This is not a hot sex story.

They sat silently in their apartment, both half watching TV and half engrossed in their phones. He went into the kitchen to check on dinner, then made his way to the window where he proceeded to close it and draw the blinds. She knew what was coming next. “We’ve got a little time before dinner is ready, you wanna…” He motioned towards the bed without coming near her or actually using the word “sex.” He never did. He always asked as if it were a bad word.

 

She quickly thought about how long it had been since the last time they had sex and muttered “sure,” unenthusiastically in return. He threw his clothes off and sat eagerly on the bed waiting for her. She stood slowly and took her clothes off of herself uncomfortably while he just watched and waited. He pulled her into him and began to kiss her, moving back slowly as he did so, prompting her to move with him and on top of him. They began to kiss, passionately; this was her favorite part of foreplay, the initial connection. It usually started with her wishing that he had taken charge, initiated more romantically, seemed interested in getting her going first, but that being said, she wasn’t initiating it either so she didn’t want to ask for too much.

 

“Rub your hands down my body.” He whispered into her ear, leaving a trail of kisses back to her lips. He reached his arms over his head and laid out, enjoying each touch and eagerly waiting the next movement. A sigh would escape his lips occasionally, encouragement for her to keep going. Watching him take pleasure in the way she touched his body brought her more confidence, she kissed and stroked with growing authority. She reached down between their bodies to touch him more intimately to which he barked “no!” without explanation. His tense body relaxed quickly as he laid his head back down waiting for her to continue.

 

She felt embarrassed and confused though. She struggled to kiss his chest and lowered herself further to mask what she thought might be tears coming. She tried to breathe deeply to fight them off. Why would he bark at me? She kept asking herself obsessively, unable to focus on anything else. He gently pushed her head down to where he wanted it be, it was the first time he had touched her in minutes. Reluctantly and unexcitedly she took him into her mouth. “Look at me,” he demanded.

 

She shook her head ‘no’. It was a little too porn star for the mood she was in. he said it again, “Please baby, look at me while you’re doing that.” Her frustration grew. She ignored the request and continued. But couldn’t help but wonder if he even enjoyed it since she wasn’t listening. “Babe, please.” He repeated for a third time.

 

She stopped and looked right into his eyes, “No.” For lack of wanting to kiss him on the lips again, she took her time making her way back to his mouth. When their lips found each other again, he flipped her over and went right down to between her legs. “No, it’s okay, I am not in the mood for that.” She ran her fingers through his hair and rubbed his back, trying to pull him back up to her. He resisted and instead decided to kiss her thighs and around her sex to convince her that she wanted more.

She sighed out of frustration. She couldn’t even think about what he was doing, because she wished they were touching and kissing and not forcing this to happen. He dipped between her legs again, she tensed; he mistook this action for pleasure. “See, I thought you said you weren’t in the mood.” He smiled and it upset her.

 

“I’m not, you can stop now.” She pulled him back. He pecked her lips a few more times before reaching for a condom. He struggled to put it on and by the time he had it, he had lost his erection. He tried to enter her a few times before giving up, then angrily got off the bed and left the room, leaving her there naked by herself without explanation.

 

She didn’t move. She waited for him to comeback before she began to redress. He pulled her back onto the bed and laid his head on her chest. “I want sex to be better. I want to feel like you’re into it.” He expressed. “I don’t know what to do, because I am the only one who ever initiates.”

 

In her head she was getting angrier with each word. She wouldn’t consider pointing to the bed while closing the blinds initiating. She wouldn’t consider watching her undress herself while he sits and waits initiating. She wouldn’t think that yelling “no” at her without explanation leads to good sex. She didn’t believe that needing to tell your partner “no” multiple times to the same sex act during foreplay would lead to good sex. “Well you barked at me and embarrassed the hell out of me and then asked me multiple times to do something I had already said ‘no’ to. I don’t know what you want you want from me.”

 

“I knew the second I asked you to look at me it was over.” He griped.

 

“Why did you ask two more times after that then?”

 

“I don’t know. I just want this to be more fun. I want our sex life to be better. Don’t you? I want to talk about what we like and want more.”

 

Communication and understanding is what he wanted? This confused her. She had been yelled at and she had told him no more times than she should have to different things. What wasn’t she communicating? She had listened to his “no,” maybe if he had listened to hers she would have been a little more free and comfortable to enjoy sex. However, instead of saying that to him, she mumbled, “Yeah, I want it to be better.” And stared at the ceiling as he rolled off the bed and out of the room. Her chest grew tight and she felt tears coming.

 

Sex shouldn’t feel this way.

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A.

 

 

          Angie rushed into Mrs. Smith’s kitchen, warm rag in hand, and knelt on the floor beside Mrs. Smith. There were strawberry and matcha smoothie remnants being smashed into her expensive fur rug. For fuck’s sake why does this idiot woman have a fur rug in her kitchen? Angie thought to herself as she scrubbed. She had to simultaneous work the chunks of smoothie out of the carpet while keeping it from knotting at the same time.

