Refrigerator

The lady recrosses her legs and stubs out her cigarette.

     “Alright, boys,” she says. “You can come in now.” The “boys” are a surly painter and a uni student, neighbours from opposite sides of her apartment. The painter lives with his wife across the hall. The kid studies history.

     The room is full of half-packed boxes and she’s got g-strings artistically placed on the furniture. There’s one strung over the back of the suede couch. Another is positioned on the coffee table. The boys pretend not to see them. They stand in her doorjamb, pensive. The kid doesn’t know what to do with his hands.

     “Come on in, I won’t bite,” she says, and there’s a hint of a laugh, a high-tailed kind of ha-ha-ha. The kid moves in a step. The painter stays in the doorframe like he can’t decide if he’s about to leave.

     She takes them to the kitchen. There’s a poster on the side of the fridge of a naked man, muscled and bronzed like a Greek god. He’s on a beach flexing his pecs. His penis is flaccid like a garden snail. The kid gets nervous and the painter says nothing.

     “Would you like a drink, boys?” she asks.

     “Uh, just a Coke would be nice,” says the kid. He hasn’t brushed his teeth that day and she can see the yellowness on his molars. It bothers her and there is a twitch in her lip. She hides it with a quick smile.

     The kid cracks his Coke, takes a sip, and sets it down again on the bench. He doesn’t touch it again.

     The painter gets to task. He sizes up the fridge, then he gets his big arms around it and tests its weight.

     “Alright, Theo,” he says to the kid. “You ready?”

     They get on each side of the fridge and strain with it until it’s off the ground. She stands to the side sipping a glass of lukewarm water, devours everything with wet eyes. The painter’s muscles bulge with the weight and it makes her excited. She’s got the thermostat set to twenty-six, high as it will go.

     “Hot day, isn’t it, boys?” she says. “You let me know if you need anything.” She goes to her room to freshen up. The boys struggle to fit the fridge through the kitchen doorframe. They’re already heavily sweating.

     She comes back in a light, almost translucent dress. Her breasts are still firm and the dress reveals deep cleavage. They’ve got the fridge to the lounge room. They stop for a breather and wipe the sweat on their shirts. The kid takes his off.

     “Thanks a lot for this, boys,” she says. “I’ll make it up to you. Come, sit down for a sec. My treat.”

     She’s holding a joint and lights it up. She pats the couch next to her. The kid sits down and takes a hit. Then she breathes the smoke back into his lungs. She offers the joint to the painter. He knows he shouldn’t but he does anyway.

     It’s strong. Much stronger than expected. The painter fights the urge to cough. The kid is already spluttering and hammering his chest.

     She giggles and shakes her head. Her eyes are red and half closed. She looks at the kid. He looks at her. Then they’re roaring with laughter. She picks up a g-string from the back of the couch, pointing at it, tears streaming from her eyes, laughing so hard she can’t even form a coherent sentence. Even the painter laughs.

     The kid picks up another g-string from the coffee table and puts it on his head. He’s caught in a cramp he’s laughing that hard.

     The painter takes another hit, chuckling. She’s holding her stomach, doubled over with laughter, and falls into the kid’s lap. They’re both red in the face and sweating like mad.

     Her bra strap slides down on one side and she doesn’t fix it. She can feel the kid’s massive hard-on. She reaches for it and squeezes. He’s wearing nothing but a pair of shorts. He slides a hand up her dress, giggling. She sits up and the bra slides off under the dress. The kid leans in for a kiss, but she dodges him and throws herself onto the painter. The painter drops the still-lit butt of the joint onto the couch and tries to push her off and sparks fly everywhere. He’s not laughing anymore.

     The kid comes up from behind and strips the dress off her. She squeals like a schoolgirl but doesn’t make him stop. He starts kissing the nape of her neck.

     The painter gets up from the couch without saying a word.

     The kid sniggers as he rips his pants off with one hand and holds her down on the couch with the other. He’s slim but strong.

     The painter gets under the fridge and manages to lift it off the ground.

     She’s squealing and the kid’s grunting on the couch.

     Yes, the fridge will fit his kitchen perfectly. He’ll struggle with it across the hall, mop his brow when he finally gets in place, and all the while his wife will be standing silent in the doorjamb, watching.

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