Reena still hadn’t moved from her apartment. She continues to think. To be stabbed or bloodily beaten would somehow be like a vacation from her life. How neurotic.
Maris thinks she’s hot stuff. At least for now. Maris is so on all the time. She wants that high known as success, she is a hardcore addict and Reena is her stuff. And Reena likes to be her stuff right now. She makes Maris so happy that she could kiss the world. When Maris is happy she is the best party in town, a walking party. She is vulgar, frank, naked, visual. A fully decked out operator, power-perfect. Maris fucks with Reena’s head and makes her do things. Perhaps one day Reena will kill Maris, no holy shit that would be stupid, more likely become her lover and then kill her.
Holy shit, how often does Reena imagine murdering the ones she loves. And them murdering her. Do people do this to Reena in their minds too? Why is it that we all don’t go around with guns, like Mexicans in a Peckinpah film? Imagine that. People just shoot each other differently now. With cameras, for example. A shift of attention is like throwing a bomb. I love you and I hate you are little bombs.
Holy shit, Maris was downstairs. Why is it that Reena jumped into some pants and a t-shirt, splashed some cold water on her face and buzzed her in? Nobody could have been more manic and effective than Maris Parings. Maris was a production machine of today, a think tank in ticking heels. Wielding her yoga-toned arm, reaching in. So it happens: Maris shows up. So this is your place.
Maris eyed Reena. She put her face close to Reena’s and breathed her in like smoke. Reena had no idea what Maris was really up to but something in her was definitely responding. Like a quaterback in the field, she was tuning in to the woman’s urgent, coded play calling, and her zen, invisible to the viewing audience and to the opposing team. Maris was pacing the sidelines with her clipboard face. Reena was out there with her radio helmet.
Maris was leaning against the kitchen wall, staring at some snapshots of a summer vacation Reena had taken with her ex and some other friends last year. Her eyes took in the views of bodies and sand, the sunburned boredom of these moments, trying to decipher something there. Somebody had scribbled all over the photos with a Sharpie x-ing out eyeballs and adding cryptic thought bubbles over the heads. “Cape Cod?” Reena nodded.
Reena put on some coffee. The gasket was worn out and the thing wailed like a wounded animal as it began to percolate. The Hasidic neighbours’ six children were making ceiling-thunder from above with what sounded to Maris like wooden shoes, if not hooves. Maris sniffed her armpits, confessing that she hadn’t bathed in days.
Reena took this as her queue and walked into her small bathroom. She filled the tub with hot water and silky bath bubbles. As the water flowed, Reena light candles all around the bathroom, and put on some quiet music to set a relaxing mood. The darkness also hid the fact that, like the rest of the flat, the bathroom was quite decrepit. Reena turned off the water, and walked back into the living room, the ethereal calm washed over Reena, forcing her nerves to ebb away from her body.
She took Maris by the hand and guided her up out of your seat. Maris followed surprisingly obedient, still holding hands, to the bathroom, Reena opened the door for her. The room had become warm and steamy; the candles providing a soft glow, and the water drips gently once against the backdrop of the music.
Reena begins to slowly undress Maris, unbuttoning her shirt from behind, and sliding off her smooth shoulders onto the floor. Reena wanted to kiss the back of her neck, but hesitated. Suppressing her desires, she unzipped Maris’s pants, helping them to the floor as well. Maris stood still for a moment, breathing slowly. Now completely naked, Reena guided her to the warm, bubbly water, and held her hand as if assisting her in.
The heat and silkiness of the bubbles slowly slid over Maris’s body as she lowered herself into the water; Reena let her soak for a while, just relaxing in the stillness. Reena turned and folded a towel on the floor, and knelt next to the tub, and slowly began to massage her neck and shoulders. The bubbles had created a light oil that helped her hands slide softly as she slowly kneaded her muscles. Maris began to moan slightly as the tension left her body; Reena let out a soft sigh and began to kiss her shoulder softly and then whispered in her ear. “Tell me what to do.” Reena then kissed her ear, sucking the lobe very gently. “Join me,” Maris said, not as a question, but a statement. Reena lets her mouth form into a slight smile despite herself; she didn’t want Maris to see exactly what she wanted so instantly. Reena rose slowly and slid her shirt off over her head. Maris watched intently as Reena then slid her pants onto the floor, and then climbed, slightly awkwardly into the bath behind Maris.
They don't say anything. Hands slowly sliding up and down, across wet flesh. Suddenly they begin, tearing at each other, passionate, violent almost. Water begins splashing between them and over the side of the tub. Maris begins clawing hard and desperately against Reena’s back, her voice rising to screams of pleasure. Maris could hold on no longer, and unable to help herself neither could Reena. For a few minutes they lay in the hot water on the edge of consciousness. Then suddenly the magic spell had broken and it was all over. Maris got out of the tub and dried her skin briefly. Pulling her clothes back on she walked out the flat with not so much as another glance to Reena. Who had sat up in the tub slightly, Reena wanted to call Maris back. To scream at her for some sort of acknowledgement, explanation of what was happening. But her voice wouldn’t let her. Instead, as the door clicked shut she sank back into the bath. Water pressed in on her eyes and eyes as she let her head slide under, and for, what seemed like an age, the world had disappeared around her and she let her mind replay the events that had just taken place...