Part 3 of 3

The first story is called Let's Waste Time

The thing about my kitchen is that it was usually never clean. I mean, it wasn't unsanitary or anything. Just that it was pretty much always messy. The dishes piled up fast. The table seemed to always be used for anything but eating. The fridge didn't get cleaned out as often as it should. And it always smelled like food, which was odd because I'd never been much of a cook. And neither was my boyfriend. But at that moment, my kitchen smelled like pine.

It smelled like pine because it was clean. And when it was clean, I felt more relaxed and organized than usual. Like my life was on the right track. Or I'd done something right. So when I finished getting it clean, I stood back at the entrance and looked it over just to make sure it was perfect. I mean, I didn't really HAVE to clean it for the occasion. But I imagined it would be nice to come home to a clean welcoming house after being gone for so long. So I sighed deeply, imagining the feeling, and then I shut the light off and left.

The living room was also clean. The books had been stacked into their appropriate shelves. The toys were put away. The TV didn't even have fingerprints on it. I was practically a domestic goddess.

But I wasn't exactly finished yet. There was still one room left on my list. So I tiptoed down the hall, passed the nightlight that flashed multiple colors along the walls like faceted firelight. And I entered my very messy bedroom. My iPod was sitting on the dresser where I left it. So I plugged in my headphones and got to work. It probably wouldn't get as clean as the rest of the house, but I wanted to get as much done as possible before I went to bed.

I got into the music, shaking my booty, and humming to myself as I picked up stray clothing and all the random things I'd left scattered around the room. I was so into the music that I couldn't hear or notice anything other than myself until the light suddenly went out. I gasped and spun around sharply to face the figure in the doorway. The multicolored lights were flashing just behind him, but I recognized that silhouette and practically knocked him over as I threw myself into his arms.

He said nothing as he yanked the headphones off and tossed the iPod onto the dresser. He left urgent kisses on my lips and then moved his mouth to my throat. His hand came around to the small of my back as he pulled me against him. His other hand moved up over my arm, pulling at the strap of my shirt and releasing my shoulder to more kisses.

This didn't happen very often anymore. Sex wasn't non-existent exactly. It just that it had become limited to a nighttime only activity and only when he was home. We used to never rush it. We always took our time, getting each other as close as possible, before slowing down again. We took it slow. Enjoyed the moment. Drove each other crazy.

But there was urgency in it now. He was already tugging my shirt up over my head and I was unbuttoning his jeans. We had each other undressed in seconds, and then he was gently pulling off my glasses to set them beside the iPod.

My breathing was ragged and I was ready to go. We didn't need to take our time and savor the reunion. I wanted to get to it now. My heart was pounding and I tangled my fingers in his overgrown dirty blond hair. He pushed me back onto the bed and then rolled to pull me onto him. We didn't hesitate. I arched back and pinched my lips shut. His hands came to rest on my hips, urgently guiding me. He wanted this as badly as I did.

And then it happened.

The creak of a door down the hall. The rush of hurried tiny feet. I paused and sighed. He moved his hands to his head and groaned.

"Fuck's sake," he whispered.

"Mommy?" a voice called through the door. We were both breathing hard.

"Yeah, baby?" I asked, hoping this would be a quick "I'm thirsty" that I could easily remedy before getting back to it.

"I heard a scary noise." I sighed again and Chris sat up to kiss my chin.
"It's alright. But you owe me," he said.

"Oh, I owe you?" He smiled and moved his hands back to my hips, but this time to position me off of him. I stood up reluctantly as he moved aside to get dressed.

"Can I come in?" our daughter asked through the door.

"Just a second, okay?" I put my clothes back on and he disappeared into the adjoining bathroom. I heard the shower go on before I even got my pants back on. Then I popped the door open and looked down at the tiny shadow.

"Hi, baby. Were you scared?" I asked. She nodded and wiped her nose.

"I heard a scary noise."

"It was probably just daddy. He just got home."

"Daddy's home?!" and then I knew the night was lost for sure. She would be too excited to go back to sleep now.

"He just got in and he's taking a shower. Do you want me to walk you back to bed?"

"Can I sleep with you?" I wanted to sigh again, but instead, I opened the door and let her into the room. She immediately hurried to the bed and climbed under the covers. I followed after, hoping she'd get to sleep before Chris came back. But she was wide awake, jabbering away when the shower shut off and he reappeared in the room. "Daddy!" she shrieked. And then she was out from under the covers, launching herself at him full speed. He scooped her up.

"I was planning on surprising you in the morning!" he said.

"I heard a scary noise. Can I sleep in here?"

"It was probably just me coming in. But you can if your mom says it's okay." I leaned on my elbow and nodded. So he gently tossed her back into the bed. She curled up beside me and he climbed into the other side. Once we were all settled in, I wrapped an arm around her and kissed her head.

"I'm sorry you were scared," I told her. She sighed, finally sounding sleepy.

"It's okay 'cause daddy's home now," she told me. Of course. Because he was the master of scaring away monsters and ghosts. I smiled and looked over her to where he was lying on his back. But he had his eyes on me. And there was a look that clearly said we had unfinished business. I reached over to pinch his chin.

"Tomorrow," I promised. He groaned again and rolled over to face the other side. I shut my eyes and drifted off to sleep with the scent of baby shampoo in my nose.