He had been staring at the “234” next to her name on the list of recent correspondence in his phone when Sarah opened the bathroom door, naked and clean, vigorously working a towel against her wet hair.
Oh good, you’re already dressed, she said and moved lightly across the carpet to touch the top of his head as she made her way to the bed where her dress lay as if its previous owner had dematerialized. He pressed the screen on the phone and the most recent of the 234 messages from the young French waitress appeared. He didn’t read them. He had them memorized, imprinted in his mind as indelible as their digital impressions. Je te desire... baiser… une caresse… embrasse moi… au poil… permettez-moi de vous… I hope we’re not too late meet the Daniels, Sarah told him, the red silk and spaghetti string enveloping her like paint. He smiled at her and closed his phone. I’m sure they’ll wait, he said and tightened his tie against the button on his shirt. They better if Bobby wants this promotion, she spoke into the mirror where she was applying eyeliner. He’s already got the job, he told her. Does he know? Nope. You just want to watch him squirm. I want him to know I take these things seriously. Sarah gave him a glance under the bristle. You’ve been far too serious lately. You think? I’m not completely incredulous, babe. As the ramifications of her statement seeped into the gray folds of his brain, the phone rattled the surface of the table behind him, the 235th message sent seconds ago by a barely legal bob-haired French girl curled on a divan in a shitty flat some 5,000 miles across a dark ocean. One of the many reasons I love you, Sarah.
Updated with preview illustration by Weshouldbestrangers (Jonathan Phillips)
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River of Blood, a novel about anarchism, atheism, racism, violence, family, and corruption.
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Unless noted, all pics credited to Skitz O'Fuel.