I should have heard Enid’s voice coming down the hallway, but I was still in my cloud of bliss. My head felt full of cotton, my limbs heavy with spent desire. If I moved, the moment would change, the warmth would be gone. Louis might disappear.
I opened my eyes, wondering at a star shaped mole on his nape. I was unable to gauge time or logic because it did not exist for me outside this bed.
Enid burst in, “Dahlia, have you seen Ig- for God’s sake! Lock the door!” She looked away. “I didn’t know you were ENTERTAINING!”
I sat up groggily. “Well, I guess I am. Or I was.” I nudged Louis. “Was that entertaining?”
“Todd says it was.”
“Jesus! I’m looking for Ig!”
“Well, he’s not here.”
She just stood there, not looking. “Enid, Todd. Todd, Enid.”
Louis sat up, oblivious to his own nakedness. He smiled at her through the long hair covering his face. “Tahd.” He mumbled.
“For Chrissakes!’ She stormed out.
I felt a deep laughter grow within me. Louis looked at me confused. “Tahd?”
“I made it up. Besides, if I told her your name was Louis, I think her eyeballs would shoot out of her head.“
He laughed. “Is she mad?”
“No, not really. She’s probably relieved to find out I’m not a robot. Not perfect.”
“I’m not perfect.” His face grew serious.
“But you are. You are who I want in my life. I want a new life. Far from here. What do you want?”
“Peanut butter.” He said. “Dolly. Hot showers. Books. A cat. What do you want?”
“Okay. I really just want to be happy. Boring would be okay. No drama or mean people. Happy and boring.”
“Boring. I am boring.” He smiled.
“You are the furthest from boring.” I kissed his forehead. “But we need to get up now. We have to let the man out-“
“I have to deal with him. And I have to deal with her. I have to show her what he has done. She doesn’t know. She loves him.”
He looked confused.
“Enid loves him. I have tried to tell her before. But now I can show her.”
I pulled on my clothes and went after Enid. She was perched on the turquoise chaise dialing 911.
“Put the phone down. I know where he is.”
“Well, that’s just great! Now that you and Todd are all satisfied…” She slammed the phone down and threw her hands up.
“Pay attention, Enid. Or I won’t tell you.”
She raised her hand. “All your miserable life–“
“I will not tell you. Pay attention.”
Just then, Louis, still naked, appeared behind me in silent solidarity.
“YOU! What have you done with him?!” Enid lunged at him. He backed away.
I put my hand on his shoulder. “Stand your ground.” I said softly.
I raised his large hand up in front of her red, pinched face. “How many fingers, Enid?”
“What?! What do you mean?”
“How many fingers? Simple question.”
“Four.” I slapped her.
“Open your damn eyes. Try again! Don’t make me muss up your hairdo.”
She blinked, assessing Louis’s hand. “Three.” She shook off my slap. “Todd has three fingers.”
“Good. Now I’m going to show you where number four is.”
“Why would I care?”
“You want to find Ig? The real Ig?”
I corralled her thin shoulders and physically moved her toward the slaughter room. Toward the closet. She was too confused to grasp that I was moving her. Her little bird body was so light. But she clawed and fought at the doorjamb. “This is private! I can’t!”
“In!” I shoved her inside. She tripped on one of the carcasses and her left hand landed on Arthur’s glasses.
“This is private!” Her hands clutched her hair.
I gently helped her up and led her by the elbow to the metal drawer. I gave it a kick. There was a spark as the galvanic battery arced and the mummified finger twitched.
“It’s been there a very long time, Enid. Maybe longer than I have been away. But definitely as long as you have been in this house alone with him.”
She blanched and then dropped. Fully out, unconscious. Her face relaxed, her hands stopped clenching. She lay amid the shattered bodies of Ig’s dark imagination. Louis hung back in the doorway.
“Honestly, Louis. I was almost expecting a fight. I’m sorry my boyfriend hurt your boyfriend and all that. But maybe now when she wakes up, she’ll really wake up.”
He lumbered forward and picked Enid up like a rag doll. “Some place safe?”
He wouldn’t leave her there. We carried her to her bed, took off her shoes and covered her up.
“You need to put some clothes on.“ I threw him a pair of Ig’s sweat pants.
He laughed, “Todd has three fingers.”
“Yes. Yes, you do. And a giant schlong that scared Enid so much that she passed out. Gee, thanks Tahd!” His white face flushed, but he grinned.
“Dolly, we need a snack.”
“Boring peanut butter?”
“On boring bread.” Said the three-fingered love of my life.