Aida greets him at the door with a smile and lets him in. He is disappointed that she has changed clothes as if her outfit held the magic that had enticed him; she is wearing a white dress less revealing at her cleavage and he can make out a bathing suit top underneath. There is a talk show on the flat screen that she quickly turns off as he comes in. She seems a little awkward.
"Sit on the bed and let me fix you a drink honey," she says and goes to a trey filled with miniature bottles over the mini-fridge by a corner of the bed.
Her lids are controlled. He sits on the bed. It's softness bring him back to sex.
"What do you like, Scotch?"
He sees goosebumps on her shoulders.
"Jim Beam please if you have any Aida."
He hears bottles click as she rummages through the trey before she sighs "Ok." He hears a louder sound that must be his glass, then the ice dropping then melting with the poured amber drink that she hands to him slowly, almost with a bow. To give her leverage, he stays fixated on his glass, but she sits next to him and looks straight ahead. That she is lovely and dignified now helps him be noble and easy. He takes her hand but she quickly lets go and gets up. She is commanding respect.
"There is a really nice swimming pool downstairs. I had hoped that you would join me," she says, looking at the door.
She must have sensed his eagerness. He lowers his head and answers "I don't have a bathing suit."
She smiles at his fragility.
"Your underwear is plenty fine. You'll just undress at one of the gazebos."
He takes a long sip of his Jim Beam.
"I'm so glad I finally got my glass of Beam today," he says and smiles.
They get to the pool and he notices what could have been a beautiful sunset in open space, that receding reddish light that gives the day a promise of mystery. They get in a gazebo and he closes the curtain. He hears her slipping out of her dress and turns around to see her lush, milk-chocolate figure in an olive green bikini.
"Hurry up and undress and quit looking like a fool. I'm sure you've seen better," she says then says to make up for her aggression and he quickly takes his shirt off and then his pants, conscious of the intensity of the gaze fixated on him.
"No Aida, I'm not sure I've seen better."
"You handsome young man."
"Thank you," he says with a slightly bowed head. "I guess that makes us a handsome couple."
She smiles. He is still getting out of his pants when she grabs his penis from his underwear and makes haste in pulling them down. He is in shock but still trying to play along.
"Such a healthy young man."
She goes to suck him off but the previous oscillations of mood and the quickness of her action make it difficult for him to stay hard.
"Relax," she says.
She takes off her bathing suit and sits on the couch, inviting him to come gently.
"Come," she says.
He gets on his knees and slips his tongue on the purple lips of her shaved and puffy pussy. The stickiness of her rank wetness keeps him busy. His lips and chin polished he kisses her and she grabs his face and they make quiet, careful and tense love. Tight. She lets him come over her breasts. He smiles, elated then deflated like a weight just dropped from his shoulders. She slips back in her bottom and tidies her top after rubbing his cream on the skin of her breasts that wobble with the motion of her arms. She looks at the slight opening in the tent suggesting that they go in the pool. He puts his underwear and brushes away the thought that he didn't use a condom. The light is low and only reaches the top of the other gazebos. He is still stunned watching her body dissolve in the water and he makes his way to join her. There is only one other couple in the pool. He stays waist high, his head slightly lowered and watches Aida swim and smile after laps while he recovers. She leads him in and wraps her arms around him and they move in a slow cadence, laughing, kissing, playing in this pool that is now theirs. They have mojitos then go back to the room in a steady, united elation. She has him sit on the bed and he feels the cold air of the AC on his neck and back. Goosebumps rise on his skin simultaneously as an inner warmth. The bed feels good. She pushes him down and goes on top of him. They make love for a second time.
"Isn't sex great," Adam says.
"The closest you can get to really express yourself," she says as if she had taught him something.
"That and singing," Adam says. "'Singing in the ocean, laughing in the rain.'"
"What's that from?"
Next to each other on the bed, her strong face and controlled eyes make him realize that she is all woman, that she has seen a lot more than him. She turns her face and investigates him carefully, piercingly. He feels like he's being x-rayed.
"Yes," she says and caresses his face. There is something cruel in her smile. "I wanted to ask you something?"
"Do you party?"
"Do I party..."
She quickly looks toward the window to her right.
"You mean drugs?" he says.
"So you're a big boy?" She says and faces him again.
"Yes Aida, I'm a big boy," Adam says a mild wave of anxiety boiling in his stomach.
She gets up quickly, goes to the bathroom and fetches a dinner plate holding what looks like a wrapped eight ball and different pills. He picks up a round looking pill.
"Well you're not a baby after all."
"You do all that by yourself?"
"When I can get away from my husband, I like to come here and have a good time. He's not the attentive type, nor is he adventurous. Anymore at least. He prefers to party without me. See, money changes people. When you have money, you can get away with a lot. So for your information, these drugs are here to be shared, and I'm glad to share them with you."
"Sharing is caring," he says uncomfortably wondering what her husband looks like. He is afraid of asking, not wanting to invite an intruder but he pictures a strong big bodied black man with a temper.
"I don't think I believe in marriage."
"There are nice things about marriage."
"Like what… waiting t'ill you hate the other person."
"You're such a baby."
He can sense that she is enjoying her superiority.
"You and I are here. That's what matters right now," he says and lowers his head.
"You haven't even tried any yet," she says. "You don't like my drugs."
"Well let me think about want I want to do first."
She smiles and caresses his face. He feels vulnerable.
"Should I worry that we didn't use a condom?" she says.
His heart almost sinks at hearing this. The thought he was avoiding.
"You're clean right?" she asks with that same piercing gaze from a moment ago before she quickly looks away.
"Yes," he says with a quick stutter, mouth dry and throat tight.
She gets up and fixes herself a drink.