Mrs. Smith tapped her fingers on her marble countertop, as if to let Angie know she was growing impatient. “Por Favor, An-hell-ica, can’t you go any faster?” She scrolled through her cell phone has she let out a bored sigh. Angie could go faster if Mrs. Smith would move out of the way, but since she was standing on the stain without any intention of budging, it was becoming a harder task than it should have been. God forbid Angie ask that she move, she would lose half a days pay for “talking back.”

Angie’s little thrill for the day would be cleaning Mrs. Smith’s rug with warm water, she demanded that she read the label on the rug when she first purchased it to guarantee that Angie would never fuck it up. The first instruction is to never use hot water. It also instructs that it be rinsed a few times with cold water and that if detergent must be used, make it a mild shampoo. That being noted, Angie decided to use a diluted bleach to clean it. Mrs. Smith would never bend over and read the fur rug label to know the difference. As a plus, Mrs. Smith hated the scent of bleach, which would also count as one of Angie’s little thrills.

Angie would go home each day and share her “little thrills” with her twin sister, Andrea. It all started when Angie was sick one day and convinced her sister to take her place. “I promise, “ she begged her sister, “she will never know! Just nod your head and smile at everything she says.”

“You never say anything to her all day?” Andrea asked in disbelief.

“No, she is convinced that my English is poor. The few times I have spoken to her she has let me know that it is not my place to correct her. So I find that the smile and nod approach is best suited for the work relationship.” Angie shrugged the lowly feelings of being condescended everyday off with a swig of orange juice.

“She sounds ridiculous, but I guess I will do it. If this blows up and you lose your job I am not responsible for this.” With that, Andrea changed into her sisters work uniform, a set of black scrubs, and headed out.

Angie always considered that her first thrill. She loved knowing that she got one over on her boss. Andrea had nothing exciting to report on when she got home and didn’t find that Mrs. Smith was as terrible as Angie had described, but Angie knew that if she had gone back for a second day, she would know the truth.

Angie rose from the kitchen floor to get her bleach mixture from the laundry room. Mrs. Smith was so wrapped up in her Instagram feed to even notice that Angie wasn’t scurrying at her feet anymore. While Angie slowly made her way to cleaning supplies, she noticed the exposed pantry that she was instructed to keep dust free and stocked. This was more of a joke, because she had fake food on display. She had a large wire basket on the top shelf filled with pastries, plastic pastries, of course. Mrs. Smith hadn’t touched a pastry since she was a child. The shelf below the pastry display had fruits, beautiful, bright, vibrant fruit. To glance once one would believe them to be real, but to glance twice would make it obvious that it was fake, no fruit looks that perfect. The bottom shelf contained specialty pastas and celebrity brand sauces, which would really lead one to believe that she cooked. Below was a minibar. It was a rose gold cart that matched her cream and gold-specked marble countertops. She had all of her alcohol poured into elegant crystal decanters with a marble ice bin and glass shaker that both had gold accents. The pantry presentation really tied the whole kitchen together. Despite the ridiculous fur rug under her island Mrs. Smith really had a beautiful kitchen. Angie shook off the compliment, Mrs. Smith didn’t design an inch of that kitchen, she didn’t even pay attention when the paperwork was presented to her. She just hired the best and the most expensive to impress her husband, but let them hold the reigns. Little did she know, her husband didn’t give a shit about anything that she did.

Angie became lightheaded for a second while she mixed the bleach and water together. Her intention was to use just a touch of bleach, but the aroma was so overwhelming she knew she had used too much. Oh well, she thought to herself.

“An-hell-ica! Where did you go? I hope you don’t think this carpet is clean. Vamonos!” She snapped her fingers. Angie bit her tongue and rolled her eyes in private before going back into the kitchen. Listening to Mrs. Smith yell incorrect commands at her in Spanish made her cringe.

“I’m sorry ma’am, I was just getting carpet cleaner for the rug, the strawberry isn’t coming out.” Angie smiled while she said it, because she knew that Mrs. Smith despised being called ‘ma’am.’ Almost as much as Angie hated being called ‘An-hell-ica.’

“Your English is poor, you don’t have to speak to me and if you must address do not call me ‘ma’am’.” And with that, she stomped her kitten heels straight out of the kitchen.

Angie could add calling her ma’am onto her list of little thrills. Three was a lot for one day, she felt like she might be taking advantage of a good thing.

There was a knock at the door, which meant Angie had to abandon the rug temporarily to answer it. Mrs. Smith was likely to be sitting on the couch near it, but why would she move when she paid Angie to move for her?

