Scene from a Window



From the yellow chair the orange cat watched his grey sister trot across the living room floor. She stopped to stare at him briefly through her mint green eyes, and then flopped onto her back to chase a pinwheel mint wrapper on the floor. Twisting and grabbing with her clawless paws, she was something to see. Far more entertaining than the elusive mouse living in the cold air return.


In a room on the other side of the house, the owner of these two cats folded laundry and hummed to herself. There was nothing in front her today. Nothing inhibiting a slow steady afternoon of household chores with interludes of wine and new music selections. It was the most ordinary of days.


Across town, in an office decorated with fake plants and pastel prints, was this woman’s husband. He was a calm man with dirty blonde hair and large brown eyes. Everyday he wore a variation of the standard office uniform: long-sleeved button-down shirt, solid colored tie, dark fitted dress pants and black shoes in need of a shine. He’d started his day with a sigh, wishing that he could be at home and naked and copulating. That would be a nice change of pace. For the past three nights his wife had slipped into bed next to him wearing panties, code for “not tonight.”


She was tired, his wife. A new temp job, early hours at the restaurant, and a few classes to keep her mind whirling at home. No wonder sex took the backseat. Who had time for a worthwhile orgasm, not to mention the prep work?


But maybe tonight would be better. She wasn’t working today, and would probably spend most of her time listening to books on tape and rearranging the books on the coffee table. A few glasses of wine and she would be randy and yielding.


And so the little family meandered through its fragmented day, he dreaming of the evening, she looking forward to the next track on her favorite album, and the cats scheming to nap on the dining room table. It was the most ordinary of days.


And then there was an interruption. In a rundown house, a few blocks from the home of this family, a young man was experimenting with drugs. Bored to irritation after repeated groundings, he’d discovered that certain household products could enhance a dragging afternoon. Now he wandered through the streets and alleys of his neighborhood, feeling absolutely euphoric.


He approached the home of the woman folding her laundry, intending to peer into her windows. He hoped to catch a glimpse of her doing something mundane. His own house sat directly behind, and the two properties shared a back yard, so to speak. This young man happened to know that his neighbor lady sometimes walked around her house scantily clad, or wearing nothing at all. Confident that it was too early for her husband to be at home, the boy crept around the house to a back window.


She was there, sitting on a couch in the den with a full laundry basket next to her.


She was not naked, which disappointed the young man. He was the most ordinary of boys.


But the way she folded her laundry, he thought. He’d never before noticed the grace of her arms. Without thinking much about it, the young man knocked softly on the window. Recognizing her young neighbor, the woman smiled and waved him around to the back door.


When she opened the door he was again struck by her. Her voice was soft and her eyes sparkled. In his mind she beckoned him with a crook of her finger and a sway of her hips. In reality she stepped back from the doorway and put her arm over her abdomen as if she didn’t know what else to do with it. There was a question in her eyes.


“I was passing your house and wondered if you needed your lawn mowed.” It was all he could think of to say.


“Oh, thank you, but no. Pete just mowed on Sunday. But that’s so nice. Trying to make extra money?” So trusting.


“Yeah, but I’d do yours no charge. You and Pete are good neighbors.”


“Oohhh. Aren’t you a charmer? Can I get you a drink?” She kicked off her cherry-patterned slippers and stepped to the refrigerator. She pulled out a soda and tossed it to the boy. “Sorry. Don’t open it yet.” He laughed and set the can on the counter.


She turned her back to dig through a cupboard, searching for crackers or cookies to offer her young guest. He moved to stand behind her, lightly pressing his body against her smaller form. She did not withdraw or even flinch, but leaned back against him with a murmur of delight. She reached back for his hands and when she found them she put one over her left breast and the other down the front of her drawstring pants. The heat and moisture there brought him to his knees, which was a convenient location for pulling down her pants and nestling his face between her thighs. She spread her legs and welcomed his hungry mouth.


“Saltines?” She was still standing in front of the cupboard, facing him and holding a box. He blinked at her. “Sure.”


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