illustration by Victo Ngai for the fiction “Sweet Dreams” by Peter Stamm
She went to the bathroom, filled the tub, and got undressed. The mirror misted over with condensation, and the smell of pine needles filled the air. She turned off the water, and the apartment suddenly seemed very quiet. Then she heard footsteps, and Simon’s voice through the half-open door. He said, I’ll just go downstairs for the bottle of wine. I thought you’d gone already, said Lara, and she poked her head through the crack, and he kissed her on the lips and tried to barge the door open, but she held it shut. They kissed again. See you soon, said Lara. It was odd, she still felt a little ashamed in front of him.