by Adam Gunn
"I'll be in town Thursday night. I'd love to see you. How about dinner?" The voicemail was from Danny, and Linda thrilled when she heard it.
How long had it been? Two years, two months, she knew almost to the hour. Danny was her ex, they'd been in a relationship more than four years, lived together over two. It had been wonderful, instant lust - they'd slept together the night they'd met at a wedding - and they were as compatible as two people could ever hope to be.
She dialed the number back, was delighted when he answered.
"Hi, it's Linda."
"Oh, it's great to hear your voice!"
"You too. So, you're coming to town?"
"Yeah, got a meeting Friday morning. Any chance we could do dinner?"
"I'd love it."
The conversation went on for another few moments, he asked about her mom, it led into a discussion of their families. It was a shame, she thought, she'd been so close to his mother and when they broke up she'd lost touch.
"So," he said, "how about the Stone House?" It had been a favorite of theirs, a downtown chophouse, dark, romantic, she remembered the times they'd imbibed good steaks and rich wines.
"I haven't been there in years," she said, silently adding, 'not since we broke up.'
"How about 7:00?"
"I'll meet you there."
"I'm looking forward to it."
In the intervening hours, Linda thought back on the romance, the greatest of her life. How he didn't mind when she painted the bedroom salmon pink, that wonderful trip to Saint Kitts, what he smelled like.
They'd been completely faithful to each other. And she remembered why they broke up, the little irritations that crept in, how he would never put the seat on the toilet bowl down, how he left dirty dishes in the sink, the fact that he never bothered to wash his car. Oh, he said he'd change those habits, but he never did. Certainly his seeming unwillingness to present a ring had an impact.
The final nail came one Saturday. He'd been talking about getting a television for the bedroom, saying that they needed another one, she was taking up all the DVR space. She'd been against it, the bedroom was a place for relaxation was her point. And then, when she got home from work in the afternoon, it was already installed on top of his chest of drawers, a peremptory strike. He promised he'd only use it when she wasn't in the room, but of course as the weeks went by cuddling after sex became a stretch for the remote control. It was as good a symbol as any for the decline in their homogeneity, and although they didn't break up immediately, within three months she sadly called for the moving van.
But now, he was coming to town again, and he wanted to see her! Oh, what a wonderful occasion.
He was already seated in a booth, semicircular and dark, when she arrived, she sat beside him, gave him a elfin kiss on the cheek. "You look wonderful," he oozed, she agreed that he'd kept himself in shape.
"You always liked the Estancia Pinot Noir, didn't you?" he asked, and ordered the waiter to bring a bottle. Over a shared stuffed portabella, steaks medium rare and a slice of cheesecake they caught up. He liked the new city, he divulged, the work was good, the urban scene exciting. He'd had a couple of girlfriends since he'd moved, nothing out of the ordinary, certainly not anything to hold a candle to Linda.
She told of her accomplishments, asserted she wasn't dating anyone special; that was a little fib, if you asked Curt he would have said she was his girlfriend, but Linda felt she was just marking time with him, she'd already nixed both a proposal and an offer to move in with him.
The first time Danny and Linda touched, an innocent gesture while they were both stretching for the last bites of mushroom, she felt the old rousing shock, that jolt that tells you you're alive, this man you're with is exciting. When he put his hand on hers between courses, she didn't pull away, in fact she traced his index finger with hers. And when he suggested a walk to the Market after dinner, she gladly accepted, no part of her wanted this night to end.
Three blocks later they sat at an outdoor bistro, the warm breeze brushed her face, he recollected she enjoyed cinzano, a glass was placed in front of her. When he reached for her hand, she gladly let him hold it, and when she placed a hand on his thigh he sighed in pleasure.
They walked further, in a darkened portico he pulled her to him, she failed to object, the first meeting of their lips was slight, and yet it brought back the mindfulness of the good days, his breath sweet, his lips soft and yielding. They broke, and it was she that pressed back, held him tight.
"Come up to my room," he proposed. There was no hesitation, immediately came the convergence, "Yes." They nearly sprinted the two blocks, the elevator ride was torture, when they hit the bed together they were both roasting.
She remembered how he made love to her, when he cupped her breast just so she groaned in anticipation, the length of his penis was as amazing as she'd recollected, his mouth still knew just how to lovingly anger her clit, and when they were joined she relished the old, familiar and much desired movements. They moaned together, he ensured she was fulfilled before he allowed himself completion.
They lounged on the sheets, naked and unashamed of their love making, she rediscovered the crannies of his wonderful body with her eyes and hands. They might have slept, only to rouse each other with passion, she anticipated waking up beside him with the next dawn.
But she had needs, she trundled to the bathroom. While she relieved her bladder, she wondered at the evening, recollected many others in the past, allowed a thought that perhaps, just perhaps, there would be sequels in the future, they'd both grown so much since the breakup.
And when she opened the door to her man, her future, she heard the loud bass and viewed the black and red ESPN SportsCenter logo on the television screen.