Chapter Thirty

Sunday. The Lord’s day. The day of rest.

There would be no rest for me on this day, however.

The day began waking up at seven. This was not done purposely. I hadn’t even been in my own bed.

Sofia arose with a string of stretches followed by a barrage of pokes to my thighs done with her big toes.

I awoke with a start, looking about the room attempting to gain my bearings. Sofia giggled and kissed me before hopping out of bed for her kitchen.

I sat up in her queen sized bed and stretched, my toes cracking on her plush carpet.

Upon walking into the kitchen Sofia was pouring batter onto a tray over a burner. There was no guessing game involved. She had been at work on my favorite breakfast of hers- blueberry pancakes.

I came up from behind and wrapped my arms around her waist. She purred, just like she always did. She faced me and I saw batter on her chin. I suppressed a laugh while licking and kissing it. I suspected she did it on purpose though I will not speculate. But Sofia is that playful. It was part of the charm I had grown to adore.

Adore? Had I actually began caring for someone where things became naturally attractive to me? I wouldn’t call it “progress” but…

With breakfast concluded we jumped in the shower where we made love, lathered each other up, made love again, and then finally took an actual shower. Of late I began noticing my sexual drive has been steadily increasing. Freddy believes it is caused from all the time spent not acting on my impulses. I don’t know what to think.

I drove Sofia to the Day Care in Astoria and then headed for the office. I had no desire to be home. I knew Ralph was there most likely still writing. Let him enjoy the peace. There was a building guilt in my heart from the conversation we had last week. It’s one thing to lie to a stranger to gain some form of satisfaction. But I had lied to my oldest friend and it was becoming a bit of a trend.

I needed a break from him. I needed a break from Sofia, as great as she is.

The office was a ghost town. I had never been there at night or on a weekend. The floor creaked. There was a noise coming from the ceiling towards the women’s bathroom at the end of the right side of the hall. The refrigerator hummed loudly, the ice maker did its job only more audible.

Yea, I would probably never return here at this time in the near future.

With my second cup of coffee I sat at my desk and got to work touching up a new flash animation a couple of us had been working on. When that was done I sent it to the boss as well as the other guy who worked on it with me, Dylan. Half an hour later they both agreed it was ready for uploading so that was my next task. By noon the cartoon had generated twenty thousand hits and shares. I just helped pay the offices’ light bill with that. So to speak.

As I prepared to start an entirely new project my cell phone rang. Not looking at the caller ID I flipped it open.

“Hey handsome.” The voice of Daisy sang in my ear. My face instantly grinned with the pleasures of sin.

“How may I help you think morning?” “What are you doing?” “Working.” “Why?” “So I can pay the bills. And, so that I can have tomorrow off.” “Planning on sleeping in late?” “No, actually, I was going to call you.” “I’m honored.” She said this with what sounded like a smile on her face. “Free tonight?” “I’m free now. I just got off work.”

Daisy occasionally worked nights as a bartender on the upper east side. Those were impulse shifts, she says. Guess that’s what last night was.

“Give me two hours and I’m all yours.” “Do I meet you at the office?” “No, west fifty seventh street. We’ll take a walk through Central Park.” “And ride the carousel?” She asked this question with childish delight. I laughed and said, “whatever you want.”

We hung up and I began working on the animation. As the boss’ right hand I have the power to delegate tasks to the employees ranging from near finished to those required to begin from scratch. After putting in an hours worth of time, and being half done, I sent the remainder of the work to Sean and said to have it done by Tuesday.

I emptied my stomach in the bathroom, made a third cup of coffee in a disposable cup, and then left the office leaving it in the same condition as I had entered it. Ghosts and all.

I got to to the corner of fifty seventh street ten to. Upon scanning the streets I spotted Daisy standing alone near a bench on the side of the park.

I began walking over. Once spotted she ran in my direction and then jumped into my arms. I could smell a hint of alcohol on her. Not on her breath but clothes.

Passersby stared. Others gave us ‘the look.’ We paid no mind.

“I thought only old men went to the office on weekends?” “Guess I’m an old man.” “You’re an old soul. Wise and shit. Like Yoda.” “Only I’m not green and a billion years old.” “Wise beyond your years, are you.”

My hand reached for hers. They interlocked in a symbol of romantic intimacy. How, I do not know.

“What were you working on?” “A cartoon about the OJ trial. What ‘really’ happened.” “And what did?” “You’ll find out on Tuesday.” “I always look forward to your cartoons. You seem so uptight to have the sense of humor for a job like that.” “I tend to surprise people.” “That you do.”

We entered the park. There was a chill in the air but not enough to necessarily require bundling up in protection of it. People all over ran in the grass, walked dogs, held hands with their wives or husbands with the baby between them, swinging him or her about whilst he or she gaily screamed with infant laughter. A few couples set up picnics. The sound of horses trotting along could be heard in the distance. The smell of hot dogs being barbecued despite it not being summer was in the air. No matter the season New Yorkers found a way to liven their lives as if the sun shone down from the sky with the rays of a glorious spring day.

“I thought you were done working nights? Indefinitely was the word you had used, if memory serves.” “My father is back in the hospital. It’s only been a month since his last stroke yet he had another one. The doctors hadn’t anticipated such a thing. His insurance won’t cover this visit since its so soon from the last.” She shrugged sadly. “I need the money.”

