Love & Life

A Short Story: Marley & Devan

This is a short story I wrote last year … for some reason I feel compelled to share it. Enjoy.

 

“Excuse me, I have to go let Bix out.”

Marley found herself admiring the way the sunlight came through the window, shining on the two-toned peonies in the narrow neck vase on the rustic coffee table in front of her. Dr. Gibbs always had fresh peonies on her table. Marley wasn’t used to seeing the shades of pink, blush and rouge, so vibrantly. She typically was there later in the day, usually right after lunch. Her eyes meandered around the room, searching for anything else to occupy her mind from what she knew they would be discussing — her marriage.

The sound of two-inch heels tapping against wood floor caught her attention, bringing her back to her body, sitting on Dr. Gibb’s eggshell-colored sofa with her arms wrapped around one of Dr. Gibb’s green and pink paisley print throw pillows.

“Sorry about that Marley,” Dr. Gibbs said apologetically. “Bix knows it’s time to go outside and enjoy the day when you are here.”

“Or it’s time to poop,” Marley quipped. “He associates my face with pooping.” Dr. Gibbs tossed her head back in laughter.
“No, no, no,” she chuckled.
“I am amazed how your cat knows to ring a bell to go outside.”

Dr. Gibbs grinned as she sat down adjacent to Marley in a wide, sturdy oak rocking chair handcrafted with intricate swirls along the sides.

“He wasn’t easy to train but it was worth it.”

Marley liked to focus on one particular circular pattern on the chair while she spoke to Dr. Gibbs; too much eye contact made Marley anxious — she didn’t care for unsolicited attention, which is she why preferred one-on-one therapy over group therapy for her body dysmorphia and anxiety.

“So how did things go with Devan? How did he respond to what we talked about last week?” Dr. Gibbs said enthusiastically, as pushed the top of her pen open against the paper and clipboard — ready to dissect Marley’s words and mannerisms onto paper.

“Well, honestly,” Marley said flashing her teeth. “I think he did pretty well considering I was using Jedi mine tricks on him.”

Dr. Gibbs slightly amused, faintly laughed.

“I mean … when I politely asked him to help me out in the kitchen and explained how much better it would be for the both of us if he did help out, he didn’t say yes to it but he didn’t say no either.”

Dr. Gibbs’ pen danced across the paper, silence ensued between the two — soft sounds of Jazz in the background. Marley wasn’t sure what to say, she felt like she had pretty much explained herself clearly to Dr. Gibbs about how she felt. Dr. Gibbs and Marley’s relationship was originally built around the goal of helping Marley heal and grow personally in areas of serious struggle such as body image. Somehow, however, their sessions had transformed into full-on bitchfests about Marley’s frustrations with her husband of nearly 7 years. Evolution continued and now their sessions were not-so subtle attempts to salvage the emotional rollercoaster that her marriage had turn into — and Marley wasn’t so sure anymore that she wanted a ticket to the ride that was her life with Devan. Dr. Gibbs, however, was persistent in helping Marley communicate with Devan in hopes that the two would reconnect.

Marley had cried all the way from work to Dr. Gibb’s home for her session — a good 20 minute drive. She wasn’t sure she could blame her smudged mascara and flushed cheeks on the weather. She remembered in previous sessions how she unzipped her chest and released all that was there — the misunderstandings, the frustrations, disappointments, the feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. She could feel it building again.

“So tell me how he responded when you explained that both of you helping out around the house would mean you would have more time together?” Dr. Gibbs adjusted her glasses and tilted her face toward Marley. Dr. Gibbs was old enough to retire but shared repeatedly that she had no desire to retire —

for being a psychologist was more than just her profession. Marley admired that about her among other things. The way she dressed — linen pants, billowy tops with chunky jewelry and beige Sperry’s, her long white hair usually clipped back with an Italian tortoise hair clip — really intrigued Marley. She made a mental note that she wanted to dress just like Dr. Gibbs when she reached her 60s. Marley was ready for comfort and ease, at least with something in her life.

