Faithful to the sun

I lie, cheat and steal. Am I perfect or am I broken? Perhaps we are all broken and just don't know it yet.

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3. Torment and turquoise

I have been asked a lot of times, almost as much as I have asked myself if there are such things as emotionally unavailable people. And I was always going back and forth between a shy yes that made me feel better for an instant at the thought that I had no blame in the drama I made up in my life but then I look back at no, telling me that emotionally unavailable means nothing more than “You don’t fascinate me enough” or “I don’t care enough” or simply “I don’t want you”. I never managed to get an answer because every time, each choice seemed appropriate depending on which side of the front I was or when I was simply too tired and no longer cared what the truth was.

Psychology teaches us that emotionally unavailable people are unfinished individuals, unfulfilled spiritually, whose self is incomplete and in a permanent search of its inner desires. But that I already knew because I have seen with my eyes how some people absorb like sponges all their frustrations and sadness which they store deep and condemn them to stay hidden out of fear of opening up and trusting those around. Oddly enough, it is this specific dysfunction which condemns them from the start of every attempt of a serious relationship. The true self is foreign to the unaivalables because they are either unaware of their emotions or they simply deny them and push them back, refusing to let feelings to dominate them. Ironically enough, they will draw in individual that can feel their sky-high walls and will with to rescue the emotionally challenged because they too have a compulsive need: the need to suffer.  

And as long as we are speaking of psychology, the attraction towards emotionally unavailable people is nothing but a psychological instrument that we took over in the past, most likely our childhood, algorithm that will be repeated unconsciously forever in every rational decision we will have for the rest of our lives. We can translate this attraction as anything from fear of abandonment, low self-esteem, disbelief in yourself or others, fear, shame or vulnerability. If during our childhood, we did not feel accepted by our parents, if we did not receive the attention we felt we deserved, if we felt criticized, misunderstood or abandoned then we will develop the conviction that we deserve this and nothing more and we will have the tendency to choose those who will only drive us further from spiritual fluffiness, as though confirming the idea from which we started that this is all we deserve.

Although childhood remains one of the shortest periods of our lives it leaves deep carvings in our whole existence. A cold, unavailable parent, physically or emotionally who imprints his own shortcomings into the child’s ambition, a parent who cannot answer for his child’s needs will make the young one assume the conviction that his needs are unimportant thus creating the premises of an unsecure adult who will always have a suffocating need for attention from every partner throughout his life. Oddly enough, once the newly formed adult will have children of his own he will embed in their minds the same monstrous patters he had growing up: he will push them to the limit because he will see in them a chance to change the past. In relationships he will chase the ones in which he will offer more than he received out of the need for attention, love and affection he did not receive as a child.

We are unfinished and when we struggle for a connection with a person that fears involvement or is already in another relationship who have nothing to offer but crumbs of their souls and their time or when the people that we crave for are so far away that the bond between us will never get us the drama that we search, we would never admit it that we are the people that need to be saved from the masochist need of getting hurt again. We will choose the same pattern because when they come they make us feel the familiar pain with which we were used and we condemn ourselves to be prisoners in a vicious circle that we will repeat until forever.

Basically we will always have the tendency to mold our entire existence after the role models we had in our childhood: if we felt rejected by someone close when we were young then when we are older we will be drawn to people that do the same thing to us despite our immense need for attention and affection. We suffer because we do not have the things we want and the things we deserve and ironically we want that these needs be fulfilled by people who cannot do that. We crave for the executioner that summons his victim and we offer ourselves, placing our head smiling on the guillotine while we wait for the blade to touch our necks. We like to find ourselves in the position of victims that fusser for love and blame the unavailables for our pain when, in fact the executioner and the victim is one and the same: us. Nobody can harm us unless we let them and we choose the unavailables for their flaws and sickened views of connection. The people that we choose are no more than reflections of our true selves.

You may not realize it at first but when you throw a careful glance into your past you will see your whole existence as a reiteration of old experiences, stuck in subconscious which have influenced every decision of your life. It is a tedious work, but if you have the patience to dig out the remains of buried relationships you may identify the algorithms and the behavioral models that have led you to where you are today. No one can say they were all mistakes, you can only make a mistake once, every other time it’s intentional. 