Daisy hated working nights. That’s why she chose to do it occasionally. She told me about a night several months ago where a patron at her bar nearly sexually assaulted her in the alley of the bar. She had been outside during her fifteen minute break smoking a cigarette. He approached her drunk out of his mind. He tried to force himself on her and would have succeeded had it not been for a coworker.

She returned to work two weeks later, which was the week before we met unexpectedly. Since then she’s yet to do it again. Until last night.

There was a twinge of impulse to offer to pay so she didn’t have to go back to work but I immediately suppressed it. I didn’t know her long enough to make such an offer. Hell, I haven’t even slept with her yet.

“What are you thinking about?” She asked me. I guess my gaze had a far off look to it. I looked at her, she was staring intently at me. I squeezed her hand and we stopped walking.

“I wish I could do something to help.” She smiled. “That’s sweet, but I’ll be fine. We’ll be fine.”

I kissed her. She returned it with sexual vibes. My pants began to tent around my crotch. She reached for it. I didn’t flinch or move away. As she pressed her lips against mine I could feel a smile spreading across her face as she massaged me. Luckily we were in a shady corner of the park. Or rather, an area that experienced little foot traffic. But this is New York- everything gets explored.

I reached for her hand and removed it from my crotch. At the same time I kept her hand, as well as the other one, pinned to her sides as we switched places. One hand found its way to her crotch. She bit her lower lip as I massaged.

I began to unzip her jeans. My heart raced. I had never done anything like this in public. The growing anticipation of touching her genitals with the dangers of being seen was becoming intoxicating.

As the zipper reached the bottom I began inserting a hand. She then backed away with lust in her eyes and a devilish grin on her face. Biting her lip she kept her eyes locked on mine. I moved towards her. She put a hand on my chest and grabbed the collar of my shirt, kissing me with intensity. Beads of sweat formed on my brow. Our breathing came at quicker intervals.

I tried again with the same result. She was teasing me. But I was enjoying the dance.

We resumed walking, not saying much. It was around noon when we reached an exit of Central Park near the hundredths. There was a Starbucks across the street. We walked inside. There were hardly any customers on line or abusing the free wifi.

Daisy ordered a chai tea, I ordered a latte. We took a seat by the window. The sun was high but shadow mostly filled the streets. Passerby rushed on in hurried walks in groups and by themselves, carrying on the way New Yorkers do.

“You busy next weekend?” She asked. I shook my head. “You said you wished you could help me in any way, well, I’ve got to do something that I’m not sure can be done alone.” “What is it?” “I need to get my fathers affairs in order in case he, you know..” I shook my head putting on my best empathy expression (if there was such a thing) while taking her hand. “Come over to my moms house and help me?”

I said yes and did something I hadn’t done in a long time: I pinky promised. We sealed it with a kiss.

I excused myself for the bathroom where I wiped my brow of sweat and washed my face.

I reached into my pocket for my phone to make a note on its calendar to not make plans next weekend when the text message icon caught my eye. It was from Sofia: come by the day care. I need to see you.” She ended the message with a winking face.

I was presented with an option. I could leave Daisy and the continued sex dance to go have actual sex with Sofia. Or I could stay here and flirt the rest of the time while building the sexual tension between us.

The latter option might benefit me in anticipation of the coming weekend. The former benefitted me for the moment.

I walked out of the bathroom and over to our table. “I hate to do this but I’m gonna have to cut this short. My roommate is requesting my help with a project he’s working on.” “You’re always working.” She said with a sullen expression which then became a faint smile. “Very well. Just don’t disappoint me next weekend.” “Scouts Honor.”

With a final kiss I made my way for the nearest A train where I transferred for an Astoria-Ditmars bound N train, making it to the day care center in just under an hour.

I walked in and greeted the receptionist. She didn’t ask where I was going. I had been a fixture there for a long time.

Without stopping I made my way to Sofia’s office, the anticipation of sexual intimacy growing with each step. I walked in without knocking as I’ve done plenty of times before.

Sofia sat behind her desk staring blankly at her computer screen. She looked up and smiled. The smile said “fuck me Johnny.” I intended to do just that. I shut the door and walked to her.

“What a ni-” I cut her off with a passionate kiss, sending sexual energy with them. My hands had Magellan’s love for exploring as they wandered the crevasses of her body. She lightly bit my lower lip sending sparks down my spine. I kissed her neck. She moaned. It was such a beautiful song.

She pulled away out of breath. “What’s gotten into you, Johnathan?” “You know.” I moved closer and she put a hand on my chest. “No, I don’t.” My eyebrows crossed in confusion. “You said you wanted to see me.” “When?” “An hour ago. You sent- hold on.”

I pulled my phone out of my pocket. When her last message was on screen I handed it to her. She looked it over a few times and then handed it back to me.

“I didn’t send that.”

She then handed me her phone and showed me all of the text messages in the sent folder. The last message said “lol no way” to a Jennifer. The message was sent four hours ago.

I hesitantly handed the phone back to her.

“I don’t know how you got that but there’s no way I could ever do such a thing HERE of all places.”

I stood there expressionless with a million things running through my mind.

I left her office without saying a word and returned home to an empty apartment.

The entire ride back I tried to come up with an explanation not only for the message but for my behavior. It was NOTHING like me. Nothing I’ve been doing had become like me.

I stripped down to my boxers, crawled into bed, and attempted to sleep but it never came.

Monday morning arrived but the office was the last place I wanted to be. So I called in sick. The first time I had ever done such a thing in my life.

Sleep still never came.

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