from (previous) Honeysuckle Heat… In their floating dream they remained until the first hint of morning burst over the distant mountains, causing them to dart from the water, grab their crumpled clothes, and sprint back to the house, laughing with each hurried step. Once inside, they fell onto his unmade bed, into each other’s arms, and into a deep sleep.
Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock.
Who is that and what the hell do they want this early in the morning? Not wanting to wake his lover, sleeping so peacefully, he kept these thoughts to himself.
His tired eyes, now open, revealed it was not that early. The bright sunshine that pierced through the warped window glass was softened by wavy strands of her hair that created a delicate filter between his face and the sun’s rays. Still damp where his head rested, her cascading hair was a sanctuary for him, sheltering him from the light and keeping him cool. He closed his eyes and breathed her in. The scents of rosemary and mint enveloped him. Oh, how he had missed those scents, now blended with fresh lake water and honeysuckle from the night before.
Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock.
He could not do the one thing he wanted to do – stretch his arm through the screen door to strangle whoever was disturbing this moment, so, he did the only he could do, which was the last thing he wanted to do – pull himself away from her.
Slowly, he lifted his resting right arm from her waist and lifted his upper body from the bed with a nearly useless left arm that had fallen asleep. Before peeling himself off the bed, he covered her with the sheet that had turned into a twisted rope near her feet. Whoever stood on the other side of the door would either need to wait longer or go away. He could not leave. Not yet. He was captivated by the beautiful scene – the dancing rays, the gentle rise and fall of her slowed breathes (much slower than the night before) the curve of her body under the white flat sheet, her hair spilling down the pillow… maybe he was dreaming. He wanted to memorize the details of this moment, just in case he returned to an empty bed with only his impression left.
The knocking persisted. His annoyance was escalating. He opened the door, then the screen door, not angrily like he wanted to, but slowly as to not disturb the dreaming woman. Prepared to cuss at the person on other side, he was met by a surprise. A startled woodpecker, determined to destroy one of the porch pillars, flew away at the sight of him.
Damn bird, he said in a laughing whisper, then he went back inside.
Inside, where the only breakfast options were stale cereal and brown bananas. That would not do, and he needed to get fresh coffee. He did not always drink coffee or eat breakfast. Most mornings he would wake up with an idea for his book, plunge into his writing and not look up until lunch time. If she is not a figment of his overactive and overtaxed imagination, he knew she would wake up famished after travelling all day and loving all night.
He did not want to wake her, so he grabbed a shirt from the laundry basket in the hallway, threw on his jeans that he had tossed on the couch after the two of them, naked and laughing, burst through the screen door. He emptied his backpack, slipped on his shoes, put his wallet in his pocket, wrote her a quick note, then peddled down the road to the farmer’s market. He felt a little foolish riding the property owner’s bike that was too small for his height, but he was hoping to leave and return quietly and surprise her with breakfast.
He returned with organic coffee, fresh fruit, farm eggs and sausage, homemade bread, grits, butter, strawberry jelly, and fresh cut flowers. She did not eat eggs or sausage in California, but maybe she will be tempted by farm fresh. If not, he would devour every bite. Not wanting to forget the first thing she would ask for; he made the coffee then began making breakfast for two.
Eggs popping, sausage sizzling, grits bubbling, toast warming, fresh fruit filling the air, he heard his bedroom door open. With each creak of the floor, his heart began to beat faster.
Wearing nothing but his white sheet, he smiled when he saw her, then he laughed.
“What are you laughing at?” she asked.
“I am laughing at you, Lady of the Lake. Sorry, but you have a leaf stuck in your hair.”
She reached up and felt the right side of her head.
“No, it’s on the other side,” he said, still laughing.
He removed the green leaf from her matted hair. Then he kissed her and lifted her onto to the counter, next to the juicy peaches.
Camera pan right: Neighbor Nelly was up early dumping her coffee grounds on her mulch pile when she saw a blaze of bare skin streak passed her eyes.
This was an enjoyable write that made me very hungry. Thank you for visiting and reading. Be well. Michele
Find my photos and poems on Instagram ~ @mlsefton
Photo 1: by Kristin Vogt (Pexels) P2: by Charlotte May (Pexels) P3: Google images P4: by Suzy Hazelwood (Pexels) P5: my quote & graphic
© 2021 Michele Lee Sefton.