“Could you move any slower?” She barked at Angie as she moved towards the door. Her guest continued to knock, as if no one could hear her, over and over. Angie couldn’t vocalize that she heard the guest without being out of line and Mrs. Smith would never raise her voice to a guest, just to the help.

When Angie answered the door she discovered Mrs. Smith’s friend, Jen. Jen grunted at the sight of Angie, “took you long enough.” She pushed passed her while handing off her coat for Angie to take care of. “There isn’t anything in the pockets, so don’t check.” She blew a bubble with her gum and sat beside Mrs. Smith on the couch while they both laughed together at Angie’s expense.

You do this for your son, Angie reminded herself. Angie was a third generation United States citizen. It infuriated her that these women read her name and saw her darker skin and dark hair and assumed she didn’t speak English. It enraged her that she was assumed to be a crook. Her mom created a business of cleaning houses and raised her five children by herself off of the empire she created. Angie was proud to be a part of that. It wasn’t permanent by any means, but it helped keep her child fed while she went to college. She grew up watching her mom work hard while maintaining a loving home and she wanted her son to see her do the same. Lately, it’s been harder to keep in good spirits while at home. It had started to take a toll on Angie mentally to be treated like this day in and day out without having the backbone to stand up for herself.

Slight satisfaction took over while she spread the bleach solution over the stained rug. She could already see the fur negatively reacting to the treatment, it began to shed and fray.

“I can smell the bleach from here! Gross! Open a window, now! I told you I don’t like it when you use bleach.” Mrs. Smith yelled into the kitchen. After that she said to Jen, “if only she understood half the shit I said, we wouldn’t have this problem all of the time.” She grunted in annoyance then addressed Angie again, “Angie, we are waiting in here for our drinks. What is taking you so long, I feel like I shouldn’t even have to ask.”

“Coming right up.” Angie shook her head, what she would really like to do is mix that bleach right into her afternoon cocktail. When did she let Mrs. Smith turn her into her servant instead of the house cleaner?

Along with the list of little thrills that Angie kept, she also had a list of little murders. She would sometimes imagine subtle ways to take Mrs. Smith out, but the scene always played out with her getting caught. The best-case scenario for a clean get away would be water resistant lubricant of some kind on her shower floor; she would slip, hit her head, and die instantly. The police would never know she didn’t innocently slip from soap build up. At the very worst Angie could get herself out of it by claiming she didn’t know the cleaner she had used was water resistant. But in the end, Angie could never handle the idea of living with that on her conscience.

She hated that she had become this person. Her last client was an elderly woman named Lenore. Angie’s mother had taken care of her home first and they had such a great relationship that her mom claimed it was almost like hanging out with her own mother. Angie’s mom became ill and was no longer able to clean Lenore’s home and that is when Angie decided to join her mom’s business. She used to go play in Lenore’s home growing up while her mom cleaned she always treated Angie like family and it felt natural to return the favor.

A few years after she had taken on Lenore as a client, Angie’s mom had passed and Lenore had become a surrogate mother to her. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Angie became a care taker for her, she would clean house, prepare her meals, sit with her, and help her take care of her grandchildren so that she could still see them when her children had to work. Lenore’s family trusted Angie and loved her as if she were part of the family.

This went on for a couple more years, Lenore continued to decline and Angie continued to stay by her side, they formed a mother-daughter bond that she couldn’t explain. Lenore was there with her for through her pregnancy and even got to hold her son before she passed. The day Lenore died was hard for Angie. She had already lost her real mother and to lose a mother who had taken her in by choice was just as hard. Angie had hoped to stay on with Lenore’s family, but her daughter unfortunately didn’t need any help. She could tell that when they let her go it was hard for them. They sat around with a bottle (or four) of wine and let their children play together while sharing stories about Lenore. It was bittersweet, she was thankful the experience and the second family she had gained, but was devastated to let it all go. They had stayed in touch for a few months, but after that drifted apart.

The separation from Lenore’s family led her right into the doorway of Mrs. Smith’s grand mansion. It was very different from Lenore’s modest, ranch-style, family home. Mrs. Smith’s home was cold and pristine. It required more attention to detail, like under the microscope type of detail, than Lenore’s did. It made Angie uncomfortable. Lenore was unable to clean for herself and needed the help and the companionship and Mrs. Smith was jobless and miserable and refused to do the cleaning herself.

The first week at her house, Angie believed that Mrs. Smith’s hard exterior would be broken down and they would connect. She would realize that Angie spoke perfect English and that friendly conversation was all she needed once in a while to make her less miserable. She would overhear Mrs. Smith begging her husband to come home sometimes and often found her crying in secluded parts of the house. Angie had attempted to show compassion and tried to be there for her, but that was only ever received with hostility. The first time Mrs. Smith yelled at her using Spanglish she new they would never click, not even enough to receive a smile from her upon entering her home.