The bad news is, we cannot change our childhood or our past but the good news is that we can change our future. Or so I’ve been told, but every time he came through my door I merely handed him the whip, bowed my head and said: “Do what you want with me”.

I didn’t feel like that with Dominic. In his case I held the sword and when he begged for mercy I stabbed him in the back. We met one night, long ago. I can’t remember how he ended up at our table. He was playing pool at first with the boys and I was watching him intensely. He was well built, with strong arms and gorgeous jet-black hair that seemed to point in every possible direction. The next thing I remember was that he was at my table and we started talking, he invited me to go to a club somewhere close which I accepted almost immediately. In the club we hardly danced, we hardly sat, we just made out for what seemed like days. At the end of the night he asked me back to his place which I denied so he asked to see me again the next day. The following day I met with him just to tell him that after careful consideration I found his approach to me rude and inconsiderate. How dared he ask me to his house when he didn’t even know my last name?

“I didn’t like the fact that you assumed that I would just jump in your bed the first night we met” I continued in my rant. All the while he was speechless. He was probably expecting me to be all giggles dressed up to meet him for a date. Instead I came prepared to say what I wanted and leave. When I was finally finished ranting he just took a big breath and said:

“I’m sorry if I offended you but last night you were clinging to me like a magnet to a refrigerator. I just assumed you wanted more. You didn’t. That’s it.”

“So you asked me out to give it another shot?”

“I asked you out because I like you. Even if you went to bed with me I still would have wanted to know you. I’m not like the other guys you had that just want a one night stand and disappear before you wake up.”

“You have no idea about my other guys” I wanted for some reason to tell him then and there, in the street, outside the restaurant that there were no other guys, that the only man who has gotten close to my body refused to touch me but did not hesitate to crush my soul.

“Do you even want to go in?” In that moment I saw a weakness in his eyes that made me change my mind about my previous plans and so I accepted his hand and walked in.

We saw each other again the following days then days turned into months. But that time flew by without a shadow of love from my side. It was nothing more than comfort and attention and that was all that I needed. After almost every date I kept telling myself that I would break up with him soon, that I couldn’t really stand him, nothing he had to say was good enough, nothing he did was to my liking. Now that I look back I admire him: he was always happy and smiling despite all the things he lacked, or at least I think he lacked. He was a man of simple words, always honest and most of the times I missed fighting to hear what I needed. He liked small quiet places and I longed for the opulence of the establishments I frequented with Alex. But I liked him and the way he saw me. He had such big dreams for us. He would talk about our future with glowing eyes and paint the most beautiful pictures of how we will get married, have children and grow old together. I never once said a single word to discourage him but every single image that he painted disgusted me. How many of us fall into this trap? We like but don’t fully love.  We all do it. We will fall into some form of love with someone who annoys us, whose orgasm face looks and feels pathetic. Despite all of this, there’s something keeping us drawn to them, something that makes us want to protect them from the harsh world. What we fail to realize, however, is that we are the harsh world. We aren’t their noble protector — we are someone to be protected from but it takes a lot of dates, a lot of nights where we question whether or not we are actually a good person, for this to ever resonate with us. When it’s over and whatever love is left is put back in the fridge like a sad plate of leftovers, we will finally understand that we have the power to hurt someone and what a great power that is. We can either hurt them or love them and it’s up to us to decide what kind of role we would like to take on in future relationships. What feels more comfortable — being the one who loves more or being the one who’s loved less?

