SHE-POWER Fiction: I Like a Bit of Phone Sex in the Morning
This short is a continuation of Mama’s Girls
The house was quiet as Clarissa walked toward the bedroom. Obviously Scott was still asleep. So much for helping with the barbecue. He’d be lucky if he was showered and dressed before everyone arrived at this rate.
Opening the bedroom door, Clarissa expected to see Scott still huddled under the quilt, one arm strewn across the bed, taking up all the room.
“Wakey, wakey sleepyhead. We have a lot to do today.’ The bed was empty, the covers pulled back to reveal crumpled white sheets. “Finally.”
He must be in the ensuite. The bed looked inviting and Clarissa considered whether they could justify getting back in for a bit of a snuggle. Surely they had a bit of time to relax. The party was hours away and she was already stressed. Bloody Ashley and her childish tantrums. What was she thinking? As if Clarissa would invite Eliza to her house. Sober for one year and all was forgotten huh? Fat chance. Maybe in ten years, she’d think about it.
Clarissa could feel the tension creeping up her neck. This was not good. Her and Scott hadn’t even talked about the promotion yet. Why did her life always end up so complicated?
“Scott,” Clarissa called, trying not to sound as irritable as she felt. “Are you almost done?”
There was no reply. Clarissa moved closer to the ensuite door and saw that it was slightly ajar. “Scott?”
Clarissa poked her head around the door, but the ensuite was empty. He must have got up while she was talking to Ashley. Trust him to avoid her sister and sneak out back.
Passing down the hall, Clarissa noticed some of the family photographs were crooked and stopped to adjust them. There was Clarissa and Scott on their honeymoon. Two snuggling lovers soaking up the luxury of a South Pacific cruise. Clarissa was happy to note that at least she was thinner now. Her stomach looked positively dough-like in the bikini then. She couldn’t believe she’d ever thought she could getaway with it. She patted her flat stomach now. Three hundred sit-ups a day kept it presentable, although she’d never have washboard abs.
Then she saw the photograph of her and Ashley on Hamilton island. That was three ago now, and it represented the one and only vacation the sisters could ever remember taking together. It wasn’t that they had been poor, because they’d never wanted for anything materially. Had lived in a big house, gone to good schools, but Eliza had always been incapable of organizing dinner, let alone a holiday. Clarissa looked across to the photo she knew was at the end of the row. It was Eliza, when she was still young and beautiful, before the ravages of alcohol had taken their toll. A gaping pit of sadness opened up as Clarissa remembered the day this was taken.
Clarissa had made the State finals for cross country running, and she’d begged her mother not to drink for one day. Just one day. To drive to the carnival, see her daughter run and come home. That’s all Clarissa had wanted. But Eliza couldn’t even do that. She’d got to the carnival no problem, put on a gorgeous dress, painted her nails, set her lovely red hair into curls and posed for this photo. Clarissa had been so proud of her as they arrived at the carnival, she’d even scoped out Jimmy Myres’ dad as a possible future boyfriend. God knows her mother couldn’t seem to choose anyone decent herself.
But the wait for the race had been too long. She’d never made it. By 11am she’d hit the pub around the corner. Not only did she miss Clarissa’s race, she didn’t get home until 10pm and then she brought a ‘friend’. By then Clarissa was in bed and Eliza had forgotten about the carnival entirely. They never mentioned what happened, but Clarissa never forgot. She also never asked her mother to do anything for her ever again.
Clarissa quickly kept moving. She didn’t know why she kept that photo up. It wasn’t as if it represented a happy memory. But then, her childhood had been pretty light on those. Maybe the photo served to remind Clarissa that at least Eliza had been around, which was more than could be said for her and Ashley’s father. Maybe if she took it down it would be like her mother and her childhood never existed, and that seemed even sadder to Clarissa than remembering the tragedy that it was.
Giving herself a little mental shake, Clarissa entered the lounge room. Still no Scott. She was about to turn towards the kitchen when she heard a noise from the office. She turned, surprised. Working on a Saturday morning. That didn’t seem right. She heard the low hum of Scott’s voice as she approached the half open door. She was about to waltz in when she heard the question.
“So, what are you wearing?”
Clarissa stopped mid-step. It wasn’t just the words that threw her, it was the tone of his voice. Husky. Liquid. There was a low laugh. Clarissa moved back slightly and bent down to peer through the gap in the doorway. Should she leave or push it wide open, stop this conversation right now?
“Is it the one I bought you in Canberra last month?” Clarissa heard the chair squeak as Scott leaned further back.
“Mmm, take it off.”
Clarissa’s stomach took a nose dive and she grasped the door frame for support. Not again. She couldn’t bear it again. She crossed to the other side of the doorway, pushed the door open a little more until she could see his side profile. One side of her brain screamed ‘get out of here’, the other side had to know everything. Scott was reclined right back in his ergonomic office chair, his legs spread wide, the phone tucked in close to his ear. He was talking quietly now, almost moving to a whisper.
“Mmm, I’m holding a special present for you.”
Clarissa stifled a cry, shoved her fist in her mouth, bit down hard on the knuckles. She couldn’t believe this was happening right here in her home, with her in the house. Did he want her to know?
She saw Scott adjust himself in his pyjama pants. His breathing hoarse and short. She knew what was going to happen even before he started undoing the tie at his waist. Clarissa closed her eyes as the hallway swam around her.
“Baby, I’m so hard, I’m …”
Clarissa took a giant step back, hit the wall, almost knocked a picture frame down. She lunged for it as it slipped off the hook. Caught it before it crashed to the floor. She had to get out of here.
“Hang on a second,” Scott said, his chair squeaking again as he sat up. “Let me lock the door. Lissa’s around somewhere and I think her bitch sister’s here too.”
Clarissa heard him stand, and before he could take a step she darted down the hall, her bare feet light on the carpet, her heart leaden stone in her chest.
Photo by gotplaid?