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Wet Between the Cheeks (Page 2)

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

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Your mom smiled as the wind ran through her hair. Doug looked back down at his watch. “I wish I could stay there with you,” he said. “It’s just…”

“I know,” she said. “I understand.” She rested her head on his shoulder. “Do you think Liz is as good at-“

“Not a chance,” he said, interrupting her ludicrous thought.

She smiled. His shoulder was like her rock. She felt safe. She felt desired. She felt like she was in her thirties. And she felt like that was a good thing.

When they stopped at a red light, she bit his shoulder playfully, then looking down, she noticed something. “Oh,” she said, wryly. “Back up for more.”

He looked over at her, and her hand came down and began massaging his hardening cock through his pants. He began looking around, as nervous in the face as he was clearly excited in the pants. She unzipped and pulled out his cock, which sat three-quarters hard in her hand.

“Someone’s gonna see,” he said. “Don’t.”

She played with it as she looked at him. Then she looked off into the distance. It was getting dark. “Just pull up behind there,” she said and pointed at an empty single-story office building with its own parking lot that snaked around the back.

He looked at his watch, and then he said “okay,” and stepped on the gas at the green light.

When they parked, your mom continued to play with his cock. “My little friend,” she said.

“Little?!” he responded.

She laughed. “Little compared to us,” she explained. “But big still.”

“The biggest you’ve ever seen?” he asked, looking over with a mischievous smile.

She looked down at it. “Ummm,” she giggled again. “Definitely the nicest.”

“Ughh,” he said. “Okay, I’ll take it. You hear that little guy. You’re the nicest.” His cock moved up and down in her palm as she played with it.

He looked back at his watch, bit his bottom lip, then back down at his hard cock.

She brushed her hair back and knelt down to give its head a few licks. Then she brought her head back up. “Get up,” she said.


“Get up.”

“What do you mean?”

“Just get up. There’s something I need to do.”

He began to lift himself, then he stopped. “What?”

“Oh, nothing too exciting,” she said. “I just need to return the favor.

She grabbed him under his ass and pushed him upwards. “Lean over that way,” she said, motioning at the window with her head.

He did what she said, semi-reluctantly, until everything below his shoulders sat in the car, his ass within facing her, with his shoulders and head hanging outside in the breeze.

And then he felt his pants coming down, her fingers sliding against his skin as she dragged them, tickling him in the process.

His underwear went too, so that now his ass was presented naked to her, with his testicles hanging below like ripe fruit.

He felt exposed. But when she asked “you ready,” he responded, with a severe seriousnessness: “Yes.”

He felt her tongue sliding in between his two cheeks and he groaned.

For the next ten or so minutes, her tongue met flush against every inch of his skin, from the back of his ballsack, up through his crack, which sat between the two cheeks that she occasionally kissed, all the way up to the small of his back. His butthole was massaged by her pointed tongue.

“You taste so good,” she said, as she jerked him off. “How does it feel?”

“Good,” was all he said. He stared down at the pavement as he felt himself pampered by her wet mouth. Every inch of him a fascinating inch, which she mulled over and examined with her lips and tongue. Tasting his ass. Loving it like she had longed for it for as much and as long as he longed for hers. The subtle kaleidoscope of flesh tones and hairs, and the way each cheek gave against her lips. The way each cheek massaged her face as her tongue massaged his butthole.

She had a thought that caused her to retract her tongue for the purpose of speaking it. “He would hate to see this.”

“He would,” he said, still staring at the darkening pavement below.

She laughed a devilish laugh and said “me munching on his best friend’s ass,” and then leaned forward and continued to live up to that statement.

When she unleashed her tongue, began kissing his lower back, and, in between kisses, suggested they get into the backseat, he looked down at his watch and was about to insist he didn’t have time. But when she awkwardly, not knowing the name for it, described what he knew to be a 69, he conceded.

He looked at his watch again, as they both walked on either side of the car to the backseat.

“I get the top,” your mom said as they both climbed in.

“I like that idea,” he said, stoically. And they both pulled their pants down to their ankles, freeing their wild selves again for eachother.

As Doug looked into the ass above him, which raised off of and dropped back onto his face, he wanted to cry into it. Instead he ate it passionately. Your mom worked on his cock with equal passion, also licking between his thighs and testicles, kissing his belly, and even crawling down the seat, depriving his mouth of her ass, and sucking on his toes, until sliding back so she could feel his tongue in her ass, and his cock in her mouth.