For all his kindness and sweet words, Dominic was consuming me. I knew that he would never fully be what I wanted, that I should put behind all of our memories before he would end up with a broken heart, but so deep was my fear that if I left him I would be alone for the rest of my life because there would never really be anyone I truly loved except for Alex. I have cursed so many times all those puffy romance novels and the authors who conceived them where if one character fell in love with another the universe would sprinkle magic stardust to make the feelings mutual. Only the villain would be punished with the dread of loneliness while everyone else lived their happy ever after. I loved reading those books and the fantasy world I threw myself into head first, expecting that reality to mold my own so that everyone around me would find happiness and peace. But the truth was that my existence was much more cruel and savage. Here the princes and princesses would never find each other and marriage ended in ugly divorce and the villains got to keep the castle and even the beautiful maidens that wanted a crown and luxury in detriment of the blinding love of the brat prince. In my stories the demons lie within everyone and heroes could be defeated over and over again and the universe would never bring that magic moment where everything changed for the better. In this world it does not matter if you are honest and loyal and just, because society, like the fire-breathing dragon, burned alive everyone all those who dared to show even a shadow of a weakness and presented to the masses the “happy ever after” as an urban myth in which if you believe enough it might just happen. But how often does it happen? Why do the stories end after the first kiss or the first year of marriage? Do those stories know of affairs and lies? Do they know that love may not be enough to bring food on the table for a family? In all the books I have read, the heroes move past the darkness and save the day, but in my world I have seen enough good men dying of overdose in a crappy motel because no matter how hard they tried, life kept kicking them back into their place, into the darkness, where they belonged. I have seen enough just people that ended up working as slaves in a mediocre job while their superior was the colleague from school that did nothing more than cheat on every test, most likely from the just ones. I keep hearing that one day everyone will pay for all their sins but I have seen university professors that lived their whole life in misery and poverty while human barbies whose only accomplishment was to receive more silicone than a mannequin got to dictate how society should be until they became old and shriveled. When does that payment start? I doubt I would suffer how society viewed me after I’m dead. So I ask myself, why bother being honest and just? Why not just accept your demons?

When I was with Dominic, my demons kept telling me to get out, to escape for he would not give me the peace and love I longed for. It was while I was with him that I learned of compromise: even the greatest loves I had as examples fought and were not mirror images of each other so I thought maybe if I just stick around longer I might learn to love him. But it never happened. Instead my escape became the first step in my destruction: I started to flirt with every man that even remotely attracted me, every time I left Dominic’s side.

I dragged Dominic one night to a club I knew I was bound to see Alex. The room was as dark as it can be, the patches of light on the walls struggled in the vast spacious room and only cast waves of shadows creating a sea of shapes from the mass of people that moved in a hypnotic rhythm. The music was too loud, that perfect volume that makes you feel the bass in the pit of your stomach. The dance floor was lit by three shy strobe lights that tried to keep up with the changing pace of the music. The air was filled with smoke that had the faintest smell of strawberries. When we reached our couch, the dark velvet look inviting so I dragged my fingers lazily across the fabric feeling the material, closing my eyes to visualize each thread but my nails found a small hole from a cigarette burn. I shook my head to cast that image out, opened my eyes and looked around. We were close to the dance floor but a level slightly higher, just a few steps. There was a metal railing that separated our secluded little space from the mass of people that seemed to shake violently to the strong, increasing beat. I got up from the couch and went to it. I grabbed it with both hands and rolled my eyes around the masses then I saw him, sitting at a table to our left, not far from where I stood. I could see him perfectly even in that dim light and when our eyes locked it was as if the air electric, filled with magic. Every breath I took made my heart beat faster, made the music dim away, made the light brighter and focus on him. I just took it all in: his gaze screamed lust and wanting, his smirk betrayed the evil within and that night he was wearing all black, just like me, as if by some telepathic connection we agreed to this from before. We just looked at each other and every moment sent currents of electricity into my every fiber. I could feel my blood pulsing through my veins. And then the magic stopped. Dominic touched me to wake me up from my trance and so strong was my awe that he was literally zapped by static electricity when he touched my back.

“Ahh… Wow! You’re electric tonight. What are you looking at?” He asked in a deep voice that wanted to be sexy.

“Nothing” I responded and quickly I moved my glance to him so as to not betray my little secret for in all our time together I have not once mentioned Alex. In Dom’s world, Alex did not even exist. For all he knew I was his and his alone. But we are all liars and I was no exception.

