uring the course of a seven-month-long affair, Kayla had appeared at Andy’s house in nothing more than a trench coat and a pair of yellow high heels. They pinched terribly. They weren’t meant to be worn any longer than the time it takes to hail a cab.
In her bag she’d brought a change of clothes (and shoes) for her commute the next morning. Sensible in everything, Kayla had no intention of prolonging her discomfort once she’d succeeded in seducing her man.
She left the shoes on where they’d ended up — in two separate corners of his room — following his raucous reaction to her attire.
The two of them had made magic between the sheets, but when they realized they were approaching a year of little more than that, they went in separate directions, no hard feelings.
About six months later she remembered the shoes — for no other reason than a yellow dress she’d been wearing all summer and trying to match accessories. She wrote to him and he assured her that they were safe in his closet, right where she’d left them. She could get them when she wanted.
Another few months passed when she realized she’d be near his apartment in Astoria for a movie premiere. She sent him a text. Maybe she might stop by beforehand to grab the shoes? She left little time. On purpose.
He answered the door in his usual t-shirt and jeans, and usual sweet smirk. She undid her jacket slowly and flung it on the couch as she always had, and followed him into his room.
He’d moved things around the little. The bed sat in the opposite corner and a bookshelf separated it from his desk, creating the illusion of a small office. They went there first, to look at his new website and watch her new marketing videos. He sat down and she stood at his side. They complimented each other and laughed at each other’s respective good stories in response to the requisite “What have you been up to?”
Then they walked toward the closet where he retrieved the shoes, tossed in a white plastic shopping bag. She sprawled on his bed exactly the way she used to do and watched him.
He sat down next to her and lay the shoes down between them. She recalled the first time they’d met — it was much like this — only they had lain across someone else’s bed, atop a pile of coats trying to escape the din of a loft party. Even then they’d both felt an energy buzzing between them but refused to kiss or touch. At least not until they’d left the party. Together. Never before had Kayla experienced such pure and unspoken attraction.
And here it was again, exactly the way she remembered it.
She gathered the bag of shoes, checked the clock, and said she’d better run.
As they both scooted toward the edge of the bed she stopped and asked if she shouldn’t leave the shoes there, and come back…
He told her to come up better excuse.
Maybe he could leave something at her place as well, she said, and smiled.
Two days later he called, asking after a fictional pair of pants he could have sworn had ended up in her pantry.
That same night, just past midnight she let him in, poured him a glass of wine, exactly as she had done the very first time.
It wasn’t long before their hands found their way back to their old habits. Their limbs entwined, first on the couch, and then on the bed — with a brief interval on the living room floor. She grabbed his curls and wound them tight between her fingers. He curled his own fingers softly around her neck, waiting for her breath to catch and her body to flutter and relax below his.
They slept closely cuddled as they always had and said goodbye over coffee. As she straightened couch cushions later that day, she noticed his sock, abandoned.