Adam despised the sound of a new incoming message in Laura’s smart phone.
Adam didn’t need his eyes to know what Laura was doing right then. Her clothes rustled. The dimmed click-click-click. Yeah, Laura was reading her emails. Her short-lived snort meant bad news.
“I must go back to the office,” Laura said.
“I thought so.”
Laura’s warm lips lingered on his forehead. Adam felt a slight draft of air as she got up. Her sneakers squeaked away in the direction of the bedroom. Alone on the couch, he searched with his palms for the remote control.
“Beam me up, Scotty,” was the last dialogue he heard as he clicked the off button.
“Right away, captain.” Adam replied to the shut down plasma.
High heels tapped the floorboards in increased tempo. When they stopped right next to him, he perceived Givenchy’s Very Irrésistible.
“Oh, no. Not that again!” He noticed the contained annoyance in her voice.
“What is it?”
“It’s the back-up system. One of the outsourced offices had a power failure. When they got back on-line their records were gone.”
“What would they do if your phone were off?”
“Adam, please. I’m their IT, they gave me the phone so they could reach-”
“So they could reach you twenty-four-seven. I know, Laura. It’s just. . . I can’t. . .I have a hard time with you going off to work on a Sunday night.”
Her soft hand caressed his cheek. Laura had nice hands. Adam had liked them since they shook hands the first time they met.
“It’s already Monday in that part of the world.” Her soothing voice with her stroking of his hair was almost enough to calm him down.
She stopped the stroking and the click-click of the smart phone resumed.
“I don’t care,” he said.
“We need this job.”
“No, we don’t” He couldn’t help feeling like a stubborn child.
“All your special equipment cost money.”
“Special?” He had issues with people rubbing his disability on his face. It hurt twice as much when it came from Laura.
“Speaking computers, Braille printer. They don’t come cheap.”
“I make my own money.” He felt that statement required him to stand on his feet so he stood up.
“I know you do.”
“You don’t have to support me. I hate you working all day. We need time as a couple.”
“We watch movies almost every night.”
Adam picked on her use of ´we watch’ but they were past the embarrassment such comments would bring when first meeting a disabled person. Yet, he plowed on his cause. “Yes, but three out of four times you have to either run to the office in the middle of it or work from here.”
She didn’t reply. After an interminable minute she sighed and said, “Maybe I can take a couple of days off. Would you like that?”
“Some time off, huh?” An idea began to form. Inspired, he only hoped his smile did not betray his real intentions.
“Yes, sometime just for ourselves.”
“We’ve earned it.”
Adam let Laura’s lip linger on his without responding. Her tongue probe out to caress his lower lip. The hairs on his arms stood up. She could still give him goose bumps, even after five years. She stopped kissing, but did not break away. He could smell her breath. Spearmint flavored Listerine.
“Wait up for me.” She gently squeezed his groin. “Will you?”
Adam nodded and she withdrew. The slam of the front door announced her departure. He stood there until the aroma of her perfume faded away.
He considered the implications of his recently conceived plan. It was a long shot. Way long shot, one that may get him thrown in jail. On the other hand, some time off with Laura would be very well worth the risk.
Adam walked to his work station. He powered up his state of the art “speaking” computer. She was right on that. He donned headphones, he didn’t want neighbors to listen in on what he was about to do. After typing his ten-digit password he got opened a few applications on the desktop.
Two hours later he stopped tapping on the keyboard. The room was silent except for the humming of the computer and his excited breathing.
“I think that’ll buy me some quality time with Laura.”
* * * *
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 8:29 PM
“Faster, boy!” The unique and deep voice of Sean Connery playing Henry Jones captivated Adam.
It was the middle of the airplane and car chase. The Last Crusade won an Academy Award for best sound mixing. Adam thought it was well deserved. They should have won for the John William’s score, too. It was wonderful. A stereo surround system can involve even a blind man into a movie. Adam loved to sit with Laura and hear any movie, but he enjoyed some more than others.
“I’m going for more popcorn.” Laura got up.
He listened for the faint sound of her bare feet. “You know, barefooted you can almost sneak up on me.”
“I wouldn’t do that.” Her voice came from the kitchen.
When she returned, she sat next to him. She rested her head on his shoulder. Adam took a handful of popcorn from the bowl. Before Laura he had liked it buttery and simple. She preferred plain and salty. These were salty.
He passed his arm behind her and placed his palm gently on her cheek. He sniffed her hair. He loved the fresh essence of her citrus shampoo. Was it the Garnier or the new Verbeena she talked about in the market last week? Not that he really cared either way. She was with him and that was the important thing.
She smelled of Channel No. 5. She wore the popular perfume when she wanted to play sexy. Adam smiled thinking about the after-movie love making. He had unplugged the land line and turned off his cell phone. It was his idea of hanging the “do not disturb” sign in a hotel door.
He didn’t worry about Laura’s phone. Her service had been down for two consecutive days.
Adam wondered if he should confess his “intrusion.” A small intervention to free some time off Laura’s hectic after-hour calls.
Nah, he concluded, nobody would believe a blind geek hacked into the big Canadian corporation and shut down the Blackberry system.
J. H. Bográn, born and raised in Honduras, is the son of a journalist. He ironically prefers to write fiction rather than fact. José’s genre of choice is thrillers, but he likes to throw in a twist of romance into the mix. His works include novels and short stories in both English and Spanish. He’s a member of the International Thriller Writers where he also serves as the Thriller Roundtable Coordinator.
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