The Snuggler

IMG_0666_2.jpgRichard Roffe was lying in bed with Susan. He did not know if Susan was her real name, and considering he was using a fake name — it didn’t really matter. Richard was in a lot of debt when he got out of med school and something about doing your residency really rubbed him the wrong way, so he never actually became a full MD (though on the bus to Susan’s house this morning, a man became suddenly ill and when the driver pulled over he exclaimed “Is there a Doctor on board?” To which Richard proudly raised his hand).

At this moment, however, Richard Roffe was snuggling with Susan because he was getting paid.

I have been so sad since I lost my husband.
I’m sorry for your loss.
He used to hold me just like you’re holding me now.
Does this make you feel connected to him?
He’s dead.
Of course.

Richard Roffe’s mind burned through The Snugglers handbook — page 28, Unit 2  Snuggle as a Substitute.
Never, under any circumstances, attempt to clinic your client.”

Damn it, thought Richard. I’m too damn close! I’m too close to the sun! Then Susan spoke…

Can we spoon facing each other?
How’s this?
Your eyes are so green.
When I wear blue, they look green.
My husband had light eyes.

Do not take the bait, Richard, he thought to himself. Do not take the fucking bait.

Were they green like mine?
Blue. What’s the matter with you?
I thought—
My dead husbands eyes were blue. Oceanic. Rollicking as the Pacific. Still as fine wine.

Richard Roffe stayed quiet staring into Susan eyes; glad he was getting paid $40 an hour. He would never know Susan’s actual name. And he would never have to compete with a dead man, again. Unless, of course his next client was also dealing with a loss and he bumbled his thoughts once more.

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