“Chocolate High”

tiffany-n-light

 Photo credit: CEBImagery.com / Foter / CC BY-NC 

“Close your eyes and open your mouth.”

I did as I was told. I felt the warm gooeyness coat my lips, stick to the roof of my mouth and glide onto my tongue. My mouth widened to take it all in and I clasped my lips around it, wanting to savor it a little longer. Then I swallowed.

“It’s good, isn’t it?”

Yes, it was good. And yes, I definitely wanted more. I simply moaned with pleasure.

“Now, tell me it’s the best you’ve ever had.”

His tone dared me to say otherwise. I savored what was left in my mouth and then licked the residue from my lips. I opened my eyes and looked at him.

“Come on, say it.”

I giggled when I saw the serious look on his handsome face. I wasn’t a liar and I wasn’t about to start now.

“I’ll admit that it is very good. But I’ve had better. Sorry.”

“And here I am thinking that I would blow your mind.”

Disappointed, Alejandro placed the fork back onto the dessert plate. I immediately picked it up, dug into the chocolate molten lava cake and brought it to his lips.

“Butter, eggs, sugar, chocolate, fresh raspberries, powdered sugar…I used to be an expert at making these when I was a teenager. This is almost as good as what I used to make. Open your mouth.”

“Shush, don’t let the chef hear you.”

A smile spread across his face before he opened his mouth to receive the fork. We laughed and took turns feeding each other until the cake was a memory and we were suffering from a chocolate high. When I noticed chocolate on the corner of his mouth, I smudged it away with my thumb. Alejandro took hold of it and slowly slide it across his sticky lips. Before I knew it, my thumb was in his mouth and he was sucking the chocolate from it.

His eyes said it all, making me wonder just how sticky things could get in the middle of the empty restaurant.

©2016 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

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“The Day I Died”

You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die, or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live.
— Joan Baez

christmas-lights-9

Photo credit: faith goble / Foter / CC BY

I wish I had known that today would be the day that I died.

I’d sat down to watch the midday news next to my wife Amelia and relax a little before heading back outside to finish putting up the rest of the Christmas lights. I didn’t care that it was almost minus 40 degree Celsius. I just needed to get it done. Maybe all the old decorations would help to jog some of her memories.

I watched Amelia as she ate the grilled cheese sandwich I had made for her almost every day. She was passing her usual commentary on the news anchor’s choice of wardrobe and I smiled because that was one of the few thing that hadn’t changed about her.

I was tired so I tossed the remote onto the coffee table that still had all of our old photo albums strewn across it. There was no use in me putting them away. On a daily basis, we played a game where I quizzed her on the faces and the places within their pages. I wasn’t sure if it was helping but it was at least worth a try. When the boys came to visit, I never let on just how far gone she had gotten – it would only upset their already busy lives.

I closed my eyes for a quick nap and woke up to the oddest feeling.

When I opened my eyes, my wife was still on her fashion wardrobe rant but someone else was sitting next her. His hair was lily-white and unkempt and his face was drawn and tired. He looked sad and as if he hadn’t slept in years. And the sweater he was wearing looked strangely familiar.

Where the hell did this man come from and how had he gotten into my house?

I tried to say something but no voice would come. That is when I realized that I was standing in front of the couch looking at the two of them.

Wait, when had I gotten up from the couch?

“Doug, I want another grilled cheese sandwich.”

I watched as Amelia addressed the man by my name.

Doug? What the hell …?

I watched as Amelia poked the man a few times and he responded by promptly slumping over and falling onto the floor. Amelia wasn’t phased by his lifeless body on the floor next to her.

And that’s when I knew that I was gone.

“Well, if you aren’t going to do it, I’ll do it myself!”

I watched in horror as Amelia got up and headed to the kitchen, a place where I never let her go unattended. Nothing good ever happened when Amelia tried to use the appliances.

No, no, no…stop!

I found myself in the kitchen, watching her take the dirty fry pan from the sink. Amelia placed it back onto the stove, cranked the heat to High and walked back to the living room.

No, no, no!

Back on the couch, Amelia perused some of the pictures from the coffee table. She picked one up that had us standing under the Eiffel Tower on our 45th wedding anniversary. Amelia turned to my body at her feet.

“I don’t remember this one.” She placed the picture back down and continued watching television.

If only I had known that today would have been the day that I died, I would have told the boys the truth about the state of their mother, to explain to them, to prepare them. I would have told them everything was not okay, that I couldn’t leave her alone for too long, that they should have visited more during the years when she was better.

I looked at myself lying there so peacefully.

How long would it be for someone to realize that I was gone? Would today be the day that Amelia joined me?

©2015 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

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“Number Five”

The most wonderful time of the year found me in bed with a man I didn’t even know.

For the fifth time this December.

I had forgotten this stranger’s name the moment he had told me when I had met him during my holiday season shopping at the mall. But it didn’t matter because I didn’t give a flying fuck.

