A Sensual Novel. THE MISTAKE

A Sensual Novel. THE MISTAKE

The Mistake is Chapter 5 of my first novel, a sensuous romance first published in 2017 as Traveling True. Although the novel’s fluidity allows for random reading, my choice of playing with narrative streams is purposeful.

Muddled queendom

Mim must work, yeah. Seated behind the typewriter at the quasi-imperial oval table, surrounded by books and paper scraps covered in notes. Notes she does not yet know in which specific order to use.

Mim reigns over a muddled queendom, a mug of fruit compote on one side, her cup of coffee on the other. Afternoon’s blatant beam centers on her forehead, gushing in through the window that faces the brand-new district. Ahead stands the condominium where Anton recently moved.

Where has her strength dissipated? Mim is pegging away on disparate pieces and bits, but refuses to envisage the whole. Well, a master plan certainly hides in one of her mind’s recesses, yet how could she vacuum clean the mess into a meaningful bulk? Sheer anarchy besieges that table, with Anton so close by in his whitewashed apartment.

God, their furtive encounters crammed between his friends’ visits, brand-new friends. Anton and Mim’s silences, by now routine, and their rushed partings. And the gangrene, Stefan.

Typing therapy

Stefan is missing. Mim had long waited for his error, and he finally erred. How come she is so miserable?

Is that dust, or an illusion? Dust lies in stark muteness on furniture, and Mim tastes an unsavory dryness on her mouth’s palate, in her throat, between fingers. Oh, this oppressive medieval dining hall. But she is mistress here, the unique dweller for two long queenly days. As she gazes out the window, a surge of power invades Mim’s veins. She resumes typing.

Stefan found someone to do the typing for her, but she declined the service. A pretty slow operation, but it keeps away the climactic demonstration of force. Let her bide time and type whatever she has handwritten.

God, it’s stifling. Mim makes herself more lemonade and gets back to typing. If she enjoys experiencing this novelty, why would terror creep through her senses, spoiling her well-being? Chill, girl, your thesis will rise high, born anointed with your knowledge and spirit!

Yeah, Mim will somehow extract her graduate dissertation from this boiling soup and dry it out into a shining sphere. Although this logic appeases her, tranquility is short-lived, as who on earth will summon strength and execute the supreme effort? Mim.

Gangrening mistake

Right now, though, other issues occupy her brain. She is lonely and Stefan screwed up big time. He must be laughing, conversing, dancing with former classmates. In circles at ornate tables, they lay out achievements, adventures, and incidents, old and recent, spouses, kids, complementary jokes.

How bitter the drop, and how bulgy it surged, a stain expanding in her frail chest, day after day. Mim prayed Stefan would change his mind and say: You’re coming with me. A brief break is no big deal. The next moment, she prayed he kept quiet. Let him keep quiet and leave. Mim expected his inaugural fault for despising reasons.

The stain grew. No, he did not believe in her. Until it gaped like gangrene, the instant Stefan produced from the wardrobe a black suit Mim had never noticed—if she ever noticed anything in that house—and shiny, black patent shoes from the drawer below. On the dressing table, he laid precious sleeve buttons and a bow tie. Before her eyes, she perched on the crème matrimonial bed, her nape stuck to the damp limy wall, a crème lamp at her temple, and an open book on her lap.

Guilty tomcat

Head bowed, Stefan performed stealthy motions, laden with guilt, a big guilty tomcat. He would light a cigarette in the kitchen, leave it to burn itself stinky on an ashtray, and come to fumble in the mammoth wardrobe again. Stefan was leaving. Water started thundering in the adjacent room. Aha, he ran his ceremonial bath. Mim visualized foam soaring.

Oh, foam in Stefan’s bathtub, a spellbinding spectacle, the sole thing she adored in his home. Seductive fragrances embalmed her nostrils as the searing water rose, dispelling hurt, worries, memories … Only Mim and the waterfall, and foam inflating, smoothing her skin and luring her to indulge in glossy daydreaming. Mim caressed herself, a perpetual smile stretching her facial muscles from a sense of things wonderful. With warm skin sleek on her, Mim realized she was beautiful, so ravishing the room shrank too small for her bubble of happiness.

Now the cascade roared, wild and merciless, while Stefan roamed about, ready to immerse himself in the tub. When he does, when Mim hears the bathroom door shut with him inside, the stain will cave in. Stefan is bathing and will soon leave, and Mim will stay stuck to the wall.

He implacably got in.

Stefan stirring and splashing water deciphers to Mim they have been sharing the bath mousse’s beatific properties. She pulls her face in disgust. No! The black curly hairs on his chest and the scented effervescence clash, incongruous. And the moment he leaves, Mim will unleash hatred.

