I had honestly thought the nightmares were gone. I had not had one since I moved into the apartment, but sharing a bed with Phoenix they were back. I guess the feeling of a warm body next to me had triggered some unfortunate memories for me.
The next morning, I woke up to an empty bed. The sun was beaming strongly through the large window and I had to assume that it had to be at least noon.
I swung my legs over the bed and made my way into the main part of the apartment. Though I denied it, I was looking for Phoenix. His presence was welcoming and we had actually formed a friendship. It was a comfortable routine between us. At lot of times over the last month, he had gone off to work during the day, leaving me here with the television, a computer, and money to take a cab around the city. I usually just stayed home and went online. Internet access back home was limited, but here it everything was at my fingertips.
I thought about starting to make jewelry again like I had been doing in Greece. It used to bring in a good amount of money for myself and for my family. I would always divide my money to help around the house with bills, even though my parents assured me that we were okay.
I sighed when I saw a note from Phoenix on the counter next to a plate of food. It read:
Good Morning Nerita, I hope you slept in well. I was called into the office, but I’ll be home as soon as I can to plan out our honeymoon. Start thinking of places you’d want to visit.
P.S. please eat. Sometimes I wonder if you simply photosynthesize. Phoenix
I chuckled and looked down at myself. I had lost a fair amount of weight from stress before moving here, and was usually a few pounds heavier. I did not look bad, but I also felt a little uncomfortable being so small. I looked at the plate and smiled. He had made a classic Greek gyro. He left the lamb meat cut into neat strips on the plate along with the pita bread to heat up, and left the vegetables and tzatziki sauce on the side. Honestly this man was amazing.
I quickly heated up the meat and pita bread and topped it off with all the condiments. I moaned at how amazingly delicious it was. I could eat a gyro a day if permitted. I was so into my gyro I had not heard the door open and close until I opened my eyes to find Phoenix standing in front of me.
He gave me an amused look. I took in his ‘work’ attire. He wore a light blue button down with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, a pair of blue jeans that looked pretty worn out, a pair of shoes, I recognized as Sperry’s, and his gold watch that seemed to never leave his wrist.
"What?" I mumbled with food in my mouth. God this was embarrassing. I was over here making love to my gyro in my shorts and tank top with my bird’s nest of hair while Phoenix was dressed neatly.
He chuckled and reached out to wipe the corner of my mouth with his thumb. I froze at the delicate and intimate touch. He, however, seemed less affected by the contact. "You had a little sauce there," and licked his thumb clean.
His eyes never left mine as he did it. Suddenly something looked much more appetizing than my gyro.
I cleared my throat before speaking and tore my eyes away from his gaze, "Well, hello to you too. How was the office?" I took another bite of my gyro to distract myself.
Phoenix walked around the island counter I was sitting at to look at me while we talked. "It was alright. I was actually at the restaurant this morning. Apparently a pipe burst in the kitchen and had to be dealt with. They felt bad calling me in considering the wedding was last night, but no plumber could get out there in time."
I gave him a curious look, "You are also a plumber?"
Phoenix grinned, "No Nerita, but my father and I grew up constantly doing self-renovation around our house."
I nodded finishing up my gyro. I hopped off the stool and walked over to the sink where I began to wash my plate. I heard a soft groan behind me and looked over my shoulder to find Phoenix just staring at me.
"Do I have something on my back?" I asked checking to see if my shorts had some sort of stain on them.
"No, trust me. You’re perfect," the look in his eyes was sincere as he spoke.
I blushed and shook my head. He would not deem me perfect if he knew the type of self-hatred and closed emotions I had.
"I am far from it. But thank you." I turned off the water and put my plate on the drying rack. I turned and found myself chest to chest with Phoenix. He back me against the sink and trapped me in, placing both hands on the counter on each side of me.
His eyes burned into me, "Νερίτα , θα μου πείτε γιατί ούρλιαζαν χθες το βράδυ?" (Nerita, will you please tell me why were screaming last night?) His face showed true caring and worry.
I closed my eyes and sighed. I had seen that look before, and now it haunted my mind. I gave him a sad smile, "Ίσως στο χρόνο." (Maybe, in time.)
He nodded and kissed my cheek. He pulled me into a tight hug and I breathed in his cologne. It was subtle yet husky. I loved it.
He kissed my forehead, "Go get dressed. I’ll take you for a walk around the city. Wear comfortable walking shoes."
I nodded and trotted off to our room. As I changed, I realized something completely Earth shattering about myself and it scared me.
I missed his embrace. I missed his warmth.
God this should not be happening.
It's All Greek (6)Nerita ~
By Daniela Baez