"You don't sound sure."
"It's you I'm not sure of," he says.
"We're safe," she says.
She looks at him while sipping her drink then looks in the direction of the television. He feels a relieving exhale coming out of him.
"That was crazy wasn't it," she says.
"I didn't know what hit me," he says and laughs. "You just grabbed my dick."
They both look at each other and laugh.
"I know, I couldn't help it. It was so steamy," she says and laughs with excitement.
"These Mollies are pure. Do a little coke with it and you'll get really nice. You can use the bars or oxys for the comedown. I'm here for a week and I'm making my precious supplies and hotel room available. See, look at what marriage is doing for you."
"Maybe I'll return the favor one day," he says.
She kisses him.
"You do not fuck around Aida," he says.
"No I don't," she says and stares him down. "I'm glad we connected."
She squeezes his face with her hands. The affection is getting to him, and sensing this, she kisses him quickly and lets go. He relaxes. They share a smile both playful and vicious. "Make yourself another drink and stay comfortable. I'll be in the bathroom talking to my husband."
"What he's joining us," Adam says looking and smiling at the ceiling.
"I have to keep an image young man."
"Of course," he says and aims his gaze at her and she stays still for a second then kisses him again and goes to the bathroom. He thinks of her husband. Thank you for sharing. Lucky days are blessed. Maybe that's why he saw a rainbow today. He breaks two lines on the plate, snorts and excitedly recollects the day. He takes his Jim Beam and toasts to himself for living life, for having stayed in Miami, to this woman, and to other men's wives who had opened him up.
He wakes up the next day from a nightmare, wanting to die. His head is throbbing and a messy collage of the night is racing through his mind.
"You look like the devil," Aida says sitting beside him on the bed. He dreams of Tekken, of a fight between Kazuya and Jin Kazama. It freaks him out that Aida says that as he can't get the video game out of his mind. The television is on CNN and talks about polls. How Hilary is a sure winner. Anderson Cooper looks like a vampire. Everything looks sent from hell, pale, lusterless. He wonders if he is really awake and tries to speak but his mouth feels empty, like a void, and his throat dry and raspy, like he can choke at any minute.
"You can stay for a bit if you want to recover. I'll leave you some feel better on the top of the drawer."
"What time is it?"
"4 pm. I'm going to get some groceries."
"You're welcome Adam. Be good."
She turns off the television and keeps an eye on him before she leaves. He falls asleep again but wakes up quickly. He feels sick. He gets off the bed and falls. Everything around him looks like half a dream. Terrified, he gets his phone from his pants pocket. He quickly apologizes to god and he sees that his battery is still charged. He sees a picture of himself wearing a Rays hat behind the many apps and 4:08 pm on the top right corner. It's like there is glass stuck in his throat and like the devil is beating a drum in his heart. He vomits in the bathroom. The blood in his stool shocks him into paranoia. He starts believing he was raped but is then able to rationalize. He remembers sniffing lots of cocaine with Aida. How did he get so carried away? His stomach is raging from the liquor and opiates and the skeleton holding his lower back seems to be making fun of him. His insides taste disgusting, like a hangover and coke residue, like leeches had sucked some of his insides out. Foul snot is stuck between his nose and his acid throat. He can hardly breathe and there is a bit of blood in his nostrils. He feels bloated. He remembers peaking hard. He remembers himself on top of Aida, both his hands around her neck. He feels a little crazy. He didn't use a condom at all, not that it mattered after the first. HPV. She has money, she'll live. Everybody has it. What if she's HIV positive and this is some kind of revenge. Some cruel joke. Could he really be that lucky? What a dumb fucking move. The HIV on the beach is high and she's black. Would someone really do that to someone? He needs a Xanax or an opiate and goes straight to the drawer where Aida had left a few pills. He chooses Xanax. His hands and body shake. He can hear the ghost of his ape-like yells and her moans contained in the soundproof room. It makes him laugh.
He is in front of the bathroom mirror now, and, glass in hand, pours himself some tap water and swallows the entire bar of Xanax. He holds the sink and looks at himself in the mirror, eyes bloodshot. He does look like the devil. He thinks of John Jones. Yes, there are perks to being John Jones. John Jones is not a sick man. John Jones is not a pervert. John won't catch AIDS because John isn't a pleasure fiend. John Jones just minds his own business. To hell with sex. To hell with bitches. They had introduced him to a world where pleasure and destruction walked hand in hand. They were the door and his dick was the key. He thinks of Lucy, of her face, that small face that he could easily crush with his hands and he feels remorse. He looks down. That face is forever inside of him and so is Aida's now, her collarbone scar, the mole on the side of her neck. Funny how sex brings people closer. He washes his face. The Xanax kicks in and he feels calm and sedated. He is still in front of the mirror trying to keep himself straight but he still can't let go of the sink. He laughs. Sometimes all you can do is laugh. He really can't show up to work tomorrow. Not like this. The recovery will take another day at least. He laughs. Yes, life could be wonderful. He laughs again and looks straight at himself in the mirror before quickly looking away afraid of himself, then he slowly walks to the bedroom. To be Adam or John. By the window, his head slightly bent, his back hunched, looking through the curtains, he sees the daylight and makes out some clouds moving west of the ocean. His eyes burn. There is a dark reddish tint in his vision for a second. People are wandering on the street the way they do on South Beach along the sidewalks. Life goes on and soon enough he'll walk outside and people will smile at him to his face and others from the corner of his eye. Plenty of people like him in this city. He turns on the TV, Judge Judy is on.
Darryl Wawa is a Port-au-Prince born Haitian-American who studied Photography and Creative writing. He enjoys chocolate and good books. That said, maybe a movie is a good book. He loves to work with images and words and their pairing.