My job was boring. I was a staff scientist at an environmental consulting agency, and per the instructions of my overbearing manager, Angela, we used AIM Pro for intraoffice communications. I also used it for personal correspondence.
“What would we name our kids?” Eli asked me one day over instant messenger as I mindlessly entered potential clients’ information into a spreadsheet.
“I don’t know… I could see us having a daughter.”
“I’d love a daughter. But you know I’d be so protective.”
“Not as protective…”
We both laughed.
He continued, “You’d come home one day and ask where she is, and I’d be like, ‘Um… She was right here,’ and we would go out and see her eating tomatoes in the garden.”
“Who eats plain whole tomatoes?!” I laughed.
“I did! She would get it from me!” he insisted.
“She’d have pigtails.”
“And your green eyes.”
“Green eyes aren’t inherited, they’re a mutation.”
“Whatever. She’d look like you.”
“I like the name Abbie.”
“But hyphenated with something.”
There wasn’t much that I could eat without getting sick, so Eli boiled plain white rice while I sat on the couch trying to avoid eye contact with Lucy. She was still mentally confined to the corner but following our every motion with her eyes, and would occasionally whine gently or optimistically wag her tail in the hopes that she would be released.
Eli exited the kitchen with a bowl of rice for me, a glass of neat scotch for himself, and joined me on the couch. I nudged him and gestured toward the dog, but he ignored me and turned on the television. After a while I asked if I could borrow his laptop to e-mail my parents and let them know I had arrived safely. I browsed the Internet and ate my rice while he sipped scotch and watched the news.
When we were both ready for bed, he finally allowed Lucy to move and give me my greeting, commanding her “COME!” as we walked up the stairs to the bedroom. She wasn’t allowed on the bed, but after nearly licking my face raw with her ebullience, she settled on the floor and we climbed under the covers. Eli spooned me from behind, one hand cupping my butt and the other resting between my breasts.
In the morning, Eli told me he wanted to show me something. He led me downstairs to his study and asked me what I thought. Continue reading
It was two weeks before Christmas, and Eli had driven up north to stay for the weekend and give me my Christmas gift. He wouldn’t tell me what it was.
He was due in before I got home from work that Friday, so I told him where the hide-a-key was and encouraged him to make himself at home. That evening, he let me into my house and took me to the bathroom where he had drawn a bath, complete with scented candles and aromatic salts.
This was just the first part, he told me, closing the door so that I could undress and fully relax.