When she began to cum on his face, he began to cum in her mouth. He let the liquid spill all over him, drinking it as it came. Your mom swallowed his cum after she knew she had all of it on her tongue. She wanted it inside her. She massaged his balls and his inner thighs with her hands as his cock went soft. And he sat there in your mom’s wetness, not believing the situation he had found himself in, her liquid on his skin as real as anything else.

He looked back at his watch. “Okay,” he said. “I really have to go now.”

Her head was resting on his thigh. “Okay,” she said.

“That was great,” he said, to which she smiled as she stared off into space.

She lifted her head as he got up, and they both got dressed, and they got into the front seat, him from outside the car and her from within it, crawling into the passenger seat.

Doug began to pull tissues from a packet in his center console and he began wiping his face and neck. He looked over at her. “You need one?”

“No,” she said. “I’m good. You know, I don’t think anyone is going to notice while you’re driving. Even if they do. I don’t think they’ll know what it is.” She laughed.

He continued as if he hadn’t heard her. After he was done, he looked her face over, and began cleaning her chin.

“My husband isn’t home you know,” she said.

“Oh,” he said. “Okay.” And he balled up the tissue and put it back in his center console. “That’s right, he’s out for the weekend. I forgot.”

“With you know who,” she said.

“Yeah,” he said. “I forgot.”

When they drove out from behind the building and back onto the road, it was dark outside.

Your mom took in the night air. It smelled fresher tonight. As if its breezes ran through heavier bouquets of flower and over sweeter bodies of water.

As Doug pulled onto your street, your mom was surprised to see it all looked the same. It was as if the sudden shock of everything that had happened today would have knocked it all out of place, even at this distance. But it was all there, as it had been left.

When they both pulled up to the house, and the car came to a stop, she turned over and leaned in to kiss him. He pulled back nervously.

She looked into his eyes.

“I don’t want your neighbor’s to see,” he said.

“Ah,” she said, and grinned. She leaned back. “Good call. I’ll accept it.”

He had lost much of his recent sure-headedness, a fact which tickled her, just knowing that she had emptied him of all his powers. She found it all so adorable, and it filled her with anticipation for the next time they would meet, however long it would be, when that part of him would regain in strength.

“Do you want to do this tomorrow?” she asked. “I have to pick up my son from his grandma’s in the evening, but I’ll be free all day.”

He looked at her. And suddenly she could see a smile forming in the darkness. “I’d like that,” he said. “I’d like it a lot.”

She reached over and found his crotch in the darkness and squeezed it. And she smiled to herself when she proved with her fingers that it was half hard again. “Okay,” she said. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“I’ll see you then,” he said, still smiling in the darkness, his eyes obscured by shadow.

She got out and began walking down her drive, floating on air. She looked back at him, and only saw his silhouette framed by his car window. She turned around and continued, knowing where he was looking, and she let it sway for him as she continued to the empty and silent husk that was her home.

She took one last look at his silhouette from her doorway, before stepping inside and closing the door.

She took a deep and satisfying breath. She stood in the darkness and she began humming to herself. It was an old song from the eighties. She forgot by who. She stepped inside and kicked off her boots. She felt for her keys, remembered that she didn’t have any, and then she laughed.

“You idiot,” she said as she stepped deeper into the darkness of the house. “Save it for tomorrow.” She took another step. “Save if for Dou-“

The lights suddenly flashed on, to which your mom flinched, and just as suddenly, and many times more frighteningly, like nothing she had ever seen before, even through the blinding light, she saw thirty or so faces pop up from behind her couches and walls.

It was as if she saw them rising from behind those obscuring bodies in slow-motion, and she stood there, having no choice but to witness it, her body in slow-motion itself.

Suddenly, time caught up with its usual pace, just as the sea of faces all screamed as if animated by one.


Your mom froze. When her eyes adjusted, she realized she recognized every face there. Not one excepted. The familiarity of each face as ubiquitous as their extended smiles. They were the faces of her friends and her family, and behind and around them she saw balloons, which floated about, almost face-like themselves, and a banner hung on the dining room wall which said “Happy 30th Birthday.”

And then last of all, she turned her head to recognize one face above all others. The face she was more familiar with than her own. The face she woke up to every morning, and the last face she saw before she fell asleep every night in bed. Your dad smiled at her with a surplus of excitement and pride. “Hey baby!” he said. His voice was almost entirely drowned out by the cheers and laughter. So he spoke louder. “Happy 30th birthday!” He leaned down and began to push on something behind the couch with both his hands. Your mom glared, her mouth hanging open, even as the crowd addressed her with happy words, she remained silent.

