The Seven Year Itch: Chapter 1 cont’d

Trixie rides up to her room, takes off her sweatshirt and grabs her apron off the hook behind the door. She digs around one of the shelves where she has her 8” sauté pan. Grams wouldn’t let her leave Oregon without being able to fend for herself. She doesn’t believe in fast food, only good home-cooked meals to keep the body young and healthy. Half the time Trixie can’t even stomach the food at the caf.

From the fridge Trixie grabs the remaining half of an avocado, spicy mustard, butter lettuce, muster cheese, mesquite turkey, honey wheat bread that Grams sent from home and bacon. She puts everything, along with plates, napkins, and utensils, on a deep-seated English breakfast tray her dad had carved years ago and heads to the kitchen.

There she puts the bacon in a pan and lets it cook while she slices up the avocado. Alex walks in on her singing softly to herself.

I’ve got a brand new jones, And nobody even knows, When my baby is gone, It’s my thang, yeah, my thang…

“Robin Thicke right? The white dude with the long stringy hair?”

“Oh, ha! Yep, that’s him. Alan Thicke’s son. He had that self-titled album Thicke  but he’s coming out with another one this month I think…

So, you have a choice. You can either trust me to make you a sandwich or you can slap some cold cuts on some bread and call it a day”

“When you put it that way, I guess I have to trust you. What do you need me to do?”

“Just sit back. Keep me company. Tell me about yourself.”

Trixie takes the cooked bacon from the pan, drains off some of the bacon grease, but leaves enough on the bottom of the pan to coat the avocado slices. While the avocado cooks, she places cheese on one side of the bread, and mustard on the other. Lays the bacon on the side with the mustard and puts lettuce on top of the bacon. She then layers the turkey slices on top of the lettuce. Turning the avocado, Trixie looks back at Alex.

“Do you know any stories Alex?”

“Stories? Not really. I guess I know a few fairy tales, but only the basics”

“Where are you from?”

“North Jersey, West Orange area. My mom works in the city as an Ad Exec for a tech company. What does your grandmother do?”

“She runs the farm. I guess you could say we’re real country folk. My father was an architect, but he really loved working with wood. He made this breakfast tray.” Trixie said pointing to the tray on the counter.  “Carved all of the leaves and flowers himself. He had such an eye for detail. We have a farm of about 30 acres. The land is prone for berries. But we also have a few milk cows. My brother helps out a lot on the farm when he’s not at training camp. He enlisted fresh out of high school and now wants to be a cop.”

“This may be in bad form, but I don’t know a lot of black farmers, is—was—your father white?”

“Irish actually, my mother is black— a Creole from Louisiana. They met when they both studied abroad in France. I guess you could say it was a whirlwind romance. And you? Where did the hazel eyes come from?”

“My mom has hazel eyes. I guess I got those from her. My father’s a lawyer in New York. They met at a deli downtown while they were both interns at Price Waterhouse Cooper. I guess you could say he was an average looking black guy, with a lot of charisma to charm my mom. She says I look like him when I smile”.

Placing the finished sandwich in front of Alex, Trixie heads back to clean up the kitchen before joining him. As she walks back she tosses over her shoulder “He can’t be that average Alex, you’re pretty handsome. And you have a great smile”.

“Why, thank you ma’am. Are you going to eat too?”

“Yes as soon as I clean up a bit.”

“Eat first, and I’ll help you clean after we finish”

They both sit down and dig into their sandwiches. “This is really good Trixie. I want to lick my fingers and scrap my plate!”

“It’s just a sandwich Alex! Here take my other half, I’m full.”

“Are you sure?” Alex says already reaching across the table for the remaining sandwich on Trixie’s plate.

Trixie wateches him out from down turned lashes. She wants to make small talk, but feels awkward and unsure of herself. Best to just stick to business. Licking her lips, Trixie smiles and says, “When you’re done, why don’t you dry the dishes as I wash?”

