Letting Life Lead
The night air blew away the party heat, the vapors of booze, and the indulgences of one too many hors d’oeuvres from my face. I could still hear the thrum of music, the cackles of too loud conversation, and inebriated laughter, so I moved further along down the steps to the rear gate facing the lake. The sun had long set, but the moon was high and white. Not more than ten minutes had passed before he came looking for me. I put a hand to my stomach to quell the rush that not even the ample undergarment scaffolding required of my silver dress could hold in check. I smoothed the glittering hem back to my knees as far as it would go to dry my palms. As he came up to stand beside me, I held my breath and found myself twirling an escaped curl in my fingers.
“I’ve spent many late parties out here,” he said, “hiding.”
“I’m not hiding.”
“Didn’t say you were. It’s quiet here and I like to look at the lights from the houses.”
“I like the moon on the water.”
He shifted his body and turned to me and I shivered taking a half step to the side. He looked hurt for a moment, but put his hands up palms out. He spoke gently, “What happened?”
“What do you mean?”
“What happened to the woman who flirted with me? The one who smiled whenever she saw me? Now, I breathe near you and you avoid me.”
“I was pretending to be someone else. It was a mistake. I shouldn’t have encouraged anything.”
“You know why.”
“That doesn’t matter to me.”
How could it not matter, I thought. How can you feel both exhilarated and ashamed of yourself in the same moment? I still didn’t know what it was about him that first caught my eye, but I do know how young I felt. It was like the beta version of myself that lived inside of my mind suddenly was on the outside laughing and confident. I had never been either even as a teenager. Suddenly, though, everyday was a good day. I didn’t just get up in the morning, I wanted to get up in the morning. Flirting had felt new and forbidden. So out of character for me that I began to crave it. Finally, the empty void in my life had a purpose and emptiness became unbearable. It wasn’t even that he was particularly handsome. An average guy with an average smile, but the smile was for me.
“It has to matter. I’ve got too many creases. You can try to smooth them over hoping to iron them out, but the marks will always be there like a crumpled up Polaroid.”
He looked me in the eye, but made no move to touch me. He wouldn’t. Not unless I told him to; he never assumed or pressed. I’d yet to meet another man other than my uncle Tony who understood both respect and restraint. I certainly didn’t expect it in one who still had all his hair and didn’t grow up in a world where a sliding door was a novelty — science fiction come alive.
“The lines are what make you interesting,” he said. “You like that I’m exciting–with stamina.”
I held back the smile, but my eyes may have betrayed me, “You should have quit while you were ahead.”
“Look, Olivia, I mean it when I say the talk doesn’t bother me. It’s none of anyone’s business. Don’t let them get to you. I miss you.”
“Doesn’t it concern you even a little that I’m old enough to–”
“I don’t understand how you can accept it so easily.”
He was quiet for what seemed like a long time and I could hear the party still in full swing.
“My first girlfriend died our second year in high school. Here one day and dead the next.” He snapped his fingers. “Youth doesn’t protect you from death. I’m not a guy who wastes time. I know I’m not guaranteed any more of it.”
How did our positions manage to reverse with me becoming the student? Did I just get schooled? Am I even using that phrase right?
“I’m going back to the party. I want to kiss you.” He placed his hands deep into his pockets. “Join me when you want to be.”
I watched him go. I liked the view and I knew what I wanted.
(Dammit…I missed the YeahWrite.Me deadline by an hour again!)
I have no idea why I picked this blog name, but there's no turning back now
"Our subject isn't cool, but [s]he fakes it anyway."- The Offspring
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It is what it is and it too shall pass.
Unfolding From the Fog (or What I Think About When I Walk My Dog)
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