by TammyJo Eckhart
I know it isn’t the wine.
I finish off the first glass and set it on the bedside table.
It isn’t as easy as it used to be to take off my shoes and clothes, but I manage it nonetheless. My fingers tremble a bit as I unbutton my shirt. Fingers that used to be strong and firm, now wrinkled and spotted. They’ll still work.
I pour another glass after I’m down to boxers and undershirt. I sit on the edge of my bed and sip it, remembering.
Her strict Christian family threw a fit when we had announced that our wedding would be on Halloween. They had no reaction to our “Love, Honor, and Cherish” changes to the vows. Guess they didn’t want her being obedient to some freak who wasn’t sporting a crew cut. My family just wanted me to be happy.
Doreen made me happy for almost an entire year.
I down the second glass and look at the bottle for a moment. Harder liquor took her life, while this sweet juice helped me drown my sorrows on our anniversary the next day. I pour the third glass but just set it on the table as I stand to prepare the bed.
The sheets are the same, embroidered by her aunt, protected in that plastic bag because it was our wedding set. She put them on the bed before remembering she had an order to pick up at the butcher. If we had another car she might have been safe, but that was a luxury back then.
I put the sheets on exactly as she liked them, corners neat, the flowers on the outsides, the softer side down against our skin. I don’t bother with the blanket or coverlet; she’ll just toss them aside and create more work for me in the morning.
I take my undershirt off and ease out of my boxers sporting a weak erection. I could take those pills I see on TV, but that would raise questions. Has old Nicolas finally gotten a girlfriend? These days they might say boyfriend, too. I’ve been faithful, though, as faithful as Doreen has been.
Once I’m as I was born, I sit back on the bed, stretch my legs out and ease up against the pillows. The third glass seems a bit heavier than I remember, but I take it. I know from experimenting that it takes three, and it must be tonight, our anniversary celebration.
I can still hear the older children running around outside, but they’ll leave this house alone after I gave out full-sized candy bars to them and their little sisters and brothers. I learned it was worth the effort to avoid interruptions, and I’ve become handy with sales and coupons, so even though prices seem crazy, I make the investment.
As I sip the wine I can feel the air stir around me; warm and moist, it tickles up my body as she gently caresses my skin. I can feel the bed dip and hear it sigh when I am halfway through the glass. It is only once the empty vessel is on the bedside table that I see her form shimmer at the foot of the bed.
Long brown ringlets surround her heart-shaped face, hiding her eyes as she bends to mount the bed. She never says anything, but I can feel and see every move of her young beautiful form as she crawls up my aged body.
Some fools say that ghosts are cold, that they cause chills when they are in the room, but either they are lying or they aren’t dealing with the spirits of those they love. I asked her once why she was so warm and wet; she just took my hand and put it over her left breast where her heart would have been. No beat, only warmth, and I understood that love made all the difference.
“Doreen,” I whisper, and she looks up, her once blue eyes now a shining silver, before she lowers her head and takes me into her mouth. I may be old now, but it doesn’t take long for her to bring me to full attention. When I was younger she would swallow me down and I’d still be eager for more, but now she gently releases me and crawls up my body.
Her kiss is warm and soft. I just lie there and let her go at her own pace. She can touch me, but if I reach for her she is like smoke. Better to just let her do the work than feel that tug of reality and lose firmness. She trails her kisses over my neck and across my chest, tickling my nipples and getting a reaction I used to be confused by. That Internet has been a blessing, finding out about more men who like their wives in control, more men who get turned on by just lying back, finding more stories of lovers returning after death.
She looks up with a frown when that thought crosses my mind. A smile is all it takes to get her back to her kissing, and I push aside all thought to focus on my body.
She sits up and reaches between her legs to bring me into her. She is hot and ready, surrounding me, erasing all lingering doubts as I allow my eyes to close. A flick of her fingers against my stomach pulls my eyes open, locks them on hers.
Her firm handful breasts bounce as she begins to move up and down, rocking back and forth, leaning down, then arching her back. Doreen is always so playful in bed, a thrilling discovery on our honeymoon that never waned. Her stomach is slightly rounded, her legs strong, her mouth working though making no sound as she rides me. She motions with her hands, and I lift mine up to be taken in hers. While she holds them I can feel her thighs, hips, waist, and breasts as she touches her own body with mine.
I gasp as she speeds up, trailing our hands back down her body to the triangle between her legs. I can feel that hard nub beneath our fingers as she uses my hands as a toy. In a few minutes I can feel a cramp, but I remain silent, biting my lower lip so I do not disturb our pleasure. Doreen grinds down and throws her head back, breasts jutting forth, contractions pulling at my member, tugging at my balls until I’m groaning and coming inside of her.
She moves my hands and follows them up to rest beside my head, those shining eyes looking at me, her warm mouth capturing mine for a few moments. She lifts her leg and curls around me, her head on my chest, her hair tickling my nose. She smells like her favorite perfume, the one I gave her on our wedding night.
After a few minutes she starts to move, but I plead with her, “Just a little longer. Unless … can I come with you?”
She shakes her head and sits up but stays on the bed.
“I want to be with you.” She cocks an eyebrow at me and pointedly gazes down my body, then back to my face. “Always, not just one night a year. It’s been so long. How much longer do I have to wait? Please tell me.”
Doreen looks away, then raises her hand. Quickly she folds down all but two fingers, then turns into a silvery haze that drifts up through the ceiling.
I swallow and nod my head. I can wait for two, be they days, months, or years.
I get up and pull on my robe before going to drink one final glass of wine.
Find more from TammyJo Eckhart here: https://www.tammyjoeckhart.com/ and here: https://www.facebook.com/The-Worlds-of-Tammyjo-Eckhart-497503123647950/
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