When Dom was busy giving the order for our table I looked back at Alex. He was at his table, a small round piece, with four tall bar stools surrounding it. He was seating so that his view was always on me, he had both hands on the table, a drink in his right hand and a cigarette in his left. When he saw me he raised his glass and bowed his head and I just cocked my head and grinned. I stole my glace away from him for just a second to make sure Dominic was busy with anything else and looked back. At that point Alex closed his eyes and smiled while shaking his head. He looked back at me then he lowered his head and looked at the brunette dressed in a tight white dress that came to sit next to him. She threw an arm around his neck and used the other to grab his chin to lead his lips to hers. Our little game made me feel more alive than I have felt in weeks. It was this secret, this taunting, and the deception that pumped adrenaline like crazy in my body. Dominic returned, his attention on me and so he started his assault on my lips. This was our ritual after all, we have been so consumed with the physical lately partly because I wanted to ignore the emotional level of our relationship and partly because by body begged for the attention. We would make out for hours no matter where we went, the public display of attention was no issue for any of us and when we were in private, our moves, out touched were bolder each time. Now Dominic was clawing his fingers in my hair, grazing my lips with his teeth, it didn’t matter that there were friends around us, we deluded ourselves that in the darkness of the club we were hidden away. When he tore himself away I looked into his eyes, trying to tell him with a gaze all that was in my mind but he was blind to me. He could not read me, no more than I could read the table in front of us so I moved my gaze to Alex. He was talking to a friend but I waited for him to throw a glance, anything and when he did his eyes screamed anger but his grin told me he was still open to the game. I loved that we could have entire conversations without saying a word. I could never understand the people that struggled to fill every awkward silence with meaningless rambles. I hear left and right that the perfect couple is the one that can say anything to each other and they say everything. I think perfection is beyond words, it lies in the silence, when a couple can say everything without saying one word: that is the true connection. I pity those who have to speak what they feel. As he stared at me his grin grew larger until he turned his head to the brunette, got off his chair and pushed her against one of the high pillar that supporter the upper floor, kissing her lips, then her neck, his hands roaming freely over her body. It was a challenge: I knew he felt hurt seeing me with Dominic so he decided to show me the same treatment and the first one to care, looses. Let’s play.

Jenny was with one of Dominic’s friends: Marvin. She dedicated herself to him in such a way ever since they met that I fascinated with their relationship. What was she feeling? She said she felt loved but I could not understand, even in the slightest, what was going through her head. In my mind, love, was either a perverted game or a forced encounter to avoid loneliness. I got close to romantic couple, grabbed Jenny’s arm and pulled at her to get up.

“Did we come here to dance or make out?” I asked with a cocky grin on my face. He wanted a show? Why keep it private? Jenny got up and started to grind against me. We stretched to drink shot after shot and after a while our dance became bolder. Every once in a while I would look back to him and I felt fuled every time I saw him smiling, enjoying the show. I moved closer to Jenny, placed both my hands around her neck then slid them down towards her shoulders then her breasts, giving them a small squeeze. I loved the way her breasts felt beneath my fingers, how the soft flesh molded in my hand under the pressure. I almost wanted tear her dress so that I could feel them bare under my touch. When my hands slid lower, grabbing her waist, I pulled her even closer, her face mere inches from mine, her full lips seemed to want mine with equal passion but a cold hand on my shoulder pulled me back.

“What do you think you are doing?” Dominic fumed “do you think you are at a strip club? Why are you acting like a hooker?”

I sighed out a breath I did not even realize I was holding then moved past the mad man to sit on the couch. When he came next to me I could almost feel his anger vibrating in the air around us.

“What?” I said in an exasperated tone

“What the hell were you thinking? That is not how a lady should behave in public. That is how a whore behaves. A lady should stay on the couch or dance in a humbly manner not raise her legs like a stripper”

“Look, I understand you don’t like to be humiliated by your girl, as you so nicely put it a million times but I need to get loose too. Please don’t put a leash around my neck.”

“It you want to get loose, do that at home, not in the club for everyone to see”

“Oh, I see, my dancing is too vulgar and the little kids will have traumas for the rest of their innocent lives but the pre-fucking we are doing on the couch usually, that’s ok because people think we are hugging” My tone was mockingly and I knew if I didn’t change the subject or my tone soon Dominic would lose it. He wasn’t one to control his temper, especially in what concerned me.

