“You’ve never considered it?”
“No, why would I?”
“I’m just confused about how you could have not is all.”
She did a quick review of the facts. He was married. He was her friend. He was her married friend, who was one of the most trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly people she had ever met. The fact that he had even considered it was mind blowing to Flora. Yet, he and apparently several other people had considered it.
“You’re ridiculous,” she said rolling her eyes.
“That was then,” he said shrugging her off, “years ago. When Rachel and I had hit that dark path. Now everyone is great. You and Frank are great. Rachel and I are great. And we were finally able to hang out. Even if it was because your lighting fixture fell from the ceiling.”
“It didn’t fall,” she said straightening out her face, “it just dropped down. It was still connected when you got here.”
“Yes,” Michael retorted, “because that’s the definition of functionality for lighting fixtures.”
Flora’s ocean colored eyes rolled back, exposing the whites of them like waves.
Michael got in his truck. Closing the door, he popped his head through the window, “we still on for lunch next week?”
“We should be, but it is your turn to cancel…”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” he said starting his truck.
Flora waved as she walked back toward her townhouse.
Flora had just turned on the coffee pot and returned to her bedroom as her alarm began going off. Always an early riser, the best part of Flora’s morning was sitting in her living room with a fresh cup of coffee working on the paper’s crossword puzzle. She looked at the table. There the paper sat, unopened and waiting.
She picked up the paper. Opened it, and folded it back. Her gaze drifted off. Flora tossed the paper back on the table. Michael had done a great job on the light. It was much better than its counterpart, the one that had been done long before she had been the homeowner. The coffee pot beeped ready.
For all of his electrical talents, Michael could be a moron. Flora shook her head as she got up from the couch and walked over to the counter. Looking up at the light she thought about what he had said the night before. Obviously, she would never and had never considered doing anything intimate with him. He was married. He had been married longer than Flora had been with Frank.
Flora reached behind her and opened the fridge. Turning on her heel she faced an empty shelf, a lonely egg, and a carton of half and half. Giving it a quick shake before opening it, Flora made sure it still smelled usable. If she remembered correctly, they had made right after the birth of Michael’s youngest child and right after Flora had met Frank. They had so much in common.
The coffee blended with the cream as Flora poured it hot from the pot. They had gotten along almost as seamlessly as her coffee and cream. In fact, Flora couldn’t remember them having a single disagreement or anything. She had pictures from all of Michael’s children on her fridge. The same way Michael and his wife had a collection of Christmas cards featuring Flora and Frank’s dogs. And of course there was the card from the year of the lonely cat.
To the amusement of everyone, Flora had brought home a blind, deaf, and slightly slow cat named Sylvia. She was hairless and a dwarf. A small handful of friends had been invited over for a little get together after her passing. Michael and Rachael surprised her not only by coming, but by bringing her a puppy. Kit, their dog, had pups a few months before. Kat, her puppy, now lived with Frank and their other two dogs. Flora loved Kit and Kat, and Michael and Rachel, and especially Frank, but she had also loved Sylvia. She hadn’t been ready to say goodbye.
Settling back onto the couch Flora thought about when she told him that Kat was going to live with Frank. Michael had taken her out for coffee to apologize. He had known it would have been too much, too soon. But Rachael had been so excited. She wondered if she should have pushed through and kept Kat at home with her. Flora waved the thought away, the same way she had waved Michael away then. Had she ever considered it? No.
But she had thought about it.
He was tall, muscular. Always a little dirty around the edges, but somehow still freshly showered. Tattoos trailed up his arms, Flora wondered if they continued up and around his shoulder, holding on and wrapping down his torso. She had wondered a lot about what he would look like without clothes on, pressed against her, with his head lined by her thighs.
Flora put her coffee mug on the coaster and slid further down onto the couch. Her hand, still warmed by the hot cup made a contrast to her chilly skin. She thought more about their conversation. The way his eyes crinkled when he laughed. The way his butt looked as he climbed up his ladder. Flora lost herself in her thoughts.
As she released her muscles and curled into the pillows that surrounded her she looked at the lighting fixture. Flora hadn’t ever considered it. But that wasn’t to say that she hadn’t thought about it.
Scooting herself against the couch until she was sitting up once more, Flora reached for her coffee and for the paper. She still had the better part of an hour before she needed to start getting ready for work. Looking down at the puzzle, Flora skimmed a few of the clues and instantly knew their answers. With a renewed excitement Flora began penciling in her answers. As she worked her way through the ACROSS clues, she felt hopeful that she could finish this one before the hour.
Flora smiled to herself. She would call Frank on her way in, and they could confirm their date night plans. The hecticity of the week had slowed, and she was looking forward to catching up on a few odds and ends for her job. Her light was fixed and she had lunch plans with her dear friend. Flora loved her life, her partner, her friends, and her job. It was definitely going to be a good day.