Lily has been reading Anaïs Nin. It's in her desk beneath the scrap paper. She has been reading way too much Anaïs Nin, and now tries to place together currents between people she has been reading about. She realises everything has the potential of sex behind it. She catches a smell and runs it through her mind for half an hour. At the traffic lights the man in the next car raises his eyebrows. Is it threat or invitation?
The drive to work and home again punctuated his days. That flat backwards stretch gave him a pocket in time where he could lay his mind flat like the road and let his thoughts expand. A few other cars jutted along the highway, all of them the wrong way, against the traffic. He crossed the imaginary line every morning, from a small town almost far enough away from the city to be called country and not close enough to be a suburb, out to the districts, the opposite way of the rest of the traffic.
Across the pastures that stayed green even in the middle of drought, he recalls a time when he thought of being a dairy farmer. He smirks a bit, keeping his eyes on the road. Good money but hard hours and now all the farms have been bought up by the big companies. Instead he ended up on a couple of acres with some fruit trees down the back and a nine to fiver job like everyone else. Oh well.
From his office he can look out of his window to the lunchroom, catching the reflection off the commercial grade fridge he can see who is in there on their break. He waits for Dorothea to come out at 12 noon on the dot. (Mondays at 11.45) Today she waddles down on cue in her red cardigan, pilling on the arms and such a forceful colour that it makes the rest of her fade. He counts the days since he last saw Lily. Not long enough, only last week he went and asked about leave accumulating. Was she here today? Normally he would catch a flash of her car breeze past the front of the office at ten minutes before nine, sometimes even find an excuse to walk across to the other side of the building to watch her walk across the rear carpark and come in the back door as she did every morning. She had a routine, her stride was always even and her head tilted slightly up. Effortlessly she would pull her security pass from her big red bag with her left hand, swipe it across the panel and walk through the doorway. It was a routine she had repeated so regularly that she did not even look to her bag or break her step.
He looks at her neatly pinned hair and skinny legs that stick out from beneath her coat. Once he had tried to describe it out loud in words. He had been looking at a digger that had been in an accident when he caught a glimpse of her eating lunch alone in the smidge of green left beside the quarry. Instead of words he just chocked and gave a cough.
Well, every day is Halloween around here. She gets out of the car and walks across the yard. The dust from the quarry gets up her nose straight away, she sucks it up, its just dust, and what is so terrible about dust? Everything turns to dust anyway, she works in the dust and it will turn into money. Then the money is dust, right? What then? Imagine, just a few more zeroes and she will be out of here. All that nothing will be turned into something... zero zero zero. Bang. Last night Jarod was drunk and Sally stayed over. They played loud music and she couldn't sleep, so she stayed up and wrote a eight hundred word email to Jo. She got a three line reply. Awake, she had stayed up reading old emails, following the snake chain that weaved between them, back and forth. His words were kind and grateful. She blinked, kept her feet crunching the gravel, walked through the door and through the corridors into the office she shared with Dorothea.
'Happy Halloween.' Said Dorothea from behind her computer monitor.
You are Halloween, she thought.
Someone had hung some paper Jack o Lanters in the hallway but beyond that she would not have noticed the date.
'Some of the boys are running around in costumes over in operations. Johno looks like Harry Potter' she said giving a snort of a laugh.
'Really?' said Lily 'Did any of the girls dress up?'
'Jamima's wearing an ugly orange dress but I don't think she did it on purpose. I need you to get all the end of month reports done by lunch time.'
'No problems.' Said Lily.
She had done it all Friday afternoon when the rest of the staff were getting drunk but had left the paperwork in her desk. She only had enough work to keep busy about half the time but had learnt early on it was better to shut up about it. She logged on messenger to see who was there, then pulled out a pile of scrap paper and put it in her intray in case any managers should walk past.
You've read this story before, right? Boy meets girls, boy gets girl. You know the drill. Of course you might be expecting more this time. Little clues have been left for you, tasty clues. For a while you'll get to know Lily and James, even like them. You'll want them to have each other. But will they? Well, probably. They might even love each other. She might just be a princess waiting for a prince!
'Hi Lily.' She glanced up from her computer, wide eyed a little surprised suddenly drawn away from what she was concentrating on.
'James. Hi.' She replied, watching him stand in the doorway 'No costume?'
'Don't really buy into it.'
'Too bad. You've missed a golden opportunity to run around like an idiot and go to the pub after work.' She replied with a light hearted laugh.
'You going tonight?' he asked.
'No unless you've got a fake ID for me.'
'Oh. Sorry, forgot.'
'Maybe in eighteen months.'
'I'll buy you a drink in eighteen months.'
She shrugs. A pause rose up between them where it felt like someone should of said something, but no one did.
'Is Dorothea around?' her name broke the strange mood, a reminder perhaps of where they were.
'No she is at lunch. Can I help?'
She saw something, a glint in his eye, a tiny movement of muscles in his expression that meant something in a language she didn't speak.
There were two types of people in the office. Those that were resigned to their fate, that is they turned up at nine each day and did as little as possible before the end of the day. They collected their paycheck on Thursday and that was the end of it. Then there where the types that gave a shit. Lily considered the emails the thing to give them away, an employee that sent and email before eight or after six was usually one of the alter types. She liked James simply for this reason. He did things properly, taking the time to explain things to customers and staff. If he walked past a piece of rubbish in the yard he would pick it up.