“Listen dearest” I started in a tone as sweet as I could manage “maybe I just had a bad bay and needed to blow some steam. I won’t be a whore again. I promise. I will be so good people will build statues of me in churches.” As I finished I almost jumped him, locking both my hands in his hair kissing him softly.

“At least it was a girl, not a boy” I joked

“If it were a boy, both of you would have no head”

“In that case I’d better make sure it’s pretty while it’s still here. Be right back. Going to check on what’s left of my makeup”

As I left, I specifically chose a route that would bring me right next to Alex’s table and when I walked as near to him as I could I said without looking at him “follow me!” and he did just that. We moved past the bathroom doors, towards the main entrance then hurried around the corner.

Alex rested his back against the wall as he searched his pockets for the pack of cigarettes he always had on him. He pulled one out, placed it in the corner of his mouth then searched for the lighter.

“Controlling little thing” He said just as he was passing me the cigarette he just lit. “Just when things were getting interesting. Were you going to make out with her?”

“Maybe... It seems that now we will never know.”

“I like how your dirty little mind works”

“He doesn’t. I got a lecture on manners at a night club.”

He just smiles as he picks up another cigarette, lights it and breaths in a lungful of smoke.

I let my head down and sigh the words out: ”I just want to run away with you.”

He looks at me with pain in his eyes and says: “No, you don’t. I think you like the idea of me. Will you stay if I were to be yours or will you get bored and move on. You’re so young, kid, you’ll get curious at least what it’s like to be with another man. You hurt me so many times in the past, running off to another. Why should it be different now?”

“I was only fighting back. I never wanted to hurt you, but you did hurt me first, broke my heart and I did what I could to fix it.”

“We’re going to the cabin tomorrow. Come with me.”

I smiled, nod my head and started for the door. I through my cigarette just as I am about to enter the club again right in the street and almost dread going back in to Dom’s rants about how I should behave. It wasn’t the first lecture he gave me. In the past he tried to educate me on how to dress, how to dance, what to say and how to say it. At first when he commented on the length of my dress I found him endearing but after a while the rants were exhausting and now I was going in for a great show. I had equal fault. I did always complain about the way he spoke, the way he dressed, the things he liked. I dragged him enough times in fancy restaurants and almost forced him to wear a suit, thinking that if he would just give a chance to the nicer places he would like them, but he never did. He didn’t see the world the way I did and since he refused to make any other experiments he decided it would be easier to walk me in his shoes, but they would never fit. So we were left with who we were, angry at the other for being different.

It was an immense contrast, between Alex and Dom. With Dominic we would yell and shout profanities at each other when we were upset but when it was over I was calm, like the waters of a summer lake when the breeze shies away. With Alex we were all smiles and careful words but when we left I felt my soul crash like the waves of the ocean against the rocks in a gruesome storm. They were so different, the two. Dominic wanted me completely but would have endured any length of pain to have me while Alex pushed me away every time I wanted to offer myself to him. To him, it was never the right time or I was always too young and curious so I gave up.

“I almost went in after you. What took you so long?” Dominic starts, anger still evident on his face.

“I needed to cool off”

I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him with all the passion I could find, my flesh burning for his.

“I’m going to the mountain cabin tomorrow with my parents and will probably spend the night there but Sunday I’m back and I’m headed straight to your place. Make it pretty. I’ll probably spend the night there too.”

At this memory I am woken up from my trance, pushed back into reality: home alone, waiting for the first light, for him. I walked around the house aimlessly without turning on any light. I have grown to love the darkness, the beauty of the black night sky, the peace the silence brought. I did not want to read a book or watch TV or listen to music, I just wanted to crush time or kidnap the dawn. As I looked out the window and saw a crescent moon I remembered reading a story where the sun and moon were lovers, punished by gods to forever be apart, chasing each other timelessly. I wandered for a moment, if we could have become like that over the passing years because, like the sun and moon, when we would meet, our shadow darken the world. I smiled at the thought and stepped away from the window, going deeper and deeper into the shadows of my room and of my mind. As I reached my dresser I opened the door and mentally pictured what outfits could await me inside. I glided my hand across the fabrics, visualizing the item I have touched. Of course I will dress up for him tomorrow. I would pick up something that says I am gorgeous and this is how I usually look when I am alone at home, with a perfectly tame hair and a face with no imperfections. How many women have not wasted hours meticulously choosing the perfect clothes that looks comfortable enough to form a home outfit but also showing every feature of their body? How many women have not looked themselves over and over in the mirror from every possible light and angle to check if the makeup they are wearing looks natural enough and that their hair always looks like this? Why should I be any different? I should take a bath, shave my entire body and wear something blue. As my fingers were exploring the textures of each fabric I realized I came across my two identical dresses: one blood red, one royal blue and my mind sank again.

