My husband is cheating on me with me. It’s simple. It’s the younger me. The me when we first met.
I find them christening the curtains. That’s their thing. Drapery. They’re too lazy to walk over to the couch. It makes them feel it. Wild. They pull the fabric out and spread out on the floor. I find them like that, tangled in Ikea. I say, what’s gotten into you? My younger self looks at me. I think that’s obvious, she says. He’s gotten into me.
She’s cheeky, my younger self. Maybe that’s why he still loves her. He covers her and walks away. He shuts the door. I follow him. His head’s down. He won’t look at me. This is the problem. Even when we were younger we never looked. Not really. We always saw that more interesting spot on the chin, or just between the eyes, the turtleneck that reminded us (okay, me) of Uncle Ralph, but not in a pervy way, in a safe way. We thought, he wears red turtlenecks, so he must be able to keep me safe.
And he thought, she wears dresses, and sometimes goes without underwear. She must like the feeling of the wind. She must like doing it on the kitchen tile and will never complain of lumbar problems. He never realized I was just too lazy to go shopping.
And that’s the thing: One minute you are free and the next you are just lazy. The shift happens in a second. I ask her about it, my younger self. Sometimes when my husband’s gone I crawl on top. I whisper things. I tickle. I sing us that song we both like, by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I say, come on, let’s do it, and she rolls her eyes. She doesn’t want to. But she can’t resist me. Not because I’m hot but because she has to try it. Something different. I take advantage. I say, I am the sexy older woman and you are my seduction. She likes it. She plays with my sagging boobs, and I pretend I am him, my husband, that I am deep inside her and it feels amazing, the way I own myself and him, all at the same time.
I pretend this. I tell her to run away with me. I say it, run away with me. She smells like wine, like us, her teeth are stained with it. She smears some on my lip. I lick it and taste all of us.
Leonora Desar’s writing can be found or is forthcoming in River Styx, Passages North, Black Warrior Review (online), Hobart, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Quarter After Eight, among others. She recently won third place in River Styx’s microfiction contest and TSS Publishing's Flash 400, and was a runner-up/finalist in Quarter After Eight’s Robert J. DeMott Short Prose contest, judged by Stuart Dybek. She lives in Brooklyn and writes a column for New Flash Fiction Review—Dear Leo.