oneshot/romance/story/drabble thing no. 3
The sky is streaked with copper and gold, rips in the pale blue fabric of the heavens. A light autumn breeze ruffles the trees and sends tendrils of honey-coloured hair fluttering around my face. You have your back to me as you fumble with the key to the den, pulling the brightly painted door closed with a definitive clap of wood against wood, metal lock against metal clasp; a sound that can only be associated with ending. For us this is the end of the night, although in reality it has hardly begun. This is when we say goodbye. Until next time. Until we start this again.
Through the window of the den I can still see the old record player, with its gleaming matt-black disks scattered across the scratched wooden floor. Textbooks and schoolbooks are piled up on the desk, along with an old camera and some film. We spend so much time in this room; so much time that I can hardly imagine being anywhere else. Every afternoon is filled with candid photographs and old horror movies and passages from books published so long ago that the words fade slightly with each turn of a page. But we do school work as well, carrying out every task with a dutiful obedience that only disguised our excitement for what would come afterwards. The time that we spent together seemed so immensely important.
When I met you I noticed you for the reasons everyone else ignored: Your quietness, your patience, and the willingness and determination I so wished I could possess. You always say you see parts of yourself in me; but I think you are perfect, and I can't say I think the same thing of myself. But we found a way to fit pieces of ourselves together; to give pieces of ourselves to one another that we were happy to share. In the end, that's what love is: It's selfish. We give everything to one person just so that they can do the same to us; and then we are surprised when they realise they don’t want to love us anymore.
I don’t think there will ever be a time when I don’t want to love you anymore.
You turn to face me, pocketing the keys with a sad sort of smile. I take your hand and together we make our way down the garden path. I feel like something should be said; something to break this silence no matter how comfortable I am with your hand in mine and no conversation passing between us. I want to tell you how much I enjoy these afternoons together, how much I'm looking forward to tomorrow. About how impossibly wonderful is that there will even be a tomorrow, that I can do this again and again and the amount of time I spend with you in the future becomes even more than the time I've spent with you in the past. Words die on my lips but I know that that's okay, because despite something in the back of my mind telling me that nothing lasts forever, and that this could all end at any moment, all I know is that if this was the last thing I did - my one last moment of existence - I would never once look back and regret it.
And now I'm looking up at you and your footfalls slow until you're standing still, under the branches of the huge magnolia tree in your garden, and the shadows rearrange themselves on the patio beneath our feet and the light is fading fast but time seems to slow down nonetheless. You're holding me, and I'm about to whisper a goodbye until I realise that there is something so much more important which I cannot overlook; I just can't turn away now. I depend on this moment, on the way your head tilts towards mine and your hands move to my waist and I am leaning towards you, coming closer, but somehow just not close enough. We move in slow motion. Your parted lips meet my own and inside I am screaming, the word kiss running over and over in my mind until it loses all meaning. Eyes closed, breath ragged, every nerve bursting with anticipation. My stomach drops to my feet.
And then we are kissing.
I can't think straight but at the same time this is the one thing on my mind; how badly I've wanted something like this, and how incredible happy I am that I can share this moment with you. Even when I was younger, stories of eleven year olds kissing in the playground sent an unfamiliar pang of jealousy to my stomach; I always thought I was never good enough for any boy I knew. Looking around at every girl I would measure up my flaws against theirs, watching quietly as all my friends raced ahead, trudging back with broken hearts wrapped in newspaper inked with headlines of love and loss. I heard tales of drunk kisses from lips as sharp as broken bottles, and arguments with words so loud they drowned out any previous promises of devotion. But somehow I still wanted a part in it all. Drunk kisses were better than dry lips. 2am battles were superior to nights alone. Still, I was told to wait for the right person to come along.
The doubt arrived as easily as the confidence had left: Would the right person ever even come along? I blamed every part of myself that I could, until I saw my body as nothing but a carefully arranged collection of flaws. There was nothing beyond my ribcage, just an empty void where my heart should be. But the saddest thing was, that heard hadn't even been taken away. It hadn't been torn to shreds by blind rage or by the bellowed words I don't love you anymore. It hadn't been broken, or stolen, or ripped because of love. Love had just never been there in the first place.
Or so I thought. I met you, and you helped me find my heart. We followed a treasure map of late night phone calls and whispered conversations in class; evenings filled with dances to songs we'd never heard and mornings spent sitting on your bathroom floor, telling bad jokes, wishing that tomorrow could come some other day. It took time, and nervous debates of does he really like me? But we got there eventually. I found my heart, and I realised that the reason it wasn't there in the first place was because there had never been someone I loved enough for my heart to really beat; to send the blood coursing through my veins simply because it meant I could spend another second with you. You are that someone. I've learnt that the right person really does come around - and they'll be more wonderful than hazy daydreams or wishful fantasies could ever have created.
I'm pulled back to the present and there it is again: Reality, hitting me with such force that it feels as if the breath has escaped from my lungs. I'm kissing you, really kissing you, with my arms around your neck and your hands exploring my hair and this kind of uncontained euphoria spreading through me. It's like we're under water: Drifting, weightless, guided by the current. You wrap your arms around me, steadying me, your grip firm but somehow equally gentle. When your lips touch mine it is like you are pulling me under, helping me discover parts of you that I've never understood before. There is nothing but us, and it feels as if this is all I will ever know. It's new and blindingly brilliant and I want to capture this moment, right here, and lock it in the part of my mind that I share with you, so that someday, no matter whether we are together or not, we can look back at this even after it is over. And maybe I'll still get butterflies, maybe the hairs on the back of my neck will still stand on end as you touch me. Maybe I'll remember the way you held me, or the way I could feel your heart beating from under your t-shirt. Maybe I'll still hear the faint rhythm of my own heartbeat rushing in my ears. Maybe all this will still feel like euphoria.