“Go on,” he said, and he smiled playfully toward the ground. “Do it, come on.” From behind the other end of the couch you appeared, running at full speed, with your fists clenched. And when you made it halfway between the mob and your mother, you threw up your hands, to which confetti was propelled up into the air in a joyous cloud, and fell back down onto the ground around you, as indiscriminately in shape and placement as raindrops. “Happy Birthday mom!”

Your mom glared down at you.

You ran up and grabbed her waist and hugged her, to which everyone ooh’d. She put her hands on your shoulders slowly and looked up at your dad. “You planned this?” she asked. Her mouth dry.

“Yeah,” he said, and pointed over with his upturned palm to the opposite end of the room. Your mom followed the trajectory of his arm and standing behind the other couch, partial darkness behind her, stood another familiar face. This time it belonged to a woman. The face smiled back at your mom with a hint of uncharacteristic shyness. “Me and Liz,” your dad continued. “We’ve been planning it for months.”

Your mom stood there, you below clutching her tightly, excited for her moment.

“You and… Liz? You were… planning for…”

“You know,” he said. “I was worried you were starting to figure it out. I’ve been constantly ‘working late’ and I haven’t had time for anything lately. But I guess I didn’t have to be worried. You look like you’ve just seen a ghost, babe.”

She blinked as she stood there, unable to move otherwise. Until she heard the sound of the door opening behind her, and she turned around to see Doug stepping in. His face was red, and he looked down at the ground as he moved.

As your mom looked at him, her features petrified into a dumbfounded gaze, from behind her, she heard “And Doug helped too. We couldn’t have done it without him. We needed someone to distract you while we got ready.”

She looked at Doug, who looked up at the crowd and smiled. “It was nothing,” he said. “You guys did the planning.”

She glared at him, but he looked down and up, but never at her. His grin, though partially that of someone nervous, evoked something more. Starting at his hairline, a bead of sweat slowly dripped down the side of his face.

Your mom felt your dad’s hand on her shoulder. She turned around.

“You didn’t notice that Liz’s car was fine when you drove it?” he asked, smiling at her. “We were worried that you’d wonder about that. You didn’t notice?”

“No,” she said.

Your dad locked her into a passionate kiss, to which she stood there with her eyes open, barely blinking, just looking at his face, with both his eyes closed, up close.

Liz rounded the couch and approached her sister. “Thank God, sis. I thought I almost ruined it ten or eleven times now.”

Your dad pulled back and looked at your mom’s face lovingly. Your mom slowly looked over at her sister. And she stared at her, silently.

“I can’t believe it worked. I’ve never worked so hard for anything in my life,” she said. Jonathan stood by the couch, watching. “I can’t believe I somehow pulled a fast one on you. You’re like a detective the way you pick up on things, you know? You know how hard it was for me to not say anything to anyone? Even by accident?”

Doug came in through her peripherals, past Liz and he disappeared wilfully into the crowd as if he wasn’t one of the primary actors in the wonder of your mom’s surprise.

The only part of him conspicuous above the group, that little turn in his grin. The turn that was at odds with the spirit of the room. He stood among friends and among family. And he looked at the floor. His face still red, and the turn in his mouth ever-present. His eyes almond-shaped in a reminiscence, a sight that existed within the spirit of the room, but parallel to it as well. Everyone else, looked at your mom, or at eachother in words of kindness and laughter, smiling.

“How does it feel to be thirty, sweetheart?”

Your mom looked over at your dad, beaming at her, pupils big and black as he looked into her eyes and pulled her closer.

“She hasn’t aged a day?” said Liz. “It’s those good genes we have.”

“I know,” he said. “She looks the same as on the first day I met her.”

He smiled at her, and he leaned in closely. “You big dummy,” he said, teasingly. “You really thought I forgot your birthday? How could I? If I ever do, you have permission to stab me in the back with the largest knife you can find.” He leaned in and began kissing her mouth, much to the delight of onlookers. As he did, Doug stood behind the crowd, almost behind everybody, rodent-like, looking down at the ground with that turn in his grin, and his almond shaped eyes glowing demonically in memory. He looked up at the happy couple, and he grinned.

