A Window Into the

—the lottery, Stephen thinks to himself. It’s the end of the night. He’s standing in his underwear in front of the full-length mirror atop a low dresser on the other side of the room when Nadyra’s hands appear from behind, wrap themselves around his waist, ply his modest love handles. He smiles into the mirror as her face pops into view over his right shoulder. She rests her chin on his trapezius and frowns.

“What is it?” he asks.

“I know what you’re thinking,” she says. “And I don’t want you to.”

He smiles on one side, says, “You don’t want me to think?”

“Not about that.” She releases her grip, smooths her hands over the flesh of his stomach as if flattening a shirt across an ironing board. “You’re beautiful. You know that, don’t you?”

He sighs, situates his hands over hers, guides them over his flesh as if searching for something hidden just beneath the surface. “You say it so nice I almost believe it.”

She pecks his ear; he feels the chill of the gold cross she wears around her neck as it touches his back. “I wouldn’t lie to you.”

He glances back. “You absolutely would lie to me.”

“Well, yes, but not about something important like this.”

“Or to my face.”

“Oh no, I’d do that.” With her accent, the jab is more seductive than it is sarcastic.

He rotates away from the mirror, cups Nadyra’s face in his palms. He kisses her; runs his hands down her fleshy back; drinks in the sight of her dark pine. She pulls away, sits back on the mattress, crab-crawls her way to the pillow. Her eyes never break their link; she grins, shows all her teeth as he climbs onto the bed, follows her up up all the way to the top. He reaches for her; she reaches for the light.



>>The Singularity, issue 1, 2015

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