Nothing is more embarrassing than forgetting one of your e-mails for months (because you have so many) only to realize the e-mail was actually, your real name @yahoo.com.
I forgot my name for months.
Flame, Part One
Most of the people in this fairly new town were just like me. Hotel hopping or renting summer cabins for the two week period that spring break usually ran. The town had a large lake next to city hall to learn how to skip rocks or make wishes from dimes. On the other side of the town, there were cabins overlooking the ocean. The temperature never went below 75 degrees until October. It was the perfect place to be, even for a short period of time.
I guess that was why she was a native. Who would ever want to leave this place?
The natives included the council, senators, some older couples, and a redheaded girl named Fire. A girl who could burn your heart to ashes with just one look from her emerald eyes. She’d walk past and you’d get high off of her midnight perfume. Yes, Fire was like a statue in the center of town handcrafted from the envy of every other woman in the world.
I visited the quaint town of Coldgrove in May with my blonde beauty of a girlfriend named Jennifer. She was one of the hottest girls in my university. She played on the school soccer team, was very fit and athletic, and wore red lipstick every night. We were dating for four months when I asked her to come with me on my first spring break vacation and she nonchalantly said yes.
We were staying in one of Coldgrove’s cheapest hotels, but with a town so magnificent, it’s only expected that it be as grand as any other town’s best hotel. We shared a canopy bed and made breakfast in a country style eat-in kitchen. Since when do hotel rooms have kitchens?
Our first vacation adventure was surfing lessons on the oceanside. We walked into a beachfront surf shop to buy surfboards for the class when in the corner of my eye, I saw her.
A flush of flowing, red hair brushed against my shoulder. I breathed in only to get dizzy off of an unfamiliar—but pleasant—scent. I whipped my head around to see the backside of a girl with auburn locks that danced side to side as she walked. She wore a blue dress with anchors littering it all over. She walked up to the counter and the clerk didn’t seemed to be phased by her perfection. He rang up her bracelets and she walked out the door.
“Ahem. Ethan!” I heard a feminine voice from somewhere else.
“ETHAN!” It got louder. I turned my head back to Jennifer. She glared at me.
“Ugh. Can you be any more obvious? I could see you staring at that slut.” She was clearly angry. I couldn’t answer. I just stared at her until she got so angry that she stormed out of the store. I was still staring into space. Eventually, a surfboard with blue anchors designed onto it broke my trance. I took it up to the clerk who gave me the same dull response as he gave the beauty from before. As he handed me my change, I couldn’t help but inquire.
“Excuse me sir, but do you live around here?”
“Indeed I do.” He said without looking at me.
“The redhead you just rang up before…do you know her? Does she live around here?” I asked. He slammed his register drawer shut and looked me in the eye. I started to regret asking.
“You better watch yourself or your girlfriend will have your head on a plate.” He laughed at his own joke. I didn’t find it to be that funny.
“I just want to know who she is. I’m not going to try anything.” His laughter subsided and he sighed.
“Her name is Fire, and yeah, she lives around here. Don’t know where exactly, but she goes surfing on the ocean an awful lot.” He said, no longer amused by my questions.
“What kind of a name is ‘Fire’?” I said, furrowing my brow.
When I got back to my hotel, Jennifer was angrier than ever at me. She was typically a very jealous person. Any time a girl would walk by us, she would comment to me about how ugly they looked in comparison to her, and that I’m lucky to have her. I knew that when I stared at Fire today, that was going to set her off the deep end.
She sat on the bed with her arms crossed, a Cosmopolitan magazine laying next to her on my side.
“You better have not been chasing after that ugly ginger.” She snapped. I sighed and rolled my eyes.
“Do you have to be so negative? You don’t know anything about her and neither do I.”
“You were chasing after her!” Here’s where the accusations began. We’ve had the same fight about several girls before in the past. The others, however, I thought nothing of. She was right to be jealous of Fire.
“That’s it! I’m tired of this!” Jennifer yelled. “You’re sleeping on the couch tonight!”
And so I did. I slept on a surprisingly comfortable but narrow sofa, wrapped up in a too-small blanket, dreaming about auburn hair.
