The Consent

“I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the world.” – The Stranger, Albert Camus

I pulled a large shirt over my naked frame. The moment of vulnerability had passed and I knew what steps we were about to follow. As I continue to clothe myself my eyes flit around the room.

The empty condom wrapper is on the side table, its edges moving slightly in the wind created by a fan. My comforter is not really messed up at all. This does not surprise me since there was not much foreplay and he finished quickly.

When was the last time I dusted?

My eyes rested a moment on my sweatshirt before I pulled it on. This always felt better. None of my curves are visible.

“You’re…um you’ll throw that out right?” I motion to the used condom in his hand. He has only managed to pull his boxers onto his small frame. I feel impatient even though I know it is unfair.

Thinking on what had just happened between us quickly eradicates my guilt for wanting him to leave.

When I look at his face he is staring at me oddly. “What?”

“Of course I’m gonna throw this shit out. Why the fuck wouldn’t I?” He has a hint of harsh laughter in his voice.

Shrugging I grab the wrapper and leave the room. Looking at him is too exhausting at this point and his scent is clogging my nostrils. While in the kitchen I flip on the kettle for tea. The stove clicks as the gas lights. A circle of flames reach around the middle of the eye. A small sunset of colors flares. I pull open a cabinet in search of a cup.

My mind and stomach start to churn in a sickening way. As questions and doubts come unbidden, my fingers wrap around the cold ceramic of a cup.

I pause and inhale deeply before placing the deep blue cup on the counter. Next I ready the tea pot and loose leaf. Even without the hot water added yet there is a pungent smell of spice and leaves drifting from the strainer.

“God. What’s that?”

Starting slightly I turn to him. A smile creeps on my face as I see that he is dressed. He smiles in return, oblivious to my thoughts.

“It’s tea.” I pick up the kettle and shake it a little. A high pitched slosh. I add more water to it before returning it to the eye. Quickly condensation builds on the metal sides.

“That’s too much effort. I mean, what the hell is half of that?” There are still a few beads of sweat on his hairline. I smirk at the irony.

“There is going to be an issue if you don’t know what a coffee cup is.” I try to make sure my voice isn’t too level. “Anyway…umm, so, I have to go somewhere soon so…” I let my eyes dart to the door and back.

“Cool, okay. Well, it was good to see you. You should hit me up again.” He is checking his pockets for his keys and wallet so he doesn’t notice my nod. My silence causes him to look up and stare at me.

I smile, remembering how his green eyes were the first things I ever noticed about him.

“We don’t talk enough forreal.” He says as I open the door for him. I feel how warm he is and allow us to linger like that before saying bye.

As the water comes to a boil I pour it over the dried tea leaves. Smells erupt with the steam.

Flipping the eye to the stove off I think of how he and I haven’t kissed in months.