As Angie mixed their drinks she realized how miserable she truly was. In almost an instant her satisfaction in ruining Mrs. Smith’s rug and her fantasy of murder had turned into shame. This wasn’t who she wanted to be. She had done this job for a woman who loved and respected her for years before this and knew that she could find respect in another home again. She didn’t need to subject herself to this abuse to be a good mom to her son.

A good role model would have self-respect and walk away from a situation that demeaned her. She wanted her son to know that he never had to be treated like that and she wanted herself feel proud again.

She took her apron off confidently and lifted their drinks into her hands. She walked into her living room and set them on her crystal coasters, of course. With a polite smile Angie said to her, “Mrs. Smith, I quit. I don’t deserve to be treated like this anymore. One day I hope you will find happiness, you’re going to die young of misery. I also need you to know that I have lived in this country my whole life. I speak perfect English. You should be embarrassed of yourself.” Angie smiled, gathered her belongings from the closet and left. She really wanted to yell ‘fuck you’ right into her face, but knew that would only feel good for a second. She also wanted to tell her that when she goes to Pilates three times a week her friend Jen comes over to keep her husband company, but she also knew that wouldn’t make her feel good long term.

The most gratifying thing for her in that moment was the sound of the front door closing behind her and knowing she would never have to be on the other side of it again. She couldn’t wait to go home and hold her son.

The Cockroach.

This is a true story about a girl and cockroach.

I just recently moved to the south. It is beautiful and so far I like it here, but that being said, I hate bugs. I have never been surrounded by such an abundance of insects before. I have never had an issue with normal bugs like flies or gnats (which my apartment is covered it…?!) or spiders even. When it comes to things like MOSQUITOES or COCKROACHES, I become irrational and freaked out.

 

In the past two months that I have lived here I have gotten more mosquito bites than I have had in my entire life anywhere else. Bites usually don’t bother me, they come, they itch, they leave. The mosquito bites from the south inflame my body and never leave. I spent two days drugged on Benadryl just to keep myself from scratching my legs off (gross, I know). My boyfriend, Chase, has been free of any and all bug bites since we have moved, which he loves to remind me of every time I get one. Whatever.

This brings me to my next least favorite bug, the cockroach. The quick-moving and hard-shelled enemy. Yesterday morning Chase found one in the top corner of the closet, he moved a chair into the closet and killed it. My hero, right? He left for work and I went about my day. We live in a very small studio apartment so I try my best to take care of it so it doesn’t start to stink or feel unlivable, so it shocked me to see another damn cockroach scurry across my carpet to seek refuge under a pair of pants folded on the floor next to a book shelf.

Panic consumes me.

I can kill a spider, fly, gnat, pincher bug, etc., but I simply cannot stomach hearing/feeling the crunch of the cockroaches hard exterior. I went into full blown killer mode and one of the longest battles of my life began. I grabbed all toxic cleaners  I had stored in my cabinet, a broom, and a threw on a pair of Chase’s shoes (I can never kill a bug with my own shoes, no thanks). I began by slowly removing everything around the pants to give me a wide open space to work with, and then proceeded to smack the pants with the broom handle PRAYING that the roach would run out and surrender. But of course It wasn’t going to let me off that easily. I take a deep breath and push the pants aside, ready to attack, but to my dismay there was not sign of It. I begin to sweat. I am starting to hyperventilate at the thought of this thing having full reign of my apartment. It would not become the king of this castle, not today.

I had never taken my eyes off of the area It ran to, so I knew it was somewhere behind the bookshelf. I took all of the books off slowly, after hitting it forcefully with the broom a few times to see if that would scare It, and once I got to the last one there It was. We were at a stand still, It was staring straight at me as if It was laughing at me. I froze and couldn’t move my body close enough to It. It ducked behind the last book and I knew I was doomed. There was no way I could grab that book. I hit the book with the broom against the wall as hard as I could and then against the side of the bookshelf, it was my hope that I would smash It. Thankfully for my own ass that didn’t work out, because it would have been hard to explain to Chase why his expensive cookbook was ruined…

I successfully tipped the book over and slid it out only to find nothing was there. I felt defeat. I felt pathetic. I felt nauseated. And just as I had given up all hope, the little fucker ran out of nowhere. I charged. I sprayed it with Scrubbin’ Bubbles and realized that it wasn’t toxic enough to slow It down when It just ran faster towards my closet as a giant, foaming ball. I jumped on top of It with all of my force and waiting a couple seconds before I moved. It was dead. I had won.

After 45 minutes, I had finally conquered the pest and I was so proud of myself for my epic triumph. However, now that it is all said and done, I am not sure if I am the victorious one for killing It or if It is the victorious one for shaping an idiot out of me. Let’s be real, who the hell chases a bug around an apartment for 45 minutes. That’s just not normal.

Moral of the story: “If you can dream it, you an do it!”– Blade of Glory.

Ha.Ha.