Thursday, October 23, 2008

Playing House

The key was hidden under the welcome mat as always, so I let myself in like so many times before. The Crane’s didn’t have children or any pets so their house was pretty tidy. There were only a few plates in the sink from breakfast that morning. All of the appliances in the kitchen were stainless steel and the counter tops were marble. Coffee cups were still on the kitchen table. I helped myself to what was left in the pot. It was still a bit warm.

The newspaper was opened to the business section so I read what the market was doing out loud. I made comments in between each paragraph to recreate a conversation that happened hours earlier. It was mainly one sided as Mary would usually just agree with what her husband was saying to humor him. As long as they had money she tried not to think too much about it.

Making my way into the living room I picked up the remote as I sat down in Milton’s leather La-Z-Boy recliner. Pictures from their latest vacation sat framed on the end tables. They went skiing a few times a year. I was never interested because I don’t like being cold. From the photos they looked quite happy in below freezing temperatures. Then again they were always happy.

With my feet propped up I turned on their oversized flat panel TV. It was on a cooking channel. That seemed fitting since Mary loved to cook. There were always delightful smells coming from the kitchen when you walked in their door.

There was one main hallway in their house and it went from the living room towards the bedrooms and bathroom. In the master bedroom there was a king size bed that was properly made, two bed-side tables, two dressers and a sitting chair. Everything was black and modern. The bathroom was on the opposite wall of a large walk in closet, Mary’s clothes on one side and Milton’s on the other.

Milton mainly wore solid colored suits and had an on going rack of polo shirts. Mary was very stylish and all of her clothes were organized by color and garment. Blouses, sweaters and blazers were on the top rack and slacks and skirts hung on the lower one. Below the racks were rows of assorted heels, flats and boots. She had a very classic look. The more I thought about it she reminded me of my mother.

I skimmed through her clothing and laid out a few different outfits that caught my eye. Once I finished in the closet I made my way to her dresser. An oval shaped vanity mirror hung on the wall above and a leather bound jewelry box sat on top. As I opened it a beautiful pair of pearl earrings and necklace were the first pieces that I noticed. Gently pulling them out I sat them aside and closed the box.

Then I checked each drawer of the dresser. I found what I was looking for in the first one though, a pair of black stockings, a black strapless bra that was adorned with lace and matching panties. This is where Mary differed from my mother.

The outfit that I chose consisted of a white fluttered-sleeve tie neck blouse, a black high-waisted pencil skirt and “Shiri” satin oxford pumps. After I was dressed I went in to the bathroom and helped myself to Mary’s cosmetics. I applied a light weight foundation that promised lift, moisture and radiance. The mascara she wore was zero smudge and lengthening. My lashes now had volume. There were a lot of different lips sticks to choose from but I thought the Apricot Sun hydra luster wasn’t too over powering and brightened my complexion.

When I was finished I stepped back into the bedroom and inspected how I looked in the full size mirror. I walked back and forth and did a couple of turns. Everything was perfect. I looked and felt beautiful. I was a new man.

I had spent a lot of time getting ready so I decided I should probably start dinner. First, I needed some music. Mary had an old fashioned record player in the living room. Scanning her old albums I found the perfect one, My Fair Lady. I dropped the needle on “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and couldn’t help but to dance through the house singing the words, imagining I was Julie Andrews on Broadway.

Dinner wasn’t hard to get started. There was some ground beef in the freezer and I found some penne pasta noodles in the pantry. Once I had the water boiling I started setting the dinner table. The record had stopped playing so I walked back into the living to flip it over. When I came back into the kitchen I heard someone unlocking the front door.

It was Milton. As he stomped through the house I could hear him say “Something smells good!” I quickly slid back into the kitchen and started tending to the food. He walked right by me without looking up. He went straight down the hall and into the bedroom. From the back room he yelled “Your car wasn’t in the driveway. I didn’t think you were home.” I didn’t say a word.

I could hear him moving around, probably changing his clothes. A few minutes went by as I put the finishing touches on dinner. Milton finally emerged from the back room wearing one of his classic polo shirts and a pair of khaki shorts. I looked up from the stove with a smile and said “Dinner will be ready in just a few minutes, honey.”