A Nerd and Her Blog | Short Story
© A Nerd and Her Blog
“I don’t understand what takes you so long in there,” he says, “what all do you do?” His voice is tinged with so much annoyance and exasperation, Everly Adams has to glance at the bed she and her husband share to ensure that the man lying on his side, his chin propped on his palm, is, in fact, her husband.
Her eyes avert to the ceiling: an attempt to roll her eyes. But she sighs, for, at that moment, it dawns on her that she never quite mastered the art.
But — she also realizes — it’s awfully dark. Their room is completely void of light, except for a small pool of yellow light that spills from a lamp on the bedside table on the right side of the room. But it really doesn’t go far. So, if she were to succeed in rolling her eyes, it being the slight movement it is, wouldn’t be seen.
A towel wrapped around her naked, wet body, Everly lies in the bed, getting as close to the edge she can get.
“Why the hell did you just get in the bed? Goddammit,” Anthony rants, his hand wandering about the sheets, “you’re gonna wet the sheets, Everly!”
Her arms fold, her small lips pout, making them look bigger than they are, and she sighs, exasperated. Perching them atop her chest, a silent, wet tear falls from her eye, wetting the pillow beneath her head, as she realizes: It’s gotten worse. They’ve gotten worse.
They’d finally reached that stage where couples argue about anything and everything, even something as simple as getting the sheets wet.
A divorce couldn’t be far.
She reaches to the table at her side, and her pale, slender fingers roam the table’s wooden surface until, finally, she feels the shape of her phone.
They curve around its edges, almost immediately, like it’s routine.
Like it’s natural.
She texts her boyfr-. Friend? Really close friend? Really, really close friend? Everly doesn’t know. She hadn’t decided. Her and Sam had kissed, gone out on dates, even made love. Yet she didn’t call him her boyfriend.
It just seemed wrong.
Everly: Hey, I know it’s late. But it’s happening again. Cheer me up?
Sam: Yeah, of course. Come over tonight?
Everly: Sure. See you then.
After drying herself off, Everly slid on a pair of white, lacy underwear and a matching bra, which, she knew, seemed irregular. But Sam liked it when she was creative. Also, the two had discovered that the color went better with her skin, which was so pale, it looked like that of a porcelain doll.
She knew what the night would bring.
But she didn’t mind, nor care.
Sam would penetrate her in such a way that would bring Everly nothing but bliss, in a way that made her forget about everything that brought tears to her eyes or a frown upon her face, and all she would be able to think about was the next kiss, the next thrust, or the next orgasm.
When they’d lie awake talking after making love, she’d tell him that it’s a talent. He used to simply laugh it off. But then he started noticing how sad Everly would be when she came, and how happy she’d be when she’d leave, and he had started to believe it.
When she stepped out of the bathroom, Anthony was just as Everly had left him: resting on their bed, his head propped on his palm. Although he did look sad. Or calm, maybe? She didn’t know. She’d only seen anger on his face for the past few years; she didn’t know what anything else looked like at this point.
“What happened to us?” he asked, quickly. His voice was soft and faint, almost frail, it seemed. His voice cracked, and Everly felt like if he had said anything else in that moment, it would break.
Everly stood, silent and baffled.
What did he mean?
“Looked at your phone.” he said casually, pointing to the bed, where it lay. Noticed your…get-up, which is clearly not for me. Not with the problems we’ve been having.”
So he knows — that we’ve gotten worse — too, thought Everly.
“Come here.” he says.
Everly notices that the cracks in his voice have been mended, but she can still hear their presence: deep and hidden — like a sweater with a hole after being sewn — and she stiffens.
“Come here.” Anthony repeats, his voice hardening.
Everly takes slow steps towards the bed, and then she collapses on it, dumbfounded.
Nothing seems real right now: sneaking off to Sam, getting caught, or cheating in the first place.
Everything and everyone seems so distant, they’re almost not there.
“Lie down,” he whispers.
Moving stiffly and slowly, she lies on her back.
“What happened to us?” he asks, again, his voice calm and weak again.
Everly remains silent, body rigid and eyes facing one direction only: up.