That’s when his obsession started, that next day at the cabin, one moment we were colorblind children the next blue became his creed, his religion. I remember when he first said he craved it, the chromatic torture. We were young. I was sixteen at the time, he was twenty. We were outside, lying on the grass, staring at the clouds, bathing in the summer heat.

“I want a color to define me” he said out of nowhere.

“Why?” I asked

“I want something to define everything that I am. I want people to remember me after seeing a simple color.”

“It sounds stupid”

“Perhaps, but what if you see my color, one day as you go for a walk or to school, or to work and just remember that stupid idea and the fool that came up with it and the result will be the same: you’ll think of me and from then on every time you see that color you will be reminded of me.”

I rolled onto my stomach to look at him.

“Anything you have in mind?”

“I think I’d like blue, for the blue blood that runs within me, for the cold little hart that I still have”

“You don’t have an ounce of blue blood in you but you have a lot of heart”, I said with a grin.

“Oh, kid, you’ll take that away too, someday.”

He never took his eyes off the sky so I rolled back with my face towards the sun to see what captured him so.

“I already did!” I teased. “What about light blue, like the sky right now?”

“No kid, that’s too soft for me. I need something to help me to be strong when you drive me crazy. I need a color that reminds me who I am and who I want to be. I think I am too soft right now, I care too much for little things. That’s why I get so upset when you go out with him or anyone else for that mater, because no matter how many swarm around you, you always seem to want more.”

He turned to his side and came closer to me, his head hovering above mine. He planted a kiss on my forehead and stroked my cheek.

“What about sapphire? You would be precious” I asked begging to change the subject. Our day belonged to each other and the drama of all my conquests should be left for another time. I didn’t want it to ruin the moment.

“I don’t want to be precious and prancy like stuck up little girls, I want to be a diplomat. I already am, of course, but I get lost sometimes. I want something royal.”

“Royal blue!” I said triumphant. If only I knew what was to come I would have kept my mouth shut and spare me the agony of years to come. But no one knows when the storm will hit or when exactly the hale will drop.

“It’s settled. Royal blue will be for me.” He said with a warm smile “What about you?”

“I want to wear you. Throw one arm around me and see how good I look!”

“I’ll throw myself completely over you. I’m sure you will look gorgeous.”

I flushed at the mere thought. For a virgin even the slightest gestures or the most insignificant words could seem taboo. Sex tends to lose its magic, once it no longer represents a mystery.  When we no longer view it as a forbidden apple, a sin of the flesh, it would be no more special than a stroke of the cheek. So much fuss nowadays for ten seconds of sensation. But I did not know at the time of the pleasures or the mundane. At that time, sex was as far away from me as the blue sky above.

“That’s a nice color on you” He laughed as my cheeks turned crimson.

“You have so much life in you, child, so much energy and love, it flows through you. Every spot on your body responds with an alarming red every time I touch you. It’s like your body is warning me to stay away. Tell it to make me” As he said those last words he launched himself completely over me, kissing my cheeks, my lips, my neck. I could feel my breathing quicken and I could now feel the response my body now singed for him. I hugged him tight, bringing him closer. Our kiss deepened, our tongues lashing at each other and I could feel his hand gliding down my chest cupping my breast. I sighed as I felt his touch, as all the nerves in my body relished in that sensation. That is when he slid off me.

My body was burning, my need was pure torture, my cheeks seemed to emanate heat. He just sat there looking and laughing at me. His laughter was like a soft bell carried by the warm breeze.

