- 27 -
I’ve had less than a week to prepare myself for Meg’s presence at Thanksgiving, and we’re now down to the final 24 hours before show time. For days I’ve conducted hypothetical conversations with Meg inside of my head so that I’ll be on top of my game upon her arrival. I want to make sure that I’m fully prepared for all her potential topics of discussion. I refuse to show up unprepared, because the more prepared I am, the more off guard Meg will be. I’ve narrowed down which offenses I will care about and which offenses I will not waste my breath on. If I cared about them all, then I’d lose energy quickly, and one has to maintain emotional energy when dealing with Meg.
And there’s absolutely nothing left for me to do but wait. Everything’s been done twice over already. I’ve been such an anxious mess that I joined in on the cleaning when our maid was here earlier, but I had to stop when she kindly asked me to leave her to it. I decided to organize my closet instead. When I was done with mine, I moved over to Zach’s, but then I remembered how I was mad at him and decided to leave him to organize his own damn closet. To be honest, I’m not even sure why I’m mad at him in the first place. It started about 3 days ago, and I’ve ignored his entire being ever since. On top of that, I was suffering through some bad period cramps and didn’t have the time to deal with any added stress. I’ve just been in a bad mood toward everybody lately. I can’t even blame my attitude on my mensural cycle anymore because it’s been over with for days. My family probably thinks I’ve gone mad. I feel like I’ve been running around the house acting like Faye Dunaway’s character in Mommy Dearest.
Ah yes, NOW I remember why I’m mad at Zach. He made a comment about me being in a ‘mood’. But it wasn’t just what he said, it was how he said it and what he looked like as he did. I had picked up his running shoes from the middle of the living room floor and made a comment about us having a mud room by the garage for a reason. Our mud room is bigger than a standard sized kitchen. It has numerous wooden benches with an entire wall of shelving and hooks. There’s no reason a person should walk right past the benches just to sit on the couch to remove their shoes. Zach ignored my comment as he chugged his glass of water and stripped off his sweaty running shirt.
“Uh, I said there’s a reason we have a mudroom.”
“I heard you.”
“So acknowledge what I said.”
“I will try to be better about putting my shoes away.”
But it was that chirpy smile on his face that pushed me over the edge. He had no reason to be chirpy. There I was working my ass off to prepare our home for family, and he had the audacity to be casual and nonchalant with me?
“No, you WILL be better.”
“Brooke, you realize people live here, right? It’s normal for our things to be out of place sometimes. Get off my nuts. You’ve been in a mood ever since meeting your mom for lunch.”
“Get off your nuts? Gladly! Now get off my kitchen floor. You’re dripping sweat all over it.”
Zach left to shower after that, but I wanted him to come back just so I could smack him. He did find me later to apologize, but I snuffed his attempt. Since then, I’ve made sure to sleep on my side of the bed, as far away from him as possible and with my back turned to him. Maybe I’ve gone too far, but I’ll tell you one thing- Zach hasn’t left his shoes laying around the house since that day in the kitchen.
And I’m aggravated because it seems that every time Zach is on my shit list, he automatically becomes 5x more attractive to me. Maybe it’s the chase, I don’t know. I’ve never really had to work hard to receive his affection, but I do like a good challenge. That’s why I left the bathroom door slightly cracked before stepping in the shower. And just as luck would have it, Zach walked into our bathroom right in the middle of me rinsing the shampoo out of my hair. I knew he was lingering. I also knew there was a good chance he was watching me through the mirror. We hadn’t had sex in over a week and that is pretty long in our books. I know Zach is fully capable of taking care of himself, but he’s made it very clear over the years that releasing himself is not the same as being inside of me. I had a feeling that he was aching.