The next day, Jennifer was still mad at me, so I went to the beach without her. I scanned the waves, searching for Fire. The clerk told me she surfed here all the time, yet she was nowhere to be found. I felt the sand sink next to me, but I didn’t feel like talking to Jennifer right now. I continued to fixate my gaze on the ocean.
“Yoo-hoo.” A light voice from beside me spoke. I turned my head and I was met with gleaming, emerald eyes. I gulped.
“I heard you were looking for me.” She said, smiling. Her teeth were a bright white. Just another thing about her that exceeded perfection. Her accent was like no other, but she spoke perfect english. I let out a nervous laugh.
“Uh, who told you that?” I asked.
“Bob.” She said. The clerk. I knew I shouldn’t have inquired. Yet there I was, sitting face-to-face and having a conversation with Fire. Maybe it was a good thing after all. Embarrassing, but in the end, rewarding.
“Oh, um, yeah. I guess I did ask about you.” I felt like my voice was barely audible, but Fire understood me clearly.
“What’s your name?” She asked softly.
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Goodrow. May I call you Ethan?” She smirked.
“Of course. That’s my name.” I could barely speak and I was clearly making a fool out of myself. She chuckled at my idiocy.
“My name is Sapphire Maclure, but you can call me Fire.” Sapphire. What a beautiful name. The name seemed so fitting as her emerald eyes sparkled like faceted diamonds in the sunlight. Everything about this woman was like a rare gem.
“N-nice to meet you, Fire.” I stuttered. My voice broke like a teenage boy breaking puberty. I felt humiliated. Fire chuckled again.
“My friends and I are having a bonfire at the other end of the beach. Would you like to walk over and join me?” I could feel my face lighting up.
“Yeah. Sure, I’d love to.”
My flip flops clapped at my heels as we walked toward a large flame with people dancing and laughing around it. I watched Fire’s bare feet sift through the dry sand like it was nothing. I tried not to let my gaze drift to anything but her feet, but I failed several times.
A tall, brunette woman in the shortest pair of shorts I’ve ever seen ran over to us and greeted Fire with a bright smile. Her long hair was tied back in a ponytail. Her skin was dark enough that it was obvious she spent a lot of time in the sun. She was basically the depiction of summer.
“Hey, you’re back!” She said.
“Yep. Just went to go get something.” Fire said.
Until the sun started to set, Fire and I sat around the bonfire talking about everything. Her friends kept trying to get her to come see them, but she kept brushing them off with “In a minute!“‘s and then continuing her conversation with me.
“So, where are you from?” I asked after a short silence.
“Colorado.” She said.
“You are not.” I said. Her lips curved into a smile as she took a sip of a wine cooler.
“How dare you question my heritage!” She gave me a playful smack on the shoulder. I laughed.
“You have an accent that is definitely not from Colorado!”
“You never know.” She took another sip of her wine cooler, then crashed the empty bottle into pieces on the side of the log we were sitting on. We shared a comfortable silence for a little while, the flames from the bonfire dancing in the reflections of our eyes. We glanced at each other every once in a short while, smiling and blushing like kids when our gaze would meet. After a while, she scooted closer to me and looked into my eyes.
“Ethan, will you kiss me?” She asked. I blinked.
“I, um…what?” I stuttered, wondering if I heard her correctly. She chuckled, but her playful expression quickly faded to serious. Her pupils grew larger.
“Ethan…” She spoke slower this time. “Will you kiss me?” I gulped.
“I have a girlfriend…I’m not a cheater.” Her expression didn’t change. I waited for her to storm off, angry and displeased. I promised myself I would never cheat on a girl, even if she mistreated me in the way Jennifer had lately, or if I was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime sitting here inches away from Fire’s wanting lips. Even so, I considered myself honest. Yet, I couldn’t help but feel a sinking feeling in my stomach as I realized who I had just rejected. Yet, a moment went by and her serious, demanding expression turned into a delighted smile.
“You passed. You’re a good man.” She said. She stood up and brushed the sand off her skirt.
“However, I hope your answer will be different next time.” She winked at me before walking away to finally meet up with her begging friends.
Yes! I have a book for sale of a small collection of my short stories and a couple poems (not featured on this site). It doesn’t have all of my short stories, for the reason that the website I published on is rather expensive and making large books is a lot of money.
