Posts I guess

I yawn, ruffling my hair as I amble into the kitchen. I pause in the doorway, slightly startled to see a slightly older man cooking in the buff. His focus is on a pot on the stove. I tilt my head and rub my eyes. I didn’t think anyone else was home. George didn’t mention he had a houseboy. Well, some men don’t think to, they get so used to having them around.
“Morning, how about some coffee?” I say, sounding sluggish.
He glances in my direction, but doesn’t say anything back. I shrug it off, figuring he’s a silent type, then go about pouring some cereal into a bowl. I add the milk and sit down to read the paper. Halfway through on article on an all male ballet revue, I realize I still don’t smell coffee.
“Hey, do you mind making some c-” I tilt the paper back. The houseboy isn’t there. I look left and look right. I began to feel odd and the hair on the back of my neck is standing up. The stove is clear; the towel is hanging on the oven.

I put the paper down and glance out of the window toward the driveway; not a soul. I wander around the house, hoping to find him there or in the backyard. Feeling slightly frightened, I launched myself up the stairs to George’s room and find him safe and shaving in the bathroom.

“Hey um, George?” I pant.
“Hey is everything alright?” he asks, mid stroke.
“I …I don’t know. I ran into your houseboy downstairs and now he’s vanished. I was wondering if maybe I was wrong in thinking he’s your houseboy and someone broke in the house and….George why are you looking at me that way?”
He swallows hard. “I don’t have a houseboy.”
George’s eyes are wide. “Well, I mean…I did, but he…he passed away a couple years ago.”
“Christ,” I gasp and lean against the door-frame. “I swear, there was a guy I saw downstairs. He was cooking something on the stove.”
George finishes shaving as quickly as he can. He washes his face off and we scramble downstairs to the kitchen. The towel is on the floor when we get there.

George kneels and picks it up. “Ivan always used to wear this over his shoulder when cooking. I used to chide him when it fell off, which was often…” his voice catches in his throat.
“Jesus, George.”
George walks to the living room, clutching the towel, and gestures to a photo on the mantel. “That was us.”
My skin breaks out in small bumps. “That’s him!” I squeak, “That was him. He looked at me!”
“His name is Ivan,” George says, sniffling. “Oh god, why is this happening. Ivan passed away two years ago. He had cancer, it got into his brain. Why did he show himself to you and not me?”
Suddenly, George is crying and I’m embracing him, trying to comfort my new boyfriend. I’m soothing him and stroking the back of his head as he mourns when I smell it.

I sniff the air. George holds his breath and sniffs too.
“Do you smell that?” he asks, hesitant.
“Yeah I do,” I reply, swallowing my fear in my throat again. “It’s the smell of fresh coffee.”

We both look at each other and bolt to the kitchen. The scent is fading. There aren’t any full cups on the counter. No steam comes from the pot. However…the cupboard revealing the cups is open.

George and I are speechless.
“I …I think he wants me to make coffee,” I volunteer.
“Why would he want you to do that?”
I think. “Maybe he wants me to take care of you.”
George face lights up. “You think so? You think it’s his way of approving of you?”
“Perhaps so,” I say with a smile. I go about making coffee and a nice breakfast, looking over my shoulder the entire time.

George and I were on edge all morning, but there were no other traces of Ivan on that day or any other day. I kept dating George and eventually moved into his house. I mostly assumed Ivan had moved on. Although, once in a while, I would come into the kitchen to make dinner and find the towel on the floor, and I would wonder…

Text is fictional. Happy Halloween. Be nice to have a source for this.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *