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Sex with Strangers

by Joshua Callaway

I step foot back on home soil, every bit as foreign as the place I just left.
We spot each other simultaneously.
I smile, and she smiles back.
My heart pounds in a mix of fear and anticipation, like being in a firefight.

We embrace awkwardly, both of our bodies tense.
I feel her tremble as I place my hot mouth of her soft lips.
She doesn’t know me, not anymore.

We wait by the carousel in awkward silence hand in hand.
Palms slick.
She wants to let go, wants to wipe her hand clean on her skin tight jeans.
I want this too, but we hang on, because that’s what is expected.

The hotel is a five minute drive from the airport, but it seems much closer and we arive much too soon.
She has already checked in so we go straight to our room.
We make small talk as we strip back to back, shying away from each other’s glances.

Naked strangers.
We look each other up and down for the first time.
I smile, and she smiles back.
We kiss once more, deeper this time, searching for familiarity.
On the bed in a tangled mess of flesh we find each other again.
I tell her I love her.
She says she loves me too.

Joshua Callaway is a medically retired army veteran who served more than fourteen years as an airborne infantryman. He fought in both Afghanistan (03-04 & 11-12) and Iraq (07-08). He is a father of three boys and currently attends Grossmont College, where he is pursuing an MFA in creative writing.

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