It was this time, in the cool, autumn wind, that reminded me of the girl with cherry blossom petals in her hair. I sat alone in the park, once again regarding the vivid blue sky as it vanished into flaming amber. Just as the nocturnal will hanker for the moon, I ached to hear the sound of her contagious giggle again, to touch the soft skin on the nape of her neck, and to kiss her velvet lips.
Leaning forward, I bound my hands together by the fingers. I held my breath before taking in the savor of the sea that wasn’t far from me. She loved its cleansing melody and the salty taste. I never loved it until I knew that I loved her. It has its secrets, its mysteries, its wonders, and its beauty.
She was beautiful. The girl that I had caught sight of from across the café three months ago, the woman whose infectious laugh would linger in your mind for hours, the woman who smiled at me every time she looked into my soul. After all of this time, it was the way she laced her fingers with mine that sent a wash of comfort over my core.
Our moments of intimacy were unforgettable. It didn’t take much for her to persuade me to hold her. Her silence was alluring. There were moments of happenstance. Her love of the ocean suddenly becoming my own, the pure smell of the summer breeze gliding through my sleeping senses, the night’s stars glistening brighter than before like shattered diamonds. It was her presence that ushered these unlikely impressions. It was her presence that awakened an inattentive soul.
Why should I dwell on such trivial similes and metaphors? Why should we allow someone to open up the secret places within us that we never seem to understand? The places that many of us refuse to give light. Why make us so vulnerable to the vulnerable? I didn’t know the answers to any of these questions, but I did know that when someone, you don’t understand, tells you that you’re beautiful... the answers were right there.
When she wasn’t beside me, often did I think about the first time I loved her.
It had been a long evening of conversations in the park to finished wine glasses back at my studio apartment.
“Are you enjoying yourself?” I asked, before taking a final sip.
She already finished her second glass and was busy tracing her forefinger over the top of my hand. A simple tilt of the head with a cheeky grin was her standard way of answering when she wasn’t ready to say what was on her mind. Her leer always grew into a grand smile whenever she could prompt my one-sided grin. My latest glances had surveyed her lips. I knew what they tasted like, and I preferred her to the relish of the fine wine.
“Dance with me,” she gently insisted.
Though there was no music, the desire to be close to her conquered any question against it.
Wrapped up in her charm, she led me over to the open floor of the den. The moment I stepped in front of her, those hips began to sway. Eyes locked on her waist, she took my hands and placed them on her sides. Underneath the thin layers of fabric, I could feel the softness of her physique. My mind couldn’t help but wonder what was underneath the floral dress. Her hands were gripped on my shoulders and began a journey northbound. My nerves rattled by her touch before the tips of her fingers trekked over the nape of my neck. She was a trailblazer. A pyromaniac in a world where I wanted to burn forever. While she ventured, so did I. Her track was bare, but a thinly veiled obstacle covered mine. Slowly rubbing my hands up her back, I felt her fingers skip.
“Do you like this?” I asked continuing to graze over her spine.
She didn’t answer me, or she wouldn’t. An answer would be too simple. I waited for an implicit answer; she gave it to me in the form of a soft kiss. Of course, it was not on lips, but on my chin. Hinted with cerise were those soft lips that I drifted over any moment I could. Placing her hands on my cheeks, she then pulled me close to brush her mouth against mine. Breathing on her, the ability to hold back was nearing impossible. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the beauty who knew how to make me want. At that moment, things could not have been any more clear, and I knew it when she whispered beside my earlobe, “Are you happy?”
Wanting to abide by my first instinct, my lips parted to answer her. However, what I wanted to say would not have been enough.
So, instead, I replied, “Are you?”
And there was another skip that I felt underneath her skin. I was suddenly fascinated with the ability to do this to her. She was a fortress, and I was learning how to get underneath the soft brick and mortar.
She took a step back and asked me to show her the rest of my space. I slipped my hand in hers and began our tour into a short hallway. To the left was my bedroom. Once I pushed open the door for brief viewing, she trotted into the room. Fighting a sweat, I asked what she was doing, but she threw back that grin. She paced her way through and around the bed and lightly tugged at her curls. A simple gesture drove me wild.
“Is everything okay?” I muttered, overcoming my need to envision myself between her legs.
Again, there was no answer. Instead, she ran her hand over the surface of the bed’s comforter before taking a seat. I found, to overcome was to suffer.
I sat beside her. I was unsure if there was a thing I could say in the looming silence, especially after her palm slid over my hand.
Just then, turning to her brought about the start to a shameless fantasy. She sought her mouth with my own. Her sweet lips against mine again– electrifying. I cradled the softness of her face, urging for more of her. To my dismay, she backed away. Her body slid further onto the bed, and she rested her back against the mattress. My heart was pounding. Nerves were jittering underneath my skin, as I desperately tried to control my unrestrained thoughts. It was impossible to do, with the hem of her dress unevenly draped across her thighs– mere inches from uncharted territory.
Breaking away from hesitation, I lounged beside her. My finger delicately ran down the trembling center of her stomach. My eyes magnetized to hers as she gazed back at me in anticipation. Young and innocent she was, but in her eyes she was unhesitating. As much as I had dreamed of this, I was unsure of where to go or what to do next.
She was in my bed, chest gradually rising and falling, and waiting patiently for another expression of love. But I didn’t move. Despite the love in her eyes, the held fear of seeing it fade with the wrong move.
My fears were unwelcome. Her soft palm graciously warmed my cheek, and a warm smile was on her face.
She let words flow from between her blushing lips to tell me that she had last been with someone years ago. She loved him, but he loved someone close to her. It hadn’t mattered who else it was; it was someone else.
I waited for the embers to wash away into colorless ash. I waited.
I asked if she could ever love like that again, and she said, “Never again will I give my heart away.”
My lover had said ‘never again’, but at this moment, as I looked at her, her words didn’t seem to hold true. I was still waiting. And as I became one with her, I hoped that maybe, just maybe, I could change her mind.
Whether or not I was enough to help her tender memories fade away, the most I could do was keep her beside me. It was her bitten lips, the architecture of sinuous hills and gentle valleys if her frame, the way she laced her fingers with mine after our carnal adventure.
Her head turned to face me. Eyes of inferno were back to a slow burn and affixed to me. She noted and whispered, “You’re afraid of something.”
“I’ve been terrified of it since I first laid eyes on you,” I confessed.
“What is it?” she whispered.
Even after what we had gone through, I still couldn’t tell her. As I tensed my fingers with hers, something in me had hoped that she would understand. Would this non-verbal answer be enough?
Can you understand what I mean?
Suddenly, her grip was corresponding, and that beautiful smile was on me.
Then she told me, “I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. Not with the way I feel about you.”
My heart was aflutter and in disbelief, “I thought that you said that you would never give it away again.”
She closed her eyes and looked up at the ceiling. The smile was still there, as was the flame.
“You can’t give away something that’ been stolen.”