“Well, at first he just kind of scoffed at it, which really pissed me off,” Marley admitted. “Understandable,” Dr. Gibbs responded.

“But the next morning, I heard him emptying out the dishwasher so I know it’s sinking in,” she said. “ I just … I just wish I didn’t have to do all this work just to get him to help out more around the house, ya know.” Marley raised her arms above her head with frustration, shaking them at the ceiling.

“Where’s the guy that used to write me love letters? Where’s the man who would spend more hours on the road driving to see me for a weekend than actually being with me?” She could feel frustration rising in her voice.

“Where’s the man who used to make me feel like I was the prettiest girl in the room?!” She demanded. She took a breath, and buried her face in her hands. She called this her “ostrich move,” because in many ways she felt like an ostrich with her head and emotions buried in the sand for fear of hurting anyone, not realizing she was hurting herself in the process.

“Have you told him any of this?”

“No.” Marley looked up at Dr. Gibbs embarrassed, she should feel comfortable enough to express herself like that in front of him.

“I know I should.”
“You’re not a perfect person, no one is Marley.”
Marley inhaled through her nose deeply.
“I know,” she exhaled. “What am I suppose to say to him? Every time I think I know what I want to say — it all goes out the window the minute we start arguing.”
“You might not find this perfect moment you’re looking for, “ Dr. Riggs leaned in closer. “But

Devan is your husband, you should be able to tell him how you feel —no matter the moment.”

Marley looked down at small folds her knuckles, nodding in agreement. Tears pooled in her ocean blue eyes; she wiped them away annoyed by their presence.

“What’s something that you love to do together?”

“Movies, “ Marley answered. “We have a couple of shows we only watch with each other, and we like to watch movies, usually off the Fire Stick at home.”

“So let’s start there,” she beamed.

“You said that way too enthusiastically Dr. Gibbs,” Marley laughed. “But okay, I’ll go with it. What should I say?”

“What do you think you should say?”

Marley nervously ran her hands through her midnight brown hair, clenching her teeth. “Urrgh, I don’t know.”

“Take your time.” Dr. Gibbs’s pen and background music preference, smooth Jazz, ascended to the forefront, filling in the gap between their conversation once again. “I’m Coming, Virgina,” by Leon Bismark “Bix” Beiderbecke, an American jazz cornetist, pianist, and composer of the 20s was playing. Dr. Gibbs Calico “Bix” was named after the musician, which only solidified Dr. Gibb’s coolness to Marley. As much as she wanted to compliment Dr. Gibbs for her love of music and cat name, she couldn’t call Dr. Gibbs the “cool old cat lady” even though it was apparent that she was in fact old. Marley had thought about this several times; she referred back to her unhealthy habit of people pleasing and worry of offending someone. The thought of anyone not having a good impression of her sometimes kept her up at night. Devan would tell her to “chill out,” which only amplified her anxiety. It’s comments like that, that made it hard for Marley to open up in some areas for fear of judgement. She knew she was being ridiculous but acknowledging such feelings didn’t diminish them — this is what kept her from being candid.

It was as if her feelings were in a glass jar, seen but distorted, shifting in appearance by how the jar was turned. Taking the lid off the jar and looking inside meant there was no longer any distortion or ability to cover up her feelings — they would be raw and exposed. Dr. Gibbs wanted her to pour her feelings all out on the table, but Marley was at war with herself.

It was then Marley decided she didn’t want to waste anymore time. She abruptly put her hands down and turned to Dr. Gibbs. Determination began to simmer. She decided it was time to not just pour the jar out, but to shatter the jar and rebuild what would hold her emotions and her soul.

“Okay,” Marley said confidently. She sat upright.

“Tonight, the kids are going to my in-laws for a few hours so Devan and I can continue cleaning out the garage for the yard sale he’s determined to have next weekend. I think I will — no, I WILL tell him after dinner that we need to hang out and watch a movie. I will tell him that he used to make me feel like the prettiest girl in the room and now I feel like I’m just there. There’s nothing special about me to him anymore.”

