My phone is vibrating in my pocket and I let it buzz. On the screen is Cora’s naked body covered in long kelp. She’s standing in a pool of ketchup which is smeared up her legs and around her crotch and over her kelped breasts. Last night’s moonlit escapade. I feel hard. I feel brittle. I feel pain. Am I here to have sex with her? I steal a look at her, she is intent on the film with her lips slightly pouted, pushed together in a plump kiss of concentration.
“This bit is probably my favourite,” Cora says as virtual Cora bends forwards and splashes the ketchup, if ketchup can be said to splash, around her. Some splatters on the camera, “That camera splodge was entirely unintentional, but it really works doesn’t it? Femininity right up in your face. Couldn’t have worked better.”
I nod. Her leg presses against mine and I feel like I want to wet myself. Opening and closing my mouth does nothing, no sound comes out only this dry croaking which I hope she can’t hear although her eyes are watching me so maybe she can. I hope she takes it as I am blown away by her artistry. I’m not. I just want to touch her.
“What’d you think?” she asks.
“That’s it? I invite you over, Mr. Writer, and that’s all I get? ‘Very good?’” it’s mocking but she sounds hurt. The whimper in her voice is tantalising.
I just to have move. I just have to move my hand. My hand. Just a little. Closer, “The ketchup. The ketchup is a nice touch. I like how. How. How viscous it is.”
My hand moves inches towards her knee. She doesn’t notice.
“Viscous. I like that word,” she says smiling, appeased by the wordsmith, “do you want to see another?”
She stands up and crosses to the television and when she bends over in front of the screen the line of her underwear is visible beneath the fabric of her trousers, “This one is a bit older. No nakedness this time. No seaweed or ketchup or either. Actually this one is pretty normal. Considering,” she says, talking to herself.
She sits down and presses play on the remote, as she settles down next to me her leg rubs against mine. Her arm touches my arm. It is only a small sofa. I cannot resist. I can’t. I reach out and touch her knee. She recoils instantly and jumps up. I can’t look at her and I don’t think she is looking at me. The warmth of her knee. I. My insides. Rapid tingling pain. It hurts to move. Every movement. Hurts.
“I think you should leave,” she says, standing up and staring out of the window. I reach out and try to touch her again and she shouts, “Get out!”
I back towards the door and say “Insurance. Sorry. I’ll get you. I’ll get you insurance,” and leave. I don’t look back.