I only make about $1.25 off the profits of this, but what’s more important to me is getting my stuff out there so people know who I am.
If you’re interested, the link is here:
Everlasting, Part One (trigger warning: suicide)
His hand laced in mine, we watched as a sympathetic old man read from the gold-trimmed book with sorrowful passion. I tried to return his sorrow, but it was overridden with guilt instead.
“Did we do wrong?” I turned to the boy next to me, perplexed. He gave me the same look; confusion mixed with the old man’s sorrow.
“I don’t think so.” He tried to reassure, but there was an uncertainty in that. I looked back at the old man, and all of those that closely listened to him. I tried to convince myself that it was not our fault, it was only our nature. From the moment we met, it was instinct.
“Miss!” He yelled. I was standing at the very edge of San Francisco’s busiest bridge. I stared at the water like it was a lonely friend of mine, in need of my body’s warm embrace. He ran up to me and barely broke my gaze.
“Don’t do it!” He pleaded. I stared at him with a blank expression. I studied his heavy breaths and begging eyes.
“Why not?” It was more of a challenge than an actual question. He walked up to me and put both of his hands on my shoulders. I took a step back but he refused to loosen his grip.
“Just don’t.” He said sternly through gritted teeth. For a moment my focus drifted from my depression onto his angry expression.
“I’ve been here before.” His voice rose with each impacting second. “I’ve been in this exact spot. You stare at that water like its a lover reaching out with open arms, but it’s NOT I tell you! I tell you it is NOT! Now you walk away from this bridge and don’t ever come back to the ledge again!” He yelled and he screamed, brutalizing my face from close distance with his intense anger. That was the moment I first hated him.
It was hard not to listen to him with his immense disapproval radiating from him only inches away from me. I stepped away from the ledge that day and I walked on home. He followed me for a long time until he knew I was safe at home. I resented him with each step he took. I cried for hours the moment I was alone.
I returned to school the next day in a daze. I stared through my classmates as if they were ghosts. I gave snide remarks to my teachers and remained silent when meeting with my school social worker. I could hardly pay attention in class. The writing on the board became blurs and smudges that my brain couldn’t form into words. I should be dead. I thought, over and over throughout the day. I should be dead, GONE. I shouldn’t have to deal with any of you!
My thoughts were overridden with the feeling of my insides dropping to my feet. I stared at the scrawny boy dressed completely in black that stumbled through the door. His arms were completely encased with wristbands and spiked bracelets. His brown hair looked as if it was combed to one side with a single stroke and the rest was left as a tangled mess. There were defined purple bags under his eyes. I remembered those purple bags.
The teacher paused her train of thought to look at him with a shocked expression.
“Sach…you’re late.” She said. Sach? What kind of a name is Sach?
“I didn’t sleep.” He said condescendingly. I stared at the man I hated with a twisted expression I could feel in my eyes.
“Oh…” The teacher stumbled. “Well, don’t let it happen again.” Sach simply nodded and carried on toward his seat in the very back corner of the classroom. On the way there, he glanced at me and nearly tripped. I gave him a hateful glare. He looked down sorrowfully, but I disregarded the act. He slept on his desk within moments of arriving twenty minutes late to class, and I laughed to myself after I found out the teacher made him stay late to reprimand him.
I met up with my best friend, Becca, in my lunch period. As she rambled on about the latest boy she was “in love with,” I waited for an opening to ask her about Sach. She paused only for a moment after ranting about how her ex pales in comparison to the new guy.
“Hey, have you seen that guy Sach around at all? He’s in my English class.”
“Yeah, why?” She asked, seemingly bored.
“He’s kind of weird, and annoying. He dresses in all black, arrives late to class claiming he ‘didn’t sleep’ and wears a thousand bracelets on his wrists. His hair makes him look like a girl…” I ranted for a while about my hatred for Sach. It wasn’t until I had picked apart every tiny thing about his appearance and what I could get about his personality from the few words he’d spoken to me, that I noticed Becca had a really disturbed look on her face. She rarely ever showed emotion in the things I would say, considering I was always so annoyed at the world. But I must have struck a nerve or offended her in some way, because she looked at me as if I smacked an infant. I paused and felt the color leave my face.
“What?” I asked.
