“What is your problem?” Winnie tossed her keys in a little dish just inside the door of their apartment.
She’d been here alone for two months and realized the place was a mess. Here she was bringing her husband home to New York City after he’d been stuck at medical school in Ann Arbor for the past eight weeks and she hadn’t cleaned. There were sewing supplies on the table from when she’d been sewing ribbons onto her new toe shoes and fixing the hem of one of her costumes. None of his favorite food was in the cupboards and she’d thrown away any meat that had been contaminating the refrigerator.
“You were scowling the whole time we were having dinner with my family.”
“Did we have dinner with your family?” Joel asked with sarcasm, slipping off his dress shoes near the door and hanging up his sport coat in the hall closet. “Because you barely touched the bowl of soup you had in front of you.”
“I was too nervous to eat.” She lifted her chin in the air, frustrated that he’d somehow forgotten her aversion to eating in public.
“Winnie, you’ve lost too much weight.” Joel sounded like he was going to cry. “You don’t look healthy.”
“If I weren’t healthy, I wouldn’t have had the stamina to dance nonstop for two hours this evening.” She pushed past him and headed for the bathroom where she washed the makeup off her face and pulled her bun down from her hair, shaking her once thick curls down over her shoulders. Years of pulling her hair into a bun had weakened the brittle stands but she still looked beautiful. She still was beautiful, more so now that she was finally almost thin enough to fit in with the other professional dancers.
She turned to where her husband was leaning against the door frame of the open bathroom door. “And just to prove my level of stamina, I plan to spend the rest of the night showing you just how much energy I have left.”
“I’m afraid if I make love to you, I’ll break your little body,” Joel said with concern and darkness in his tone.
“You’re not getting out of it that easy.” Winnie practically shoved him out the door and redirected his path toward the bedroom. “I have been missing you to the point of frustration and you are going to make love to me whether you want to or not.”
“Trust me, I want to.” He chuckled softly. “I’m just… nervous.”
“I’m fine, Joel. I’m better than fine.” She stood in front of her husband and started unhooking the buttons on the front of his white dress shirt, seriously considering ripping them off to gain easier access to his incredible body. Finally, when she had them all undone and could touch the skin of his defined chest muscles, he responded with a soft moan. Still, he didn’t reach to remove her clothes and she whispered with desperation, “Joel, please make love to me.”
That woke him out of his stupor, and he gently pushed her back toward their bed. She climbed up, shoving pillows and blankets out of the way and pulled him down on top of her. Finally, his hormones overpowered his rational thinking and instinct took over.
Winnie couldn’t fathom how they’d allowed themselves to be away from each other this long and couldn’t imagine letting him get back on an airplane Sunday evening. The three weeks between now and Thanksgiving were an eternity and then two more weeks of torture until he’d be with her for all of Christmas break. Her prize would be nineteen days of bliss over the holidays where she didn’t intend to let him out of her sight.
Gone was the pain and difficulty from their honeymoon. Their bodies knew how to love one another’s, and they did. With abandon. With passion. And finally with tears.
The same tears that racked Winnie’s body with sobs after a particularly exquisite dance performance flowed through her body now and Joel’s tears mixed with hers as they clung to one another.
They’d experienced this several times over the course of their marriage when the passion of their lovemaking had led to mutual sobbing, pouring out their hearts to one another without words, just holding each other and never letting go.
She held him for countless minutes afterward and never wanted to let him go.