The new apartment was fine. Not nice, not really great, it was fine. By now Burton had lived in enough three-flat buildings in this city to recognize that they were all basically the same-- a living room up front with big windows, skinny hallway with a dining room and bathroom along one side, then a kitchen and the bedroom in back. The long narrow lots pretty much forced the design, that and the fact that your neighbors were so close on either side that you could practically reach out and touch them. So the living room and the bedroom had to go at the ends, where the only available sunlight was. Everything else existed in the shadows and twilight of the buildings next door.
Burton had landed in this latest of many new apartments like he'd landed in the latest of many new jobs, like he'd passed through the latest of many relationships. All of them seemed to pass more quickly now, at his age. His level of commitment to them, of interest in them seemed shallower each time. Worse yet, he knew that he was incapable of hiding that fact; fresh-faced bosses, desperately hopeful dates would look to him for a reflection of their own enthusiasm, and see none of it coming back at them. He knew this, yet he couldn't seem to change it. Any more than he could force sunlight to skip over the buildings around him, and suddenly flood the long dim hall of his apartment with a trumpet blast of bright golden light.
The third or fourth night, Burton was laying in bed, watching The Tonight Show, and sufficiently uninterested that he walked out on Leno's monologue to take a pee, which he did without bothering to flip the bathroom switch. Standing there in the dark, hitting the water accurately by sound, his gaze was drawn to the louvered window in his shower, where the window opposite his bathroom on the building next door was lit up like a TV set: a perfect square image of someone else's home shining in the darkness, framed by black on three sides and a half-drawn shade at the top.
It was a bedroom-- the bed lay in front of the window-- and unlike his featureless white rooms, these walls were a rich red and decorated, in the area he could see, by some sort of tribal mask or sculpture and a wrought iron candle holder. Burton gazed idly at it, trying to make out the sculpture-- a bird? a leopard?-- when suddenly a pair of legs entered the picture, striding along the edge of the bed. He turned hurriedly away just as the blur of a female form flopped onto the bed; vaguely embarassed, even though he had done nothing and been seen by no one, he tucked himself back in his boxers and went back to his bedroom.
The next day, walking to the bus, he checked out the building next door without admitting to himself why he did so. It was a squat brick building, much larger than his, at least four or even six units per floor, U-shaped with porches on the back; big enough that in the summer a real social life probably developed there, unlike in his building with its three individual, separate floors. He vaguely watched for someone he might associate with the woman he'd seen-- well, half-seen-- but of course the odds of her coming out just that moment were not that great, even during the time that everyone was leaving for work, and in any case, he hadn't really seen her, he'd never recognize her again if he did see her.
Some blonde actress was telling Leno about some movie that Burton would never see, or if he did catch it on cable a year from now, he'd never remember that she'd once told him and 30 million other people how wonderful the making of it had been. He got up and went to the bathroom, pretending he wasn't going to see if there was anything more interesting happening on that other TV set with only one channel.
He gazed idly over at his louvered window. The shade was lower this time; the show was letterboxed tonight. But there was no show that he could see. He could make out a portion of the bed, a sliver of the red wall, a fragment of the mask. Quietly he stepped from the toilet and into his bathtub, and then peered more closely through the open spaces, trying to make out parts of the room. Curious about the life being lived elsewhere in the city. Suddenly conscious of what he was doing, he held his hand up to the window to see if enough light was reflected to make him ever so slightly visible from the other side. He didn't think so.
He inspected the room for a minute or so, imagining life on the other side from the few visible clues. Then a shadow fell across the room and he shrank back from the window. He saw only legs, upper thigh, a peach colored T-shirt or perhaps a nightie above that. Well, if that was all he could see, she couldn't see him, so he pressed his face against the screen again. Now he saw that she was somewhat heavyset, thick yet firm thighs, and when she bent-- reaching up for something, maybe-- he saw a broad but pleasingly rounded behind, a little crescent moon of butt flesh visible on either side of the panties revealed as she stretched.
Uh-oh, he thought. Somehow looking at her ass from across the way forced him to think about what he was doing in a way that just glimpsing her thighs-- from the bathtub-- had not. I've crossed some sort of line here. This is beyond an accidental glimpse, he thought.
Or is it? he asked. I'm in my own apartment, what I'm watching is visible to the outside world-- admittedly, not to very much of it, but still. He quickly rationalized that what he was doing was, if not innocent, at least permissible. If she didn't want to be visible, she could put down the shade. It wasn't up to him. Can't blame a guy for looking.
