sun rises to begin another day full of prosperity and adventure. It's rays
glisten through the curtains of those who are still asleep, slowly waking them
from their slumber. The birds are singing their morning song while car horns blare
out through the wakening streets of London. Men in suits rush to and fro with
their freshly brought espressos, while the formally clad women add final
touches to their make-up. Barely dressed parents rush around in a mad dash in
order to get their children to school on time, while the children themselves
find it amusing to break out in that last tantrum that leaves the parents
thinking, "Who's bloody idea was it to have kids again?" All
is right and where they should be.
All accept one man.
'Jesus Christ!' Lee suddenly springs from his covers, drenched in icy cold water. 'What do you think you are doing you mad woman?' and he wipes the drips from his face and glares at the offender poised with an empty bucket in hand at the side of his bed.
'How many times, Lee? You are no longer my lodger, but my husband. Can you please stop sleeping in your old bed? With the amount of times you tried worming your way into mine when we weren't together, I'd thought you'd jump at the chance now that you can.'
'Well there won't be a lot of jumping now, will there?' He peers down at his sodden pyjama bottoms. 'You've just dampened any chance of that happening.'
'We've been back from our honeymoon for a week now and in that time you've shared my bed twice. '
'Three times, actually.'
'That drunken night doesn't count.'
'Because you didn't actually make it to my bed. As I remember rightly, you made a pass at me, passed me your boxers and then passed out onto the floor. All that were missing was for Tim and Daisy to arrive unexpectedly back from their holiday with a dancing doll in hand and for us to discover a camera hidden behind the wardrobe door.'
'Well, I've heard of couples spicing up their marriage, but I'm drawing the line at your brother.'
'Lee, be serious.' Her arms hang loosely at her sides, the bucket still retained in her grasp. 'What's wrong with sharing my bed? Don't you want me?'
'Of course I want you Lucy, always will, but right now, the only arousal I'm experiencing is the need to have a very warm and very long soak in the bath.'
'Fine, but don't be in there too long?'
'I don't want it to shrivel up altogether,' Lucy smirks towards his crotch before turning on her heels and walking out of the room.
warmed by the shower and fully dressed, Lee strolls out of the bathroom and
towards the living area towelling his hair dry as he goes. A harsh chopping
sound halts him mid-step and he peers towards the kitchen to see Lucy standing
behind the counter viciously attacking a sausage into slices. Gulping, he
abandons the towel to the back of the sofa before cautiously making his way
over to his angry wife.
'What has that sausage ever done to you?'
'More than what yours has done to me.' She pauses and looks Lee in the eye. 'At least this sausage can satisfy my hunger.'
'Are you still mad at me for sleeping in my old bed? I've told you I'm sorry. I don't want to sleep separately, it's just lately you've been going to bed a lot earlier than me and by the time I do drag myself off to bed, I'm so tired I forget we're married and happen to wander into my old room. It's an innocent enough mistake to make.'
'An innocent mistake is thinking Daisy is capable enough to actually do my hair for our wedding. An innocent mistake is allowing Tim to book our honeymoon for us.'
'Oh come on. Nothing can beat the sound of waves crashing against the shore, the feeling of soft sandy beaches seeping between your toes and the romantic sunset walks along the seafront.'
'Yes, but in Blackpool?' she sighs and places the knife down on the chopping board.
'The accommodation was pretty nice.'
'Oh yes, the complimentary teas and coffees went so well with the dried bloodstain on the bedside table and a used condom found hidden under the mattress. I dread to think how long that had been there, but from it's colour I'd say I wasn't even born when that little fella was being tested out.'
'Our honeymoon wasn't that bad.'
'No, you're right. It was nice getting to know the couple next door, once we got over the embarrassment at hearing them play their version of drum and base from dusk till dawn.'
'Okay, I admit. Letting Tim take control of our honeymoon was a mistake, but I swear I'll make it up to you and we can go wherever you like.'
'Lee, that's not the point. Newlyweds are meant to be all over each other. Staying in bed most of the day and only coming out of the bedroom for food and toilet breaks. The woman upstairs gets more action than us and she's 71 with cataract in one eye!'
'I told you that walking stick of hers could be put to better use.'
'Lee, there must be more to it than being too tired to remember. Apart from the place and our accommodation, we were perfectly fine during our honeymoon. More than fine, but ever since we've been back it's like you've withdrawn to your old ways. What's wrong?'
Lee opens his mouth as if to speak, but instead throws his arms up in the air and states it doesn't matter before escaping into the other room, flopping down onto the sofa and switching the television on.
'So is this what you're going to do all day?' Lucy asks after following him into the room. 'Sit around on your arse watching trashy day time TV?'
'No. There's an article I want to read on the equality of women in a male predominant workplace.'
'And what publication is this in?'
'Great. Well I guess I should leave you to the in depth discussion on what position is best. Under or on top of the desk? I'm off out to meet Daisy. At least I'll get some conversation,' and with that, Lucy storms from the apartment, slamming the door as she goes.
'Just make sure it's not hairstyling tips,' Lee says to the empty room.
get you a drink, Daisy?' asks Lucy as she reaches into her trouser pocket for
'Just a soft one for me please. I'm driving over to your parents later.'
'What would you like?'
'Daisy, for the last time, Malibu is not a Caribbean fruit juice made from coconuts. It's an alcoholic beverage made to get you pissed.'
'Oh. I guess that would explain why my bedroom was spinning last night.'
Daisy may be one of Lucy's closest friends, but even she wonders if there's still a single working brain cell left inside Daisy's head. Sighing, Lucy grabs the attention of the barman and places their order. After taking a sip of her wine, Lucy turns her attention to the woman beside her.