I didn’t care about anything except how disgustingly satisfied I felt as he lay snoring next to me in this dirty motel room with the cheap siesta rate. But the total and complete satisfaction that burned in me had nothing to do with the lousy sex I had let him give me.

I opened my eyes and inhaled the stale scent of us that lingered in the air and looked at our wrinkled clothes that lay on the floor next to the bed. When I noticed that the snow had begun to fall harder outside the motel window, I quietly slipped out of bed, grabbed my clothes and padded into the crusty-looking bathroom to get dressed. Splashing cold water on my face before pulling on my clothes, I calculated that I had at least three more to go before I stopped.

Or was it two?

Before confronting my husband, I wanted to match the number of names scribbled in the little black notebook I had found deep in his car’s glove compartment behind an almost empty box of Trojans and a pair of sticky pink handcuffs.

Yeah, Merry Christmas Baby.

©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

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It’s Not The End… #nanowrimo #fiction

Kate’s story is over…well, sort of…

I purposely left you with a “What?”, “WTF?“, “Noooo!” or a combination of all three type of semi-ending.

I also left a number of Easter eggs throughout the story but in the end, it is really up to YOU to decide what really happened to Kate.

The REAL ending to Kate’s story is in the Epilogue. If you sign up for my email list here, I will send you the password for last installment and then you can click on Epilogue below.

Thanks for reading!

EPILOGUE

All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews.

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Z is for “Zori” #nanowrimo #fiction

“I dropped the phone and ran to the bathroom to throw up. When I had nothing left in me, I closed my eyes and lay my cheek against the cold bathroom floor where I lay for an eternity…”

It was impossible.

What the fuck was going on? 

I scrolled through all the photos a thousand times until my cell battery died. Then I pulled out my laptop like a crazy person, rushed into the kitchen and sat down at the table to try again. Maybe Meghan was right, maybe I did have some kind of alternate link to my cloud that was playing tricks on me…

But no, just like the first time, all of the photos I had taken with Galen were gone. There was no trace of him anywhere.

Nothing.

Where were the pictures of us at the Banyan Tree, near the wharf in Lahaina, Black Rock, the romantic bistrot and Mount Haleakala?

Photo credit: Foter.com

I scrolled back to my photos in Oahu, before Galen, and my heart stopped again. The selfie of Gran from Diamond Head and the one taken with Joshua and Jennifer at the Dole Plantation were also gone. I felt sick and my head began to pound. The kitchen walls were closing in and I suddenly found myself on the floor clutching my stomach.

Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God… What the hell was happening to me?

With my cell being dead, I rushed to find the number on my itinerary for the Maui condo. My heart raced as I picked up the landline to make the call.

“Aloha! Lahaina Mahalo Breeze Condo Resorts! How may I direct your call?” The front desk agent was cheery and perky.

“Uh, I need to reach Mr….I mean, Galen in Building 1 Unit 816.”

“Mahalo, one moment please.”

I held my breath and waited on hold. I waited, waited and waited. I was just considering hanging up and trying again when the front desk picked up again when a new and more official voice picked up.

“Aloha. May I help you?”

“Yes, I’d like to be connected to Unit 816 in Building 1.”

“Oh,” the voice quietly hesitated. “I’m sorry to inform you that…that resident, Mr. Galen, is no longer with us.”

I felt vomit bubble in the back of my throat.

“What do you mean that he is no longer with you? Since when?”

“I’m sorry to say that he passed away a little over a month ago.”

I froze. This had to be a prank.

“Is this some kind of joke? If it is, it’s in very bad taste!” I said, angrily.

I couldn’t catch my breath, my throat was constricting and my heart was pounding against my chest.

“I’m sorry Ma’am but it is no joke. I’m sorry to be the one tell you. From what we know from the authorities, it seems that Mr. Galen might have lost his footing at one of the lookout points off the main highway near to where his son drowned a few years ago. It was such sad news for all of us. He was with us for quite a few years and such a lovely man…”

I dropped the phone and ran to the bathroom to throw up. When I had nothing left in me, I closed my eyes, lay my cheek against the cold ceramic tile where I lay for what seemed like an eternity.

This isn’t happening…I must be going mad.

I managed to get myself back into bed where I curled up like a baby. My eyes focused on the new pair of sandals that sat next to my unpacked luggage across the room, sandals Galen had helped me pick out after I’d busted the strap on my old ones. I could almost hear his voice as clear as day echoing in the room.

“Those zoris look cuter on you! Sometimes a new pair is just what you need when you find yourself taking a new path.”

Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn via Foter.com / CC BY

Suddenly remembering that the only photo of Galen and I not uploaded was the very last one at the WikiWiki shuttle, I grabbed my cell in desperation.

When I saw Galen’s beautiful blue eyes staring back at me with his infectious smile, his cheek pressed tenderly against mine, I sighed in relief.