Guilty dressing ceremonial

Now the dressing up. Each move he performs deepens and darkens the nauseating stain, soon to envelop Mim’s consciousness. Now, his last cigarette. Lustrous and perfumed, Stefan is mustering courage to cross the threshold outward, beyond Mim’s static space.

He slinks over. Sits on the bed’s edge. Stefan dare not fix her eyes, since he is about to err. “I’m leaving. Left coffee for you, and cigarettes. Go to bed early, as I might pick you up in the morning for the river cruise.” He dare not stand and leave. His trembling palm, sweaty, cups her chin, and he gapes sadly into her pupils.

He sought to send Mim into the bath, Stefan later confessed. His dressing ceremonial was an ordeal to him. He loved her.

“You’re not mad at me, are you?” Aha, he admitted to being culpable.

Hatred unleashed

Stefan rose, and shortly, Mim heard the front door shut behind him, clunk. She flung herself into the cavern he had been digging, with a sharp scream flurrying her chest. “God, I hate him.”

Mim jumped out of bed and switched on the radio, grabbed his packet of cigarettes, lit one, and started a furious race in the dim hallway, back and forth between the balmy kitchen and the magisterial dining room. Her next attack was on the fridge. Snatching the door wide open, she unloaded it of premium goodies, then rushed to the bathroom to run herself a bath, scented and creamy, and came back to light a second cigarette. In absolute charge, Mim would feast on his exclusive delicacies, French cheese and Sibiu salami, caviar and butter, American cigarettes, and the richest coffee Arabica.

Guilty phantom

The indoor storm ceased. In the silenced apartment, Mim, the mistress, seated at the stately oval table, her gaze straight ahead out the window, pushes her hatred gliding away on the glossy surface. No nerve-racking pour or inner thunder disturbs her anymore. She will work.

But Stefan’s phantom materializes across the table from her. Stefan once stood there before, facing her, staring as she was typing, aware his departure was imminent. That time he asked permission, and Mim agreed.

Seconds ticked, the typewriter—clacking and ring—and he, a stone monument, sockets absorbing her. A madman. Not the slightest shadow moved on the other side, and it occurred to her Stefan stopped breathing. Mim clung to her typing, fearful to look. But then she heard swishing. Stefan was lighting a cigarette. Thank goodness.

Yet he did not break the stare. Its Saharan tide was coming for her, engulfing her. What on God’s earth was the matter with him?

Stefan put out the cigarette, keeping her trapped in his eyes’ scorching beam.

Words would relieve tension, so Mim paused and said, “Why are you staring?”

Her words awakened him, or well offered him unexpected aid.

“Would you mind if I left tonight?”

Oh, that was all. Mim sighed with welcomed relief. She said she minded not, but sounded uptight, and perplexity tainted the smile she intended aloof.

Grief hieroglyph

Mim caught his gaze. Stefan’s dilated pupils bleeding over phosphorescent irises emanated sadness, heartbreaking, as though he would never see her again. Two pools of melting gold were trickling despondency onto his cheekbones, while the glow reflected by the lacquered finish between them revealed dramatic depths in that man. Stefan was a sphinx, immemorial grief, a grief hieroglyph.

“I’ve been standing here pondering whether to leave.”

Gruff, his voice sounded ancient, approaching her from an age-old subterranean world. Mim listened on.

“I don’t want to leave, Mim, I can’t.” Stefan came over, drew a chair, sat, and from so close, his gaze inundating her pupils, asked again, “Would you mind if I were to leave?”

“Well, if you don’t want to, why are you insisting on leaving?”

“If I know my leaving upsets you, I’ll stay.”

“Oh, for God’s sake, why are you tormenting me? What funny joke is this?”

Stefan spoke. “A woman is waiting for me at her place; she desires me.” He got hot. The more passionate, the more he needed consent—could not join that itching wench without Mim’s blessing.

“And me? I sleep alone tonight?”


“OK, go.”

Nocturnal typing

Abandoning her in his apartment to pass the night in another person’s home. Well, that was funny. Absurd. But Mim remembered Stefan loved her.

She refused to believe he would go. Was Mim not a woman? No, not for Stefan. He had a damn right to go. Mim said yes, but the prospect of spending the night alone unnerved her. Plus, awareness hovered, of something having fundamentally changed. Till when this mock-marriage game? Until Mim got over her lovesickness, which Stefan had been stalking that far?

Mim remembers working late into that night. She would pause to recall Stefan’s eyes, how he loved her completely, then resumed the quiet enjoyable nocturnal typing. But this time, his mistake spreads huge. Unpardonable. What that hateful clunk of the door stirred in her earlier was streaming in one direction. Mim cannot define it yet, but her pores open toward a grand liberation.

. . .

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood – Pexels.

About the author

Solar Writer walking on the dark side to bring mind's secrets to light, in romances with a psychological edge. Next Woman blogger showing you how to use the power of SELF to stay young, confident and magnetic.