He came around looking for Dorothea, but always ended up seeing her. She didn't think about it until Jasmine in Recievables made a comment under her breath.
She walked to the photocopier at ten to five only to have Jasmine cut in front of her.
'Saw your boyfriend again today sauntering around your office.' Said Jasmine.
'James. Fancy that, a man with a wife and babies lusting after an eighteen year old.'
'Actually I'm not eighteen, and our relationship is based on a mutual esteem and wit. But you probably wouldn't understand that.'
'What is that supposed to mean?'
Lily spun on her heel and went back to her office with a little smirk on her face.
Perhaps it was victory or something else, but she suddenly felt different. She packed up her desk five minutes early and left, crumbling down the gravel road, down the hill and into the town, straight to the pub.
What else can happen? She meets him, she young and vulnerable. Maybe not as vulnerable as you might think based on an initial impression. She reads pornography, so she's probably a slut underneath all that virginity. He is middle aged, wanted a life he didn't get. Stuck with a young family and a thankless job. What else can happen? You know what happens. They have a drink or two. He looks her in the eyes and pays her a marvellous compliment. He is sincere and she has a horrible home lief and has never had many compliments. Come on, life is crappy for Lily with her drunk brother and dusty, dirty job. Would you fall for it? Would you let him lead you outside and put you up against a brick wall?
Lily is at the bar with her back to him. She has places her big red bag on the stool next to her. Long butterscotch waves fall down her back, he has never seen her hair lose before. He wants to touch it, he dreams of the scent of her hair. Black pant show the swell of her ass, reveal a slice of honey skin of her back and the curve of her waist.
Feeling his gaze she turns and smiles.
James is handsome. He is too old for her, she knows, and married. No future here but she doesn't mind so much. She has decided her life will be like an Anais Nin story now. As he sits down beside her she ruffles his charcoal hair, he is shocked at her intimacy but she just smiles again.
'I'm glad you came.' She says.
'I'll buy you a drink.' He offers.
They drink together and she inches herself close to him, their thighs brush, her cheeks blush with colour. With discretion she cocks her head to one side to see if he is hard, but she can't tell without letting her eyes linger to long.
'Why do you like me?' she asks 'Is it because I'm young.'
'It's because... you're different.'
'How so? What could I possibly offer you except youth?' she asks.
Another drink goes down but neither of them need it. Her cheeks blush pinker and he murmurs things in her ear as if they were already lovers.
'I want to take you somewhere.' He says. 'A hotel.'
'Come outside. We'll talk outside.'
She slips off her stool and walks him outside by the hand. Outside he takes her across to his car and unlocks it but she does not move to get in. Instead she kissed him, at first gently as he leans in against her, both of their weight against his car. He kisses her back more violently, takes her waist in his hand and pulls her closer to him, as if he wanted her close, wanted to devour her but wasn't sure how. Her hands run under his shirt, feeling the warmth of his chest, flicking his nipples.
'Now.' She says 'I don't want to go anywhere.'
Moving his hand down from her waist he lets it slip down into her pants. He feels the soft warmth of her pubic hair then ventures further, desperate to feel her. It's wet and warm and incredible and he wants nothing more than to bury his face in it.
He lays her on the grass beside the carpark. She is already naked. He pulls her knees apart, she just watches him to wait to see what he will do. A line of kisses is drawn from her knee, he buries his head and she is soft and sweet. A moan escapes her lips and he realises her eyes are closed. In response he moves faster, feels her get wetter. He lets his tounge skip across her clit, feeling every jolt of her body, every squirm. There is a sudden pain in his shoulder and he realises that she is grabbing at him, her nails digging into his shoulders. Letting go she lies further back and pulls her knees apart.
'Please.' She murmurs.
He obeys, gets his cock and pushes it into her, then rests it there and lets his face rest in the nook between her neck and shoulders for a moment. With a deep breath he sucks in her smell and draws his arms around her neck. Despite his weight her hips start to move back and forth beneath him and he surrenders to her. Everything is intoxicating and he knows he is going to come.
Slow down, he thinks. He can't his body forces him to move faster and faster, thrusting into her. She moans louder, asking for more, asking for his cock, asking for his come. What else can he do but give it to her? Her head tilted back, olive eyes slightly lidded and her peach mouth pursed. In his hands her hips feel small, she is so light. A small groan escapes from him without him knowing, face buried in her neck the sweet citrus of her skin fills up his head.
It's not so bad. Maybe they will fall in love. Bring light into each other life. Maybe one is just what the other needed.
On the way home he listened to Radiohead. Their conversations replayed in his head. Part of his mind tried to analyse every word, every gesture, a blink or a pause but was constantly interrupted. He thought about her ass and how it looked while she ordered a drink. He felt himself grow hard. Oh God. You pervert, you old man. He felt sick and every kilometre closer to home he felt the worse for it.
In reality he would just forget her. She si a princes without a prince. She let him use her and know she is ruined. No good. Not good material anymore. Really? Or is it something more complicated?
Each time they pass in the corridor his eyes would lay on her and follow her in a line. Then would come the guilt, it makes him swallow hard and his skin prickly. In his pants his cock has gotten half hard and he detours to the men's room.
Lily eats an orange in bed. On her lap she has makes the patter of a flower with the peel and places the flesh in her mouth. She is glad that they have met.