Your dad’s tongue entered your mom’s mouth, and it swirled around, as if it were fishing for something. Your mom stood there, feeling it spiral about. Eventually, his tongue swung around and caught hers, lifting it from the base of her mouth, and as she felt it swing around, and pull back along the underside of hers, it reached the tip, both tips pressing into each other now. Your mom’s eyes went wide as everyone hollered in applause.

The dining room, living room and kitchen all smelled of liquor now, and your mom stood in her crowded and noisy home holding a plastic cup. On all sides of her she saw smiling faces, engaging in, or listening intently to, conversations, the tone of all of them being light and to inspire good humor. Your mom scanned over every face, until she saw one that looked quite like her own.

Liz stood on the other side of the room, cup carelessly hanging by its rim hooked by her middle finger and thumb. She was standing in between two muscular bodies. Both looking down at her as they spoke, attraction in their eyes, but Liz didn’t seem to notice, and she spoke on to the two of them as if she were talking to a neighbor or aquaintence.

Your mom heard someone talking, even over the cacophony of voices that surrounded her. “Will you look at that body.”

Your mom looked over to see Jimbob sitting down at the dining room table. Across from him sat Doug. Doug turned to look and saw Liz standing there. He eyed her body, and then shook his head suddenly as if shaking off a thought and took another drink. “You eyeing the birthday girl’s sister?” he asked wryly.

“Well what else am I supposed to do. Go up and talk to her? It looks like she has her plate full. Which one do you think will take her home, by the way?”

Doug didn’t even bother to look over. He just swallowed the rye and coke that was in his mouth. As he grimaced, he said quietly “hopefully both,” and he set his cup down onto the table.

“Now we’re talking!” said Jimbob. “What I wouldn’t give to be with a woman like that.”

“I have her car at my garage,” said Doug. “Do you want to come by tomorrow. I can leave you alone with its driver’s seat for a few minutes.”

Jimbob laughed. “No, but really,” he said. “Could you imagine what it would be like to spend some quality time with a woman like that?”

Your mom couldn’t see Doug’s face from behind, but she could feel that turn in his smile when he said “I don’t have to imagine.”

“What do you mean?” Jimbob asked.

Doug shrugged.

“You mean… don’t tell me you…”

“Not with Liz.”

Jimbob sat back rolling his eyes. “I knew you weren’t serious.”

“I was being serious. You said a woman like that. This one was better.”




Doug lifted his drink to his face. Your mom glared at the back of his head. He was looking in the direction of the wall that gave him so much grief. He set his cup back down. “A few days ago.”


Your mom felt a hand on her shoulder.

She turned over to see her friend standing there. “Hello beautiful!” she said. “I’m sorry for being late, but I had to come eventually.” She leaned in and whispered “Roger was busy polishing his Smith Carbine.” She leaned back out, and then stopped mid-motion, and leaned forward again. “And I wish that was euphemism.” She leaned back out again and stood there.

Your mom faked a smile. “Hello,” she said.

Her husband stood next to her. He was round and bald and jolly in the face. “Happy Birthday,” he said, and lifted his cup slightly.

“So, how does it feel being thirty?” your mom’s friend asked.

She placed her hand on the small of your mom’s back.

“Umm” your mom began, looking down at a random smattering of feet in the living room.

“You barely notice, I’m guessing. Not that it matters to you. You fell into the fountain of youth five years ago.” She took a sip.

Your mom looked at her, then back down at the ground. She felt her friend’s hand rubbing the small of her back. Her husband stood there and took another drink.

She looked over your mom’s shoulder and saw Liz standing between two men, and your mom could see the flicker in her eyes as she had.

She looked back at your mom, “I can’t believe how good looking the two of you are.” She nodded her head over to her point of comparison. “you and your sister I mean. Of course you’re the better looking of the two.” She leaned in close, not to whisper, but for effect. “Your husband is a lucky man.”

Your mom smiled. Her friend’s hand hung dangerously low.

“Is Liz…” she started and stopped, with an inquisitive, coyly probing tone.

Your mom looked at her friend. “Is Liz…?”

“Is Liz seeing anybody special?”

Your mom stood there, looking into her friend’s sparkling eyes. Your mom’s face blank. She looked down at her hands. “No.” She shook her head. “She’s not seeing any one.”

“Oh,” her friend said, and she looked down and smiled to herself. She took a sip. Still looking down, she said “does she still work at Luccia’s?”

Your mom nodded, not looking.

“Huh,” she said. “I need to talk to her about something then.”

Your mom felt her friend’s hand fall from her body, and her and her trailing husband walked passed her.

“So did you eat it?”