“Do you really not know anything about Sach? The entire school knew what happened.” She said, raising her voice.
“Jada, Sach was sent to the hospital last month for attempted suicide. No one picks on him anymore. You shouldn’t either.” She gave me a look like I should have known. My heart sank. I felt awful for the way I had treated him. I should have understood, as someone who is suicidal. I should have seen the signs! But I got angry. The rage took over, as it did to him yesterday. I searched for him in the school for the rest of the day. I just wanted to apologize. I had no luck for most of the day, until I saw him waiting outside the detention room as I was about to leave for home. I took a deep breath and slowly approached him. He looked at me, his eyes showing a bit of reluctance, but mostly they showed fatigue.
“Hey.” I said. He didn’t respond. “Look, I just wanted to say I’m sorry for the way I treated you. Can we just start over?” He still didn’t answer. I tried to get rid of my frustration for fear that more rage would show its ugly face.
“What do you have detention for?” I asked innocently.
“Being late.” He said meekly. His voice was of no higher volume than that of a mouse’s.
“Were you actually tired or just lying?”
“I wasn’t lying. I didn’t sleep.” I still didn’t believe him.
“Wanna ditch and come over or something?” I could see his eyes beam when I asked the question.
Our walk home was mostly silent, but Sach seemed to relax a little more the more time we spent together, even if it was awkward time. We settled in my room and he looked around him, scanning my photos and band posters.
“I never caught your name.” He stated without peeling his eyes from his surroundings.
“Jardina, but Jada for short.” I replied, stifling a chuckle from his overwhelming interest in my bedroom.
“I like your full name. Do you mind if I call you Jardena?” He traced his fingers along the edges of a framed photo on my nightstand. The photo was of myself standing next to my mother.
“No, that’s fine. Is your full name Sach?”
“Sachiel.” He couldn’t break his gaze from the photograph.
“Can I call you Sachiel?” He met my eyes for the first time since we arrived at my house. They read no emotion. He stared into me as if I were a porcelain doll, vacant of any humanity and liveliness.
“Of course. That’s my name. It means ‘angel of water.’ Do you know what yours means?”
“That’s a shame. Do you mind if I find out?”
“Sure.” I shrugged. I expected him to pull out a smart phone and be on Google.com in a matter of minutes, but he didn’t do anything. I noticed a lot more about him when I saw him close up. The bracelets went all the way up to his elbows. His shirt had holes in it. His pants were worn and ratty. It was clear that he’s had these clothes for years. However, what really caught my eye was what looked like a burn scar just escaping from his last bracelet.
“Where did you get that?” I asked, pointing to it. He instantly retreated. He folded his arms and didn’t say a word for a few minutes. I felt like an idiot. We barely talked for the rest of the time he was there. About an hour later, he broke the silence claiming he had to leave.
“Why? It’s only 4:30.” I questioned.
“This is about the time that detention would be over. I don’t want my parents to get mad.”
“Fuck ‘em. You’re not twelve years old anymore.” He gave me a strange look and further convinced me that he could not stay. I eventually gave in and showed him to the door. Sachiel was the most awkward friend I’ve brought home, but somehow I missed his company once he left.
The crowd sobbed as the old man continued his speech. Two closed coffins lay next to each other to face the darkened, defeated crowd. Family members, friends, and even acquaintances stare at the man in awe, still not believing they’re really here. We stared at them from above their heads.
“At some point we must wonder; Why does God do this?” The man spoke with a brave face. “Why does God take people away when their lives have yet begun?”
“Are you sure?” I asked the boy again after a long pause, his head resting in his hands.
“This is what we wanted.” He said. “We knew the consequences. We have to face the bad things before we can move on to the good.”
The next day, I searched all over for Sachiel, but I couldn’t find him anywhere. I searched the halls, studied every classroom, but there was no trace of him. By the time lunchtime came, I was frantic.
“Have you seen Sach?” I asked Becca, breaking into one of her rants.
“Yeah, he just came in last period.” She said, annoyed.
“Why’s he so late?”
“I don’t know, Jada. As him yourself.” She was really frustrated now, but I shrugged it off. Instead I wondered how Sachiel got past me when I had scanned the whole school just before.
I later found him in a familiar spot; standing stiff outside the detention office.
