Bill walked happily down the side walk. He loved walking this way home- the woods lining his path on the left, and across the street, the big, beautiful houses, all of which reminded him of home. He had to get off the bus a few stops early to do it, but it was worth it. He glanced at his watch, 5:30- later then usual, but that shouldn’t be a problem.
There was a rustling in the forest beside him. He stopped and glanced into it, but couldn’t make anything out.
He kept walking. Somehow, though he had walked this path a thousand times, that small sound made him nervous.
There was another. He stopped and looked again, and so nothing.
Suddenly a shaped popped out of the forest. Bill gasped as it flew toward him.
It landed a few feet in front of him, turned right, and bounded down the street. Bill sighed as the small white rabbit went along, barely noticing him. He knew he should stop reading horror novels on the bus.
He stopped and turned to see the massive stone and wood house he called him. He smiled, it always made him feel good to get back. The tree out front, the long grass yard, the stone pathway up it- after a hard days work, filled with stress and anxiety, nothing made him feel better.
He walked up the path and unlocked the large archway of the double door. He want inside.
The inside of the house was large and spacious. It was built open concept, and where he stood he could see the living room, kitchen and dining room, as well as the giant windows that opened onto a creek and the woods behind the house. To his right was a twisted wooden stairwell that ran to the second floor, then doubled back to the third, smaller one above.
“You’re late,” a deep but feminine voice said from inside the house.
“Hi honey! I told you I had a meeting, remember?” He began walking up the stairs toward the voice, which was coming from their bedroom.
“I don’t remember you saying that!”
“Are you hiding something from me Bill? Are you lying to me again?” her voice got angrier.
“Samantha, no, I promise you.” He knew why she was upset, he had told her he’d be home at four that morning, and only sent the email later. If he hadn’t, it would have been the third time that week he got home later then he said he would. She worked closer to home and got back earlier, and sometimes got annoyed if he was late.
“So if I check my emails now, there will be one saying you have a meeting, and I can contact your boss and he’ll say the same?” she said.
“Yes, do it.” He paused on the stairwell as she checked.
A few moments passed as she checked. “Oh, ok, fair enough,” she finally said.
He continued up the stairs. A thought occurred to him. Why was she in the bedroom? Was SHE hiding something? He entered the bedroom where she was lying down, alone, under the plaid, king sized blankets. Tall, with long brown hair and dark skin, she was beautiful. He walked up and kissed her. He noticed the open book and half drunk glass of water on the nightstand beside her. “Taking a nap sweetie?”
“Mhmm,” she said. “I got tiered of waiting for you and fell asleep.”
He kissed her again, working his way down her head and her neck. He put a hand under the blankets. He stopped.
“Sweetie, what is so wet?”
Her eyes went wide and she gasped. “What? It couldn’t…”
“The bed feels wet!” He thew back the covers to reveal a wet spot.
“Oh,” she laughed. “I spilled some water before I fell asleep, see?”
Bill looked at it again. The spot was small, and clearly water. “Oh, ok.”
She sat up. “You know, you’ve been so stressed lately, always working hard and coming home late, I wanted to do something to help you relax.”
“Oh?” he said.
SHe smiled. “Yes, I wanted to try something new. You might have issues at first, but I think you’ll enjoy it.”
“What is it?” he asked, smiling.
She taped him on the forehead. “You wait here and see.”
She walked over to their clsoet door, which she opened slowly. She reached in and took out what looked like a folded, white cloth.
Bill’s throat caught. “Honey, whats that?”
She smiled. “Oh, you can’t tell?”
“What is it!” he said, staring at the rectangular white object.
She let it unfold, revealing a white towel. “Its a hand towel! I learned a new type of massage. First I need to soak this in warm water, want to try it?”
“Oh, that sounds wonderful! Thank you sweetie!”
A few hours later they were sitting in the kitchen eating supper. Bill’s plate was piled high with hot, spicy chunks of beef and vegetables.
“This is very good honey,” he said. “What is it?”
“Its a new spicy beef vindaloo recipe I found. I made it specifically for you,” she smiled, a mischievous twink going in her eye. “I hope you enjoy it.”
Bill put his fork down. “Wha… what do you mean?” His stomach began turning.
She shrugged. “Oh, I know you like spicy food, and Jessy told me they ordered some of this to work last week and you really enjoyed it, so I figured I’d try it.” Jessy was a friend from Bill’s work they both knew.
He smiled. “Oh I remember that! Yes, I did like it, and I love this now. Thanks Sam!” His stomach was now grumbling. “It is turning my stomach though, give me a minute.”
“Ok sweetie!” she said.
Bill walked over to the bathroom. He turned the knob.
He gasped. The knob wouldn’t turn.
He tried again. His stomach was getting worse, and he was getting desperate. “Sam! Why won’t the bathroom door open?” He called.
“We got the knobs replaced, remember? You have to turn it the other way.”
“Oh, right,” he laughed. He opened the door and went inside.
A few minutes later he returned to the table and sat down. Samantha had cleared the plates and set out bowls of ice cream and bananas for dessert.
He stopped and thought for a moment. “Honey, why were there a stack of diapers and pacifiers in the bathroom? And why was there a leash and beside it?”
“Oh, we were going to babysit and dogsit for my sister next week, remember? For what other possible reason would we have them?”
“Oh, right. And I can’t think of any other reasons to have diapers, pacifiers and a leash and collar either.” He legitimately couldn’t, and neither could she.
“What, what day is it?”