Sex But Not a Pleasure
The next day, Isabel awoke with a headache that throbbed so hard she thought her brain would burst. She threw up twice and went back to bed, trying to remember the details of the night before and trying, at the same time, to forget them. The car had brought her back to her house very late. It must have been past three in the morning. When she awoke sunlight was pouring through her windows, so she knew she had not closed the shades. She was still dressed as she had been the night before, so she reasoned that she had been too drunk to take off her clothes and had fallen into bed. She had a vague memory of a man carrying her into her house, or perhaps she had only leaned on him as he walked her to the door.
She stood up to pull the shades to block out the light. She felt sick to her stomach and ran to the bathroom, reaching the toilet just in time. She held onto the cold bowl as she retched up the food from Señor Sierra Vargas and again tasted the sharp sting of his French cognac at the back of her throat. Then she retched again in great heaving waves and heard the sound of her own body gasping and collapsing as it pushed out the contents of her stomach. Finally she stood up and washed her face in the sink, staring into her own eyes, feeling the cold tap water on her skin. Then shreds of the night began to float through her mind like ribbons untied and held aloft by a breeze.
He had spoken of his political ambitions. And about marrying. He had spoken of the power he would have and the money. He had spoken of the world stage and how he would take his place on it and how she would be at his side. How they would be a powerful and envied couple. He had spoken of children. Their children. Children with her talent and grace and with his power behind them.
She stumbled back to bed and fell in a heap on the covers, closing her eyes and letting sleep overtake her.
She awakened later with the same headache that seemed to split her in two. She got up to fill an ice bag and placed it on her head. More ribbons of memory from the night wafted through her mind. He was leading her by the hand up the great staircase to his bedroom. She was stumbling, almost in a stupor of drink. He was carrying her through the bedroom doors and kicking them closed behind him.
She groaned as the ice made her head cold and the memories of the night before grew clearer. She began to cry, softly at first, and then she gave in to it as her head throbbed like a strobe light – bam … bam … bam … bam.
He was walking with her in his arms to the giant canopy bed with down coverings and thick pillows. He was turning out the lights and taking off his clothes, standing in front of her, proudly showing off his manhood and then taking off her clothes and lying on top of her, kissing her all over, stroking her as he would an animal, grunting and making noises of pleasure that to her sounded as if they were coming from somewhere else, happening to someone else, being uttered by someone else.
She got out of bed and dropped the ice bag on the floor. She had to get out, see the daylight, forget what had happened. She stumbled to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator, looking for something that would make her forget. She took out a bottle of wine. In a drawer by the sink there was a corkscrew. In the sink there was a glass. In her hand was the bottle. Then she was drinking the wine, drinking to feel better, to feel nothing, to forget, to numb herself, to lose what she had lost.