Dr. Gibbs nodded felicitously at her plan.

“I think that’s a great idea Marley,” she assured. “Remember your tapping and breathing before you tell him. Don’t rehearse what you are going to say, just allow yourself some space to clear your head and calmly speak from the heart. And give him time to really respond, don’t rush it. He may not say what you want to hear right away but really listen. He could be saying what you need to hear, just in a different language so to speak.”

“Yes … I can do that,” she said with hope.

“Yes, Marley you can.” Dr. Gibbs wrote down a few more notes before they continued Marley’s therapy session — checking in on Marley’s self-care techniques, along with her newly found meditation practice.

By the end of their session, Marley felt lighter, almost tranquil. She had been seeing Dr. Gibbs for more than a year about her own issues, an area she was becoming more and more hopeful and confident about; her marriage, however, felt like it was on the cusp on going into a rough patch … or a hellacious mud slide. As if one snarky comment or omission of something could tip the scale in a direction neither one was prepared for. She knew that all marriages had their ups and downs, she just wasn’t sure how many downs two people should have before they say “enough.” But after this session, she felt like it was time to drastically change the course of their relationship for the better.

Dr. Gibbs quaint powder blue cottage is only 20 minutes from Devan and Marley’s home in one direction and 20 minutes the opposite direction from Marley’s work. She headed back to work and made a

conscious effort to focus on on upcoming project, instead of thinking of all the possible scenarios for the evening. By the time 5 p.m. rolled around, Marley’s lips were dry from her biting and licking them; a classic cue for her that her anxiety was getting high. Marley would sometimes take a longer route home, she told Devan that she preferred the more scenic roads so she could process all that was discussed at therapy or if there was a work issue she needed to mentally let go; really she used that time to work out things in her head between her and Devan. She never knew what kind of mood Devan would be in, she figured she needed a clear head. She was clear today, no need for detours.

Marley pulled up into her driveway in her hunter green SUV to find Devan putting the push mower in the garage. She put the car in park, turned off the engine and watched him for a few second. He might frustrate her sometimes but watching him putting the mower up for the evening brought feelings of gratefulness to the surface. She felt silly for being grateful for a mowed yard but she had done enough grateful journals to appreciate just about anything. She was grateful that she wasn’t to give up on them or settle; she prayed he felt the same way.
Marley grabbed her purse and got out of the car just as he was walking up the from steps to their door.

“The yard looks great, honey,” Marley said enthusiastically.
“Ya think so?” Devan said gruffly, clearing his throat.
“I do.” She reached out to touch to him in the foyer, just steps ahead of her. She brushed her fingertips along his sweat soaked shirt as he headed up the stairs to shower. He didn’t look at her when she touched him, she wondered if maybe he didn’t feel it.

She looked around. “Where are the kids?”
He stopped at the top of the stairs and turned toward her.
“My parents came by an hour ago and picked them up. Dad promised McKenna they would hit up the new ice cream shop that opened up downtown after dinner,” he said. “I’m going to go take a shower. I know we are going to clean the garage later but I’m disgusting.”

He turned and walked down the hallway and into the bathroom of their California split-home. Marley went into the kitchen, put her purse on the counter and started to go through the mail on the counter.

She wondered if she should order some Thai food so they could have more time to talk before the kids came home in a few hours. She went upstairs to ask him. Steam rolled out of the bathroom doorway when she opened the door.

“Hey, Lotus Blossom’s or Oodles of Noodles?” She yelled over his phone blaring Kenny Chesney.

“I don’t care, whatever you think,” he shouted.
“C’mon, I know you better than that,” she smirked. “What do you want?”
“Marley, I don’t care just pick a place and order me the spicy shrimp soup and Pad Thai.” Marley could feel the tension in his voice — it was a familiar tone (curt and abrasive) that she wished she wasn’t so familiar with.
She remembered her discussion with Dr. Gibbs about not taking his tone so personally.

