The suite is large and expectant; its bed a sea of pillows and false potential. You sit on its edge and untie your shoes, hoping your feet don’t betray a smell. They do. She tries to ignore it.
There is room service waiting; salads layered in cheese, stuffed vine leaves, eggplant moussaka, and spiced potatoes with pomegranate syrup and hummus. You eat in silence and so does she. Neither of you are hungry.
You announce it is time to shower and walk to the bathroom, alone. She watches you go. You want to undress in front of her but can’t seem to manage more than the suit jacket. You close the door. The bathroom mirror judges you. You glance down at your dick, limp and shriveled, and wonder where it all went wrong.
Your shower takes forever. You wash and clean and scrub and brush, paying extra attention to the little soldier hiding away in its trench. You wash and you wash and you wash but nothing raised its spirit. You panic; it retreats further into its shell. You look at your groin and shout, “Coward.”
Now is her turn. You watch her carry her wedding dress into the bathroom and shut the door behind her. You lie on the bed with only a towel to cover your failure. You try to imagine what she will look like naked but that only makes your heart race. You reach for the beer and drink to replenish your courage.
You have time so you think about last night; your friends taking you for the traditional seafood dinner in Alexandria. You remember eating a mountain of the dried salted roe sacs taken from the belly of a flathead grey mullet and your best friend explaining it would increase your testosterone and strengthen your load. Women love that, he insists.
You slowly unfold your towel; nothing. What if you can’t perform after all these years of waiting? The shame. Then you remember the gift and almost yelp in joy. You stumble to your suit jacket and find the viagra your best friend left you at the wedding party. “Your first time is always a blue pill night,” he said. At least now you have a back-up plan.
Any minute now. You strike a sexy pose on the bed but now you’re trying too hard. You lose the towel and lay beneath the sheets. It is colder than you imagined. The pill will solve that.
You hear the tap turn and the shower head spit out a final dribble of water. She emerges, her hair and body a cocoon of towels. You gesture her to the bed, raising the sheets slightly to allow her in.
She seems calm. You wonder if she is as afraid as you are. You think to ask her but decide against it. You wouldn’t know what to say and nor would she.
She lays next to you and removes the towel, gasping as her skin touches your for the first time. You feel the bumps on her skin and the water trickling down her waist. She warms her feet between yours. This feels nice.
You don’t want to make the first move but you must. You reach between her legs but she closes them tight, “It’s been a long day,” she says. “Let’s wait until tomorrow.”
Relief. All you feel is relief. You kiss her goodnight and she falls asleep in your arms. You drift off soon after, your mind counting down blue pills as though they were sheep.