The border between lust and love. I'm asleep, and she's like milk between my fingers.


1. You

I dreamed of her touch. It was always her smooth hands, soft and pale as milk, tracing the ridges they found between my ribs and climbing the mountains and valleys of my hips. They drove me crazy, those hands. I could have told you exactly how many freckles were on each of them. She kept her nails short but neat and never painted them. She used to bite them, she had told me, but had grown out of it a year before. In my dreams, those gentle fingers set me on fire. I couldn’t think straight when she was near me. I could only think of the warped reality inside my head, where we rolled in fields of wheat or in dirtied bed sheets or on sandy beaches. It didn’t matter where we were. Inside my head, she was perfect, and I loved every second of her. She painted her face, though. Sky blues and aquamarines graced her eyelids, complimenting the blue of her eyes I had never noticed until we had to sit next to her, and then everything went wrong. Or maybe it went right. I wasn’t sure what right was when it came to her. Outside of my head, I couldn’t stop thinking of her. She was too kind. When I forgot my textbook, she’d share hers without a second thought. Of course she never forgot hers. She was perfect. I began to forget it on purpose, just so I could lean closer to her without being too suspicious. Leaning closer, I could smell her. She smelled powdery. I didn’t know what kind of powder she smelled like, but I liked it. Earthy and soft, like her. Soft. I touched her hand the other day. It was as soft as the hand in my dreams, but there were calluses I hadn’t imagined could exist on such a perfect hand. I smiled when she was kind to me, or when I brushed against her entering the classroom, or when she opened her textbook for us to share. I didn’t smile enough back then, but she made me glow inside. Intangible. That glow was completely imaginary, but completely real. And it was intangible. I couldn’t tell if she wore any other makeup outside of my dreams. If she did, she didn’t wear it for me. I wanted to wipe it all away, away from that smooth, beautiful skin. It shouldn’t be plastered over like a cracked wall. My own wall cracked a little while later. I wasn’t sure how, but we were alone. Fetching books from a cupboard and the door had closed. Alone in a tiny, enclosed space, nothing but the musty smell of books and the chipped white walls. The air was gone in a second. My reality stopped there. I kissed her, and her lips were everything I hadn’t imagined. Softer than her hands; impossible, but it was true. And they tasted like her. Not like cherry or strawberry or cream or anything else fluffy and silly, but like her. My fingers fumbled as I unbuttoned her blouse, my own blunt fingertips desperate to trace the lines her bra printed into her skin. That was soft, too. But other parts were harder, and I touched them too. I could feel her breathing. Up and down, her chest rose and fell beneath my hands. I kissed her again. My left hand remained on her breast, but the other wrapped itself in her hair, and then trailed down across the bumps of her spine towards the button on her skirt. I wasn’t sure what her hands were doing; they might have well have been cut off for all I cared. I wanted to touch her this time. And she tasted the same as before, just as delicate and proper as she should have been. We were young ladies, after all. That didn’t explain why I stood there, staring into space with a lecherous expression, or so I imagined. It was only her voice calling that brought me back, and books weighed down my arms and it was the cold spine of the books that filled my dirty hands instead. Not her warm skin. She looked at me when I didn’t kick open the door and lead the way back to the oppressive safety of the classroom. I must have said something. The books fell out of her arms and she walked quickly. No running in the corridors. I didn’t see if she went back to the classroom or somewhere else, if only because I couldn’t see anything once I realised she was gone. I was completely blind when she had left. Or maybe it was just my tears that blinded me. The lust had done it. My lust, my ridiculous lust for that pale skin that freckled so easily, especially under the cold sun on a mountain top. Skis flying down the mountain side, overtaking the pace of my heart easily. She loved skiing. Maybe if I had come to love her, rather than want her, it would have been different. Or not. I dropped the books, too. There wasn’t any point in history when she wasn’t there, anyway.

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