The words he typed were never meant to be read, yet they found their way to her. Two wounded strangers, prisoners of their own lives, brought together by a wayward text.
Without ever hearing each other’s voices, a friendship blooms between them. Without ever seeing each other’s faces, an attraction grows. Without ever touching, the two become lovers.
But when words suddenly aren’t enough, will this bond be able to tear down the walls that keep them apart…or was it only ever fantasy?
I should really be asleep. The boy wakes up by seven most days, and I only got three hours tonight before his dreams woke him and he needed me.
Well, I say “needed me.” I’m not sure if I really help him much. I just sort of squeeze him and rock us back and forth on his bed until he stops moaning, and when he falls silent but is still breathing fast, I sing to him. Tonight I sang Thunder Road, which is a ridiculous song to sing to a child who’s having night terrors, but I don’t think it made anything worse, so, hey. Parenting.
I’m rambling here, because to be completely honest, your last text left me a little flustered. Not, like, frustrated. Like, weirdly sweaty and warm in the face.
Warm all over.
Warm from the way you describe imagining what I cook.
Warm to think maybe you’ll order something fancy someday and think of me while you eat it.
Warm because you made me laugh, with that throwaway comment about the blurry-faced passerby. I haven’t laughed in so long. I mean, I laugh for the boy’s benefit when we’re watching TV, a pantomime sort of laugh. But you made me laugh for real.
Did the rain on your hand feel as good as that laugh did? I hope so.
That made me warm as well, you talking about the rain and the air. You have a way of making the mundane sound…sensual. I want to backtrack and say not in a sexual way, but that’s not strictly true. It’s pretty fucking erotic.
I’m deliriously tired and all my social filters have gone to bed, so there you are.
Can I join your fantasy, and make it all old-timey? As you’re telling me about your day, can I toss my fedora smartly on the coatrack, then stride to the hutch where I keep my classy crystal decanter of Scotch, and pour myself a glass?
Here’s where the fantasy falls apart, though, because in this black-and-white world I’d probably wear trouser socks, just like you’d wear pantyhose with seams up the calves. But here in reality I’d most likely plop down sideways on the chair next to yours and wedge my bare feet under your nearest thigh, and flex my achy toes and one of them would probably pop and that’s not very sexy, but reality rarely is.
I’d make it up to you by asking what you want for dinner, and hopefully it would be one of the ten things I’m really good at. Maybe Moroccan lamb stew, if it’s cold and dreary out.
Maybe I put the slow cooker on before I left that morning so you could smell it simmering all afternoon. I wonder if you’d sneak tastes, or make yourself wait? That’d tell me so much about you.
I’d ask you all about the sheets, what thread-count and what color, and what sort of cheese you used in the sandwich, and did you toast the bread, and was the article any good?
Is it completely patronizing to say that I’m proud of you, for opening the window?
Is it creepy to say I got especially warm at how you said it sung inside your body?
Is it weird to say that now I feel as though I haven’t really lived, having never kissed a woman and tasted cheese and pickle on her lips?
None of these count as my question, by the way. Rhetorical and all. My real question this round is, have you ever been in love?
As for your question…
I’d want you to ask me my name.
And I’d tell you it’s Malcolm.
Oh god what a thing to wake up to.
I don’t know where to begin.
Or I do know where to begin.
I’m just afraid of all the things I want to begin with.
It’s that feeling again of am I saying too much? Or maybe going too far?
But I just have to tell you that you make toe popping sound really…something that I’m too embarrassed to label sexy. For a second I could almost feel them under my bare thigh, cold and yet somehow warming at the same time. Intimate, I think the word is, though to be honest I have no real idea at all.
I’ve never been close enough with anyone to just have little habits like that.
To maybe sneak a taste of their delicious stew—because I totally would. I could never wait for something like that, for something made with care for me by another person, for something that simmers and comes out of a slow cooker and sounds like sheer bliss.
My mouth is flooding just thinking about it.
My mouth is flooding just thinking about your other questions, oh your questions, oh you’ve no idea what a luxury questions are to me. They make me want to whisper in your ear instead of telling you across a table. About the cheese, which was soft and sweet, and the sheets that have buttons on them and fold so crisp and clean, and the article…
It was all about evidence that we aren’t alone in the universe.
And no no no it’s never patronising. No, it’s never creepy.
It’s the opposite, whatever the opposite of patronising and creepy is.
It sings inside my body too.
Makes me want to ask what you would taste like, if I were to taste you.
God. God. I have to…just stop there.
Damn, I forgot to respond to your question.
Though I think you know the answer anyway.
No, I’ve never been in love.
Have you, Malcolm?
😀 Happy release day, Cara and Charlotte! Congratulations! I can’t wait to read Way Down Deep!
So what did you think? Have you ever read a story in a format such as this? They wanted me to add that you can find out more about Cara or Charlotte on their websites. (Just click their names!) Do you think you’ll pick up a copy?