I couldn’t quite describe what was happening. The world around me was turning backwards and everything was black and white. I could see ominous shadows, floating in space, unaffected by time. It was strangely peaceful.
What happened next was less so. Beings pulling every extremity, voices coming from the depth…
And one voice, one very familiar voice calling out to me.
The same word, over and over again. “Whore.”
Then, his face, contorted in agony, trying to breathe, my hand on his throat.
“HARDER! HARDER, YOU BITCH!”
I awoke with a scream, panting frantically and sweating buckets full. Scared out of my mind, I started to sob. I was alone and quite possibly haunted.
I felt a hand on my shoulder and let out a cry in surprise. Not that alone, apparently.
“Hey, what’s wrong? Why are you so upset? Did you have a bad dream?”
“Yes.” I sobbed to James. “About… about…”
“About what?” he said, stroking my hair. My silence apparently spoke volumes. “About a ghost?”
“Yes. About a ghost. I’m scared.”
“Scared of what?”
“That it’s a sign. That we’re moving too fast and that all of this will end in disaster.”
“Do you think we are moving too fast?”
“James, we’ve only had sex two or three times and you rimmed me last night! How’s that not moving too fast?”
“Calm down, love. Yes, rimming might have been a step too far, now that you mention it. Let me think for a moment.”
In the darkness of the room, the silence felt quite uncomfortable. I could only feel him, and it reminded me of being blindfolded.
“Oh, thank God. Just checking. I don’t do well in the dark, alone.”
“You’re not alone. I’m here. And, if you want, we could slow it down. It’s been intense, and I can’t imagine that being good in the long-term. Not that I don’t like it.”
“I like it too, but I don’t want to… I don’t want to kill you.”
“What will it take to convince you that you didn’t kill him and that history won’t repeat itself? We’re not the same, that ghost and I. And we need to trust each other on that.”
“Do you not trust me?”
“I do… it’s just… I’m getting there. I’m trying things, thinking things. I know I love you and I feel like I can already say that without you shooting me down.”
“But how do you know for sure that you love me? It might be deceit of the heart.”
“Reed, my heart betrays me on occasion but I just know that this isn’t one of them.”
“But what if I can never retaliate those feelings?”
“It’s a risk I’m willing to take, remember? I’m opening my heart for you. And I know you’re trying. And I’m waiting. Whenever you’re ready. Now, get some sleep.” he said, kissing me on the cheek.
I lay back down and tried to catch sleep, but my mind was louder than ever. How could he even muster up the patience to wait for me to say those words? And wasn’t it too early in our relationship to even say them? How did he even know for sure that he loved me?
And all this time, I heard Iddo in the back of my head.
“Whore. Useless fucking whore.”
I woke up, shivering and sweating from another dream, with pretty much the same scenario, but different words this time. What was it he said?
“Slut. Whore. I own you.”
I felt nauseous remembering it. Iddo, the bastard. Before our sex life took a turn for the worst, we had often discussed stuff like spirituality, and the existance of spirits. Iddo, ever the sceptic, had more than once reassured me that, no, they didn’t exsist and no, my house wasn’t haunted.
And now, it seemed he lied.
James had made eggs Benedict, to celebrate the weekend, I guess. I loved eggs Benedict, but, although I tried with all my heart, I couldn’t get a bite in my mouth.
“We’re going too fast, aren’t we?”
“Still on your mind?”
“Yeah, but I just…”
I let out a heavy sigh. He reached out and took hold of my hand, caressing it with his thumb. It felt quite nice, and it just showed that he already knew how to relax me.
“We can take it slow, if you like. Keep the wild things for later. And I’m sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable last night. I just wanted to surprise you.”
“You did. Trust me. But I just need to get to know you better, sexually. I mean, we both have issues in the bedroom that need to be worked out.”
“And we will work them out. Together. As slow or as fast as you want. Alright?”
I took a deep breath and smiled, although it was a wary one. The effects of my night’s sleep were weighing me down and I was very thankful that the weekend could bring some solace. Hopefully.
“Good. Now, tell me babe, how do you want to spend the weekend?”
“Theatre? Opera? Somewhere where I don’t need to think.”
“Not really what I had in mind. Bowling at the Trocadero?”
He grinned. “Bit of your world, bit of mine. I like that. Is there anything in particular you want to see?”
“No. Just take me anywhere.”
“Alright. I will.”
The genuine, kind smile on his face did something magical. It gave me my appetite back. And I vowed not to get one or two silly dreams get in my way.
I happily ate my eggs Benedict, musing on the merits of going bowling with my boyfriend.
And kicking his ass at it. Strike!