During the weeks that followed the big move, Milton Korn and Honey Bloom spent many hours together. All weekend they were sweating through the arduous task of unpacking and placing things. During that first week, the drives into the office became an hour of discussion about the farm, the acres and all the matters that are concerned with a large rural property.
The first week they used Honey’s Mercedes C series and discussed the intention to move Hetta Korn, Milt’s mother, into the guest house with Honey’s friend Shawna. They agreed to ask Shawna to manage the move for the two of them. During the drive home at the end of the work day they usually talked about the day’s work. They developed creative concepts for current assignments and that sort of thing.
At home in the kitchen they chatted while they made supper together. They talked about what produce, meats and vegetables they should get, and where they should get them. Honey was accustomed to a market in a large, upscale shopping center. Milton believed that the small shops in the old market area downtown had better quality and lower prices.
The third Saturday after their move, Hetta and Shawna moved to the guest house. Shawna had solved the problem easily – she hired professional movers. She drove Hetta to her new home in Shawna’s Miata. Hetta was not happy in the sweet little sports car. She mentioned several times that she’d like to have a little more steel around her.
That first evening, Milton made supper for them all in the main house. In the interests of simplicity, he made spaghetti with his own homemade sauce. Hetta, of course, was familiar with Milton’s culinary talent, but Shawna and Honey were very impressed. He willingly gave the recipe to Shawna and promised Honey he would make it from time to time, even when there was no company visiting.
The atmosphere was warm and friendly around the table. Hetta had been upset when Milt announced his plans to move. Then she was upset because he was to be housemates with a ‘tramp’, even though she was Jewish. She was complaining about how she’d be unable to get used to a new house, especially in the country.
“What do I know about living in the country?” she said. “If any little thing goes wrong, I’m in trouble. I don’t know from nothing. Where am I going to shop? There’s nothing kosher for a hundred miles from this no-mans’ land.”
“Shawna will help you when you need it,” Honey said. And she’ll take you shopping and shop for us at the same time.”
“Just give it an honest try, Mom,” Milt said.
In no time at all, Hetta was happy. She realized the convenience of a single story home, and the benefits of a smart young woman to help. Up at the main house, however, comfort was a bit more difficult to come by. There was an elephant in the house and neither of them was acknowledging it.
Every evening, one or the other of them would be first to retire for the night. The other would immediately claim to have something to stay up for and would go up later.
When Milt went first, Honey would sit and gaze into the fire, wondering what would happen if she surprised Milt by joining him in the shower. She thought about her growing affection for him, and how well they complement each other.
When Honey went first, Milt would gaze into the fire wondering how he could broach the subject of his growing desire for her. He’d mount the stairs after he heard her return to her room from the shower. He passed her room on his way to the shower, and he couldn’t avoid thinking of Honey on the other side of that door, perhaps nude, perhaps tucked into her bed.
One Friday evening Hetta and Shawna had been over for a barbecue and Milton cleaned up in the kitchen after they left for their own house. Honey went up to shower and go to bed. He luxuriated in the shower for fifteen minutes before he toweled himself off and went to his bedroom.
He didn’t turn on the light, but dropped his robe on a chair and slipped into his bed. He found Honey there.
“I hope this isn’t offensive,” she said. Milt didn’t reply, he just held her smooth warmth close to his body.