The levee

She’s used to getting what she wants, except in this case she doesn’t know what she wants. It scares her a little and it excites her a little like only the thrill of the unknown can. She wants him in her life but she doesn’t want to uproot his life in the process. For him, she is seeking help for her condition. She prefers to call it a condition rather than a disorder.


Since her divorce she has slept with other men. She tells herself she needs them because she can’t sleep on an empty bed. She’d toss and turn endlessly. But with someone else there it is like a levee to keep you from rolling right off the bed.  But all of these men were married.  She reasons it’s better if someone else has the burden of taking care of them. But actually she is scared of letting anyone too deep into her world.

He is who she wants to be with. Not just because he is different. Not just because he keeps her from rolling off. Not just because he is not married. And definitely not because he lives miles away.


When he rolls off of her she says she is looking forward to a particular movie releasing next week. He says he hasn’t heard of it. She gasps in mock horror. How could he not have? It stars Mark Wahlberg. She claims to have seen all of his movies. He says he’s sorry but does not share her crush on Mark Wahlberg. He however admits to a man crush on Brad Pitt. She cringes her face. He is surprised until she explains she does not care for blond hair. He says he is fortunate he has black hair but if he should ever dye it blond then she should take the hint. She loves the flirting. But she is scared she won’t know how to react if he decides to get serious with her. But she thinks he is waiting for her to make that move. Just as well.


Her son is looking at her with teeth bared. He is pretending to be a dinosaur. Last month he was a bear and that didn’t look much different. Either was better than when he pretended to be a spider and insisted on crawling on floors.

She looks from son to her ex husband and wonders if he were in his place would he have left her? She thought he would once her ‘condition’  manifested itself.


Would I suffer from depression attacks if I were with someone I love?  She asks her therapist. Her therapist says it would help but they really needed to get to the root of the problem.  The therapist just wants to find some childhood trauma to link this to. Maybe she should manufacture something for the therapist to get over this hurdle. She thinks it would be ironic if she were to help the therapist’s condition and smiles inwardly at the thought.


They talk a lot over the phone. Often the conversation gets raunchy. He says things like he is in just his boxers and reaching into them. She chooses to believe him. Now she teases him to send pictures which he promptly does, and he is indeed in his boxers with his hands reaching into them. She gets all giddy… and aroused. Like only he can make her. She asks him what if they get so used to doing this that to turn each other on in person they will have to reach for their phones.

She takes her son to swim class. He protests and cries he doesn’t want to go. Yet, once in the water he doesn’t want to leave. Her little boy tells her to look at him swim. He looks funny as he thrashes wildly in the water.

When he steps out of the water one of the other moms tells him he has grown strong. He says it’s because of all the greens he eats. He says his mom has told him he can be strong like Popeye if he eats his greens. Then he lowers his voice to a conspiratorial whisper and says once he grows really strong he won’t need to eat greens any more.

It’s been a while since she stopped taking Prozac and yet she hasn’t felt this cheerful in a long time.


She is cracking eggs to make him an omelet for breakfast. He asks how it would be if he stayed longer this time. Her heart skips a beat. She thinks of saying No, I can’t make you three egg omelets every day or No, I can’t stand how you eat ice cream straight from the tub. But what she really wants to say is Stay.

He reaches for her hand. She knows she is ready for it. Stay, she says.


About fictionfuture

An experiment in minimalist fiction View all posts by fictionfuture

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