Editor’s note: Quite a few of Ernest Hemingway’s early short stories were originally published in Cosmopolitan magazine. As part of our celebration of Valentine’s Day, we reprint one of those stories for you here.
She wore only her nightgown. The nightgown was see-through and made her look very good. The lights were dimmed. She had sliced oranges. Sliced oranges are very sexy and make a woman’s juices taste very good. She ate some of the oranges so that when she drove her man wild in the bed she would taste good. The oranges were bitter and sweet and reminded her of Paris. They had had a good time in Paris. She had told him to make love to her like a wild animal and he had and then they had gone to the café on the corner of the Rue d’Assas and had pain au chocolat and talked about making more love. That drove him wild in the bed.
She planned to use the oral sex technique “The Screw” on her man in the bed. This was a very good technique that she knew would drive him wild in bed. She would move her head from side to side and he would go wild. After the thing with the baby it was very important to her to drive him wild. It would drive him wild because she was going sideways and up and down. It was a good technique. She ate more of the oranges. The oranges were cold because they had been in the kitchen and the kitchen was cold. The whole apartment was cold. It was cold in New York.
She thought about taking a bath together. Taking a bath together is a very good technique that will drive a man wild. They would take a bath together. She took out candles and fluffy towels and put two drops of patchouli oil and three drops of sandalwood oil and three drops of lavender oil into the bathwater. Patchouli and sandalwood awaken sensuality and lavender induces relaxation. It was a good combination and it would maybe make him forget about the baby. She went to the kitchen and took out some wine. It was not very good wine but it would do well enough. They had enjoyed good wine in Paris. It was warm in Paris that year and at night the wine would make them feel even warmer and they would walk up and down the Boulevard Montparnasse and talk and he used to hold her hand very tightly and be close to her.
She was glad she was wearing her nightgown. It was her sexiest outfit. Sometimes a woman has to remind her guy that she is a prize and not an appendage. It really turns guys on to know they have someone other men want to be with. She thought about this and thought about him desiring her and feeling proud to be with her despite the thing in the hospital. He had come back. He had come back and she was going to drive him wild in bed. The oranges left a pleasant smell on her hands and she wondered if that would drive him wild in bed.
She went back into the kitchen and made sure all of the food was arranged for their dinner. They were going to have dinner without utensils so they could feed each other, which was very sexy and was going to drive him wild in bed. There is something sensual about placing food in your partner’s mouth. After dinner, she would serve herself for dessert, which was also very sexy and would probably make him want to be very close to her like he was when they lived on Rue de Vaugirad and he would rub his chin on her shoulders and it was just the two of them. He had already picked out a name for the baby if it were a girl. He wanted to call the baby Caroline. He had not been able to stand the sight of the blood and had left. She picked the peel of another orange. She did not want to eat any more oranges. She was going to drive him wild in bed.
She was going to kiss him when he came home from the bureau. They were going to kiss for ten seconds. A lot of couples continue to make love but stop kissing, which is a shame because it is a wonderful and intimate act. It would be just the two of them kissing and he would be kissing her. When they lived on Rue de Vaugirad, he had been unable to keep himself from removing her clothes and kissing her. It was always very warm in the apartment when they lived there.
She poured herself a glass of wine. Just one glass of wine would be all right. Her mind was very choppy. She wanted to be loose and uninhibited when her man came home so she could drive him wild in the bed. She drank it very quickly and it burned the back of her throat. She felt warm. It was not such bad wine. She poured another glass of wine. She had not been expecting all of the blood. The wine burned less as she drank it this time and she began to feel uninhibited. It was a good idea before going wild in the bed. He would not notice if she drank another glass of wine before he got home. She was not going to get drunk. She was just going to get a little tight. He would not have gone away at all except he was scared because men get scared but they also get wild in the bed and she was going to do that for him.
The fifth glass of wine did not burn at all. It was getting warmer in the apartment. He had wanted the baby and she had wanted him to be close to her and rub his chin on her shoulders. It was very good wine. She was just going to get a little uninhibited. Her mind was all waves now and not choppy at all. She felt very good about everything and about him being wild in the bed. That was fine. The doctor had said that sort of thing was always a bad business. She opened the bottle of absinthe they had bought in Paris on the Rue Vavin. It was very good absinthe and she poured a glass. She drank it quickly and felt even better and poured another glass. She was a little tight now. It was very warm in the apartment.