she looked at herself in the “good” mirror, the one that had enough imperfections to make her appear slightly better than that the latest hideous home video her parents loved to play anytime a guest came by.
he said he was coming back. the six month assignment was over. the company branch had now recuperated enough that it could trudge along without the hot shot from the home office, the one that stung her dreams and seared her thoughts. she was grateful he had called her after all this time. granted, they had three passionate dates, the flashbacks of which still left her gasping during the most embarrassing circumstances, but there was nothing that said he was coming back to her, if he was coming back at all.
they had talked on the phone of course. she’d learned to recognize all the intonations, breathing pauses, embarrassed coughing and the slightly higher pitch that announced boss-in-the-room during work hours. his boyish voice had whispered improper things that made her squirm, his tone had made a million unsaid promises of affection, dedication, bluebirds singing and sweaty winter nights. yet there was no explicit anything. the important words were not said. in fact, there had been no official words, ever. they’d sort of drifted together during several parties, until they found themselves exchanging numbers in front of a bathroom door full of drunk people. they’d sort of made out the same night, and it was only because her heel broke that she had not gone home with him.
“thank God” her friends had all said “you can’t sleep with a guy you just met and expect another date out of it!”
however, it had seemed cruel to leave him and herself hanging. she normally was upfront with the people she liked to sleep with. true, some of them never hung around after, and the rest she disappeared on. but at least there was no hanging, no blue balls and no tease accusations. if, for whatever reason she hung out with men who became friends, and sometime lovers, that was also ok. there were always reasons one slept with friends, and also reasons why they did not let things get weird.
which is why she promptly slept with him on the first “official” date. it had been very good too. the morning after at work had been a nail-biter, what with all the heady feelings turning into fear that that was it, that the mystery was over and he had no more reason to call. but he did call, and they did go out again and in bed again, and to work the morning after where she continued to bite her nails and dissect the moves, the voices, the kissing, the snoring, the eyelash movements and count the minutes until her phone rang or she went mad, whichever came first.
it seemed so cruel to go to work the mornings after, and leave all pleasure and warmth behind in order to surround oneself with stupid memos from frigid bosses and cow-orkers who chewed and gossiped the whole day long. but she had bravely faced it, because if she did not go to work, she would have no nails left and he would have hundreds of messages in his voice mail.
just when he’d called for the third time and she’d finally relaxed that he was not going to leave because she’d slept with him on the first date, he’d told her about his temporary move. she’d behaved of course. she’d gone home with him and made sure she had her fill of him, convinced that this would be the last time they’d be together, that it was all a ruse to get him out of their “thing” without feeling guilty. otherwise, he would have said something more, reassured her of what he felt (what did he feel by the way? she was hopeful by the heated look in his eyes and the way his ears twitched when he touched her, but there had been no declaration), and promised to hook up again when or if he came back.
she looked at herself over in the mirror and thought about the eager tone in his voice when he’d asked to see her again and whether her lips were the same full pout he remembered. how about her skin was it still as smooth as when his fingers had traced it, or her breasts as heavy?
she was in a panic. after he’d left, she’d turned to food, the comforting companion that never left her, the one who always fulfilled and satisfied. she’d eaten spicy tacos that reminded her of his burning kisses, puff pastry full of cream that she could suck until she died of sweetness, juicy steaks that melted in her mouth, warm hotdogs off a street vendor who had the same haircut as him, roasted eggplants and stuffed zucchinis, vanilla cones dipped in fudge that she raced to lick before it slid down her hand, grapes, mangoes, riceballs, tiramisu, flan, linguini, hot tamales, and whatever else she had found, trying to fill the emptiness his words could or did not want to fill.
she’d gained a belly. and extra thighs. and a bigger bra size. and a size larger wardrobe. she did not know how to answer his questions. yes her lips were still as full as he remembered (he heaved) her skin just as smooth (he sighed) and her breasts, well her breasts were perhaps a little heavier (he groaned) than before. and no, she really had not gone out with anybody else, except a couple of dates with men her auntie had recommended and…
“ok” he interrupted a little jealous perhaps. hmm, she liked that. “i need to see you tomorrow evening. i’ll pick you up at 8.”
of course she’d agreed. who was she kidding? she was dying to meet him too. which is why she was in front of the “good” mirror, still naked and panicked when the bell rung. shiaaat. she was f-c-u-k-ed three ways through Sunday.
she put on her long tshirt and clean sweats and went to open the door, thinking of the doomsday vision he was about to see. oh well, that was that. life happened while she was busy being disgusted from herself in the mirror. the dress and the makeup could have possibly given her a hand, and the heels could perhaps brought forth a fifth date. but her crazy soccer mom getup was not even gonna get her second base. if only she had one of those pegnoir thingies that draped the body majestically and made mile long legs appear from chubby butts like hers.
she opened the door.
“hey baby” the object of her lust and panic smiled, got in, circled her waist and gave her the most smashing, smelting, slithering, slurping, searing kiss she had ever had in her life. and that was how the mystery of the everthickening body ended.