“You know, I have to stop running into you here.” I joked. He tried to smile, but it was obviously fake. “So, you were late again?”
“Couldn’t sleep.” I gave him a dirty look. Maybe it was my grudge against him that made me not believe him yesterday, but today, I knew he was lying.
“So, you never sleep? Is that it?” He looked down as I raised my voice. I realized I was a little too hard on him. I looked down and nervously shuffled my feet.
“Do you want to come over again?” I asked. I glanced up to meet his face, but my eyes only reached the crook of his neck, where a long bruise called home.
“Sure.” I looked up to see a bright smile I couldn’t help but return. His eyes lit up and his whole stature radiated relief.
The moment we came into my house and dropped our bags on the floor by the door, Sachiel was already picking up where we left off, as if there were no tension between us whatsoever.
“To descend or flow downward.” I looked at him perplexed.
“Your name. Jardina means to descend or flow downward.” I smiled at him. I wonder if that’s what he stayed up late doing; searching for the meaning of my name. Probably not.
He shrugged off his heavy jacket. I watched as he hung it up on the coat rack and studied his now very noticeable bruise on his neck. It starts out at the front, as I saw at the school, and eerily crawls around to the back of his neck. I swiftly moved me eyes to the wall behind him as he turned around. I dared not to look in his eyes.
We made our way to my bedroom, where he once again studied his surroundings with great amusement. I saw his grey eyes light up at every poster, drawing, and picture on my wall.
“Do you live here alone?” He asked.
“No, I live with my Mom. She just works a lot. I have a picture here somewhere…” I grabbed a framed photo off my nightstand. It was a faded picture of me and my mother when I was younger. I gave it to Sachiel, and he held it as if it was a delicate gem. He traced his fingers along the frame, and I noticed his eyes start to pool up with moisture.
“Are you guys close?” He asked without looking at me.
“We used to be.” I said, sorrowfully.
“Does she drink?” He blatantly asked. It took me off guard and for a moment I got really offended.
“No, of course not.” I said. He put down the photo and pressed his lips together. For a while, I couldn’t get him to talk again. He just stared into space, looking at anything but me.
“What’s wrong?” I asked. My heart was sinking in his chest as he finally looked at me with sad, broken eyes. He took a deep breath.
“I’m sorry that I can’t be normal.” I blinked. I couldn’t form any words, for I had no idea what to say. All I could do was laugh.
“Normal? Why would I want you to be normal?” He didn’t say anything. He just looked at me with a really confused look on his face.
“I…I don’t know. Everyone else does…” He said meekly.
“I like you the way you are.” I explained. He remained silent. He showed no expression, no emotion. He didn’t believe me.
“I mean, I guess you’re not perf-“
“You like me?” He interrupted me, smiling ever so slightly.
“No one’s ever liked me. Ever.” His smile widened with each full stop. I couldn’t help but return it.
The sun’s breath on my bare shoulders awoke me to a 9 a.m. breeze. I let out a deep sigh as I roughly rubbed my eyes to prepare them for the gleaming light shining through the window. They squinted in defense, trying to focus on the swaying curtains and dim walls. I rolled over to face the bright green numbers on the clock, reading 9:06am. I smiled at the photograph that rested next to it. It showcased a photo of myself in a black trench coat surrounded by orange leaves, my arm resting around the waist of a redheaded girl about four whole inches shorter than me. Engraved in silver lettering at the bottom of the frame was “3 years.” Our three year anniversary was on October 22nd of last year. We spent it at home, playing in the leaves, taking photos, and watching a movie in the backyard 50’s drive-in style. We laced hands and talked about our future together.
A boisterous, musical tone broke into my daze as my cell phone violently rattled on the nightstand beside me. I lazily grabbed it off the table.
“Hello?” I said, drowsily.
“Hi, Kevin! It’s your mother. Listen, I wanted to go over a few things with you about the-” She rambled in my ear.
“Mom! It’s so early in the morning. Why are you calling?”
“Well, I just had a few ideas and I wanted to run them by you! This day is about you two, after all.” The daily four cups of morning coffee explained to me.
“Mom, Mom…it hasn’t happened yet. Slow your horses.”
