Silver Screen Ch. 01

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Lila had successfully filled her world with eras long past. She had plastic coverings on her walls made to look like expensive marble, and Gershwin’s most famous songs filled her house in the form of big band jazz. She had a featherbed and an old refrigerator she rescued from a flea market. She had fragments of modern life within her world; a stereo in the bathroom, brand names in her room and closet, and it only made her more appealing, this mish-mash of a woman who seemed to have no regard for what the outside world thought of her eccentricities.

I coveted her from afar, crazed with the raging curiosity that she filled me with. I entertained thoughts of her when I heard her Victrola through the wall, and grinned to myself over images of her devil-may-care dancing I had observed through her balcony window when I guessed she wasn’t looking. I wanted everything to do with her and couldn’t seem to find the courage to incorporate myself in her life.

Coming home from work one afternoon, I stepped off the elevator to find Lila knocking on my door. Turning at the sound of keys in my hand, she smiled, embarrassed. Out of her mouth came the most beautiful and yet cliché words I could ever imagine.

“Oh! I’m at home baking and I ran out of sugar. Do you have some I could borrow?”

That was it. No introductions, no small talk, just a tiny demand of a question. I burst out laughing; I couldn’t help it. Recovering quickly, I apologized, unlocking my door and inviting her in. Lila looked at me quizzically, a small smile adorning her lips.

“Here, I-I’ve got sugar somewhere in here.”

Dropping my things on the kitchen counter, I began a torturously endless search for the sugar. It flustered me to have this woman in my home, where I drew out fantasies about her. I knew escort kağıthane my hands were shaking, and after my burst of laughter in the hallway I couldn’t bring myself to look her in the eyes. I turned my back on her to check the pantry over the stove. Stretching my arm up to reach it on tiptoe, I wondered how the hell I managed to place it on the highest shelf. Gripping the open door of the cabinet, I went for it again, about to give up when Lila’s smooth brown arm reached up effortlessly and drew the bag from the shelf. I jumped almost imperceptibly and turned to find her standing impossibly close to me. She grinned and winked, kind laughter in her eyes.

“I’m Lila Harrow. I live right next to you.”

She was at least a good six feet tall, nine inches taller than me. I looked up at her, my face hot. I smiled sheepishly and introduced myself.

“I’m Emily.”

“Good to meet you Emily. How can I repay you?”

“For what,” I asked, my thoughts clouded.

Warm, knowing laughter filled the room and her voice seemed to have gotten lower. She brought her mouth close to my ear.

“The sugar. How can I repay you for the sugar?”

I inhaled and swallowed hard. She had me pressed up against the counter.

“I-You don’t have to repay me for anything.”

“You sure about that? It’s no trouble, if that’s what you think.”

She rested her hands on either side of me, smiling a slow smile. When I didn’t respond, she moved her hands and stepped back.

“Take some time to think about it. Maybe you’ll come up with something. You know where I live.”

Sweeping gracefully past me and picking up the bag of sugar, Lila retreated out the door and to her own apartment.

I spent the rest of the evening stretched out on my bed, inhaling the scent escort nişantaşı of fresh blackberry pie wafting through the vent from Lila’s apartment. It smelled enticing, and I was tempted to go and knock on her door, but the plan was pointless as I had no idea what I would say to her. In my head, I imagined possible scenarios until I fell asleep on top of the rumpled covers.

I returned from work later than usual the next evening and found a note taped to my door.


Let me make you dinner. It’s the least I can do. Shower, change, and then come over. I’ll be waiting.


My heart beat a little faster, and I unlocked my door, rereading the note and walking back to the bedroom. I read the note a third time as I stripped off my work clothes. I inhaled deeply and walked into the bathroom to turn on the shower. Standing under the hot spray, I lathered up and let the water run down my body. I watched the steam spread on the glass doors and thought about the evening ahead of me. I wasn’t sure of anything, least of all how this woman had read into me so well. Rinsing off, I wrapped my terrycloth robe around me, letting my feet dry on the bathmat for a moment before going to my closet and mulling over my clothing. I pulled skirts and pants and dresses off their hangers, contemplating each one before dropping them to the floor. Suddenly I was frantic, needing to find the perfect outfit. At the back of my closet, I found a tiny black velvet dress, edged in crimson with straps to match. It was cut to show a generous amount of cleavage and leg, the hem stopping snugly almost halfway down my thighs. I towel dried my hair until it was only slightly damp, and found a pair of low, black, square heeled sandals to wear. I went light on the makeup, applying osmanbey escort only a single coat of mascara, some eyeliner, and lip gloss. I sprayed H2O perfume in all the right spots and stood uncertainly in front of the mirror. I gave myself a little smile and made a circle with my thumb and forefinger in an A-OK gesture. I took in a deep shuddery breath and went out the front door before I could change my mind.

The paper taped to her door read “It’s open,” so I slowly turned the knob and went in, shutting the door behind me. The light was dim in the front room, but I could hear jazzy sounds coming from the kitchen, so I walked across the room and through the doorway. I knocked on the doorframe and Lila looked up at me. She took my arm and pulled me toward her until I was right in front of her. Her gaze traveled slowly from the top of my head down to my toes.

“Just look at you,” she said. “Is it just my imagination or did you dress to impress?”

She grinned and winked at me and I felt myself blush.

“It’s not much,” I said, “I just found it in the back of my closet.”

“You ought to keep this dress in the front of your closet.”

She stood for a moment, taking me in, and then, almost as if she couldn’t hold back, she put her hands on my waist and pushed me back against the wall, touching everywhere, dragging her fingertips from my hips to the tops of my thighs, and up to my arms and breasts and neck. With her hands on my waist again, she pulled me tight against her and placed her lips lightly over mine, gently tracing the tip of her tongue over my upper lip. She pulled away, leaving me breathless.

“I told you I’d repay you.”

My hands were flat against the wall, and my chest was heaving.


I was at a loss for words and Lila took both my hands in hers and laced our fingers together, placing them over my head on the wall. She placed her mouth close to my ear.

“There’ll be plenty of time later for everything else, Emily,” she whispered. “I promise.”

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