“I’m just going to stay home and read,” Sasha said to him. “You’re welcome to join me.”
Alan figured this was the way things went for him. He would have been willing to do just about anything to go on a date with this girl. But sit and read? What was the point? He could sit and read by himself. And he didn’t enjoy it.
“I mean, you could always just read in the morning,” he said awkwardly. “Why don’t we go do something fun tonight? Could go out to a bar. There’s a festival downtown we can go to. If that’s not your thing we could go bowling. Even a movie if you aren’t in the mood for talking a lot.”
“I’ve been looking forward to sitting on my couch and reading all day,” she said. “It’s my favorite hobby. Don’t you like just sitting down and reading?”
“I don’t read.”
“What??” She sounded amused in a playful way but he was getting too annoyed to find it amusing as well. “Oh you gotta come over to my apartment tonight. I have the biggest selection of books here. Try it out, seriously. I have the perfect book to get you started. I guarantee you when you read this book you’re going to want to read all of the time too.”
“I doubt that.”
“So you’ll come over and try it at least?”
“Sure,” he said.
They said their goodbyes for the time being and he hung up the phone. If he took her out on a date and she invited him to her house afterwards he’d consider that a win so he supposed that this was just cutting out that big step. But still, just sitting there and reading with her? He did not have a good feeling about this date, if it could even be called that.
“Here, this is the book I was telling you about,” Sasha said as she walked over and handed it to him.
He barely looked at the book when she handed it to him as he was too busy looking at her face thinking how much prettier she’d be if she didn’t have those nerdy looking frames on. He thought maybe she just wore them at work to look smart or something but it appeared she wore them all of the time. Her long, dark hair that she wore down at work was up in a bun.
Considering that most of her was covered at work, he hadn’t noticed how athletic her body was. The light blue tank-top that she had on showed off her toned shoulders and arms. She wore short shorts and her legs were surprisingly thick considering at work he had always thought of her as a skinny girl.
He looked down at the book that she had handed to him. Dean Koontz: The Funhouse. He hadn’t even heard of this guy and that didn’t surprise him considering the copyright on the book was 16 years before he was born and he was 25-years-old. What kind of weirdo was she reading stuff that was this old?
“I totally could not put this book down when I first read it,” she said. She was way too excited about this. She was definitely nerdier than he realized just from working with this 22-year-old recent college grad, Sasha, for a week. “I actually finished this book in a day. Once you get going I think you’re going to be begging me to take it home with you tonight so you can finish.”
Alan doubted that but he didn’t say it. She still looked way too excited about him reading this as she stomped around her coffee table and sat on the other end of the couch. She picked up a hardcover book that was a lot bigger than the little paperback he held but it also looked like it had to be at least 1500 pages. She opened it too quickly for him to see what the title was but it didn’t matter. He wouldn’t read anything that long no matter what it was about.
As she began to read her book she kicked out her legs and rested her bare feet on the coffee table, right in his line of vision. Just like her legs, her feet looked bigger and thicker than he would have expected, probably a size 9. But they also looked extremely well taken care of. The tops of them looked soft and extremely smooth. The skin on the top of her feet looked perfect everywhere, not so much as a small little mole anywhere. Her toes were long but not too long and she had shiny blue toenail polish on.
He looked down at the book she gave him and began to read. Right away he thought it was stupid, as he read the author trying to be scary while there was nothing the least bit scary about the situation and the author was also beating around the bush about what was happening, something that always drove him crazy about books. Why couldn’t they just get to the point?
He looked up from the book after only a few pages, thinking that looking at anything in this living room would be more interesting to look at than them. Two of those things were her two feet which were the first things he saw when he looked up. Her feet were actually quite active as she read her book. She began to cross the left one over the right one but then changed her mind and moved the left one back so her heel was resting on the table as it had been initially. She rocked them back and forth a few times and he actually found that peaceful and meditative to watch. Her toes started to wiggle back and forth and he felt a tingle go through his body as if her toes had sent that feeling to him through the air.
“Are you looking at my feet??” she loudly. Her feet had been putting him in a trance so her words startled him. He looked at her and she was looking at him playfully accusingly. He felt his face getting red. “Go back to reading your book,” she said.
She looked back down at her book like she wasn’t going to let him interrupt her reading anymore. He went back to reading the book knowing that looking at her feet would be much more interesting. This book was so dumb and he didn’t think he was going to get through the prologue in one night, let alone the whole book. From the tops of his eyes he could see her feet doing stuff and it was way too tempting for him not to look.
He looked up and watched as she moved her feet so the bottoms of them were facing each other. She touched the balls of her feet together and began rocking them back and forth. He thought that if he put a soda can in between her feet right then and then pulled it away that it would fizz all over the place when he opened it.
She rested her left heel on the table like it had been originally, then moved her right foot down, putting her toes on the edge of it. The rest of her foot hung off the table and it looked like her foot was about to fall off a cliff and her toes were the only things hanging on and saving it. She started tapping those same toes around like she was playing a piano. Then he heard her slam her book down on the couch.
“You’re still looking at my feet, you weirdo??” she said. “Alright go ahead. Get on your knees and kiss them if you’re not going to read the book.” He was embarrassed and speechless. “Go ahead and do it,” she said. “You know you want to so you may as well.”
While she still looked frustrated that he wasn’t reading the book, she didn’t look like she was mocking or judging him at all and then made him feel a lot less embarrassed about the situation. He wanted to tell her that she was crazy, that he was just so bored with the damn stupid book that he was just drifting and happened to be looking straight ahead of him. But he knew she knew that wasn’t true and, besides – why should be pass up such a good offer if she wasn’t judging him for it?
He was on his knees at the other end of the small coffee table now with the soles of her feet looking right at him. He observed all of the little wrinkles that were on different parts of her soles and followed them with his eyes like they were a maze. He looked at how her heels and the balls of her feet looked pinkish but then became white at her arches.
He moved in to kiss the ball of her foot and it felt so nice against his lips. He wondered if she just wanted to him to do it once but when he looked up at her just reading her book he figured it would be OK to try it again. He did so and found it more enjoyable. He did it a few more times and felt so happy that he lost count.
He looked up to see her reaction to this and was surprised to see that she had none. She looked very into the book that she was reading and she seemed like she couldn’t care less that this man was just on his knees kissing her feet as she read. He kissed her feet a few more times and when he looked up she was still not paying attention to him. He then put his nose right up to her foot and took in a deep breath.
“They smell good, don’t they?” she said, finally acknowledging him. “I take good care of them.” She then moved her feet and set them down on the floor. With the coffee table in the way of them he was unable to see them which he found disappointing.
“We all done?” he said.
“Nope,” she said as she looked down at her book and didn’t even bother to look up at him. “But we’re going to take a little break for now. You can sit there and wait until I’m ready to put them back up on the table, then you may kiss them again.”
He sat on his knees watching her read her book. She was very focused on it and not only did she not look up at him but she didn’t even move her head at all from her eyes looking down directly at the page. He observed her facial expression changing as she read different parts of the page and even saw her chuckle a couple of times. It was peaceful watching the pretty girl read and seeing her being so focused on her book that she wasn’t affected by him just sitting there on his knees. When he checked the time he saw he had been kneeling there watching her read for half an hour. He was glad to be there. He didn’t like The Funhouse book but he sure thought this was a fun apartment.