A story written by INEGBENOISE OSEODION OSAGIE. (07068221839, 08093828575, [email protected])
Ivie pushed the door open. It was unbolted. It never used to be. Nothing in the sitting room had changed, except the pictures. Ezinne’s was absent. The smell of emptiness and quietness lined her nostrils, but his scent also had a place. He was in.
“Richard,” she called, and heard her echo. She called again.
“I’m in my library,” his voice erupted from the inside, so calm and clear like one right only for her ears.
A smile willingly rose from her insides as she shifted the curtain and stepped into the corridor. The library’s door was ajar. She pushed it open and there he was, sitting on an armchair, holding a book big as an encyclopaedia, with the table gleaming as though cleaned with glistening turpentine oil. His lips carried no smiles. How cruel life would be without smiles.
He gazed at her fingers, resting his eyes on them. “Good you thought of stopping by. How’s your fiancé?”
“I have no fiancé.”
She ambled closer to him before he could talk further. His beard had covered his jaw. The new pattern looked fitter and fierier, the strings curling from below his lips to his chin, sleeping with his skin. “Nothing bad.”
A faint smile stretched across his lips, a new kind of smile that didn’t stretch his lips to full length, but just the length she needed. The world also knew how to offer good things.
He rose and held her neck, fondled it with a thumb, and she wished her entire body were her neck. He raised his other thumb to her neck and stroked the whole of it. She pressed nearer to him, breathing in his breath; it streamed into her veins and rid whatever meant to be ridded.
“Let’s try, Ivie. Let’s try.”
Those words, and the muffled way he said it, she would forever remember because they were the words that brought the change she now felt, the change she never knew existed, that made her blood flow through a new course.
She trailed her lips from his neck to his jaws and pressed them to his beard. It tasted like bread, fresh from a broiling oven. A perfect breakfast for a hungry woman.
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