“What do you mean it hasn’t happened yet?” She raged. “What’s taking you so long?”
“I’m just waiting for the right time. Something perfect, something she’ll really love.”
“She’ll love it if you’ll just ask her already. Stop wasting her time or she’ll find someone who won’t!”
“Mom. I want this to be perfect.” I heard a soft sigh from the other end.
“Alright. Just hurry up.” With that, she hung up. I opened the draw of the nightstand after carelessly throwing my phone atop the table. I searched through what seemed to be miles of junk; from old baseball cards from my childhood, to empty glass bottles of cologne that were gifts from the past three years. I pulled out a small cream colored box from the far corner.
“I want it to be perfect.” I reminded myself as I opened it to reveal a small diamond ring. The band was silver and the diamond was surrounded by small emerald gems - Ann’s birthstone. The ring was perfect. All I needed was the moment to match it.
I stumbled out into the kitchen, still squinting my eyes a little. I saw Ann, my beautiful redhead, standing at the kitchen counter. She was sloppily dressed with just a t-shirt and a pair of my boxers. Her ratty hair was pulled up into a very messy bun. Her toenails had chipped yellow paint on them. As she squashed oranges into the juicer, I could only think of how amazing she looked.
I snuck up behind her and grabbed her around the waist while her hands were pressed on the juicer. She let out a sweet laugh and moved her hands to my neck.
“Good morning.” She said in a low voice, kissing me on the cheek. Before she could turn back to the juicer and the oranges, I pulled her in tighter so she could stay fixated on me. Her green eyes looked puzzled but pleasant.
“You’re beautiful.” I said. She let out a skeptical smile.
“I just woke up.” She explained.
“I couldn’t think of anything better in my life than waking up every morning to this.” I made sure she noticed my eyes scanning her up and down, showing that every single part of her is what I want to be seeing every single day. She chuckled.
“You’re crazy.” She said, smiling. Her smile soon faded as I bent down to waist level, and pulled the box out from my back pocket.
“Maybe.” I replied. “But I hope you can deal with that.” Her smile returned, wider and brighter.
I can’t imagine a moment that could have been more perfect.
Drizzle, Part 2 (Part 1)
I woke up with my ankles entangled in white sheets. My hands were pressed against my chin. I was laying on my side, with an arm thrown carelessly over my waist. I felt a soft breath warming my forehead. The sheets only covered me waist down. My entire torso was exposed. I sat up, and the arm fell like a weight off my hips. I stared at the image of beauty that was lying next to me. The curve of her waist, her slick hair, and her drowsy, waking eyes. Joy looked up at me and smiled, resting her head on her hand.
“Did you sleep well?” She softly asked before a yawn.
“I would have if you weren’t such a blanket hog.” I returned her smile. She covered herself in the fleece some more to tease me, and chuckled. I leaned down to kiss her lightly on the lips. I smiled at her before crawling out of bed and stretching my arms. The sun shone through the window as I listened to a car pass by. I threw on a shirt and some jeans and pulled the curtains to fully expose the sun’s gleaming light. The floor was littered with yesterday’s fancy shoes and expensive attire, with less glamorous undergarments still hanging from the foot of the bed. The room was a wreck.
My heart sank as I noticed the ring on my finger. It shone at me, screamed at me for what I did wrong. I thought of Drake. I thought of the night he gave me the ring, and I felt the color leaving my face. Joy saw me staring at it, and sat up on the bed, shielding her bare skin with the sheets.
“We messed up, didn’t we?” She said. I pressed my lips together and remained quiet.
“I’m sorry.” She softly said. I chuckled and turned to face her.
“I’m not.” I replied, but my gut felt empty. Drake wasn’t staying long in Europe. He would be coming home tomorrow. I only had today left with Joy and then he’d be home, and then only a few months later, I’m marrying him. But how? Last night, I cheated on him. From my teenage years into my adulthood today, I never depicted myself to commit such a sin. I viewed those who made it a habit as disrespectful. I would never do it, but I just did. I just did it with a woman. I don’t have a problem with homosexuality, but never would I have believed that it would be a part of my personality. I went from a normal, mannered girl marrying the man of her dreams, to a cheating queer with deep secrets that even confuse herself.
But even so, I didn’t lie to Joy. I wasn’t sorry it happened.
