Chapter 4

Joy woke up before Sherman did. She blinked her eyes in the half light of the early morning. She raised her head and gazed at Sherman lying next to her. It was her day off or else she would have been gone an hour ago.

Sherman stirred beside her and he turned his head to face her but he wasn't awake yet. Joy pondered whether she should go back to sleep or if she should get up and make breakfast for them.

Unable to decide, Joy rolled on her side and watched Sherman sleep. Her affection for him was now unleashed and she wished she knew the words to tell him so. She examined the whiskers of his beard but resisted the urge to play with the little hairs with her fingers.

Joy decided to be crazy, just like Marcie and Ruth before her. She had found a book of poetry on the bookshelf while Sherman sat on the couch thinking about poor dead Ruth and her stuffed animals.

Joy stripped out of her clothes and stood naked in Sherman's living room reading poetry as if she was on the stage of the St. Anne's Catholic School, emoting as loudly and as with as much emotion as she could find in the depths of her stomach.

It was an exaggerated stupid way to try to get his attention but at least it produced a wry smile from him as he sat watching and listening to her read him love sonnets in the nude. \ Eventually, Sherman stood from the couch and approached her, leaning in and touched her cheek with the back of his hand.

"We're both crazy," he told her and she didn't feel the need to argue.

Finished with the poetry, Joy dressed and Sherman cooked them supper. While looking for the dishes to set the table, Joy came across a bag of Baby Ruth candy bars but she didn't say anything.

But Sherman must have known because he texted something into his phone and a while later one of his kid brothers stopped by with a large bag of Almond Joys.

"For dessert," Sherman told Joy.

They watched a movie on Netflix but didn't talk much. When it was over, Sherman asked Joy to stay the night with him.

"Okay," she replied simply.

They both got undressed this time and they scooted under the covers naked where they made love and fell asleep, the bag of Almond Joys left on the bedside table.

Sherman began to stir. Joy threw herself across him. "Don't get up," she pleaded. "Let's stay this way forever."

Only half awake, Sherman gave a yawn before glancing around. "So, it really happened," he realized, looking at Joy who was flopped over him underneath the covers.

"It really happened," She confirmed with a smile. "You okay?" She worried.

"I'm fine," he assured her. "I'll be right back."

He rolled her off of him and slipped out from beneath the covers, walking naked to the bathroom. Joy threw the covers off of her, lying on her back naked and exposed waiting for his return which he did after a few minutes.

"Are we not getting up?" he grinned.

"No," she answered.

"Okay with me," he said, practically dive-bombing onto the bed, literally lifting her off the mattress with the bounce. "Don't you want breakfast?"


"I'm supposed to be at work later."

"Call in sick."

"I'll call in late," he said. "I have a free period and then Dobbs can cover my second period."

"Okay," she agreed.

Joy texted her Mom to let her know she hadn't been abducted while Sherman called Mrs. Z's machine at the school to let her know he'd be late. Then he rolled on top of Joy and kissed her.

"You're crazy," he let her know.

"Yes," Joy agreed, reaching over to grab a couple of the mini Almond Joy candy pieces from the bed side table. "We can share," she said, handing him one.