She tried to hold onto that advice desperately.
“Okay sure, I’ll order it from Lotus. I think I’m getting the orchid chicken this time.”
“I like the soup from Oodles better than Lotus but that’s fine, get it from Lotus … it’s fine. Get it

from wherever,” he said apathetically.
Marley bit her lip in frustration and titled her head up toward the ceiling.
“No,” she sighed. “We can order for Noodles. I like the chicken from there, too.”
“You said Lotus first, its fine Marley.”
Marley was not so confident in his tone.
“It’s not fine. You said you don’t like the spicy shrimp soup from Lotus so I’ll get it from Oodles.

I didn’t know that so that’s why I said Lotus, they are cheaper.”
“Well yeah … they are but I mean, I don’t know what they put in the soup but something has been off lately.”
“So we’re done with Lotus then?” Marley impatiently asked.
“No,” he snapped. “I didn’t say that. I just said their soup has been sucking lately.”
“Well, I wish you would have just said that in the beginning of this conversation because I could

have our food ordered by now,” she angrily countered. “Well damn,” he fumed.

“Whatever, I’m ordering,” Marley shouted as she left the bathroom, hurling herself down the stairs quickly. The crisp air of the air conditioner soothed her red, puffy face from all the steam. She was starting to second guess herself on her plans to confess her feelings. The idea that one night could redirect the path they have been heading down seemed impossible but she was tired of thinking that way. That mentality was getting her nowhere.

As she ordered their dinner from Oodles of Noodles, the idea of asking her in-laws to keep the kids all night came to her. Without hesitation, she finished the order on the phone and then texted her mother-in-law Sheryl. She heard Devan turn off the water and move to their bedroom. With her phone in hand, she went up the stairs to change. She told herself repeatedly in her head that she was going to follow-through, no excuses. He needed to know her feelings.

She found Devan shirtless, in his favorite dark gray with orange trim shorts. He was searching for a T-shirt on his side of their large Oak dresser.

She leaned against the bedroom door. She noticed how much he’s changed physically over the last decade. When they met, he was lean — almost too thin for her liking but she joked that a few good steak dinners would do the trick. At five-foot nine, his height was against him when it came to his weight. His six-pack, single digit body fat days had been replaced with 25 percent body fat, broad shoulders, and softer and hairier chest and stomach. He had the dad body but that didn’t make him any less attractive, both their bodies had been reshaped and molded by time and life’s circumstances. She was at least two jean sizes bigger than when they first started dating. The idea of being a size 14 would have horrified her years ago but through counseling and her own work toward body acceptance, she was not so worried about the number on her clothes or what the scale said most days. This was an achievement to her, and one she kept to herself for no one really knew the extent of her body issues except Dr. Gibbs. Devan had never once commented that she needed to lose or gain weight.

“So I ordered from Oodles, it’ll be here in 15.”
Her phone vibrated her hand — it was Sheryl. She glanced down at the text.
“So hey, it looks like we have the whole night to ourselves. Your parents are going to keep the kids all night.”

Devan turned to her, eyes widened, mouth open in disbelief. It was if she had just told him they won the lottery. She felt the same way; she just had a better poker face.

“Really? Should we go out?”

“Nah, let’s stay in,” she said as she walked over to her side of the dresser and pulled out her favorite T-shirt from college and a pair of dark blue shorts.

“We can eat, work on the garage a little since it’s stressing us out so much and then maybe watch a movie.”

She undressed herself, peeling off her work attire of a high-neck lavender blouse, dark skinny jeans.

“Or we could go out? I could give Kendall and Kyle a call, see what they are up to?”
There was tenderness in his voice, but she knew it wasn’t for her —it was to convince her they could have a good time out. She knew that trick. She dreamed of nights out with Devan with his arms draped around her as they drank the night away in some bar but she knew that wouldn’t rekindle their relationship.

“But look?” She gestured to her light blue shirt. “I put on my favorite T-shirt from college to enjoy. I NEVER get to do that because the kids can read now.”

Their eyes met, faint snickers ensued.

“I guess so,” he said smiling. “But you know one day they will find your ‘kegs and eggs’ shirt and find out that their mom isn’t so innocent.”

