In the total darkness a lamp turned on. It was only a small bedside lamp, most of the room became perfectly visible – the thick curtains, from ceiling to floor, fully covering the window, framed nature photographs hanging on the walls, stylish furniture moved to the walls to make some free space for the bed, dominating the whole room majestically – making the two people in it look helpless, asif they were drowning, in an ocean of pillows and a soft eiderdown blanket.
The man, Mike, a bit older than thirty, is thin and slightly athletic, but not very muscular, was in a T-shirt with vague, worn-out colors. He looked at the bedside table, his hand placed on the lamp switch button.
The woman next to him in the bed, Elizabeth, put her arm around him, attempting to hold on to the embrace they had.
She’s covered in the blanket up to the armpits, her naked shoulders showing that she wears nothing – her nightgown is in a heap on the floor near the bed. The woman’s face has wrinkles, her hand, placed on Mike’s chest, is bony – she was much older than fifty.
With a quiet, tender voice, Mike says:
“I need to see what I’ll do. And I need to see you.”
Very slowly he began to move down the blanket, opening more and more of Elizabeth’s body to the light. The woman’s face shows an embarrassment, which she is desperately trying to hide, as piece by piece of her chest is exposed.
Mike looks at the gradually lowering line between the blanket and her body. When he saw Elizabeth’s embarrassment, he raises his hand from the blanket to stroke her cheek, with a touch as soft as if it were silky.
Mike’s voice becomes even softer:
“I understand how you feel. I also can see it, read it clearly from your eyes, and see how you’re trying to sink into the bed, just as a whale going to dive underwater.”
What is remaining of her smile vanishes completely, and her face becomes tense. She stares at the ceiling.
“But you’re so mistaken, so mistaken. The age treats you almost as gently as I do.”
He looks straight at her face, and she keeps staring at the ceiling.
“Of course, you have many wrinkles, your skin is kind of getting loose – as if both growing and shrinking. Your hair is drying up, as plants in the field in November… But it’s your hair, face and skin. The age doesn’t change it, but even makes it more outstanding. It’s like the years continue making you more and more… yourself.”
Mike smiles, again looking at the line between the blanket and Elizabeth’s naked skin.
“And your breasts too.”
He exposes them with a quick pull of the blanket. The woman twitches, holding back her first reflex to pull the quilt back.
Mike strokes her boobs with both hands, moving like a sculptor making clay surface smoother.
“They don’t jump out to meet me, like a young lady’s breasts. But of course, what a triumph for my hands is to chase them, catch and feel them give in without any resistance.”
He pushes her boobs with his index fingers, and they sink in to the half. Elizabeth is looking at the lamp, as if wanting it to turn off by itself.
“Of course, when you’re slowly succumbing to aging, the true conqueror is me. You’ll surrender to me, more and more with time. What husband wouldn’t be glad because of it? What can prove loyalty more than this?”
The man removes his hands from her chest and continues lowering the soft eiderdown blanket – extremely slowly.
“Aging kind of makes you a nun, throwing off your earthly goods and garments, and dedicate yourself to the worshipping of your master and god. You’re making a sacrifice in my church, the sacred lamb, and cut its throat open on the altar, its vital juices given to the god for drinking – and you are that lamb. Do you understand what I mean, my dear?”
The woman nods, still staring at the bedside lamp.
“Until death do them apart… You devote your whole life to me, and there’s no way back. Yeah, I feel like the conqueror, like Julius Caesar coming, seeing, winning… Every year, changing your face and body, makes you more and more exclusively mine. How can I dislike it? How can I dislike you for it?”
By this moment, he has pulled the blanket down so far that she is naked all the way down to her belly bottom, her pubic hair becoming visible, her hip bones too, resembling arrows pointing to the sides.
Suddenly, he pulls the blanket away from the bed, sending it into a flight, just like a bird flapping its wings, flying away from its nest. The blanket meets the wall and falls down to the floor.
“Now, I’ll come into my property, take my treasure, enter the domain that is only mine. I will mount you, my Liz, and make you pregnant with my juices and scent. I’ll take everything that you have given to me. Open your gates, your master is coming!”
Mike starts to roll on her, his face blushing, his breath becoming faster, his muscles tense. And suddenly he stops. He shouts, more surprised than in pain:
He looks at his left hand. There is a little cut on his finger, and small blood drops appear. He says again, now as quiet as a whisper:
Elizabeth looks straight at him, for the first time, asking:
Mike is staring at his finger, holding the hand up closely to his eyes.
“I don’t know. Look at it!”
Elizabeth stares at his finger, but stays unmoving.
“You’ve cut yourself.”
Mike answers, worried and a bit angry:
“I know it, but on what?”
He seeks any sharp object the bed with his other hand, anxiously, even lets it slide over Elizabeth’s body, but unsuccessfully. He stops, puzzled.
Elizabeth quietly suggests:
“You’d rather take a band-aid.”
Mike rises and goes to the bathroom, still staring at his finger. He is wearing nothing except the T-shirt.
“I’m gonna wash it in cold water, and that’s all. That should do it.”
When he has gone to the bathroom, Elizabeth puts her nightgown on.
In the bathroom, Mike switches the light on. It’s so bright he blinks frequently, and finally gets used to it.
Leaning on the sink, he turns the water in the faucet on while looking at himself in the mirror thoroughly, and even posing a bit.
When the water becomes cold, he puts his finger into it, and relaxes a little. The confused look disappears from his face.
Elizabeth shouts from the bedroom:
“Are you OK, darling?”
Mike answers in a murmur, almost unhearable in the bedroom:
“Yes, of course.”