This piece emerged from a prompt in my creative writing class, which asked for a story about a man or woman who’s had an affair in a hotel room the night before, only to wake up beside their spouse. The action was to take place entirely inside the hotel room, with no significant back story.
I got through about 3/4 of the writing of this piece while in class and had a decent response to it during the sharing and workshopping session, so I decided I’d go ahead and finish it up. I did that just this evening, along with a little polishing on the first section from the night before, and all in all I’m fairly pleased with it. What I wanted to get at in this piece is the idea that people don’t (usually) cheat merely out of a desire for simple sex or orgasm, but because they have a deep need inside that isn’t being met in their home life. That’s not an indictment of blame, incidentally; sometimes it’s just a matter of how people’s lives evolve, and my take is that mutual understanding and meeting of needs, not blame, guilt and penance, is the more mature way of coping.
I hope you like it; please feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think!
A Night in Memory
Carl awoke with a start, the unexpected warmth of sunlight playing across his eyes through the half-open blinds of the Prudence Hotel and Bakery. He breathed deeply and smiled, reveling in the warm scent of sex that still permeated the room, a remnant of a night spent entwined with the most passionate, intense woman he had ever met. Still afflicted by the hazy, early afternoon sunlight that danced across his face, he closed his eyes for a moment and remembered, with fondness and an emerging desire for round four, the beautiful, vivacious redhead he pictured sleeping quietly beside him. She was everything his wife had never been: adventurous and experimental, open to touch and be touched in ways and places the mother of his children never had, for hour after hour into the night. The way her body responded to his worship of her every sensual part made him feel, for the first time in years, like a powerful, competent lover, like the man he thought he’d forgotten how to be. This new woman, he thought, was a little piece of bliss.
“Honey, are you ready?” Henry Shinkerman called to his wife. He carefully examined himself in the long oval mirror mounted by the door of their 317th floor apartment. His necktie began in a tidy knot that had tied itself just perfectly, but as always he was left to manually adjust the three buttons at its flared out bottom.
“I’ll be down in time!” The voice of his wife, Joanna, bounced down the stairs and Henry winced. He breathed deeply as he finished buttoning his tie, ensuring it would neither flap nor flip on the way to the car, which in turn would ensure that he wouldn’t hear any complaints about his unkempt appearance. No, today Henry looked absolutely perfect.
“Sweetheart, we have a long way to go, I don’t want to ruin our anniversary!” Henry blinked and checked the time on the clock inside his eyelid: 4:48PM, December 31st 2471. He sighed and reached into his coat pocket, then pulled out two slips of paper. The first was a reservation slip for dinner; the other was a receipt for work he’d recently ordered on the car. A grin crept across his face as he thought about the two new modifications; he couldn’t wait to try them out tonight. He had dropped the car at the shop nearly two weeks ago and Joanna picked it up just this morning.
“I’m ready, do you still love me?” Joanna glided down the stairs, her sculpted legs unmoving in the skin-tight dress that seemed painted over every curve from her sumptuous child-bearing hips to her flawlessly round and gravity-defying breasts. In every sense that one could observe with the eye, she was the perfect woman, and Henry knew in his wallet that she was the best that money could buy. He smiled as she floated down to him, her anti-gravity high-heels never touching the floor. He pulled her close and kissed her with forced affection.