While he was thinking his way through this, the lights went off. At first he thought the show was over, but quickly his eyes adjusted to the fact that the candle had been lit, casting a flickering orange glow over the room and throwing grotesquely elongated shadows from the mask. She pulled back the sheets and lay down on the bed-- without pulling the sheets up. Her head was out of view, but he had a complete view of her body. She was big, but pleasingly curvaceous in her own way. The satin peach nightgown sloped over statuesque breasts, two pyramids rising from the desert; her belly curved more gently, other curves like love handles occasionally showing themselves as she shifted around. Her thighs were sturdy, thick, yet her legs were still long and shapely in their own way. Her hands--
Her hands were starting to reach between her thighs. Could this be true? No way, things like that didn't happen-- she was. There was no mistaking the fact, she was reaching around her belly and into her panties, lightly moving her hand up and down. Then-- as she lubricated herself-- pushing a little deeper inside. Now the rubbing picked up speed and Burton, barely conscious of what he was doing, took his hard cock out of his boxers and began to jerk himself.
Her pace continued to accelerate, her body contorted as she strained to jam fingers further and further inside herself. Her ass ground into the bed, her legs pushed up and down as if she were being fucked, and a series of rhythmic moans, kept down but not down enough, came from her with each thrust. Poor fat girl, can't find anyone to fuck her, was the thought that flashed through Burton's mind, immediately followed by a sense of how ridiculous that would have sounded coming from a single guy jerking off at his bathtub window. Forgive me, he thought, as he watched her and dreamed of being the one between her big meaty thighs, bouncing off her bounteous belly, licking at those ample round breasts.
That did it and Burton shot all over the tiles on the wall. Cum ran down into his soapdish. Even after he had relieved himself he stood there, cock growing limp in his hands, as she continued to rapidly rub herself. A cry, some more moans, subsiding slowly, and then she lay there, spent. Burton's cum grew cold on his fingers but he couldn't break away from the sight of her, flushed, sweaty, pleasured.
Then she sat up, and again Burton shrank, fearful of discovery, from the window. Yet even if his vision had been trimmed to just a sliver, he could see enough to know that she was coming around the bed, toward the window. Oh God, she couldn't have seen-- of course not. He saw her silhouetted on the blinds as she fiddled with the louvers. His last vision as the shade came down was of her top being hiked above her panties, revealing the curve of the bottom of her belly, and below that her panties bunched up into the folds of her pussy, her fuzzy mound easy to make out even in the shadows.
Burton gave his car a long, loving wash on the street in front of his building the next Saturday morning; but if the woman from the apartment opposite his ever came out, he failed to spot her. He developed a much higher frequency of urination during the next several nights watching TV, too, but he never saw her, in fact he never noticed her light coming on.
He was lying in bed one night, falling sleep, when he heard a kind of short, squeaking noise, repeated over and over. At first he thought he had a mouse, but as sleep cleared from his mind he realized that the noise was actually too loud for that, loud at its point of origin but distant, muffled by things in between. He got up to pee and as he walked down the hallway he realized the noise was growing louder. And then he realized what the cause of the sound had to be, and he stopped his hand from switching on the light at the instant before he would have spoiled it.
He stepped into the tub gently, so as not to make a sound. The louvers were shut and so he turned the knob slowly, patiently, until they rotated open. Then he moved his face into position, having already seen the flicker of the candle on the frosted glass.
First he saw her ass, big and round, up in the air. Then, her hanging breasts, bobbing back and forth; then, no mistaking it, someone was pounding her from behind, it took him a moment but he soon made out the dark shape of a man, holding onto her other haunch and slamming into her. Burton felt a strange disappointment at the reality that she had a boyfriend. Somewhere in his head there had been the funny idea that he might eventually meet her, get to know her. It was absurd, but lots of absurd possibilities float in fantasies-- until they meet the reality of a boyfriend, present in the flesh.
Yet there was something funny about the way she was reacting to the man fucking her from behind-- like her body was out of sync with the rhythm of his humping. An odd thought came to him and he slid down to the far right of the window to get the best view of the opposite end of her room. It almost looked like-- he couldn't see for sure, but the way her upper body and head were moving-- god, it had to be-- she was sucking somebody else while getting fucked from behind. She actually was, she had to be, by her movements. And that was why the noise was so different-- muffled-- from what it had been the other night. She had one cock in her mouth, and another in her pussy.
And with that realization, his furious fisting of his cock ceased, and he spurted up onto his shirt.
He looked at the mailbox labels in the foyer. A regular United Nations, 4A, Reilly and Pinkowski, 4B Nishiwara, 4C, Crews Shapiro Becker, 4D Thorsen. Well, she looked a little blonde to be Nishiwara but any of the others could fit, he didn't know how the building was laid out. And even if he did-- what did he plan to do with the information? Hi, I watched you fucking the other night, I was wondering if you needed someone to serve refreshments? Or lube?
One apartment was for rent, the thought of moving in-- or at least using that as a pretext to get further into the building-- crossed his mind. Then he remembered that the word for someone who'd do that was "stalker." It was one thing to look out his own window, it was another to con your way in the other person's front door.
A couple of days passed and then one night as he passed the bathroom he saw the lights on across the way. He flipped off his own lights and then gently stepped into the tub. On the other side, he saw boxes stacked in the room-- and his heart sank.
She was the one whose apartment was for rent. She was the one moving out.