I no longer cared about all those other photos that had disappeared – I had this one and that was all that mattered to me…that is, until Galen’s lovely face slowly vanished from the screen, leaving me smiling all alone…

©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

If you enjoyed this little story and are interested in reading the Epilogue to close the loop on Kate and Galen, sign up for my mailing list below and I will send you the password for the epilogue here! 

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All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews.

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Y is for “Yes” #nanowrimo #fiction

“I almost dropped the phone at hearing the sleepy woman’s voice on the other end of the line. I was speechless and my world started to spin again. My stomach sank and I no longer knew what to think.

This could not be happening to me. My Galen could not do this to me… ”

 

I lay in bed staring out the window long before the sun thought about raising its sleepy head.

The good news I had gotten from the doctor combined with missing the warmth of Galen’s body next to mine in bed had me unable to sleep for the past two days.

I was still partially in disbelief, thinking that the doctor would call and tell me that another mistake had been made…that I was dying for real this time. All I had been doing was thinking and talking to Meghan since she had dropped me home… Though she had insisted I stay at her house for a while, I needed space to myself. After leaving the doctor’s office, my first impulse had been to call my kids but then I remembered that no one had known except for Meghan and Galen.

Galen…

Before the diagnosis, I had never had the desire to really live for myself. After the diagnosis, I had somehow decided to live to die. And now with absolutely no diagnosis, I was dying to live.

It was barely two days but I already knew what I needed.

I needed to continue saying yes to me.

It had felt good and now that I had experienced it, I was never going to let anyone dull that feeling ever again.

Saying yes had gotten me out of my comfort zone and had led to so many exciting experiences…facing the fear of travelling solo for the first time in my life, discovering what a true friend I had in Meghan, using my voice at Hannah and not backing down, the challenge of trekking up Diamond Head and meeting no nonsense Gran, the protectiveness of Jennifer and Joshua who had led me to Galen…

Photo credit: Foter.com

Galen…

…the beautiful man who had saved me from a killer cockroach, introduced me to the Banyan Tree, malasadas and cliff jumping.

…the soulful man who made me believe in who he was as a person and that I could believe in love again.

…the man who made me realize that I was worthy of love, attention, protection and most importantly, that I could love myself again.

I needed to tell Galen that I was fine as soon as I could, regardless of the time difference.

I grabbed my cell and texted him good morning and while I waited for a response, I got up and made myself a mug of Kona coffee that he must have packed in my bag while I wasn’t looking.

Typical Galen.

When I finished my coffee and I still had no return text, I decided to call him instead.

“Hello?”

I almost dropped the phone at hearing the sleepy woman’s voice on the other end of the line. I was speechless and my world started to spin again. My stomach sank and I no longer knew what to think.

This could not be happening to me. My Galen could not do this to me…

Who was she? 

And what was she doing boldly answering Galen’s cell?

“Hello? Helloooo.”

It was clear that the woman was becoming annoyed. I swallowed hard and bit the bullet.

“Could I speak to Galen please?”

I held my breath and waited.

“Who? I think you have the wrong number.”

I stared down at my cell to check. I hadn’t made a mistake.

“No. I’ve got the right number. Could I speak with Galen?”

“I told you that you have the wrong number. You know, you woke me up…”

“That’s not possible, about the number I mean. I’ve been texting a man at this number for the past two weeks.”

There was a moment of silence and then I heard her sigh.

“Oh, I get it now. I just got this number activated yesterday. Whoever you are trying to reach must have changed to a new number. Sorry dear, aloha.”

And with that, the mystery woman hung up on me.

How could Galen have changed his number and not tell me? Was that woman even telling the truth? 

With no way to reach out to Galen unless he did first, I remembered that Jennifer had put her number into my cell. I decided to give her a try. Jennifer had been the one who had given me Galen’s number so maybe she and Joshua had another number for him.

But when I scrolled through my contacts, I could not find Jennifer’s name or number. I searched and searched and came up with nothing.

What the hell was going on?

It was just at that moment that my cell rang and I answered without looking at the caller id.

“How are you doing? Has the shock worn off yet?” It was Meghan checking in.

“I’m good. And no, it still hasn’t fully sunk in.”

I tried to keep my voice upbeat but my mind was racing.

“Have you told Galen yet? He is going to totally freak out on you when you do!”

“I plan telling him today,” I said. I didn’t want to say anything about Galen until I had sorted the situation out.

“Oh, by the way, I think that you sent me the wrong link to your photos on the cloud. There were only photos of you and a bunch of other great beach and landscapes shots. I’m dying to see what this Galen looks like so be sure to send me the right link.”

“Meghan, I only have one shareable link to my cloud…”

“Well, you must have another because I looked at them all and there were no photos of him.”

I heard shuffling in the background. “I’ll talk to you later. I’ve got to get to the office.”

When we hung up, I immediately accessed my cloud and had the shock of my life as I scrolled through each and every photo I had taken in Oahu and Maui…

Continuation – Z is for “Zori”

Photo credit: Foter.com

©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

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