This is the continuation of John and Carolina’s story. You can get their backstory by following the links below.
It was accidental, the first time they slept together. He thought that was a silly thing to call it, since there was no sleeping and it was the middle of the day.
He’d seen her van pull past him in the parking lot- he didn’t think she’d seen him though. People were keeping their cash and their bags to themselves on this particular afternoon, and it had been nearly five days since he’d last seen or heard form her. He left his post and followed her up the aisle.
She didn’t get out. As he walked, dodging people and shopping carts and cars jockeying for spaces, he began to worry. Worry was one of the few things he did well.
He tapped on the passenger window. “Carolina?”
The door locks popped. He pulled the handle and got in beside her. She wore those oversize sunglasses that were in again, so many years after Jackie O.
“You okay?” he ventured.
“You want to go somewhere?” She didn’t await an answer. “Let’s go somewhere.”
As she turned the key he glanced in back for the boys. It was empty. He sensed it better not to ask, and instead fastened his seatbelt.
“Are you hungry?”
He was always hungry these days, or so it seemed. “I’m okay.”
She smiled. Her black hair was pulled back in one of those loopy half-pony-tails. She wore a pretty, loudly colored blouse that fit loosely but still managed to accent her curvy figure, the neckline plunging low to reveal the milky soft flesh above her breasts. He could see a bit of black lace peeking out, and he looked away quickly. He wasn’t into pushing in on other men’s wives. Even when those men were undeserving.
“Burger?” They were pulling into a fast-food drive-thru.
She parked the van at the very back of the lot after getting their food, under a naked myrtle tree. She cracked the windows before killing the engine.
The smell of French fries filled the car. He ate everything she gave him; partly because people had been stingy lately, and partly to fill the space between them.
When they finished, she still hadn’t removed her glasses, or even looked his way. But she finally said, “Where do you live, John?”
He felt embarrassment. “I rent a room. On Merck’s Ave.”
She nodded. “Do you like it?”
“I hate it,” he smiled. “But it beats the alternative.”
“Have you had to do that before?”
She was quiet. Then, “I’m sorry.”
He wanted to take her hand, or at least see her eyes. “Don’t be.”
“Life sucks, John. A lot.” She removed the glasses, and he saw the fresh pulsating purple bruise almost swelling her eye shut. He tried not to react. It proved impossible. “Jesus. Honey. What the fuck?” he whispered.
“I didn’t come out to shop today.”
He gathered his nerve and reached for her hand. She didn’t refuse.
She finally met his gaze head-on. “I wanted to see you.”
He processed that for a moment. Her words made his heart lurch and his palms sweat. They made his penis stir. She did that often, though.
“I like seeing you and the boys too, Carolina.”
She looked away. “I think you misunderstand.”
There are those moments in a man’s life that stand out as pivotal. Firsts. First kiss, first love, first base, first fuck. Bad ones too, like the first time he realizes he’s not invincible. First rejection, first heartbreak, the first time he sees all that talk about dreams and following your passion is bullshit.
This was one of those moments. Perhaps it even over-shadowed the ones that came before. And before he knew it, he was leaning in for their first kiss.
Her hands came up, cradled the back of his head, and her mouth was hot and wet and tasted like fries and Coke. It was more than a stirring he felt; in spite of medication and age and being out of shape, he wanted her, was ready for her like he hadn’t been in years.
This moment was pivotal.
She pulled back, and mascara ran with the tears over her cheeks. He thumbed them away and only created a bigger mess, but it just made her more beautiful. He put his lips on her black eye, kissed it tenderly, wishing his touch could take away the pain.
She smiled gently. “That feels nice.”
Then she was pulling him into the back, pulling that pretty blouse over her head, and opening a world he never expected he’d be granted again. Not with her. Not with Carolina.