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Brunette

I don’t know what draws me to the dining room window at the front of the house, but when I look out I see her—Amy—walking up the dirt drive from the county road, past my house, to her house farther up the mountain. Where has she been? She never goes out anymore. Someone must have given her a lift this far. Why didn’t she ask me to take her?

As always, I feel the clutch of seeing her. I haven’t seen her for two months and five days now, not since the funeral for her Ben—and the only time before that in a long time was at the funeral for my Helen. Both times we’d been standing away from each other, not being able to chance more than a glance or two for each other.

She’s dressed up now like I’ve rarely seen her before, in a suit, and walking so wearily. She’s lost weight. There doesn’t seem to be much left of her. She was such a robust woman when we . . . but then I’m not getting any sturdier either, although I’m certainly getting bigger rather than smaller.

Seeing her stirs something in me. I move around the house nervously, unable to concentrate on any task for long or to settle. It’s a good thing it’s only me now and there’s nothing much to do anyway.

I anticipate the phone call. I have no idea why I do. Nobody calls me anymore. It had been Helen who had been the social one. Within two weeks of her passing I’d become someone people once had known. That is all right with me. It means the phone doesn’t ring and I can melt into the silence of the house, with only my memories for company. For some reason, though, I keep walking by the phone, looking at it, expecting it to ring. And when it does, I nearly jump out of my skin and don’t pick it up until the third ring.

“Please come up,” is all she says, and then I hear the click as the line goes dead. I don’t have to ask who it was. I knew who it would be—even though it has been nearly fifteen years since she last called me. Fourteen years, seven months, and six days, actually. She doesn’t give me time to respond. She knows I’ll come. She’s always been the one in control. And I do go, after I shower and shave and brush my teeth and carefully pick out ümraniye escort my clothes—nothing worn, nothing needing mending. I couldn’t do that to Helen. I couldn’t go in anything that hadn’t been kept up and ironed nicely.

The front door is open to her house. I don’t knock; I just walk on in. All the time I was showering, I was dreaming about where I’d find her—how I’d find her, and it made me go hot. That’s just where I find her, in her bedroom, on her bed, naked, propped up on her elbow with her eyes trained to the doorway.

The look she gives me when I appear in the doorway is worth it all—all the years of agreeing that “We can’t do this. Ben and Helen, both of them, are too good for us to continue doing this to them.”

She doesn’t have to tell me to take my clothes off. She doesn’t have to tell me anything. I am already half hard when I come onto the bed behind her and pull her into my chest. She is too frail for me to lie on top of her—God how frail she’s gotten and how quickly. She hadn’t been this frail at the funerals. And she is too proud to be on top of me, so we do it with me behind her, spooning her into my body.

We kiss and I cup and squeeze her breasts as she reaches back and strokes me harder. She is the one who puts me in position and juts her buttocks back to take me inside her. I would never be the one to take that responsibility. She had always been the one to take on the greater guilt. Leaving one hand to work her breasts and nipples, I move the other one down to run my fingers inside her folds and work her there while we move our hips in rhythm, harmonizing our sighs, and taking our pleasure of each other.

It has been so long, but it seems otherwise. We still fit together perfectly, despite her having diminished in frame and me otherwise, and have all of the same moves to pleasure the other that we ever did. I come in a peaceful flow and shared sighs. Then we sleep, me withering inside her and stroking her breasts until I have drifted off listening to her soft breathing, soft breathing with a bit of a ragged edge to it that I don’t remember it having before.

When pendik escort I wake it is to see her sitting at her vanity table, naked, pinning her hair up into a bun on the back of her head. Seeing me awake, she smiles and says, “I want you to help me with something. Come with me. No, as you are, please.”

Amy takes my hand and guides me to the back of the house, to her inner sanctum, her potting room. “Please. Over in that bin,” she says, “A large handful of clay, please.” She keeps telling me to add clay until the ball is the size she wants. She sits me on the stool in front of the wheel after pulling the stool away from it. “There, put it on the wheel,” she says.

As I lean over and put the ball of clay on the wheel, she kneels in front of me, spreading my thighs, and takes me inside her mouth. I sit there, leaning over, the ball of clay resting on the wheel but also cupped in my hands, as she works my cock with her mouth, engorging me, and making me tremble and moan for her.

She does not let me come, though. Rising, she tells me to do so also long enough to pull the stool closer to the wheel. “Sit,” she says, and when I do, she turns and comes down into my lap, positioning herself on my erection and then taking me deep inside her, coming down until her buttocks nestle in my crotch.

Then, at her direction and guidance, with her sitting in my lap, both of us facing the wheel, which is now positioned between our spread thighs, we start working the clay together on the wheel, my hands on the clay and her hands on mine, guiding my hands as the wheel turns and the clay begins to take form. I am deep inside her, pulsing. She is rising and falling, almost imperceptibly on my shaft, but enough so that we both know we are fucking. We have become one, joined at the core but also at the clay with our hands. I kiss her on the back of her neck, and she begins to hum.

We were never happier, connected as one, than we are at this moment. This fleeting moment.

We are making something with the clay, but I know not what. So I ask. Years later I wonder if life would have taken another bostancı escort turn at this point if I had not asked. Of course it wouldn’t have, but I fantasize that it might have.

“What are we making?”

“An urn,” she answers.

That probably would have satisfied me. An urn was something I sort of knew—enough not to have to ask further. But she doesn’t leave it there.

“A funeral urn,” she says.

“Ah.” I can’t say more for several moments. I’m too choked up. But I understand it all now—not having contacted me after Helen and Ben had passed until now, her walking in from the main road so wearily in a suit, her having become so frail so fast, her telephone call, our sex, her need for my help in forming this urn.

I direct my attention to the urn we are making. It’s important now that I don’t screw this up, that nothing I do in working it on the wheel under her hands causes it to collapse into itself—not like my world is collapsing into itself at this moment.

At length I have myself under control. I have come inside her again and the urn is taking shape. I’m not fucking that up like I helped fuck everything else up in life so far. So I ask.

“How long?”

“Not long now,” she says in a small, resigned voice.

“Well,” I answer.

She takes our hands away from the wheel, but I entwine my fingers in hers and won’t let her go. I can’t let her go. The urn is formed, its shape perfect. She smiles, and I know she is pleased with it. I feel a loss at it being completed, though. Maybe if we could just continue turning the wheel . . .

The light in the room is dimming. “It’s getting dark,” Amy says. “You’ll be needing to go home.”

“I think I’m home now,” I answer, impulsively, but as certain as I can be about anything at this moment.

We pause, each concentrating on the breathing of the other. “Are you sure? It will be difficult.” I can hear the catch in her voice, a glimmer of hope maybe.

“Everything worth having in life is difficult,” I respond. My mind is working on what, if anything, I ever need enough to leave her side again. Ben and I are much the same size. If it doesn’t disturb her, I can just fit into his clothes—fit right into her life. All I can think of that’s there, in my house, and not here—in our house—is my gun case.

But I won’t think of that now. Now is time for living, not for dying.

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