Salim continued. “Phillip was dating a girl named Brittney Cooper when we lived together. She called me this morning.” He paused and inhaled deeply. “She had to identify his body last night.” Another pause. “He overdosed a few days ago in a rundown motel.”
Aubrey did not know what to say. She sat there in silence while her mind raced wild. She couldn’t possibly fathom the way her husband felt. She had siblings but they were alive and well. Without another thought, Aubrey gently grabbed her husband’s head and placed it against her chest. Her fingers gracefully ran through his soft curls as he cried into the towel still surrounding her bare body. They didn’t speak a word as Salim cried and his wife rubbed his back. Finally, Aubrey lifted his face and wiped the tears from his cheeks with her nimble fingers. She looked into his eyes and whispered. “It’s going to be okay, love. It hurts now, but your brother is at peace. No more drugs. No more pain.” She kissed his forehead and lips softly.
Salim nodded. His wife always knew when to speak, and what to say when necessary. She was right. But his spirit was being torn apart by regret. He should have been there for his brother during his time of need. He should not have died alone in some filthy motel bed. The last words he spoke to his brother had been replaying in his head since the news escaped Brittney’s lips. He had been so cruel to Phillip. Now, it was time to plan his funeral. Salim was the only family he had left. Mama had passed away years ago, and no one knew who Phillip’s father was because she never told. This was definitely an unexpected expense, but money was the least of his concerns. He wanted his only brother to forgive him. It was far too late for that.
Aubrey stood. She knew when her husband needed to be alone with his thoughts. Arrangements needed to be made. First, she was going to get out of this damp towel. She kissed his forehead and walked to their dresser. She needed to put on something quick. She would make her husband lunch and a pot of tea. Phone calls needed to be made. A heavy sigh escaped her lips. Visitors were bound to come. She dropped her towel onto the floor and began to apply lotion to her dry skin. Before she could slip on her panties, she felt her husband standing behind her. His warm breath tickled the back of her moist neck. Salim turned her around and fell to his knees. He pulled her body towards him gently and buried his face in her stomach and wrapped his arms around her waist. Aubrey froze. The only thing she could do was run her fingers through his hair as he cried like a newborn baby. Once he had stopped, Salim looked up at his wife with reddened eyes. Aubrey wiped his face with her palms, and stared at him. The bond they had was one of a kind. If her love was in despair, it was her duty to make sure she made that come to an end quickly. Aubrey loved her husband dearly and hated to see him distraught. After awhile, he stood to his feet and kissed her. She kissed him back completely exposed; towel and underwear on the floor. Salim admired her body for a moment as if he had never seen it before, and then laid Aubrey across their bed. Before she knew it his clothes were off. He covered every inch of her body with butterfly kisses. Chills ran up and down her spine, and she tried to control her body from jerking and shaking but was unsuccessful. His strong hands grabbed her waist to keep his love from moving away from his exploring tongue. Moans escaped her vocal cords. Just when Aubrey thought she was going to explode he entered her swiftly, but gently. She arched her back and allowed him to give her all of him. Her attempts to muffle her screams by biting her tongue failed. She grabbed a handful of sheets tightly to keep her sanity. That didn’t work either. Finally, he flipped her over on her stomach and she clenched her teeth on a nearby pillow. His wife could hold it back no longer. She screamed the loudest scream ever and her body quivered. Salim soon after collapsed on her back. He moved her long hair and kissed her back as he tried to catch his breath. Aubrey faintly smiled. She was exhausted but indeed satisfied.
She exited their bed and took another shower. Aubrey quietly laughed as she attempted to get dressed again. Hopefully, her husband would leave her alone this time. After successfully getting dressed and doing her hair, she headed to the kitchen to make her husband something to eat and a pot of hot tea. Of course, the situation with his brother was still on her mind. But if they were both emotional wrecks nothing would get accomplished. She made a few calls to family members and advised them not to come until later that night. Some of his family was not as cooperative. His aunt, Benita Jones, would be there in two hours. Aubrey yelled up the stairs and told her husband to get in the shower. Benita and Aubrey got along. She was just a stubborn woman, and ever since Salim’s mother had passed she had been a tidbit overprotective. But she showed Aubrey respect as Salim’s wife.
Salim pulled a shirt over his head. He didn’t know what had come over him. But as he watched his wife standing in their bedroom naked rubbing sweet smelling lotions on her soft skin, he wanted her. He wanted to release his frustration. Salim smirked. What better way was there? Thoughts of his brother still lingered in his mind. He probably would never forgive himself for kicking Phillip out into the cold, lonely streets. Salim’s heart hurt. What was done is done. He joined Aubrey in their eat-in kitchen. She placed a chicken salad sandwich in front of her husband. She asked if he wanted chips or salad. He declined both. He honestly wasn’t hungry but he knew his wife would fuss until he ate something.
The doorbell rang.
Aubrey looked at the oversized clock on their kitchen wall and frowned. Aunt Benita shouldn’t be here yet. Salim said nothing as he ate his sandwich. She wiped her hands on a dish towel and walked towards the door. Truth be told, Aubrey was displeased that someone would come over unannounced especially at a time like this. Aubrey threw the door open to find a petite woman standing in front of her. She was extremely small and her eyes were sunken. She looked nervous and bowed her head. Aubrey assumed the woman was probably one of Phillip’s drug addict friends. The question that baffled her more was who the little boy was standing with her.