In the end, she was glad she had flown with Selim. Their seats were massive, full-reclining, and almost entirely private. She ate, she slept, she watched two films and she even pulled out a notebook and started making a list on the gridded paper of places she wanted to go. She showed it to Selim, asking if he’d ever done any of them. The Whitney, yes. The New Museum, no. The High Line, no. Daniel, yes. Ippudo, no. Did she want to go to any Broadway shows, he asked. Not particularly, she answered. Would she be able to amuse herself during the day, while he was working? Oh, certainly.
Before landing she went into the bathroom to brush her teeth and attempt to look presentable. She assessed her appearance in the mirror, dismayed in the fluorescent lights. A little more Touche Eclat under her eyes, a little more bronzer on her cheeks, and she looked more alive. A quiet knock startled her.
“Just a minute,” she said.
“It’s me.” Selim.
She unlatched the lock and he opened the door, squeezing into the small lavatory with her.
“You’re kidding, right?” She still had her makeup bag unzipped on the baby changing table.
He held his finger to her lips. “Come on,” he whispered. They stood face to face, already touching in the tiny space of the bathroom. He moved his hips against hers, pressing her into the door, and he nuzzled in to kiss her neck.
“I still can’t believe you,” she said, but she pushed back against him anyway, wending her fingers into his hair, pulling him closer to her. “I just did my makeup.” He unzipped her jeans and pushed them down her thighs.
“Sit there,” he gestured to the basin. She balanced herself on the edge of the sink while he sat on the closed toilet lid. “Now put your legs over my head,” he said, and ducked in between them.
She leaned back against the mirror and held on to the edge of the basin with one hand, the faucet with another, bracing her feet against the wall behind Selim.
“I want to make you happy,” he whispered into the inside of her thigh, kissing a trail to her labia. She gripped the faucet more tightly as he increased his intensity, targeting her with his tongue, slipping one finger, then another, quickly into her. The bell rang to call them back to their seats for landing. She squirmed against him.
“Not yet,” he said, moving his thumb to flick her clitoris. The bell rang more insistently. And then she was floating for a minute, heat emanating from the core of her body, dizzy and disoriented, and he was slipping out from between her legs, standing her up and pulling up her jeans, splashing his face with water and toweling it off.
“I’ll go out first,” he said, leaving her in the lavatory. She glanced in the mirror again and was pleased to see the color had returned to her face. As she left the bathroom she met a flight attendant eyeing her suspiciously. Francesca stared down the uniformed woman, defying her to say something. The flight attendant remained silent. Francesca noticed a cheap, glossy tabloid rolled in her quilted nylon tote bag.
[after this: New York State of Mind]