'What are you driving over to Mum and Dad's for?'
'Wendy asked me to bring over some of my favourite baby photos for a baby shower she is hosting.'
'Ah yes. She asked me but I have work that day. So, lets see them.'
'Right,' Daisy says as she picks up her handbag and riffles through the contents and pulls out a white envelope. 'Here you go.'
Lucy peels back the seal and lifts out five photos.
'Erm.' A frown develops on her forehead. 'I don't think you quite understood my Mother.'
'What do you mean? I did as she asked, look. These are my five favourite baby photos. That's my younger brother as a baby. This is my cousin when she was eight months old. Oh look, here's my very first pet, Harry. He was so cute as a puppy.'
'They're all very nice Daisy, but when my Mother asked you bring over some of your favourite baby photos, I'm pretty sure she meant ones of you.'
'Well that's a bit silly isn't it? How was I able to take a photo of myself? I was only a baby Lucy. Wendy should have thought this through.'
'Daisy, I don't think…never mind,' she sighs and takes several mouthfuls of her wine.
'Have you found out why Lee is sleeping in his old room?' Daisy asks.
'Not really, no, though he claims it's because he goes to bed too tired and forgets we are married so acts like we did before we got together. I don't really believe him though. There has got to be more to it. No one can really be so tired they forget something as important as being married to your flat mate.'
'That's not fair on him, Lucy. I've experienced something similar myself.'
'Yes. I was so tired one night that come next morning I found myself not to be sleeping in my own bed.'
'Where were you?'
'I was in my neighbour's bed.'
'You what? How the hell did that happen?'
'I don't know but they were asking the same question, though Mr. Brown looked more pleased with the situation than his wife. He kept on clutching his hands together while gazing towards the ceiling and whispering, "Thank you God" over and over again.'
'Isn't Mr. Brown an 82 year-old-man?'
'I know! You'd think he'd know better than to be down on his knees at his age.'
Lucy could only roll her eyes and down the remaining dregs of her drink before swiftly ordering another.
been only and hour since Lucy stormed out of the flat, but to Lee if felt like
days. His mind has not stopped once. He knew the problem but how was he to
explain it to Lucy. She'd think he was snooping. No, he didn't want her to
think she couldn't trust him. Then again, anything would be better than this
strange awkwardness that existed between them.
Just then he hears the key in the lock and slowly the door drifts open to reveal Lucy. She closes the door behind her and gently places her bag onto the table before settling down beside Lee on the sofa.
'You're back early.'
'I had this urge to leave Daisy to her drink when Mr. Brown entered the bar.'
'Who's Mr. Brown?'
'Never mind.' She twists in her seat to face him. 'How was the article?'
'A bit languorous.'
'A bit like the reader then.'
'I said I was sorry, Lucy. What can I do to make it up to you?'
'You can start by telling me truth.'
'No you didn't, Lee. I know when you're lying to me. It can't be just down to tiredness, not the amount of times it has happened. Is it something I've done? Have I repulsed you in some way? I wish you could talk to me.'
'I…I…' he lets go of the breath of air he'd been holding and casts his eyes to the bit of thread he had absently started to play with from the back of the sofa. 'I overheard your conversation with Daisy the day we got back from our honeymoon. I didn't mean to. I was coming out of the bathroom when I heard your voice, or more to the point, what you were saying.'
'I don't understand. I can't remember saying anything to Daisy that could cause you to behave like you have been this past week.'
'You were saying things like "It could have been harder", "I've had better" and "the appearance left a lot to be desired. I wasn't really looking forward to getting stuck in, but felt bad saying I didn't want it." Those things can really hurt a guy.'
The frown on Lucy's face only deepened the more Lee talked and now she is staring at him like he's grown a third eye.
'It's no different to what I've said before.'
His eyebrows shoot skywards. 'You've said these things before? To who?'
'Erm, my Mum and Dad. To Tim. It's nothing to be ashamed about. With a bit of practice you'll get the hang of it. Maybe we could go to some classes together.'
'You what?' Lee propels himself away from the sofa and stares down at Lucy in shock. 'There's no way I'm taking lessons! And I can't believe you told your parents and Tim. And now Daisy! What will they think of me?'
'I think you're blowing this out of all proportions.'
'Haven't you heard of privacy? Some things are not meant to be shared. I know I haven't got the body of a Greek Adonis, but even I thought you'd have a little decency when it comes to the matter of our bedroom activities. Is it no wonder I shied away from you if you are willing to share what's on your mind so freely?'
'What are you going on about?'
'Don't try to deny it, I heard you degrading my body.'
'Lee, I don't…' then something clicks and her eyes widen. 'Oh my God, you think I was talking about…that I think you're…' She can't control herself and a slight chuckle escapes.
'Well? Weren't you?'
'Of course I wasn't you idiot.'
Confused, Lee slowly lowers himself back onto the sofa, thoughts whirling around his brain. 'So what did you mean by, "It could have been harder" and all that other stuff?'
'I was talking about the time you attempted to cook me a meal. The pork belly and the crackling were a bit on the soft side. The vegetables weren't that great either, but I felt bad not eating it considering the thought and effort you went into creating it. That's what I meant about a bit of practice.'
'So you weren't talking about…?' he glances southwards.
'So you don't think…?'
'So can we…?'
With the spark of arousal ignited, they lean in towards each other, but Lee pauses inches away from her begging lips.
'Just one thing,' he croaks out.
'Yes,' she whispers, eyes locked onto his lips.
'Next time you want to re-enact Mr. Darcy's wet, white shirt scene, could you use warm water.'
'Just shut up and kiss me.'
Not needing to be told twice, Lee closes the gap and kisses his wife with a passion that can only be born from the deepest love that's been tested over time.