She looked down at the two sunny side up eggs, bacon and mug of beer on her chest. She sensed playfulness from him.

“Oh well their father isn’t a saint, either.”

Pulling up her shorts up, she waited for Devan to respond — silence. She turned around to find herself alone in the bedroom. She questioned her judgement of misreading their conversation.

She stepped out into the hallway, the house was quiet.
“Devan?” She called. “Where did you go?”
“Devan … Devan?”
“I’m down here,” he yelled. “Just grabbing some cash from the study before the food shows up.”

Slightly embarrassed that he hadn’t caught on to her playfulness, she decided to go do some laundry while they waited for the food to arrive. She need to rehearse how she was going to tell him that she was unhappy but wanted to work things out, even though Dr. Gibbs had advised her not to overthink the conversation.

The doorbell rang.
“Marley, the food is here,” Devan hollered.
“I’m coming!” She quickly put a handful of socks in the washer, turned it on and headed for the kitchen. Dinner was filled with light conversation about each other’s day and how the kids’ day went — per the usual. Small talk was not their issue, it was real talk.

After dinner, Devan decided they should go ahead and work on the garage for a few hours. His reluctance to be productive had wained. Marley was washing dishes in the sink when she heard a startling thud come from the garage.

“Devan, you okay there?”

Dish towel in hand she raced to the garage to find Devan sitting on the floor with his hands over his head.

“You okay?!”
“Yeah, he moaned. “Fucking box came down on me and hit me on the head.”
“From where? The top shelf?” She asked confused.
“Yeah, where else would a box come from and hit me on the top of the head Marley?” He snapped.
“Hey now, I’m just asking … can you get up?” She knelt down beside him.
“Yeah, I’m alright.”
She looked around, broken picture frames and paper were scattered all around him. Devan stood up rubbing his neck.
“I’m going to go grab a beer.”

Annoyed, “Well, I guess I’ll clean this up then,” Marley said.

Looking more closely at the mess in front her, she noticed that the pictures were of the two of them back when they were dating. Her old box of college memorabilia had knocked him on the head. She looked over each piece for a moment before she putting back in the box.

“Devan grab the broom on your way back, PLEASE.”

Her mind transported back to happier days, when they actually touched each other and laughed with each other. They enjoyed each others’ company back then. One of the loose pieces of paper had made its way out of arms reach. She stretched her hand out for it as Devan walked in with the broom.

“I’m sorry I left you with this mess,” he said.
“Oh,” she half smiled. “It’s ….”
The words on the paper in her hand jumped off the page. It was a love letter from Devan from what felt like decades ago. “What is it?”

Warm tears slipped out and onto her shirt. She couldn’t keep it in any longer.“It’s back,” she gasped. “When I … When I felt special.”
Devan looked at her bewildered.
“Special? What are you saying Marley?”

She stood up, wiped her eyes on her T-shirt, letting the letter fall to the cement floor. She took a deep breath and looked into his green eyes.

“Devan, you have to know something is off between us. When we first started dating, you made me feel like the prettiest woman in the room. Now, I feel like I’m just here.”

“What do you mean that you’re just here?” He reached out to place her hands in his, she pulled away, refusing his gesture. She buried her head in her hands and tried to slow down her breathing. It wasn’t working. Warm tears covered her hands and face unforgivingly now, no matter how much she wiped them away. Her glass jar was shattering.

Devan stretched his hands wide on both sides of her but instead of embracing her with a hug, he stood there watching her. His hands and heart were ready, but his mind feared rejection again.

“Marley?” He asked with uncertainty.
She didn’t answer. She couldn’t stop crying, there was no point in stopping herself.

Devan then did something he hadn’t done in a while — he listened to his heart and wrapped his arms around her, burying her face into his chest.

“Marley,” he said. “Please talk to me, what’s going on?” She wiped her face on his shirt.

“What happened to us?” She cried.

“Marley, we are still us. People change. I’ve changed, you’ve changed. It HAPPENS. That doesn’t mean I love you any less.”

