I didn’t sleep well. The bed was uncomfortable with my height (or is it length?) not being compatible with a two seater couch. But I must have dropped off for two hours or so as dawn saw me and the blankets separated. They chose to leave me and form a jumbled pile on the floor on their own leaving me all but naked. It was in this state that I woke to find a grinning Chloe looking down at me.
“I wondered what the snoring noise was” she said as I scrabbled around trying to find a blanket.
“You asked me to stay, pleaded in fact. It was so late, so I did.”
“Oh yes, I vaguely remember that. You cleaned me up and put me to bed didn’t you?”
I had by this time placed a cushion in my lap as I sat up and saw that she was standing on my blankets. Was that by accident or design? She was just as I had put her to bed wearing pink briefs that covered nothing and her revealing bra that was just visible as she had wrapped her quilt around her and had it trailing behind like the Queen of Sheba. She could see me eyeing her up and down so she promptly turned and went into the kitchen and called out “Coffee?”
“Yes I croaked, just one sugar, no milk”
“That’s good, we’ve run out”
We, I thought. Is there someone else? Of course there is someone else she is stunning despite her lapses into drunken inanities. Despite the lack of sleep my mind was clear. In looking around her apartment I had found another Chloe that I liked, an interesting, possibly literate, thinking person that just put on a dreadful show to avoid revealing her best side that might put off some men. Had I figured her out?
She came back in the room, two coffee mugs in hand.
“I’ll help you clean your car” she said. “Once I have got rid of this headache”.
“Two Panadol and another two glasses of water” I said. By this time I had put on my jocks and was trying to get my legs in my trousers.
“It’s only nine thirty” she said “I’m going to drink this in bed, are you coming?”
You may think that I wouldn’t do such a thing. You are wrong. I meekly followed Chloe to the bedroom and saw that she was sorting out the jumble of bedclothes. As I went in I noticed her mug of coffee was now on the left hand side of the bed and the now empty glass of water was on the right. So I sat on the bed that side while she sipped her coffee, stopped, got up ran from the room and rushed into the bathroom. My heart fell. Oh no, not again I thought. My fears were unfounded. She was back in two minutes.
“Sorry about that” she said “I couldn’t have you making love to me with bad breath could I?”
She then went on. “For weeks you have never noticed me then I behaved really badly last night. Yes, I remember most of it and you turn into my knight in shining armour. You saved me, you tended me, you chided me gently, you never for once thought of taking advantage of me. I just want to say thank you”
“I am glad I did” I said. ”You were annoying me so much and yet when I brought you home, and I was so angry, by you needing me and seeing part of your life that you don’t show to the world I realised you were a person I wanted to know better”.
With that she undid her bra and tossed on the floor. “Well now is your chance” she said.
Our coffees got quite cold. I cannot say how long we stayed in that bed. One or other of us got up to either get something to eat or something to talk about. Can you imagine eating slices of raisin bread spread with strawberry jam in bed and licking the drops of spilled jam from each others bodies?
As Chloe straddled me she said as we were discussing Annie Proulx’s book “Postcards” “Wouldn’t it be frustrating to get the same damned postcard from him year after year?” and then she said something quite profound about Hardy and the way the heroes and heroines always keep that special first love within them throughout the years and how that never dies.
I wasn’t sure that either was quite true and was almost on the point of saying well write me an essay of about a thousand words on that subject. But I stopped myself as she was really saying something so profound and loving to me I just leaned forward and kissed her neck and chin and ears and nose and whispered “I am glad we found each other”.