Your mom stood there, looking down at the ground, not turning to see the source of the hushed voice. Knowing which conversation it came from. She had missed quite a bit, but she was alert now for the encore.

“You’re darn right I did.”

“Oh, that’s the best.”

“It was great. But you want to know what else?”


There was a moment of silence before the next word. Your mom stood there, familiar forms brushing passed her, silent.

“She ate mine.”

Your mom shut her eyes.

“Holy cow! Now that’s what I’m…” he stopped himself and re-began at a lower volume. “That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about.”

Your mom went to go walk off, but she was stopped immediately by the sight of her mother.

“Where are you headed, sweety?”

Your mom smiled and looked down, holding the crook of her right arm with the hand of her left.

“So,” she said, and wrapped her hands around your mom’s shoulders. “My little girl is thirty-years old.” She smiled into your mom’s eyes. “I never thought I’d see the day.”

Your mom breathed in and shifted her weight. “Thanks for watchi…”

“It’s my pleasure,” she said, clutching your mom tightly. “Anything to be with my grandsons. By the way, do you mind if I take him back tonight. He says he wants to stay with me all weekend. Jonathan will be there too.”

“Of course, mom,” she said.

“Wonderful,” your grandma said. “Wonderful.” She looked over across the room at your dad, and then she looked back at your mom and leaned in with a smile. “Besides, it’ll give you and the hubby some personal time with eachother.” She rubbed your mom’s right shoulder. “Lord knows you deserve it.”

Your mom looked down into blank space, with a slight, barely sturdy grin.

“You know,” your grandma started. “You two remind me of me and Charles. To a tee.”

Your mom’s eyes were wide as she breathed in and out, slowly.

“First of all, you’re both so good looking.” She giggled to herself. “But… just the way he looks at you. See?”

Your mom looked up, and followed her mom’s gaze towards your dad, who was admiring her from afar as if it was the first time they had ever met. Your mom looked back down again.

“That’s exactly the way Charles looked at me. From day one, until the day that he moved on to the next world. And sometimes…” she stopped herself, and nodded her head as if to give herself permission to continue. “Sometimes it’s like I can feel him looking at me like that from there too. Exactly like on the first day that we met.”

Your mom looked up at your grandma, who then looked up at her and smiled. She grabbed your mom from around her back and pulled her in for a hug.

“You too will have many more years with eachother,” she said, with eyes clenched. “And it’s going to be paradise with every one.”

Your mom’s eyes were open, and she stared at the photograph on the wall.

Your grandma squeezed her extra hard for a second, and then let her go.

“Okay, beautiful,” she said. “Now I gotta go talk to Liz and ask her how she pulled all of this off without screwing up.”

Your mom stood there, staring at that frozen moment on the mantle. It had been captured in amber only a year ago.

Suddenly, she feels something rush passed in front of her. She looks down to see you chasing your cousin in a game of tag. “Slow down, guys,” she says. And she watches the two of you weaving through guests, some laughing, others bending themselves out of their way, struggling to not spill their drinks.

They both keep running, until your cousin passes by your dad. Your dad kneels down quickly and grabs you under the arms, lifting you into the air with a ‘Arrrgggg” and smile.

You laugh as you are lifted. And he kisses you on the cheek and sets you down. He laughs as you run off, and then he catches a familiar tone of gold in his sights, and he looks up to see your mom’s face framed in her golden hair. He eyes big and her hand grabbing the crook of her opposite arm. She looks back at him, and stands there, motionless.

A loud and wet sound can be heard, and everyone looks over to see that Liz spilled her drink. As the eyes of various men (and one woman) fix themselves on Liz as she bends down to grab her now-empty cup, your father, barely noticing, stares into your mom’s eyes.

He smiles.

Behind your mom, Doug sits with his arm on the back of his chair, looking towards her, his eyes, almond-shaped and glazy, looking at her backside, reminiscing to a recent memory, as pure and ethereal as a dream he once had. And as he sits there looking, he presses his tongue through the pressure of his two lips.

“Where’d she go?”

“I don’t know, but when I find her, I’m taking her home.”

“Fuck you, man,” he said drunkenly. “She doesn’t want you. Couldn’t you tell? Did you see the way she was looking at me?”

“No, man. You’re just imagining things. She’s coming with me.”

As Jimbob came out of the front door and wobbled down the steps, one of them turned to him and asked “Hey, have you seen Liz anywhere?”

“Yeah,” he said. “Why?”

“She’s been eyeing me,” said the other one.