“Look at me,” he demands, turning her chin.
Her eyes widen, and tears well in her eyes.
“Let me show you something,” he says.
He turns to a drawer at the bed’s side, and pulls out a book. A big book. Their book. Of all their memories and moments. He flips to the first page.
Their wedding day — Everly thinks, looking the page over — was an odd mixture of embarrassment and beauty. But she still loved it. Every moment of it. The vows. The dancing. The food. Even herself tripping on her dress while her and Anthony danced the night away at the wedding reception. Everly had freaked out, and Anthony had done the complete opposite. He’d caught her before she’d fallen, and after they’d stopped dancing, he’d told everyone that knew Everly had almost fallen that it was a stunt the two had practiced, and that Everly had not — if nothing else — messed it up. She’d fallen in love with him even more that day. Something she didn’t even know was possible.
“This is our wedding day,” he whispers, “you remember it?” He pauses, and then says “It was beautiful. You were beautiful. You know that?…Even when you almost fell at the reception party. I fell in love with you even more that day. Something I didn’t even know was possible. Did you know that?”
Smiling, he flips to the second page of the book: their first date.
“You insisted that we get pizza. I said no. I wanted to give you something better than that —.”
“And I told you, that you’re the best I’ll ever have.” Everly finally spoke, softly, finishing his sentence.
“I said that was cheesy, a line out of a movie. So, we made a compromise.”
“We got both.”
It is now that Everly realizes Anthony is crying, but smiling. And even through her tears, Everly finds it in herself to do the same.
He turns the page: to the birth of their first baby: Winston Adams.
“Best day of my life.”
“Me too,” Everly says, “I was so proud to be bringing a child into the world. A child created by you.”
Nodding, Anthony returns the book to the drawer, and says, upon returning to his upright position, “What happened to that?”
It had become more than crying.
She collapsed onto Anthony’s chest, sobbing.
Tears ran from her eyes rapidly; after one would fall, almost immediately, another would follow.
Her sobs turned to wails: the desolate sound of one who had lost all hope.
Her body convulsed manically.
Anthony cradled her in his arms, caressing her hair and wiping the tears from her cheeks when they fell, while rocking her back and forth. Left and right. Over and over. Again and again.
Until she stopped crying.
This reminded Everly of the old days, when she’d be crying with so much intensity, her body would tremble and shake, he’d sniff, and she’d feel as if she couldn’t breathe. And all he’d do was hold her.
She had missed this, and it had only had to happen again for her to realize it.
“You know, Everly, even through all our pain, my love for you…it didn’t change.” Anthony whispers, softly, in Everly’s ear. And then he kisses it: faintly.
God, she’d missed this.
“Me too,” Everly replied, between sobs, her thumb roaming about his soft, pink lips. She looks into his eyes, only to find that they were already looking into hers. Closing her eyes, she brushed them against his own faintly and softly.
Her eyes opened, slowly.
And then Anthony kissed her back, softly, like she had before.
And then he brought her close, and their kiss became more than that. Dancing. Yes. Ballroom dancing, Everly concluded, taking note of the way their lips moved together, like they were one.
Wrapping her hands around her back, he unhooked her bra. And his hand, soft and warm, slides into her panties, rubbing at the moistening flesh that lie beneath.
She moaned, satisfied.
“Do you want this, right now?” he asks. His breath was hot and moist, and she took it in, letting it intoxicate her.
“Yes.” she gasped lustly into his mouth, rubbing her hand up and down the bulge in his pants.
She moaned, again.
She hadn’t felt him like this in so long.
“I want to take you out tonight.” he murmured. The white sheets were pulled up to her — something Anthony would always do after they’d make love. “I don’t want you to feel exposed and unloved,” he’d say. — revealing everything but her soft, freckled shoulder. Anthony rubs it.
“Mmm!” exclaimed Everly, “Where to? Olive Garden?”
“Little Caesar’s?” Everly inquired, confused.
Anthony loved Olive Garden.
“I’ll go get ready,” Everly says, taking the cover from the bed and wrapping it around her.
“Alright. And Everly?”
“Yes?” she asks, turning back.
“Take all the time you need.”