Chapter 25

Corey’s car is in my rear view mirror the entire drive home. For a moment I ask myself, “What are you doing?” but the thought is overcome by that floaty, out-of-body feeling I get sometimes. From here on out, I’m both audience and actor in a disconnected state.

I park in the driveway, but Corey does not pull in next to me. Instead, he parks down the block. It occurs to me that we can no longer be seen alone together outside of the hospital. Sex most certainly does change friendship between men and women.

Instead of entering through the garage as usual, I let Corey and myself in through the front door, conscious that the neighbors may be watching. Then I remember, “I’m divorced.”

Corey breaks the silence. “Nice house.”

“Thank you. It’s rented,” I don’t know why I think it’s important to announce this. “Come on back to the kitchen. I’ll fix breakfast.” I have no idea how to do this.

I put a pan on the stovetop. Then I place a bowl on the counter, and crack a few eggs into it. “What are you doing?” I chide myself. “He’s not here for omelets!”  Despairing, I viciously beat the eggs with a whisk.

Corey rises from the stool and stands behind me. His arms encircle my waist. He places small, warm kisses on the back of my neck. I continue to beat the eggs fiercely, but he presses the length of his body against my back, taking the whisk from my hand, and pushing away the bowl. His hands go up my scrub top, and lightly run across my breasts before unhooking my bra. I turn into Corey, and our mouths connect.

With our bodies locked, we stumble towards the kitchen table. Corey knocks my tote bag off of it. Then I’m lying on my back, with Corey kissing me and our hands are everywhere.

“Where’s your bedroom, Niki?” he murmurs into my ear.

Half naked, I lead him by the hand to the bedroom, where again, I’m struck with doubt. I haven’t been with a man except Simon for years.

Corey slips what’s left of my clothing to the floor, then pauses to take me in. My doubt melts away for the appreciation on his face. He pulls me close. “You’re beautiful Niki,” he whispers in my ear.

I lay on the unmade bed while Corey undresses. He’s perfect: broad shoulders, and a six-pack. I didn’t know they make nurses like him.

Corey slides into bed next to me.

Corey is above me. He kisses the small scar of my c-section. My hands are on his shoulders. Out of nowhere, I think of a dumb thing I read about nurses being the best lovers because we are so knowledgeable of the human body.

“Oh yeah,” I moan agreement towards the ceiling.