Even showing Chris my work makes me cringe. The tidy, little black type popped up on my screen. I remembered the hours we had spent writing. The glide of the particular pen and the thick, wrinkled sound it made as we would pass the tainted paper back and forth. The bathroom light would stream in, low and dusky, a quality I wouldn’t have known to categorize as romantic back then. All I knew was the way it settled on her cheekbones and how bright her green eyes looked as she glanced up at me. I imagined her laugh. My stomach surged of someone else causing it.
Yeah. The surge beat out my enthusiasm. His name sent a shiver down my spine that was met with nausea. The conversation rushed away to a happier subject, but the discomfort clung to me as I tapped a slender finger against the keyboard of my laptop. The lights were off.
I twirled in front of the mirror, mint colored lace spread across my torso and reaching my collar. I’d convinced her to come visit me; she traveled four thousand miles by plane to Alaska, away from her miserable relationship, and back to me. It’d been years since I’d last seen her and ten since we had first begun. It was immediate, our connection, though at the time I didn’t understand what was happening. I assumed it was just like all the other times I’d wanted to be around another girl, be close to another girl, make another girl smile and blush and feel so happy she could burst: normal. It wasn’t until I felt a jolt in my heart, a painful twang down my spine, when I first considered her being with someone else. At that point, I knew I couldn’t let her get away from me. But I had. I had lost her for so long and now, now that I knew who I was and what I wanted, I was determined to win her back. I slipped on my heels as I heard her sweet voice from the living room. “Are you ready to go?”
She was wearing a long dark skirt with a grey top. The blouse exposed her shoulders and her chest, her full breasts tan and smooth. Her brown hair fell in perfect billows around her face and neck, shimmering with its golden highlights in the dusk light. She was smiling and telling me a story. I listened, though my focus wasn’t on the words themselves but the harmony in her voice, the glow of her skin, the honesty in her eyes. I stirred the food I was preparing for her after her long twelve hour journey. It took her twelve hours to to travel from North Carolina to Kentucky, to my little apartment only a short drive from my new university. In the new town, I was anxious and lonely. I had been in a constant state of uncertain social experiences and failed attempts to improve my self confidence. For once, as I was watching her sit with crossed ankles and steady hands in the sunset, I was still inside. Hell itself could have been at my door and my soul wouldn’t have so much as shuddered. She was here with me and the boy of a man she was caged by drove away from my one bedroom apartment. The week dragged on and I couldn’t have been happier.
The mattress sat on the floor with no other furniture to speak of. There were no nightstands or dressers, short of the ones in my U-Haul out front. The walls were beige and bare. I’d brought with me the personality the apartment needed, but no matter how dull the space may had been, my heart was full. Directly after leaving my side, there had been a conversation between them. The conversation that would change my life and push me in the direction I’d been slogging towards for months. My heart fluttered and hadn’t stopped since I heard. And now I was climbing into bed next to the only other body who ever fit mine with utter perfection. Her arms went around my waist and my fingers reached into her hair. She muttered to me, told me how happy she was, how excited, how long she had waited to hold me in her arms in a bed we called ours. I was quiet, my breath jailed in my lungs with the overwhelming joy of the moment. The darkness absorbed us into its loving gloom and I fell asleep to the rhythm of my love’s heartbeat.
It’s been nine months in this space with her. The walls have come to life with art. Smiles and kisses adorn our walls. I’m home.