If anyone would’ve told me what was awaiting me at home that Friday evening I may have hurried my step instead of lugging through the bustle of Bloomsbury streets at the end of a long day’s work. Then again, I may have decided that some things are best left unseen.
“Honey, I’m home!” I shouted out once through the door, my hands sore with the weight shopping bags, a last-minute escapade in attempt to appease a rather moody fridge that for the past week had only a solitary bottle of champagne to keep it’s innards nice and chilly.
No answer. Just as well. I could make it a surprise. It’s not often that I sport the domestic goddess hat. Except…
What’s that noise? Damn. He left the shower running. I shoved the door with one foot, dumped the shopping bags onto the floor and ran to the bathroom to turn off the taps before the flat turned into the next post-impact Titanic scene. Opened the door and…
Benedict Cumberbatch. In my shower. Stark naked. Perhaps this last explanation is unnecessary. After all, people do tend to be unclothed in this context. I can’t say that I shied away from the view. Rather picturesque.
“Oh… Hi,” he said.
I nodded. My tongue decided to take a leave of absence, together with my senses. That however, I could’ve just about coped with, if it hadn’t been for the half drawn shower curtain opening up next and Martin Freeman sticking out his head from behind.
“Jonny should be here in a few minutes. He’s just gone down to get supplies,” he smiles and then disappears back behind the curtain.
I can’t move. Frozen to the spot. Breathed in. Breathed out. No better. I did not just see that. It wasn’t happening. Oh. My. God. What the hell?!
I could sense Benedict’s gaze on me, but making eye contact was a little too much to ask of me that very moment. My eyes had seen, but my mind refused to process the visual evidence. I turned around and fled through the half-open door, leaving my two unexpected guests to their own devices. The image of what that might actually be was stuck to my retina, no less real for it having been imagined.
I stopped outside the bathroom door trying to reassemble myself into something resembling a sentient being. The effect of the scene began to recede. Thoughts flooded in one after another.
Wait a minute. Did he say Jonny’s here too? He didn’t mention being in town. I was sure that he was still busy filming in New York. If this is about to turn into a ménage-a-trois, I need to make myself sparse. Quickly.
“Hey, there you are. I see we’ve had the same idea,” Jonny was standing in the doorway, presenting a bagful of edible delights.
“Jonny, what’s going on? What are Ben and Martin doing here? What are you doing here?”
“Hey! I’m just here for the dinner,” cheeky wink followed.
“So I haven’t just stepped into the prelude to an orgy then?” I followed him through the hallway towards the kitchen, Jonny having insisted that he’s more than able to carry my shopping in as well.
“Come on. You know me better than that,” he laughed, unpacking the goodies into the fridge.
“I thought I knew those two better than that as well. How long has this been going on?”
“The heart gets what the heart wants,” he said, philosophical like.
“Not mine, apparently.” Deflated didn’t even begin to describe how I felt.
“Come on, Vics. Chin up. Didn’t you say that you’d reached the ironic stage in your obsession with Ben? Now you can get over it altogether.”
“And how am I supposed to do that?” I asked, genuinely curious to see what solution he might propose.
“That’s Elementary, my dear Vic,” he said, “Just get yourself another.”
“And who might you offer as a substitute?”
“Yours truly?” he pirouetted on the spot, sporting the best grinning Cheshire Cat impression.
“Swap one Sherlock for the other, you say? No offence, Jonny, but besides the fact that you are positively taken, my feelings for you have always been platonic.”
“Your feelings for whom have always been platonic?” asked Ben. He moved like a puma on the prowl that one. Didn’t even hear him come into the room.
“Why for you of course,” intervened Jonny before I had a chance to reply.
“Hmm…” Ben looked unconvinced.
He suited the just-out-of-the-shower look. Why Oh Why was I doing this to myself? Alright. I had to get over this. It was all getting a little too intense. Clearly Ben and I had one too many things in common. Namely, that whole sleeping with men thing. “Tea?” I asked to change the subject.
“Whiskey, if you’ve got any,” Ben said.
“Shall I get one for Martin as well?” I asked.
He shook his head in a decisive negative: “He had to leave. Some emergency at home.”
“Right.” I busied myself with a dusty bottle of single malt. After a few minutes I handed him the glass. Jonny had mixed his own drink. Not in the mood for whiskey apparently. I decided to bite the bullet and ask: “So… You and Martin… Are you an item now?”
A loud bang made me start. I looked around. Everything became hazy. No. Wait. I’m not ready yet. Can’t go. I need to find out…
Just my luck. Can’t get a break, can I? A girl can dream… But what kind of masochistic tendency is this? Frustration running high.
Ever since Cumberbatch has infiltrated my unconscious, one disaster follows another. His appearances for quite a while were rather villainous in nature, and the one time I somehow managed to seduce the elusive Cumberbatch, low and behold, instead of the expected steamy sex scene, I got the disappointing tryst of Sex with you-know-who. And now… homoerotic dreams about his presumed affair with Martin. Damn.
My hubby laughed for ten full minutes when I related him the shower scene. Well… at least someone is getting a measure of enjoyment out of this. I know I’m not.
That’ll exorcise (or possibly exercise) some ‘ghosts’. Love the way your writing flows. This did create a somewhat bizarre and disturbing image in my mind – but what the heck, it was good fun!
Glad you enjoyed it, Chris. You are right about the “exorcise” intent of these pieces. All written in the hope that the more I laugh at myself the less I will be in the grip of it. Taking back control as it were.
Incidentally, some of the images to choose from were a lot more risqué than the ones included in the piece, but I thought they may detract from the intended lightness of the narrative.
We need Johnny, Benedict and Martin to see thing. Seriously. God, I am still laughing.
Ha-ha! Feel free to do the honours. Very glad you enjoyed it 🙂
OMG Vic, you surpass yourself every time with this topic…. 😀
You know what they say, KG, write about what you know 😉 Thank you. Lovely comment and much appreciated.
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