At first Maura thought she was dreaming of a woodpecker when the soft tapping interrupted her sleep. Aunt Trulla had one in her tree and it pecked all day long. But why would a bird tap on the door, Maura wondered, and why at one in the morning? She armed herself with the African Fertility Statue and went to the door.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me, Easy.”
“It’s one a.m. You know Sidney is staying downtown.”
“I need to see you.”
“I’ll open the curtains and you can see all you need to see.”
“Please, Maura. The buses have stopped running. I’ve got no place to go.”
Maura glanced at the hallway mirror. She frowned at herself dressed in a pair of Sidney’s billowy pajamas she had found buried in the linen closet. Maura shook loose her ponytail and opened the door.
“Those pajamas look nice on you,” Easy said shutting the door behind him.
“I never saw him wear no pajamas.”
Maura looked at Easy. “I’m sure you didn’t. He only wore them around me.”
“Don’t be mad.”
“Why should I be mad? I’ll be a cursed woman next Wednesday. That’s worse than being mad.”
“I, I … I luh, I love you.”
She kept her back to Easy to keep him from reading anything in her eyes. “God help me,” Maura laughed.
“Lord, if you’re my savior.” Maura shook her head.
Easy stared at her as she walked toward the kitchen. “I said I love you.”
“I never knew you stuttered so badly. You need to see a speech pathologist.”
“Words like that ain’t never been easy for me.”
“It comes easy from the mouth. Not so easy from the heart, Easy.” Maura flashed her eyes at him and continued to the kitchen. She grabbed a glass and stood at the refrigerator.
“You have something of mine,” Easy said.
“What could that be?” She turned and faced him.
“A pair of my draws.”
“What do you mean, I have them?”
“They’re in this house.”
“Perhaps Sidney took them to his hotel for a souvenir. Don’t you know where he’s staying?”
“You got ‘em. I left them under the couch.”
“Oh wow. Yes I saw them the other day. I threw them away.”
“I left them for you.”
“You came all the way out here at this hour for a pair of your cheesy drawers?”
Easy watched her put the glass under the water dispenser. An ice cube dropped into the glass.
“Well, I don’t have them,” she said looking at the cube before crunching into it. She turned and headed up the stairs. Easy followed. “Perhaps this is what you miss.” Maura pointed at the perfectly made up bed. “It’s just like Sidney left it.”
Before she could turn around, she felt herself being lifted and flung over Easy’s shoulders. She beat her fists into his back and in a moment she landed in the middle of the bed with Easy sprawled on top of her. She tried to push him off and hammered his sides with her fists. He didn’t budge. He lay on top of her until she had exhausted herself. Maura felt his breath caressing her neck. Her nipples tingled as they lay crushed under his chest.
“What do you want?” she whispered.
“I want my drawers. I don’t have on any.”
“Is that my problem?”
“You want me walking around in this world without any drawers on?”
“Walmart has a huge...”
Easy cut her off with a kiss. Maura’s tongue was cool and she pushed crushed ice past his lips. She wrapped her arms around him. “You can wear my panties.”
“I’ll wear them, if you let me.”
“I’m not wearing any.”
“That makes two of us.”
Easy unbuttoned Maura’s pajama top and ran his tongue over her nipples. She arched her back and he slipped her pajama bottoms past her ankles and threw them on the floor.
“I got condoms this time.”
The bed was damp with sweat. Easy’s head rested on Maura’s thigh. Her foot was slung across his shoulders. She was irritated and depressed that Easy had taken her to an orgasmic mountaintop. Now she was at the plateau. What loomed downhill? Could she marry Easy and save herself from the curse? Thirty days sounded as tragic as thirty pieces of silver. And Judas hated himself after receiving his prize. Maura wondered would she hate herself in thirty days if she married the likes of Easy? But the dick felt so good. Even now a half hour later, she felt tremors. But what else… Maura’s cellphone chimed and cut off her thoughts. She looked at the clock. It was four a.m. She wondered what on earth could her job want at that hour. She picked up the phone and saw Sidney’s name flashing across the screen.
“Yes I’m his wife! Hospital? What happened? We … I’ll be there right away.”
Maura bounced out of bed. “Sidney’s been hurt. He’s at Ben Taub.”
“I’ll go with you,” Easy said reaching for his pants.
Maura scrambled into a warm-up suit and Easy put on his t-shirt. He held his pants in his hands and looked at Maura as if asking a question.
“Oh for god’s sake. They’re downstairs in the living room hanging from the ceiling fan.”
In a moment they were out the door and racing toward the hospital.
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