I leaned against the cool glass, staring out into the night. A breeze blew in through the open window, a soft, pleasant summer breeze, picking up rose and lavender scents from a nearby patio garden. I had a good view from up here in her fourteenth floor apartment. The children’s park half a block up the street was shrouded in darkness, as were all cars parked on the street below, the never-ending line of street lights interrupted by a faulty bulb. I would have to call the city about that.
The building across the way was pitch black. I shouldn’t be surprised. Civilized people are asleep at four in the morning. Perhaps others were up, staring out their windows like me, and like me, doing so from the darkness of their apartment. I wonder how many others out there are lonely like me. I’m not alone, mind you, just lonely. I hope it’s just me. I don’t want to believe that others could be surrounded by people, yet feel so empty, so desolate.
“What is that?” I whispered to myself, a faint light appearing in the building across the street catching my eye. “Must be someone getting an early start on the day.” I was careful to keep my voice low. I may be at the kitchen window, but my husband was asleep in the nearby bedroom. It wasn’t worth commenting on anyway, and I wasn’t going to pay it any more attention, when he appeared the window across the street.
I couldn’t tell how far away the other building was - a hundred meters might as well be half a mile to my mind, but I knew it was a short walk, maybe two minutes door to door. I’ve had to carry wayward packages to it from time to time. The buildings being so close together, I hadn’t given any thought to the people in the other building, even when delivering a package, definitely never gave any consideration to whether they could see into my apartment. But now, it was impossible to ignore. I could see him clearly, standing in his full glory, naked as the day he was born. Did people spy on me?
I know I should look away. He thinks he’s alone, secure in the darkness of the late night. Doesn’t he? He can’t know I’m here, watching him. Admiring his rippling abdominal muscles, his broad shoulders tapering to a narrow waist in a perfect V, a strong jaw and close cropped blond hair. I’m trying not to look at his manhood, but I cannot ignore it, just swinging back and forth between his legs as he starts lifting weights. How big must that thing be, to be so visible from across the street. Why am I looking? Certainly more than a mouthful. . .now why would I think that? Sounds like something Roger would say about a buxom woman.
How doesn’t he hurt himself, with that thing swinging around like that? It must be painful, shouldn’t it? How doesn’t he bruise his thighs? What would Roger think if he knew I was staring at this specimen of a man? Would he even care? I can feel my rolls of fat, my sagging breasts. Would he find it amusing? There’s certainly no threat. . . the young man wouldn’t be interested in women of my age and stature, with my graying hair and the bags under my eyes. That young fellow wouldn’t even notice me if I hit him with my car.
I continue watching him. I can’t take my eyes off him as he continues working out naked, building up a glimmering sheen of sweat from his exercise routine. Maybe he does this every morning, lifting his dumbbells, doing his jumping jacks, running in place. He most certainly has extraordinary stamina. I imagine, for just a brief moment, him enveloping me in those strong arms, penetrating me with that enormous member. I shudder just a little. Arousal? Guilt? I love my husband. The thoughts race through my mind. I’m not just trying to convince myself, am I? It seems like years since we were passionate. Roger never looked as good as that young man across the way, but that’s not really the point. Is it? Still, the image of entwining myself with that young man makes my heart race, my face blush.
I can’t help myself. I undue my robe, run my hands gently over my breasts, pretending it’s the young, strong hands from across the way. He doesn’t care that they’re not firm and round. Running my fingers down my front, belly fat jiggling just a little, I run my fingers down, touching myself intimately. For a brief moment, I feel joy again. What a strange feeling! I hadn’t realized how absent that feeling was, pleasure and joy. And I stop. It’s wrong. Thinking of adultery is as bad as the commission. My husband deserves better. I reach to pull the curtain closed, but stop short.
He is erect now. Suddenly, gloriously and magnificently erect. In this moment, I consider the possibility I may be in the presence of a living Greek God. Why? Could he see me? Am I visible to him in my darkened apartment? Did I, a middle aged, graying, overweight woman arouse this majestic beast with my playful fondling? I didn’t think I was capable? Then she comes into view, and I literally feel my heart sink. It was if all the air in the room had been sucked out by a giant vacuum.
