Draw up a chair, make yourself comfortable, and take time out from a busy day or night to relax for a few moments. The world won’t come to an end if you set aside a few moments for yourself.
Have you ever wondered about what a complex creature a human being is? We have the ability to dream, imagine, think, plan, act, and remember. Sometimes we even remember lessons learned. However, that doesn’t mean our thinking is always logical or the epitome of common sense, but one can always hope—especially when you’re married or in a relationship.
Sometimes our imagination and our thinking might be “outside the box,” perhaps even exciting.
As you read this, sneak a peek at your spouse or your significant other—your other half. Maybe you’ve been together for awhile, or maybe only for a short period of time. Life is busy, especially if you have kids. Maybe life is comfortable and enjoyable; you and your other half, have a routine including setting aside some time for yourselves, especially on the weekends.
And you know, a routine is good, even when the routine seems to stretch endlessly into the future before you.
But sometimes don’t you wish life was a little less routine and a little more exciting? Maybe you and your other half have talked about that. Or maybe you haven’t. But, what if your other half feels the same way? Will you be the first to say something, or will your other half?
And none of this has anything to do with “keeping up with the Jones’s” or buying into some media hype of what life should be like for a man and a woman.
It has to do with what appeals to you and your other half, what the two of you might like to try, or explore.
And you know what?
If your marriage or relationship is strong, if the two of you have always communicated well, if you’re confident in yourself, and comfortable with yourself, then you have the whole world before you.
And if what the two of you want to explore, which the majority of the world may not explore for one reason or another, then so what? After all, it’s all about you—as long as no one is hurt in the process.
Go ahead, sneak another peek at your other half. If the two of you haven’t talked, haven’t shared fantasies, maybe it’s time you do so. Maybe it’s time to have some fun. Life is short—too short to someday say to yourself or say to each other, “What if?”
Sooo, what’s on your mind?
SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 wonderful grandchildren, a published photographer and photojournalist, and a member of the Military Writers Society of America. He retired on 1 July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Ready Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007).
His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others.
Second-career goals include becoming a painter and studying for a degree in photography and anthropology—hopefully to someday work in and photograph underwater archaeology. After 12 years of brown desert in the Southwest and overseas, he misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters. As of December 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hampton officially became a homeless Iraq War veteran.
Amazon.com Author Page
Amazon.com. UK Author Page
Goodreads Author Page
“Sharing Rachel.” MuseItHot Publishing, forthcoming Spring 2014.
Burt and Rachel Markham are ordinary small business owners of a seed & feed store in a small Kansas farming and ranching community. Many years before, as young university graduates eagerly anticipating exciting overseas employment, a lifetime in Kansas was the furthest thing from their minds, particularly Rachel who was raised overseas and dreamed of going back.
By July 2013 their twin 18-year old daughters, having graduated high school several months before, go east to attend a university. Burt and Rachel settle into their new life of an empty house and a predictable and unchanging routine that threatens to stretch far into the future.
One summer evening Burt has an idea—but will Rachel accept the idea? If she does, will the idea add new excitement to their marriage, or destroy it?
She stood and grasped his hand. “It’s a little windy out, but it looks like there’s only a slight drizzle. We won’t get too wet walking home.”
Burt glanced at the steaming dancers again and smiled. “It’s been a long time since we walked in the rain.”
“It has been,” she said and leaned against him.
“I always liked walking in the rain. A light rain that is. A slight drizzle is better.” They stepped into the cool twilight. “Anyway, when your blouse is soaked your nipples really stand out.”
“Oh God,” Rachel giggled. Silent lightning lit the wet road as if showing the way home.
Burt slipped his arms around her, pulled her back against him, and kissed her cheek.
“Hi,” he whispered in her ear. She responded with a little sigh and reached back to place her hands on his hips.
It was their little signal to one another when in public—“Hi” was a hint that one or the other was horny. Burt and Rachel first began whispering the greeting to each other shortly after they became lovers in Flagstaff; now they also whispered the greeting when he slipped inside her or when she seated herself on him and they were looking into each other’s eyes.
The storms passed and the humid summer heat returned. The feed store remained busy. The trains rumbled past Four Corners, past their home, as they had done for the past two decades. Burt always thought that the late night train whistle that echoed across the moonlit prairie was one of the loneliest sounds he ever heard.
One night on their after dinner walk they passed by the dark school. Rachel paused and stared at the small wooden building. Twinkling fireflies floated through the schoolyard.
“Are you going to volunteer this year?” he asked. Classes would start in a few days.
She was silent for a few moments before shaking her head. “No. I enjoyed being a volunteer teacher’s aide, but with the girls gone…” Her voice trailed into silence. “It wouldn’t be the same.”
Burt brushed her long hair away from her face. “What about soccer?”
“They asked me and I said I’d help on special occasions, like the end of season awards banquet.” She folded her arms around herself as if she were cold, though a warm breeze blew across the moonlit prairie. “But otherwise, no.”
“It wouldn’t be the same?”
“Jah, jah,” she whispered.
“Well, okay. I mean, there’s been a big change in our lives, but it doesn’t have to mean cutting most ties.”
When they returned to the farmhouse Rachel announced she was going for a swim. She poured a glass of Sauvignon Blanc for herself and picked up a CD player. She usually listened to classical music, waltzes, and operas when floating in the pool. There was a chakra wind chime hanging near the pool for the times when she felt like floating in near silence except for the chimes and the sound of the prairie wind.
A few moments later Burt followed with beer in hand. Maggie trotted behind him, rawhide bone in her jaws. Classical music floated through the night; fireflies played hide and seek among the neatly trimmed hedges along the perimeter of the yard. Others drifted in and out of the nearby cornfield, while the insects of the night droned on in disharmony.
He saw Rachel drop a dark robe to her feet. In the silvery light of the moon her nude fleshy form had a ghostly white sheen to it. She glanced over her shoulder, flashed a lusty smile at him, and dove into the pool. He stood by the edge of the pool and watched her gliding beneath the sparkling moonlit water. Then she surfaced, rolled and floated on her back with closed eyes. A pair of fireflies circled above her face.
It was the second time she was skinny dipping. It was like she was shedding the older, busy exterior of motherhood so that her younger carefree personality could reassert itself.
He sipped his beer and watched her face with Bettie Page bangs plastered to her forehead, surrounded by a fan of long hair and the glimmering water. She looked so content.
A thought was born.
A surprising thought.
A thought he never entertained before about his wife of 21 years—and the mother of his children. He walked unsteadily to a wooden chair with thick cushions and sat down heavily. He gulped his beer. A warm breeze flowed through the night; the trees rustled and the field of corn swayed like watery currents. Fireflies sailed past him.
“Dammit,” Burt whispered to himself in disbelief…disbelief and excitement. And trepidation. What would her reaction be? What would she say? Could he even find a way to suggest it?
He returned to the poolside. Her eyes were open. Moonlit water droplets on her beautiful face sparkled like tiny diamonds.
The thought wouldn’t let go. It took root…