I turned the water off and grabbed my robe and a towel to dry my hair. After the steam cleared, I smelled something delicious...like grilled food, and it made my stomach growl. I was so hungry. In the process of keeping myself busy, I’d been really bad about not eating food with proper nutrients. Instead, I binged on our unopened left over bags of Halloween candy. My body absolutely hated me for it and wanted something of substance. I’m so hungry that I’ll probably find myself binging on something else unhealthy while I cook dinner. It’s a bad habit I’ve gotten into.
Zach was still fiddling with something in his closet, but I walked over to my vanity and carried on with my routine like he wasn’t there. Or, tried to carry on like he wasn’t there. It was hard to do that when he walked out of his closet while pulling a clean t-shirt over his head. I didn’t dare to make eye contact in the mirror as I propped a smooth leg up on my chair to apply some lotion. I made sure it was nice and rubbed in before moving on. Moisture is very essential for the skin, you know. When I was done with my sensual lotion application, I brushed out my tangled hair and let my robe pool at my feet. I waited several long seconds before slipping my panties on over my hips and clasping my bra in the back. There was a 110% chance that Zach was watching me, so I casually strutted my half-naked self to my closet to throw on a comfy v-neck and some athletic shorts. When I was pleased with myself, I emerged from my closet and passed by Zach, who was perched halfway on my vanity with his sexy arms crossed over his sexy chest, and in my peripheral I could see his sexy head following my body as I walked out of the bathroom like his sexy ass didn’t even exist.
Man, I need to get laid.
I had every intention of cooking dinner tonight, but when I arrived in the kitchen, dinner was already set out to be served. There, in the middle of our island sat grilled hamburgers, grilled veggies and potato wedges, and a huge bowl of cut up fruit. It was Zach who had grilled, and that’s why he went into the bathroom to change his shirt. He hated smelling like the grill. My stomach let out an angry growl again, so I loaded my plate up with food, grabbed a beer from the fridge, and went to town.
Zach came in the kitchen several minutes later, but I had my back toward him. I didn’t even look at him, to be honest. I was too busy updating my clients’ charts on my laptop. Zach didn’t say anything to me anyway. I heard him fill his plate with food and grab some silverware from the drawer, but I didn’t even know he had left for his office until I heard the heavy glass doors sliding shut. I took a long drink of my beer. And then I took another one.
By the time I had the energy to get off the couch, it was already 11pm. And the only reason I hadn’t removed myself sooner was because I was too lazy to muster the strength to pull my torso forward from off of the back cushion. If I rolled my body sideways, I would encounter my empty dinner plate, an empty beer bottle and two empty pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Yes, two. I couldn’t decide which flavor I wanted, so I told myself I would eat just a little bit of both. And, well, they’re gone now. I finally just slid my body off the front of the couch like my limbs were broken, which made my shirt roll up to my neck, exposing my full belly. And boy did I look fat.
So, here I am, still sitting with my shirt rolled up to my neck, staring at my belly like I’m surprised by it’s size. But I’m not surprised, because it didn’t get here over night. It’s grown more buoyant over the last few weeks, that’s for damn sure. That’s what happens when you go in vacation and then binge on chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner the following week.
I slowly tickled the sides of my belly with my fingernails. I was so full that my sides were distended. I couldn’t even see the top of my thighs if I looked down. Hell, I couldn’t even tell if I was wearing shorts. I rolled my body to the side and pushed myself up to standing. It took me several minutes to find my balance. My upper belly felt like I had swallowed an inflated balloon. I couldn’t help but to laugh at myself as I walked to my bedroom, because I already knew how ridiculous I looked.
When I reached the stairway by the front of the house, I saw Zach still working at his computer inside of his office. Papers were stacked in huge piles around his desk, offering just enough room for his empty dinner plate to sit off to the side by the edge. He was slowly sipping away at a beer. I remained undetected though, because Zach was staring at his computer, which only exposed the left side of his body. I crouched down on the floor and watched him through the railing of our stairs. The lights were out in the front foyer, so I knew he couldn’t see me. Creepy, eh, perhaps. Depends on who you ask, and I say ‘curious’ is a better suited word.