“Sure, yes, of course” Alex mumbles through a mouth full of food.

They start to clean the kitchen in companionable silence. Hair tumbles into Trixie’s eyes as her hands dive into the soapy water.

“Here let me help” Alex sets down a plate he was drying, reaching for Trixie’s upturned face. He slides the spiral strands behind her ear, caressing her cheek along the way. Trixie looks down to his hand on her cheek then back up to Alex’s eyes with a cheeky grin.

“Thanks”

“Don’t mention it”.

The dishes are done and they load up to head back to Trixie’s room. Alex insists on carrying the tray. Once inside they put the dishes and tray away.

“Trixie where’s your roommate?”

“Oh she dropped out a couple of weeks ago. She decided to live off her trust fund and travel the world as a troubadour. Can’t say I blame her, that seems like pretty fun living.”

“Luck-y!” Alex says in an awed sigh. “It’s very different from my own living situation. Seth trashed our room. Red Dixie cups everywhere. I’ll probably have to kick someone off my bed when I head back. With any luck I’ll catch a few winks. I’m debating if I should just head back to the library.”

“Oh man!” Trixie responds sympathetically. “That really sucks. At least Pam wasn’t a bad roommate while she was here. Kept to herself mostly. And we both liked music.”

Suddenly an idea pops into Trixie’s head, ” Hey you know you can crash on her bed if you want. It’s no bother. I have some extra sheets around here somewhere”.

“Really? You don’t mind?”

“No, really it’s fine. Just let me make the bed”

“Cool I’ll head down and grab some stuff from my room and be back in a flash”

“I need to take a shower. I’ll leave the lock in the door so it’s open when you come back.”

“Ok see you in about 20mins”

Twenty minutes later Trixie heads back from the shower, in pink pajama bottoms and matching grey and pink V-neck from Victoria secret. As she opens the door, Alex is already there sprawled out on the bed in basketball shorts and a tank top. It’s hard to breathe when you actually see the muscle protruding out on his arms. He wears a lazy grin when Trixie walks in the door. She holds her towels and clothes like a shield in front of her trying to look everywhere but at the handsome man lying in Pam’s old bed.

“Hi” Trixie says shyly.

“Hey yourself” Alex responds.

“Umm… so, if you need a lamp I have a small one. Otherwise I’m going to go to bed. I can’t believe it’s almost 5:30. Do you, uh, do you need anything? Water or something?”

“Trixie you’re a really nice girl. I can’t believe my good luck. We’re gonna be good friends. I just know it”.

 Friends… yea right. The feelings swirling around in the pit of Trixie’s stomach were a little more provocative than friendly. She laughs nervously and finishes getting ready for bed, trying not to look and the hunk of man in the other bed.

Alex tries hard to not follow Trixie’s every movement as she flints around the room. He can smell the body wash she used in the shower, a potent mix of sandalwood and vanilla. He watches her put lotion on her elbows and rubs the rest on her hands. She adds moisturizer to her face and then fingercombs her hair before plaiting the strands into a braid that lands on her shoulder. Shorter curls not long enough for the braid created a halo around her face. She walks over to him with a smile, and he has to shift to hide his attraction.

“Do you want another blanket? Sometimes it gets drafty in this room.”

“No… uh… No I’m fine. Thank you. For everything”

“Okay then, goodnight Alex”

“Goodnight Trixie”

Alex woke a few hours later. Trixie was still sleep on her back one hand underneath her pillow, the other resting on top of the cover near her stomach. Alex walked over, watching her chest rise and fall, once again noticing how beautiful she is. She stirred a little in her sleep, head facing the wall, smiling slightly as if she’s having a good dream. Alex leans down and kisses her cheek. She sighs a little; her hand lifts as if reaching for him. He straightens, then grabs his stuff and heads out.

When Trixie awakens later in the afternoon, she notices a quietness that denoted Alex’s absence. Her face pulls into a slight frown. He could have at least said goodbye.

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