“Get more wine!” Amy yelled to me from the patio. How have we already gone through five bottles in three hours? These Brits can drink. I grabbed the last bottle from the table and made my way outside, to the crescent moon hovering over London and a select group of female members from the English department at university. There was Paula, the 39-year old frantic single mother who taught freshmen how to dot and cross their letters, Joan, my office mate and the elder stateswoman of the group, and Amy, another travelling lecturer who also left someone back home.
“Here we go ladies, it’s the last bottle of red so savor it.” I poured everyone a glass and leaned back to enjoy the setting and conversation.
“We have to do something, I have a sitter all night and I need action. Or stories. You two,” Paula said pointing to Amy and me and guzzling her wine, “You are young and unburdened and must have stories. How do your significant others feel about you being here?”
“Have you gotten a letter yet Serah?” asked Joan.
I had. Taren’s first letter came in three days ago. There wasn’t anything substantial in it but it was the first letter and I had it in my room. I liked to reread it.
“Yeah, I got one on Wednesday. He misses me. Nothing really crazy is going on. Just work stuff, funny friend antics and quirky neighbors.”
“Did you live in a sit com?” Paula managed between sips, drawing a laugh from the four of us.
“We always had something going on, something to laugh at. I guess if that qualifies a sit-com, then yeah. I never thought of it that way.” I laugh.
“And you, miss mysterious? You’ve been quiet over there” Joan motioned to Amy. She was quiet. Amy was the first person I met when I moved into the city and she has been the closest friend I’ve had since I got here. I know she was dating a guy back in the states but she never really went into it more than that.
Amy sipped her glass and searched for the right words. She wanted to say something but wasn’t ready to admit it to herself.
She paused and finally spoke.
“I haven’t talked to Damon in three days. Finally I logged on to his Facebook this morning and saw pictures of him at a party last night – pictures he hid from me so I couldn’t see them on my feed. He was with a woman from his office and they weren’t working on anything.”
“What a fucking wanker,” exclaimed Paula. “Bastard.”
“I’m sorry Paula,” Joan added.
“Me too,” I added and placed my hand on her knee. “Maybe we should go out tonight, go get you something cheap and meaningless and a leg up on that asshole.”
It was at that moment that Paula’s phone rang, the babysitter was freaking out about something the kids had done. Paula shakily rose and bid her farewells. Joan went with her. She said it was because she promised her husband she would be home by a certain hour but it was fairly obvious that she was going to get Paula home safe – especially since she whispered it over her shoulder as I helped Paula with her coat. When I turned around Amy was three inches from my face.
Amy pushed me against the wall and overtook my lips with the fervor of someone who hadn’t seen a lover in ages unknown to any other. I was so shocked I had no response but to give in. To engage. To strike her autumn hair and savor the shine of sweat highlighted from the moonlight. We made way back to the patio through a series of awkward gropes that served as a prelude of everything to come when we hit the hammock. Her saliva tasted of every glass of wine and the feel of her soft skin grew with weight the longer she was on top of me. She reminded me of Taren: the way she grabbed my breast, the pressure from her thighs and the force in which she entered. The longer I moaned, the harder the stars shined and I understood place and time and pleasure.
Amy rose while I was writhing and picked up her clothes. She watched me for a moment, overcome in the instant and unaware of my life outside that rooftop. She smiled, in an almost devious delight, and walked over to me.
“Write that” She whispered in my ear, causing my ecstasy and euphoria to crash back down to the common place. She put on her clothes, slowly, as if to make me watch every fiber of cloth be put back in its proper place. Then, as quick as she came, she was gone. Fuck.