I stand up to get my wristwatch from his reading table. It’s 5pm. Romoke must be expecting me already.
“I have to go” I announce hesitantly. He’s been such great company as always, I’m almost tempted to stay for much longer.
“Do you now?” He teases.
I mean to eye him but spare him a smile instead. He’s gorgeous and irresistible. And a gentleman too. He never makes unwelcome advances. Although if he did, they’d be welcomed.
“Your hair’s such a mess dear. People might start to think things.”
I pick up a book and throw it at him for having such thoughts. “I’ll forgive you because this is your first time of going dirty- talk on me.”
“What?!” He laughs for a good number of seconds. I am forced to join him too.
“Come here honey, let me fix you.” Before I consent, he picks a comb and brushes through the folds in my hair expertly.
“How often do you do this?” I ask because I am thoroughly amazed.
“Well, this often.” He chuckles.
His hands are tickling my scalp, and his closeness, threatening my sanctity. My heart’s pumping out loud as his breath pours out in smooth sequence, caressing my neck and everything below. Unconsciously, I lean into him and like a cue, his able arms wrap around my body as quickly as he dismisses the comb.
He turns me to the mirror.
“You like?” I am sure he is addressing my hair, but all I can think of now- in this space of moment- is his arms around my body; my back to his front; his mouth to my neck; and him lying just somewhere too close to my bum for comfort. I like what I see. I like his eyes boring into mine through the mirror in front of us. Yes, I like.
Is that a whimper, or a whisper? I am confused at the sound of my own voice.
Maybe he reads my mind, or my voice gives me away, or he’s thinking the same thing, or maybe I’m just over-thinking… But he turns me to him and suddenly ‘m shy of his gaze. I turn away altogether and grab my purse and other belongings from his reading table.
“Hey” his fingers on my shoulder make me curl inside with delicious desire. No, I can’t handle another touch.
“Don’t touch me… Please.”
“Okay,” he retreats “I promise I won’t. Just look at me.” And just as soon as he says this, I start to wish I hadn’t asked him not to touch me. That would have been less threatening than having to face him. I stay put with my back to him. I can’t face him now. I might kiss him or do something worse.
“You are beautiful, you know this? Your hair, the depth of your eyes, your nose, cute small lips and the words that come from it… Everything about you is beautiful. So don’t ever for a second feel shy of anyone’s gaze. Let it empower you instead.”
Where did all that come from? Why now? Why here? A second can really make a difference. If my hair hadn’t decided to go all haywire on me, we won’t be here, on this spot.
I am melting within. His words, his voice… Is this what empowerment feels like? Because I think ‘m having a rush of it.
“I have to go” I remind him again. Just so maybe he’ll shut up, leave my way, and let me out. But no, as I turn around, I fall flat into him and I’m kissing him. Breath for breath.
For a moment, I think his mouth claims mine too. Soft, warm, whole and consuming. I feel scared. No, new. Or alive? Whatever! I feel un-me, and I think it’s fine. His body is leaning hard against mine. His broad chest teasing my nipples to glorious awakening. And I feel him swelling beneath. His hands rest on the table beside me. He isn’t touching my body. He promised he wouldn’t, and he is keeping true to it. Oh! I don’t even know what to feel now. Disappointed? Impressed? I want him to touch me. My body is quivering right now and I fear I might grow weak in the knees from this exquisite delight coursing through me. His smell. Oh, heavenly. And his chest? Broad and firm, each rib feeling like candy stick for I know when they rub against me, I’ll just melt with pleasure. It’s less than a minute, but it feels like eternity. And just when the magic is mounting within me, he pulls away. Breathless.
“We shouldn’t be doing this. I am.. I’m sorry. It’s my fault.”
He is sorry? We shouldn’t be doing this? Quickly, delight transits to cowardice. I can’t look into his eyes now. I feel too ashamed and guilty and helpless and out of control. Damn, how do I look? Ruffled? My lips, they are heavy, no? A poignant evidence that he’s been there. Oh my senses, I see them spread in disarray all over his bedroom floor. And my ego? That one walked out on me the moment I stepped into his apartment this morning without invitation.
He reaches for my chin, his long fingers tracing the edge. I dare to look into his delicious brown eyes and I don’t know what I see. Fear? Love? Or pity?
Talk about the fine line between music and noise.
Damn him. And damn my heart. I thought it was love, or at least like. I thought he felt same for me or at least half of it. The calls, the chats, the look in his eyes, the things he would say… Has he just been a goddamn gentleman all this time? Before my thoughts explode, I leave his room in a haste; walking one minute, running the next. He calls out after me, I race on ahead, half hoping he would run after me, half hoping he wouldn’t. Aching to hear him say he loves me too, wishing he’d just leave me be.
…The farther I walk, the fainter his voice. And it becomes clear, someone got careless. Either he was with his feelings, or I was with my thoughts. We were fine, before today, before a second before the second before now. But somehow, someone, sometime turned fine music to noise. And we’ll maybe never be on the same page again. Or maybe we never even were…
It hurts that I find myself here. It hurts that I can’t get over it. It hurts that I’ll miss him. And for the sole sake of my breaking heart, I hope he misses me too… At least.
© The Short Black Girl, 2014.