She looked up at him.

“It doesn’t? People change all the time and give up on each other all the time. You’ve been so distant and short with me. I know I can take things personal when I shouldn’t but can you ever just talk to me like you used to — with kindness? All I hear is frustration in your voice.”
She pulled back away from his touch and wipes her eyes again with her shirt.

“Look, this has been really hard for me to say. I know I should have said it sooner but I just feel like we’re growing apart and I’m scared.”

“Are you not happy?” Devan asked with a concerned look on his face..

“I’m happy — sometimes. I know if things were better between us, I’d be happier. Are you happy?”

“Well yeah, I am.”
“I don’t want to settle for “well yeah’” she sobbed.
She grabbed the sheet of paper by her foot.
“See these letters?!” She shouted. “These letters have such hope and promise of our future in them. And I can’t get you to open up to me like that anymore. What happened?
“Nothing happened Marley,” he assured. “Life happened! We got married, we had babies. Are you telling me you regret marrying me? That you don’t want a life with me and the kids?” “That’s not what I’m saying!”

“Well what are you saying?”
“I just!”
“You just what Marley!” Devan demanded.

“I just want you to put some more damn effort into us that’s all! You’ve became lazy and that made me lazy because why would I try if you weren’t trying either. It’s like we just settled that this is how it’ll be between us. Our friends sit around and gripe about their spouses all the time, just accepting that this is how it is now. Everyone says everything and nothing at the same time, and we just go around talking to each other about the bare minimum — about our days, the kids and our jobs and maybe a movie or restaurant we like.”

“So I’m lazy but you admit you’ve gotten lazy when it comes to us, too?” He said, raising one brow.

“YES.” She folded herself up on the floor, legs crossed with her head down.

“Devan, look — I know I’m not perfect. No one is, so yeah … I’ve been lazy, too. I don’t want out of this, I love our kids and the life we have built. I guess I just want more from us. I don’t want to settle and just bicker about you all the time to my friends.”

Devan crouched down and sat on the floor in front of her. “Marley, look at me.” He whispered.
She continued to stare at her hands in her lap.
“Marley, look at me.” He nudged.

She agreed. He put both of his hands on either side of her face. He leaned in as if he was about to kiss her forehead and spoke instead.

“I’m sorry you’ve felt this way and felt like you couldn’t tell me,” he moved forward and kissed her forehead “And you’re right, I got lazy.”

“What do we do?” She asked.
He leaned back and looked at her.
“We find our way back to each other,” he smiled.
Their lips touched, lightly at first and then with passion. Their arms enveloped each other, their bodies pressed up against one another, their souls intertwined. Marley could feel herself melting into the warmth of his body. She almost forgot what this felt like.

Slowly their lips parted, leaning on each other’s foreheads, Marley could feel it — a recommitment to each other, an amendment to all the things said and unsaid.

Both started picking up the paper and knick knacks that had landed on Devan’s head.
“How’s your head?” She teased.
“Still spinning from that kiss … oh you mean when your box about took me out” he laughed.“It’s still a little sore.”
“Let’s get some ice for it and go watch a movie.”
“I have a better idea,” he beamed. “Grab the letters we used to write to each other and let’s go out on the back deck and read them.” Her face lit up.

“I love that idea.”

Devan got up and headed to the kitchen. Marley quickly sifted through the loose papers and found a handful of letters between the two of them to reminisce over. The shattered glass could be swept up later.

Papers in hand, she grabbed her favorite yellow crocheted blanket from the living room and met Devan on the porch swing, who holding two beers.

“Here,” he said, handing her one. She took a sip.
“Is that the new Amber Ale?”
“It is. I picked some up earlier today. They were selling them like crazy at Porter’s.”
They sat down, Marley wrapped her legs tightly in the blanket. She waved the letters in the air. “Where shall we start?” He smiled.
Both began taking turns reading paragraphs of their letters to each other. Both in denial of their cheesy romantic lines to one another, at first.
“I knew you quoted Shakespeare and Jane Austen,” he said. “But surely some of it was original?” She held up the letters in front of her face and snickered.
“Duh.”
He pulled the letters away from her.
“Liar.”
She stuck her tongue out at him; their laughter and playful banter filled the night air.

