"So wanna fuck?" He asked.
"Ummmm, nah, I'm okay, thanks", she replied, "well actually … it depends, with who? With you?"
"Me? Oh god, no. With the neighbour," he replied.
"Yup. He's got a really big dick. Bigger than mine."
"The dog's dick is bigger than yours."
"So is that a yes? He's actually in the bedroom now."
"Oh really, the neighbour is in our bedroom? So, what's his name?"
"Whose name? The dog, the neighbour or his dick? Well, oddly enough, they are all called Bob, so yeah, just come with me, it's not far, just down the passage here."
The woman laughed and nodded in dramatic sincerity.
"You're not tricking me, or are you?"
"Who me? No. Never. He pays a finders fee, and you should fetch a reasonable price."
She slapped his arm.
"Should? Reasonable?" she asked.
"Here, let me help you with that," he said and began unbuttoning the woman's blouse. She reached up with her head, and they kissed. She lifted a hand and stroked his jawline and let her eyes slowly close, and they kissed again as he led her backward down the passage toward their bedroom. By the time they arrived, her top was open, and she had kicked off her high heel shoes.
Inside the bedroom, he stopped to pull off his t-shirt then stepped out of his sneakers; by holding the heel of one shoe with the toe of the other, allowing him to pull the heel up and out. Then he swapped to liberate the other foot, leaving the sneakers exactly in place as evidence to describe the escape.
But he was too slow for her; she bent down and picked up the littered T-shirt and put it into a dirty washing basket that lived behind the door.
"Oh I spoke to Jenny by the way; she told me they will be down probably at the end of the month, so it might be fun to have a BBQ; I know you and Steve like that, so I said that to her, and she said it might only be her with the kids. So in other words, 'they' but not 'all of they', so maybe you should call Steve and see if everything is ... you know ... okay," she elongated the last word and emphasised it with raised eyebrows.
The man sat down on the bed corner and sighed a deep, defeated breath.
She turned in time to see his mood swing.
"Hey, so ... what's happening?"
"Yeah. No. Nothing, I was just so captivated by the idea of a fucking BBQ without Steve!"
She laughed and approached and pushed herself between his legs, prying them apart so she could get close enough to bury his face in her cleavage. His reluctance lingered for a moment then he was reinvested in the almost aborted seduction.
Their passion built, and she undid her bra and let it drop to the floor; her jeans came off, so did his, and then the wanton wrestling stopped, suddenly, because she pulled back.
"I just need to go to the loo," she said
He fell backwards onto the bed with an erection in his underwear.
"Won't be long," she said and headed off; she did, however, make a pitstop at the door to collect the dirty washing and only then did she vanish into the corridor. All the sexual energy that had been cooking so far followed her out. The man rubbed his face with his palm and climbed under the duvet.
He sulked, time passed, and she returned. She entered with one arm over her exposed chest, her shoulders pulled up high and the other hand rubbing up and down her arm vigorously.
"Brrrrr," she said.
He renewed all the sulky reasons he had been incubating for sulking, sighed loudly and sulked even harder.
"Hey? What's happening, mister next-door neighbour?"
"Yeah, too much reality happened. Kinda spoilt the moment. Sorry. It's not you, okay? I just think I'll have a little snooze."
"That's a pity. My God, I'm cold," she said and climbed into bed.
He was on the furthest extreme of the bed with his back to her. The great wall of disapproval. She smiled at him and stroked his back.
"DON'T touch me, you're cold", he said
"Why don't you come here and warm me up?"
She was grinning very broadly; if her smile got any wider, her head would probably break apart in laughter.
"Don't laugh at me. I can feel you laughing at me. It isn't funny."
And she had to pinch her nose to stop the laughter from leaking out. Finally, after a giggle of convulsions, she settled and nestled into the pillow and looked up at the ceiling. Then, still smiling, she turned her head, looked at the wall of his back, and closed her eyes. As the bulge of the pupil under the lid slipped up, a very quiet satisfying moan slipped out.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
She didn't reply.
"Please don't wank while I am trying to sleep," he said
She exhaled a slow horny moan.
"If you don't stop, I'll have to penalise you", he warned
He rolled over, and that is how they conceived their first child, Elizabeth. Lizzy mostly, occasionally Lizard, but never Beth or Betty. Sophia knew it had happened when it happened. She knew that that was the moment for them to pluck a thread from the fabric of the universe. To unravel just enough to knit their own people into existence and transform a fragment of the chaos into a vessel. A child of her love and, most importantly, a mantelpiece of their passion.
When they were finished getting pregnant, he clipped himself onto her back. They were a perfect fit, and he curled his arm over her and tucked it between her arms such that his big hot hand could cup her breast. He cradled it almost as if he were holding water. That was his thing, and that became her thing too. His hand beside her heart.
"I think that was the one, ya know. I think we did it," she said.
"Well, if anyone can know, I know that you know," he said and pecked little kisses at the vertebrae on the neck.
"Elizabeth. What do you think of Elizabeth?" she asked.
"I don't like it. I think we should call her Bob," he said.
"Okay. We'll call her Bob", she said, "Bob, named after the dog, the neighbour and his dick."
She laughed with her whole body. They both knew the extent of the laughter did not merit the joke. It was bigger than that, more significant than any joke could ever be. He loved feeling her body laugh, but he never told her that because he knew that knowing some things taints them, and so he kept that one for himself.
Their lives played out, and in the end, many decades later, they were old and lying in precisely the same shape, his hand holding her missing breast. She spent her very last breath kissing that hand. And then she was gone. And then he was mostly gone too. And then the door opened, and a nurse walked in.
The beautiful bedroom vanished; he was back in the clinic in an armchair with a photo album on his lap. It was open to an image of Sophia. It was all blurred because she laughed so hard when he took it, he took several, and they were all like that, and her laughter was entirely his fault. He loved this picture because it proved her happiness. It was embedded in the emulsion of the print. Every day after lunch, he would sit in his armchair, visit this photo and press his palm against it to absorb the laughter of her life.
"Oh, you're awake, that's great. You got a visitor, isn't that lovely? It's your daughter. Here she is right here," the nurse said and ushered in a beautiful young version of Sophia.
He smiled and closed the photo album as she entered.
"Hi, Dad", she said
He took his time. He took his time because he knew there was not much left. He knew that he should absorb as much of his daughter as he could, enough to last him for eternity, and when he was full of her, he smiled.
"Hey there, Bob," he said.
"No, it's me, Beth, it's Elizabeth Dad, I'm your daughter, remember?" she asked and looked back at the nurse for some sort of assurance, but the nurse had already left.
He just kept on smiling because he knew that she was Bob long before she became Elizabeth.