possible in the sub. Especially since she is up to really big business.


No answer. I walk into the living room.


“Yeah?” the eldest shouts from the TV room.

“I’m hopping in the shower.”

“OK, we’re just watching The Walking Dead.”

Good. They should be engrossed long enough for me to relax.

I walk into the bathroom, turn on the water and strip down while the water heats to excruciatingly hot. I stare at my naked self in the mirror. I’d still be pretty hot if everything was just raised up about a half inch. Fine. An inch.

I lean in close and inspect my face. Fine lines are a thing of the past. There is no anti-ageing cream that will actually prevent the inevitable. It is inevitable. It doesn’t stop me from spending a hundred dollars a month trying to prevent the inevitable. The deep crease between my brow has been with me since high school. Longer than any of my friends. Funny how my mom always used to say, “If you don’t stop frowning your face is going to stay like that.”

Mothers. Always right about those things.

“No sense beating yourself up.” I lean closer. I catch my own eyes in the mirror. Like sliced kiwi. At least my eyes are still beautiful. I wonder if he remembers our second date? We were sitting in a booth, opposite each other. I had my legs stretched out, straddled his and propped my feet on either side of his thighs. He rested his hands on each of my ankles. We were so comfortable with each other from the start. Like we were old friends who happened to meet each other at a bar one night, go home, fuck our brains out and the rest was history.

He wouldn’t stop staring at me. Finally I asked, “Is everything OK?” and he replied, “It’s your eyes. They’re just so beautiful. It’s you. You’re just so beautiful.” I smiled. It was the first time anyone had told me I was beautiful. I’d been such an ugly child. It’s a little sad. I never really believed him. And now, that the beauty is fading, now I know how beautiful I was.

Why couldn’t I appreciate it then?

I know he thinks I’m beautiful. Maybe he just hasn’t told me since that night…twenty years ago. Not even on our wedding day did he tell me I looked beautiful. He was too drunk. Too stoned. Too busy with his friends to notice me. I was a nothing more than a party favor at that point. We’ve come a long way.

Twenty years. A lifetime.

I remember my babysitter when I was little. Fabian. She was twenty-seven. I couldn’t even wrap my head around that when I was four. Twenty-seven. She became my step mom when I was eight. Funny how things work out like that. Isn’t it?

Now here I am knee-deep in my forties. Two kids. A great love affair that has aged as well as we have. The love is there. The love is deep. The respect is deeper. The passion is still there, too. Yet, there is something missing.

What is it that is missing?

My image fades into the steam on the mirror, I turn and enter the stream of piping hot water. Slowly I tip my head back, close my eyes and soak my long mane of auburn hair.

As I rake my hands over my face and through my hair, a sudden jolt of energy strikes my core. My eyes open wide, confused. The energy glides down, deep within me. I’m taken back and sit down on the bench. The shampoo bottle crashes to the floor, but I leave it.

What is she doing?

Before I know it I am massaging my clit.

What are you doing? There is no lock on the door.

I stand up and try to shake it off. I turn the faucet to cold and force myself under the stream of frigid water.

It isn’t helping.

“Fuck it!” I swing open the shower door, drag the laundry hamper in front of the door, turn the shower back to hot and pick up where I left off.

Before long, I hit a peak of climax that seems unnatural, other worldly.

“See that?”

“Huh? What? Oh, yeah. Wow.”

“Don’t doubt me again, April. I’m on your side.”

“I know, I just…I just don’t think it’s healthy to fantasize like this. If feels…dangerous.”

“I know. I fucking love it and you do too. So stop fighting me. I wanna feel good. I want you to feel good. I want us to feel good.”

“But, who is this person?”

“Jesus Christ! Can’t you just bask in the glow of a fucking amazing orgasm for five minutes without questioning what this is?”

She’s right. What have I turned into? I used to be so fun. So free. So uninhibited. No wonder the inmate is running the asylum.


“Oh, you gotta go…you can thank me later.”

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