Eventually, Devan admitted that he quoted movies he had watched in his love letters to her. The fact that neither one of them came up with anything 100 percent original to say to each other made it more entertaining. What started out as a simple, small way for them to connect turned into genuine, soul- restoring moments seasoned with infectious laughter. Marley went back to the garage and brought the entire box out for them to dissect and simper over. Devan kept the beers cold and nearby. It was around 10 when Devan noticed Marley was slurring her words.

“Marley, how many beers have you had?”

“How many beerz have you had missterrr?” She leaned into him with one eye open and a serious scowl on her face.

“I wasn’t counting,” he said. “But I’m guessing you’ve had five or six.” She threw her head back and snort-laughed at his remark.
“Ha, more like seven!” She couldn’t stop laughing.
“Oh nooo, I have the gigglesss.”

Her words only made her laugh more at herself. “Let’s get you to bed,” Devan insisted.
“Oh,” she winked. “Yes, less go to bed.” “Marley, you’re drunk.”

“Ugh, SO?” She protested.
“Sooo, let’s just go upstairs, okay?”
“Sure,” she winked again.
Marley stood up and lost her balance for a moment as she tried to pick up her blanket to take with her. Devan wrapped his arms around her to keep her steady. She put her arm around his neck as they headed back into the house.

“Are you going to carry me?” She asked when they reached the stairs.
Devan swiftly kissed her on the cheek and whispered in her ear, “No, I don’t want to break my back.”

Marley’s jaw dropped. “You ASS!” She shouted. Devan shook his head snickering.
“I cant believe you saidz that tooo me.”

She braced herself against him as they walked side-by-side up the stairs.

“Marley, my back isn’t some spring chicken anymore. It gets sore from just about anything. I would carry you up the stairs if I could.”

“Uh huh, she smirked. “Sure.”

When they reached the bedroom, Marley instantly crawled into bed. Devan began shutting off lights and plugged both their phones into their chargers.

“WAIT!” She said. “We were going to bone!”
“Who says bone anymore?” He teased.
“Welllll, I dooo,” she said, planting her face in her pillow. “I do.”
Devan crawled into bed, leaned over and kissed her head.
“I love you, Marley. I might not always get it right, but this … this is right.”
Marley heard him and contemplated on saying something back but the feeling of her face on a soft pillow was calling her to dream.
She awoke to Devan playing a game on his phone in bed.
“Morning,” she grumbled, her eyes half open.
“Good morning,” Devan smiled. “How are you feeling?”
“Um … I’m not sure yet,” she admitted. “I haven’t drank like that in a while.” “It was all those stories of our younger days,” he teased.

“Yeah, that was it,” she said sarcastically.
“You hungry?”
“Not really … “ she said. “I was hoping to have sex last night.”
He laughed. “You said bone last night.”
She sat up in bed.
“No?” Her eyes widened, mouth slightly open.
“OH yeah,” he said. “It was kinda hot and then you passed out.”
“So I really did recreate my college years last night.”
“Haha, yes you did … but you know we can bone right now if you want to,” he said raising one of his eyebrows and slightly pouting his lips at her.

“Oh well, looking at you all smooth and .. ” He stopped her with a kiss — a kiss that multiplied into several, with hands caressing shoulders and thighs, with T-shirts stripped from bodies and tossed onto the floor. Suddenly, the doorbell rang.

“Marley lifted her head up from Devan’s embrace confused.
“Was that the doorbell?”
“Maybe, it was the neighbors,” Devan said, still on top of her, he started kissing her neck again. The front door swung open.
“MOMMY, DADDY WE HOME!”
Marley and Devan’s eye met, creating an infectious smile and laugh between the two. “MOMMY! DADDY!”
Their eyes met again, only instead of laughter, both winced simultaneously.
“Shit.”

 

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