I didn’t recognize the voice, and I recognized a lot of the voices.
“Marcus isn’t here, he doesn’t live here, and I don’t know where he is,” I said into the phone. I had said those exact words many times before.
His voice was deep, rather soft, and hesitant. A few seconds passed and then he said, “Are you his wife? His sister?” Another pause. “His mother?”
That was not an unreasonable question. Marcus was just irresponsible enough, immature enough that it was not unlikely he lived with his mother.
“It doesn’t matter,” I said, trying to sound bored. “He hasn’t lived here for quite some time.”
“Where is he?”
“I don’t know, but thanks for calling,” I said, and began to hang up, but I heard the voice say:
“Tell Marcus he’s overdue.”
I went into the bedroom. Marcus was wrapped in sheets and blankets, spun round and round him as if he’d had a restless night. He’d had a late night, anyway.
A naked leg dangled from the side of the bed. I tickled the toes, and Marcus stirred. He opened his eyes, saw me, and smiled. He reached up and pulled me to him. He felt very warm and slightly sticky. He smelled like fresh limes. He kissed my neck and whispered in my ear, “You are so beautiful.”
I kissed his ear, and nibbled it, and whispered, “You are overdue.”