Marcus sat up. What woke him, he couldn’t tell. But something did. The room was pitch black, but what really alarmed him was the total silence. He’d never known such a complete lack of sound. He reached over to the bedside table for his phone and recoiled when he felt the unmistakable sensation of a body.
Marcus knew the body in the bed was not his wife. He knew he wasn’t in their bedroom. But he couldn’t say why he knew these things. Panic took hold. He could feel his heart pumping and a slight ringing in his ears. He had to get the hell out of there.
He slowly rolled to the other side of the bed, careful not to wake the other person. He swung his legs around and put his feet down on unfamiliar high pile rug. He paused, listening again to the silence, straining to hear something, anything. Whomever it was in the bed next to him didn’t seem to be breathing. Panic rose again. He reached out, found a lamp and turned on the light.
The room was made of cinder block walls, painted a dark brown, with no window. The bed was made up with what looked like floral print covers and sheets from some grandmother’s linen closet. Two beat-up, dated-looking side tables had old-fashioned lamps with blue fringed shades stood on either side. A wood chair in sat in a corner. In the opposite corner was a small sink, towel rack with a single white hand towel, and a toilet. Rolls of toilet paper were stacked neatly below the sink. A small table with collapsible sides and spindly legs sat against the wall next to a large metal warehouse door. On the table sat a porcelain water pitcher, perfectly centered on a white crocheted doily, with bouquet of pink and yellow roses.
Marcus’ eyes now rested on the body next to him. It was a woman, naked, the sheet covering only her lower legs. Her long copper hair draped all across the pillow. She lay on her side, her back turned to him. He had no idea who she was. He did not know where he was nor how he got there. The room gave him the creeps. The whole situation was terrifying. He wanted to lift the sheet up over her, cover her up. Whomever she was. He didn’t want to know.
The worst thing was, Marcus couldn’t remember how he got there. Strangely, only the recent Christmas came to mind. He kept seeing images of his wife laughing with her siblings as they opened one gag gift after another. One of her family’s kooky holiday traditions. The memory made him flinch with a twinge of, what, he couldn’t be sure. Guilt? Remorse? He never had a single fleeting moment’s notice of any woman since he met his wife. Why was he here?
Marcus slowly rose to his feet and looked around for his clothes. He spotted them, a tidy folded stack on a bench at the foot of the bed. Another set of folded clothes, presumably the woman’s, were also on the bench. He took only two steps, trying to not make a sound, and reached the rest of the distance for his clothes. He put them on as quietly and as quickly as he could.
As he looked around for his shoes, wallet and phone, the woman turned over on her back. Her beauty caught him in a frozen moment of surprise and awe. Her high cheekbones had a subtle hint of pink luminescence. Long, natural black lashes curved coyly upward, and heart-shaped lips, with the remnants of lipstick lining the edges, opened slightly to let an easy breath in and out. Her breasts were perfect soft mounds with plump red nipples. Almost too perfect, Marcus thought, as he thought of his wife’s slightly lopsided, heavily drooped bosom.
And then Marcus saw a penis and testicles.
He shook his head as real panic overtook him. He frantically searched for his wallet and phone.
The woman sat up. Marcus stopped where he stood and stared at her.
“Will you be back?” She asked.
Confused, Marcus said, “Uh, no. No. I… No. I won’t… be… back.”
The woman’s expression changed from shy to agonized. “Well, you can get a cab, then,” she snapped. “I’m certainly not taking you anywhere! They’re just outside. They come by all the time.”
“Yes. I will do just that…I need…Where’s my wallet?! My phone…?!”
The woman rose out of the bed and Marcus abruptly turned away. He couldn’t bear looking. The woman reached behind her and pulled the sheet about her, draping and wrapping it into an elegant tunic. She walked gracefully around the bed, floating past Marcus to the table on side where he had been, and opened the drawer. She took out his wallet and phone and held them out.
Marcus reluctantly stepped forward and took them. “Thank you.”
The woman nodded, her face now a neutral, if not a bit angry, expression.
“I do not have a single fucking clue how…who are you?!” Marcus demanded. “I don’t…I’m not g…I don’t do guys! I’m not interested at all in anyone! I love…my wife…my wife! I never...Shit! Why can’t I remember anything?! Where the fuck…?”
The woman smirked. “You don’t remember meeting me?”
“Fuck you,” Marcus shot back.
“OK, I’ll tell you.” She swept a graceful arm toward the old wood chair in the corner, indicating she wished Marcus to sit and listen.
“I’m fine right here. Just … tell me …what the hell…happened. Last night.”
“Last night?” The woman gave a sarcastic snort. “Oh, honey. Try, last several days!”
I jumped into writing this right after reading the prompts last Sunday and then remembered I had to first finish my taxes! Fun to have this to come back to afterward. Not sure where to go with the story, so left it open ended. Prompts this week are: Outside, he raised his arm and hailed a cab/A little white lie/Woken by the silence