Matthew Pitman
1991 Montezuma Valley Rd
Ranchita, Ca 92066

She once asked me if I was accurately prepared to watch the world come to a close.

I remarked, “Why not? I’d like to see the end of the world, it’ll be a brilliant show, many unfamiliar faces, the greatest firework of all.”

She scoffed at my reply, eyes squinting in an imperceptible smirk, as if she knew better. She appeared to me as one of those B+ type females overtly confident as if undoubtedly an A+, lips drawn tight, tempting man to a kiss, though not to marry. She was outwardly a woman who knew what she wanted from life. But I could peer enough into the depths of her soul to see that it cried out helplessly, “What happens if nothing occurs as I suspect it should? What happens then? My god, what happens then? I might lose myself. I just might break down and lose myself!” Externally however, she was meticulously serene.

I smiled, knowing well enough that to simply play the obedient part was her desire for my intended role. I beckoned the waitress for another round of martinis, as I well knew this occasion would linger longer into the day. I found it difficult to feel completely interested in this particular subject at the moment, but I also realized that my feigned captivation was the ignition to her sexual demeanor. However, it is often quite nice to be encouraged by a rather sexy woman that supports your views on philosophical issues that she so eagerly wishes to discuss. It makes one feel almost heroic, or at least purposefully intellectual, that is, if the philosophies make even the least bit of sense.

“But wouldn’t you be simply frightened?” She asked. “How could you even force yourself to act rationally? Personally, I think you would be a mess if you were forced to deal with such a situation.” And she stealthily slipped an ice cube she had fished from her glass from forefinger and thumb into the divide between her lips; she didn’t just suck the ice through either, she had to tease, as women so often do, and to allow the cube to teeter half in, half out, balanced between the shape of her lips. As the cube lingered there, I caught a glint of the sun’s sparkle from a drop of water as it rolled from the ice to her chin. I shivered. She sucked the ice cube into her mouth with a pop. Good gods, I thought; maybe I should play off this end of the world discussion as a veritable possibility at having a taste of those lips and take this plaything to the next level. Who knows what’s truly behind those silken eyes?

“Well, if you could acknowledge consciously to yourself that the end was in sight, that that was it, that that was all the time you had, and you had no other choice; why not calm yourself and make the best of it? If you knew you had only, say, I don’t know, 30 minutes to live, why would you waste that time spinning in schizophrenic circles when you could potentially make that 30 minutes the greatest 30 minutes ever spent?”

She leaned forward, crossed her hands on the table, “And what would you do with your last 30 minutes on earth?” Her demeanor changed from uncertainty to an as-a-matter-of-fact countenance. What did she know that I didn’t? I felt somehow she had set me up for this question and knew what I would say before the words were even emitted. I felt that it did not matter what I said, that the end result would be the same. I felt a slight sense of unease and somewhat weak before the calmness of her gaze, though not knowing why.

I took a nice long tug from the martini, cringing only slightly, and continued, “Of course it would depend on who I was with for those last 30 minutes on earth.”

She pursed her lips and lowered her voice to just above a whisper, her eyes unblinking and upon mine. “What if it was me?”

To me, this felt to be a very delicate situation. I could discern from the fact that I was being easily, and more than willingly, backed into this interesting and promising proposal, though for what underlying reason, I was ignorant. And it was this ignorance that befuddled me. I shifted nervously in my chair. However, could it be possible that this woman was hinting toward something a bit more obscure than sexual advances or was it merely a display of sexual attraction? My mind could not see only the most blissful of possibilities, but persisted in derailing my lascivious thoughts toward those of: What if she means to kill me or rob me after I spend those last 30 minutes with her? Maybe she has some sick experience she wishes to fulfill and I perform as merely the baffled victim? Could she be setting me up, pulling the wool over my eyes, while some other man clubs me? What troubles might I be about to get myself into? But then again, what would be so wrong in giving this woman the benefit of the doubt? So, I answered honestly, hoping the world would somehow cease to exist in 30 minutes so to give me 30 minutes with this beautifully seductive, I’ll sell my soul for just one time, breed of woman.

I played the role, dropping my voice as she had dropped hers, “If you and I were together, and I knew we could only enjoy life for 30 minutes, I sure would not waste any time with words, not a moment to waste, I would –”

“Then why are you speaking?” She interjected. Reaching across the table, she grabbed hold of my hand and led me away from the café and down the sidewalk not far from the table where we sat. I turned to look back toward the café front and watched as my unfinished martini drifted from sight.

Laughing nervously, still playing the role of the innocent, but damn eager to play the role, I asked just kind of by the by, “Are you trying to tell me we only have 30 minutes to live?”

She glanced quickly over her shoulder, no longer smiling, “Yes.” Her arm raised her hand to a pointing position angled toward a clock tower across the bustling street. The clock read 11:30. Half an hour until noon. Fitting, I mused, and dramatic, very theatrical. How did she plan the timing so well? I sighed, figuring this too good to be true, that more than likely I would have to pay this woman afterward for half an hour’s time. What am I getting myself into? We entered the building, down the hall, found a door, dipped inside.

She slipped away from her red dress as if shedding an unnatural skin and pulled me forcefully toward her. Her beauty, the aroma, the intoxicating touch of her skin, and new worlds evolved. We blended and moved together, a sensual undulation of liquid. All cares dissolve when bonded with the code of passion. The café, the social life outside the door, the bustle of automobiles, were nonexistent. Forced down upon the bed, my heart racing, she moved confidently toward me.

Many minutes passed before my normal thought patterns returned. We both lay there catching our breath, not speaking, simply enjoying the cooling process following such an energetic display. Her fingertips lightly swirled the hair at my temple, the length of her leg resting across my waist. Yes, she was beautiful. But what now? Where was the mystery, the trick? Where was the man in the closet with the baseball bat?

Then I noticed the dull darkness creeping upon the room. Very slowly the shadow eased its way across the ceiling, inching down the bareness of the inner wall as if a rapidly rising sun moving the shadow crease across a room. It was not a common darkening that I was accustomed to, more of a pasty blackness tinged with a sallow hue. The temperature felt to be dipping, but I was sure that that had to be my body calming and cooling from the heat we had generated only seconds ago. Had the sky not been perfectly clear just a few moments previous, and was the time only just a few minutes before noon? No chance for evening to be yielding her gown at this time. What was happening outside that could cause such a change?

I glanced over at the woman beside me prepared to voice my curiosity, but she simply leaned over, put her mouth upon mine, and lifted herself again on top of me. My concern immediately ebbed. If the end of the world was coming, so be it. Her hands pressed into my chest and gripped as her body rocked forward without haste. I watched as her head arched back, a smile beginning at her lips… and the darkness swallowing what I had seen.

I did not fear. It was a brilliant show.

By: Matthew Pitman

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