“Blood red, child, that is our winner. Lady in red… You have the power to drive men insane. Blood red is the perfect color for you. Men will bleed their hearts out for your smile alone. When you will walk, you will step on crimson because of all the blood that will be shed for you.”

“I don’t want to be questioned for murder” I cooed

“I am sorry miss, all the evidence points to you. You will have to come in for questioning.”

We both laughed at this. We were so young then when it was so peaceful. If we only knew then where this would lead, if I could have pictured him, years later, in the same yard, only steps away, next to the camp fire on a summer night with a red sweater in hand, a gift from me, as he threw it in the flames, shouting, spewing venom, maybe we would have stopped, changed the subject, maybe we could have been normal. But we didn’t stop, not then, not now, not ever. At that time I knew nothing of royal blue and how I would inherit it or how I would push my madness onto others.

Again I am jolted back into the present. I pull out the two dresses and decide I want a better look at them so I turn on the light. I study the red one for a second then through it on the bed in almost disgust. A long time ago I concluded that red wasn’t my color, that hart wasn’t the shade to symbolize the pain I felt, the longing so I turned to his color that reminded him to be cold and go on. I take the blue dress in my hand, try it on and look in the mirror and that’s when I saw her. The woman I saw in the mirror looked as if something had changed within, as if the weight that crushed her lungs making each breath pure torture had vanished completely. It was quiet now: empty, clear, calm and cold. She looked as if everything has happened in another life or maybe nothing happened to her, she was so far from the torments from the past, so foreign and senseless, just another story she heard but never lived. Surely it weren’t hers those vague memories, blurry and confusing. She was the woman that carried on her face the confident smile of a woman how could have any man she wanted, whose red lips contrasted perfectly with the royal blue of the dress. On a second look I see she still has the smile but she lacks warmth and soul. Her eyes were empty. A detachment had engulfed her, something she would have feared if she could have felt anything. It was a carelessness she never wanted back then when she thought that even hatred or pain are better than the numbness that could not come from the chill in the air. She looked as if my memories weren’t hers, as if I wasn’t her because the woman in the mirror was throwing icy glances back at me, wearing blue like some wear black, as a sign of mourning because something did die in her and me, and as an act of defiance for the love we refused to remember now. I decide this is the dress I will wear tomorrow because no could make me remember that when he comes he ruins me.

 I remember when I used to cry holding this dress in my arms because of him so my mind goes back to that night, many years ago at the cabin. I snuck out of my room at night and crept into his, as I always did. I wanted to feel him in my arms, to breath in his scent. When I entered he wasn’t asleep. He was looking out the window, at the moon, still and silent wearing only a pair of shorts. He turned slightly, extending an arm that wrapped around me when I was near. He looked out the window for a few more seconds then he turned back to me and started kissing me. Our hands became greedy when our lips were no longer enough. His hands slid down my back to my rear, squeezing lightly and moved to the front to cup my breasts, exhaling powerfully as he moved to kiss my neck. His fingers found the hem of my long shirt and pulled it over my head leaving me naked except for a pair of boxers. My hand found his length hidden beneath the fabric of his shorts and I squeezed it, feeling it hard and long, exploring its length until I was no longer satisfied brushing against the fabric so I pulled down his pants freeing his from the imprisonment of clothing. He dragged me to his bed and I laid on my back, panting, waiting for him to make a move. He snuggled as close to me as he could, one hand holding his head slightly above mine, kissing me, while other hand was free to explore my body from my neck to my knees up and down until he ventured under my boxers, his fingers caressing the lips below, the tip of my pleasure then venturing down at my entrance. When he pushed a finger inside me I winced that is when he retreated as if triggering a bomb.

“I won’t be your first” he said while catching his breath.

I just looked at him, silent, barely registering what he said and when he saw my stillness he continued “I have a girlfriend, you have a boyfriend, this is not things should go. I can’t do this. You’re too young. You should go.” When he finished I started to feel a throbbing in my head. Embarrassment started to devour me and I could not get my shirt back on fast enough. I felt naked and rejected so I ran back to my room as fast as I could dragging the covers over my head to hide me from the world. I cried until I exhaustion took over and I slept a dreamless sleep.

