Sleeping next to her in bed.
After sex she gets up and I stare at her body.
‘You are incredible,’ I say. And she looks at me like she doesn’t take my words seriously. ‘I’m fat,’ she says.
‘No, you are incredible.’
She had put on some weight. She had put on a lot of weight. But the fat skin wrapped around her body couldn’t conceal her kindness. The thickness of the meat couldn’t hide her already-showing vulnerability.
There was a time when she owned the world – a time when she was queen and men were battling it out to be appointed her king. She sat proudly on her thrown and never gave anybody a glimpse of anything. All these servants around her fought and toiled like blabbering buffoons or entertaining fools that sought to capture her attention by any imaginable way. Those who thought they had a chance were kidding themselves – no one could approach her by any stretch of the mind. She was a lioness, a mother-bear; fierce, strong-willed, proud. No man could make her yield, no matter how tough or charming or rich. And she knew it. She thrived on the failed attempts, on the rued chances, on the wasted opportunities men used as an alibi for their failures. The only person that could convince her was herself: she took herself to bed, like a demonic androgen, and knowing she had that power alone was satisfactory and enough to get her to sleep at night.
But now it was all gone. Her influence had dissolved, her powers had melted. She became fat but remained proud, though the cracks were starting to show on the surface of her face. She became less intimidating and her aura had diluted. She had grown susceptible, but there was beauty in her vulnerability. She was like a new-born kid being pushed out into the wild, staring at the swing for the first time in his life. She had accumulated a bit of sadness, a bit of resentment for herself and the tide she rode to get here. She was once a princess of royal blood and descent, now turned to a measly pauper.
But she was still stunning in my eyes. She was ravishing, like a new breath of fresh air that hits you in the face when you take the open road. She was still brand new, and her soul was exposed and showing amid the layers of fat she had amassed.
Tonight I had conquered her. I rode that field of pleasure and shiny roses, I rode the high plane that led to the sky, I mounted the staircase to heaven, I tasted umami and witnessed the promised land.
Whilst in bed, she seemed different from the shy unconfident soul standing in a bathrobe in front of me. She had tapped into her inner-queen and unlocked the immensity of her pride and ruthlessness. She took me to barren lands and brought me back with a million stories to tell. She awoke the beast in me and took it to the limit. She was gritty, like a fine glass of whiskey by the chimney on a dark full moon. And dare I say, the words I swore to never speak or write were now dancing at the tip of my tongue: I loved her. I was constricted by that charm of hers, by her uneasy looks, by the softest of her touches. Her defenses had faltered in front of me and I saw the birth of innocence. For a night – for a single night – she brought back the saint in me and exorcised the demons. She banished the bad drinking, the smokes, the alley fights, the lame job hunts, the filthy writing. She smelled better than the hardcover of a brand new book. She tasted like the finest written lines out there.
And now, as she stands there and questions my statements, looking indecisive about the compliments I give her warm body, I think about making her my star. I think about making her the heroin of my tales, the protagonist of my writing expeditions. She has given me reason enough to pick up the word again and go at it one more time. She has fueled the fight in me.
I wink at her and tap the empty mattress next to me. ‘Round two?’ I sleazily ask her.
‘Not tonight,’ she cracks a smile that reveals her white pearls. And she takes off her bathrobe, heads for the bathroom and locks the door.
Spunk and class. That’s what I liked most about her. I wish I had a bit of that.
I light a cigarette in bed and start working on a new story starring my newfound gem.