I should have known it couldn’t be me; it was silly and arrogant to consider it for even a heartbeat. His girlfriend, I’m assuming, approaches him at the window, as naked as he was, embraces him tightly, kissing him full on the mouth. Of course, it was his young paramour that got the rise out of him. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a rise like that from Roger just for being there. Just knowing she was there, naked, excited this young man. What’s it like to be that wanted. Of course, it’s not difficult to generate results when you’re a hot, young, thin and beautiful.
Wait. What is that? She’s not hot. Look at those thighs. Turn around; let me see those perky breasts. My god! They’re sagging, just like mine. How does she land such a marvel of human flesh when she looks so much like me? NO. That’s not right. I can’t be jealous of her. It’s not about her body. That’s what the advice columnists and talk show hosts tell us, right? Beauty is in the soul, the personality. Real desire is more than skin deep.
So why do I feel so undesired? Why can’t Roger get as excited to see me as that guy was to see his girlfriend? Oh. . .I guess it is more than a mouthful. That could have something to do with it. STOP! Don’t be petty. Am I too good to give a little oral? Maybe if I got on my knees for Roger once in a while, he’d be more. . .caring? Treat me like I’m desirable, like she’s treated by her magnificent man?
Who am I kidding! Roger hasn’t thought of me as more than a business partner for years, if he ever considered me more. I remember thinking I was in love with him. It certainly felt like love at the time. But I never felt desire for him, if I’m to be honest with myself. Nothing like those two - wow, position change. Make sure you hold on tight, sweetie. He might launch you right through the window, pounding you like that. My god, she looks happy. She’s enjoying it so much. The look on her face - even from across the street, with just a faint glow in their apartment, the joy is plain to see. Maybe I’ve been doing it wrong all these years. I can’t imagine Roger attacking me with such reckless abandon. Would I even let him? I would be afraid he’d hurt me. But look at her - I can’t deny the evidence before my eyes. I thought women only enjoyed sex that much in porn. Perhaps I’ve been misled all these years. Maybe I should wake Roger up.
I stay at the window, watching the two young lovers finish. They both look so satisfied. Glancing at the clock, it’s not even five am yet. The pair of them move away from the window, probably to go shower. Their interlude wasn’t long - I wonder if they do this every morning. Maybe I’ll wander back out tomorrow, and see what’s happening. At least I won’t be alone. Maybe I’ll even learn a thing or two, something I can use to spark, something, with Roger.
Just then, I hear a murmur from the bedroom, and a creak on the floorboards. Roger has awoken; I can hear him shuffling out of the bedroom. I just stay by the window, maybe get one last glimpse at my neighbor, the Greek God. Roger stumbles into the kitchen, flicking on a light. It blinds me momentarily, but I shake it off and say nothing.
“What are you doing up this early?” he asks.
I consider telling him everything. How lonely I am. How aroused I was by our neighbor. How I engaged in voyeuristic behavior - how much I enjoyed it, how surprised I was to enjoy the show. I even considered walking over to him, and getting on my knees, taking him into my mouth, mimicking the young woman. But I don’t. “Couldn’t sleep, so I just thought I would enjoy the breeze and relax.” It wasn’t a lie. That was my original intent.
“Well, get back to bed, or you’ll have bags under your eyes and be dragging your ass all day. There’s a lot to do, we have a meeting at nine-thirty downtown, and then we’re seeing the investment adviser. . .” He continued to rattle on about our impending schedule, but I stopped listening, nodding along at appropriate intervals. I’ve heard the litany before. One day is nearly identical to every other. There is no passion, there is no joy. There is only drudge of routine.
God, I hope watching my neighbor never feels routine. That would be a fate a worse than death now, I think. Roger’s voice subsided, so I began to shuffle off, back to bed. Perhaps, if I am lucky, I’ll dream a little. Perhaps, in my dreams, I can be the girlfriend, and he can take me in his arms; perhaps I’ll take him as she did. Perhaps I can be someone else, if only for a few, wonderful minutes. Before I'm compelled to resume my somber, boring, sterile existence. I’m not usually resolute, but I resolve, I will be at this window every morning, hoping to catch a glimpse of some real life passion, until I have the courage to act myself. Maybe I’ll act tomorrow. Maybe.
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This was a really cool take on the prompt, and I like the stream of consciousness style of the narrative. Nice work!
Thanks Fawn. This was well out of my wheelhouse - first time using first person, and first story firmly rooted in the 'real' world. It was quite enjoyable to stretch the fiction muscles a little.
Nice! It's always fun to experiment. I think you did a great job making this realistic and engaging with a very likable narrator.