The next morning we behaved as if nothing happened. Although my pain was fresh I fought to keep a cheer in my tone but when he looked at me he knew what I must feel because he would offer me a hurt look, apologetic perhaps.

 When I got back home, away from those mountains, I had a shower, ate dinner, dressed the best I could and went to Dominic. I wasn’t planning to go through with what I said I just wanted to drink my sadness away. But plans never work as you expect…

 

As I stepped into his tiny apartment my nose was greeted by a chaos of scents. It was as if I had entered a temple and the amalgam of perfumes forced me to enter a state of meditation where my initial frustrations were replaced by serenity. His big turquoise eyes were watching me intently awaiting any move from my part. I took off my coat, then my shoes, then my memories of the night before. I followed him to his bedroom welcomed by the golden light of too many candles scattered on every surface but a tiny night stand where a pair of tall wine glasses awaited us. I took a glass between my fingers and drank the contents in one gulp. I didn’t like it: it was too sour for my taste and too rough. I prefer the smoother, sweeter wines but I was so impressed with the way the room made me feel: safe and ward and welcome that nothing else mattered. I took a seat on his bed, on the satin turquoise sheets that matched his eyes and took the second glass of wine and started drinking it.

“I can see you’re an only child” Dom said smiling “You don’t know the first thing about sharing. That one was supposed to be mine.” He says pointing to my glass

“Yes well, I’m thirsty and since I saw this one intact I figured it would be a shame to let it spoil until someone claims it” I say as I am rolling my head

“Do you want some water?”

“No” I start laughing at how concerned he looks “I want to get drunk and thought this is the best way to achieve that” I raise my glass towards him ten finish off the wine in the second glass

He reaches for the bottle of wine hidden under the night stand and refills the glasses. As he does that, he tells me that he doesn’t want me drunk and I find the whole situation so ironic that I start laughing again.

“What’s with you?” He seems worried “Look if you are not sure you’re ready for this step it would be better to wait until you are. I don’t want to rush you into something you don’t want to do. And I especially won’t like you to make a decision when you’re drunk”

My face is serious in an instant and when I speak my voice is barely a whisper. “Trust me when I tell you that I am sure that this is what I want, there is no doubt in my mind. It was just funny how you were saying not to drink while filling the glasses. I may sound crazy because I am nervous”

But I wasn’t. The truth was that I was unsure, not about this step because a night ago I would have begged for it. My confusion was about him: he seemed so sweet in those moments and so warm in comparison to Alex but when I closed my eyes I still saw him, his green eyes staring into mine, his black curls through my fingers, his arms gliding over my skin. The memory alone was enough to set my body on fire and the longing was so strong that the thirst for skin against skin was so great that I needed to be quenched there and then, lost in those turquoise sheets.

The choices we make say everything about us, from the people we accept around us, the way we live our lives, the books we read or don’t or the colors that we choose. We form ourselves with every choice like building a castle where every decision is a brick or maybe more. Put together, the quick choices we make contour the paining of our lives in smooth gracious lines, in warm shades that caress the view or in abrupt curbs or broken lines and abstract forms. I think we have a little of each and in the end our painting can look like an inconsistent mess. But you know what the good news is? That we can change: we can choose to be better, optimistic, stronger, or on the contrary, lock ourselves within because some people passed like a storm in our lives and made us through suspicious looks at every nice word so that we end up writing in big letters on the doorway of our hearts “if you don’t feel you don’t hurt”. We are a sum of choices and each decision, whether extremely important or insignificant can bring us close or farther from where we want to be.  How do you want to be? I wanted to be free but it’s hard to be free. The freedom of making decisions brings with it the great responsibility that you have first of all to yourself, to the person you want to become, to the one you were but no longer are because you made the wrong choice. You have the freedom to look towards the future or in the past, to go alone or hand on to someone dear, to put first the family or the career, to look gratefully towards the sunrise or slouch gloomy at the thought that no new day will bring you joy.  I don’t regret the decision of going to Dominic’s that night but there were times I wondered who would I have been if I just stayed home.

 

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