“Shut up,” the other said back at him. He turned to face Jimbob. “I just wanted to give her a ride is all.”

“Someone already beat you to it,” said Jimbob.

“What!?” said the other one. “Who?”

“That woman that kept pinching Liz’s butt.”

The two men both stood there, one of them struggling to stand. “I fucking knew it!”

Jimbob laughed as he walked passed them, heading a block east where he parked his car where your mom couldn’t see it coming home, just as your dad and Liz had instructed him to.

Your grandmother had fallen asleep on the couch and she snored as guests filtered out through the front door. Doug was moving back and forth between the dining room and the kitchen, each time with more cups and plates in his hands.

“Well it looks like you had a fun time tonight,” somebody said as they passed him.

“I guess I did,” he said, with a little grin.

Your mom stood against your doorframe and watched as your dad read you a story about King Arthur with the lamp next to your bed.

As she heard the house get quiet, she turned around and went down the hallway.

The dining room was spotless, as if nobody had been there that night, but the occasional remnants of a balloon or napkin on the ground dispelled that impression. Your mom saw your grandma laying eyes-closed on the couch alone, and she looked at the ground and took in a deep breath. Then she went over to the portrait on her wall by the fireplace.

She had never seen a more happier man.

She heard something behind her.

She turned around to see Doug at the front door, putting on his shoes.

When he noticed her, he looked up at her. They both stood there at a distance, saying nothing.

He smiled.

She turned and looked away.

Her husband, with his big arms and his big body, sat in the photo, content. She remembered that night. They couldn’t get Liz to babysit because she had a date of her own, so they got Doug instead. On the car-ride back to pick you up, your dad tried to get your mom to have sex with him in the backseat, but she, despite the heaven of his kisses against her neck, thought better of it.

After they picked you up from a blushing Doug, they brought you home. Your mom lied in bed, looking at the wall, listening to your dad as he read you a story about the dog who tried to steal a bone from his reflection in the river. Your mom listened patiently as the story went on, waiting for you to fall asleep, and for your dad to come to her. But before he could finish, she closed her eyes. And when she did, she found sleep.

Your mom took a deep breath, examining the photo. The smile on her face. Just how happy she was, living in a world where she had nothing to regret. And the silence of the moment, and the contemplation that came with it, was yanked from her when a hand came down against her right buttcheek and she shrieked, spinning around, first in shock, but quickly with anger to meet his eyes.

Instead the set of eyes she saw there were her husbands.

He looked down at her butt. “30-years old. It just keeps getting better every year,” he said, and felt it in his palm.

Your grandma started to stir on the couch.

“Mommy! Daddy!”

You came out of the darkness of the hallway and looked at them groggily in your pajamas.

“Oh, are you up again? Why don’t you go back to sleep, champ?”

“I heard a noise,” you said, rubbing your eyes.

“It’s alright little man. Just go back to sleep.”

You stood there, silently, still rubbing.

“Tell you what,” your dad said. “You go back and lay in bed, and I come and read you another story.”

You stood there for another moment. Then you rubbed your eyes again. “Okay,” you said. And you turned around and left into the darkness.

Your dad looked at your mom and smiled. “I’ll just tuck him in, and then after that we can have some quality time. Sounds good?”

Your mom nodded her head. “Sounds good,” she said.

He kissed her on the cheek. “I’ll meet you at HQ in Oh-two-hundred hours.”

He turned around and left, disappearing into the darkness of the hall.

Your mom looked at the emtpy shadow. Then she looked over at the front door.

There was nobody there. The only extra pair of shoes were your grandma’s.

Your mom stood there in the moment, and she heard the lamp in your room click on, and your dad began reading to you softly.

Your mom walked with the crook of her right arm in the fingers of her left hand, and she went towards the back door. She closed the door behind her, and she stood on the black patteo, looking out into the night.

The crickets chirped and she could smell the garden from where she stood, just like she could on every other night. For ten years nothing had changed, and tonight was no different. Inside the house, your eyes got heavy to the timbre of your dad’s voice as he softly read to you. Just as he would do every other night before tucking you in. And the house would be filled with the sleep of the three of you. And the moon would scale the sky and sink beyond the horizon, as the sun came up in the morning. Just as it always was.

Nothing was different. Everything had been left as it was. Everything identical and preserved in its right place.

It was as if nothing had ever happened. And your mom could live believing that, had it not been for the strange taste in her mouth and the uncomfortable wetness between her cheeks.

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