I made coffee for the both of us downstairs in the kitchen while we laughed about the water footprints on the floor and drenched countertops. She rested her head in the palm of her hand at the table as I served her black coffee and poured some milk into mine. I rehearsed the same morning with Drake over and over, and nearly did the same with Joy. Making coffee, sitting at the table, then giving my undivided attention to a magazine. Drake and I didn’t talk much in the morning. We never have. This morning, however, I didn’t even touch the magazine, for I didn’t have a single breath to spare. With Joy, the normal mindless chatter I’m so used to becomes a faded memory. Her words are elegant and they roll off her tongue with confidence and stride. She intellectually raves about the things she loves; books, movies, artists. Everything she speaks about is drenched in enchanting passion. My attention remained restrained, hanging onto each syllable. Our steaming mugs soon became chilled when we finally fell silent, barely touched. We didn’t have any room to take a sip through spilling out stories and secrets and most importantly, feelings of last night.
After pushing our mugs to the center of the table, announcing we were finished, I caught myself staring at her again. Taking in things I couldn’t notice at the restaurant but explored last night. Her shoulders, her curves, her hands. They melted together to form a perfect human being.
“What?” Deja vu hit me as Joy laughed at my blank stare. I smiled back.
“Do you want to take a shower?” I asked. She gave me a wide smile. We ran up the steps laughing our heads off as we greeted the bathroom door sloppily kissing one other.
There’s something about falling in love in the wetness of a cold drizzle and revisiting that feeling through the comfort of a steamy shower. You control the temperature, the pressure, the setting. But you still don’t control how it feels. How it feels on your skin and how it looks on hers. Her drenched black hair, her dripping eyelashes, and her dampened pearly skin. There’s something about feeling the flicker in your eyes when she places her hands on your neck, your shoulders, and moves them to your most sensitive spots without moving her eyes from yours. There’s something about switching from a bellowing laughter to a gasp, a small breath of both fright and desire. Being with a girl is sensual, relaxing. You don’t have to guess. You know her and she knows you. You know the weaknesses in her skin and the things that make her sigh in relief or let out a small breath of laughter, and she knows yours too. She knows what the minuscule movements of her fingertips can do and what the slightest brush of her lips can reveal. There’s something about this sensual experience being put under a fountain. It’s almost like a spotlight, a show for the loneliest people in the world. People who’ve never discovered their true desires. People who’ve never left the comfort of their personal sanctuaries before. A mirror that shows them what they need in order to be happy, a show that makes them yearn. The splatter of droplets of water can change everything. It changed me.
As the glass door slid open, an avalanche of steam emptied itself from the shower. It danced and twirled throughout the entire bathroom. The mirrors were painted with fog. I held Joy’s hand as we stepped onto the tiled floor into the moist abyss. I wiped away the blur from the mirrors just enough to show my face. I looked at myself. Joy was running a comb through her hair as I stared at my reflection. A wave of anxiety washed over me again, thinking about Drake. But it was soon demolished by Joy’s hand writing “Mine” with an arrow pointing downward above the space I wiped away for my face. I smiled at her curvy handwriting.
Joy and I did everything together that day. I showed her around the town she would now be living in. We passed a cute little flower shop where she revealed to me that her favorite flower was the tulip. We dined in at a cafe on the corner. We shopped at clothing outlets and tried on ridiculous outfits that didn’t match. We laughed and we played as the sunlight soon faded to a soft blue glow. Clouds swallowed the vast sky.
At the end of the day and the start of the night, it began to drizzle.
Joy and I stared up into the soul of the sky and showered in its sign. I twirled her in a circle and she let her arms fly around my shoulders once she came back to me.
“Why does it always rain around you?” I asked.
“I could say the same about you.” She replied, flashing me a bright white smile. I returned her smile as our foreheads met each other. Her skin sparkled like faceted diamonds in its sudden wetness. My hand slowly traced the small of her back as I closed my eyes to savor the moment. As my world turned to darkness, I realized how well I knew Joy. With my eyes closed, our foreheads sweetly resting on one another, and my hands settling on the smoothness of her skin, I replayed our two days together. I remembered her pin-straight hair shimmering in the restaurant, and I remembered playing with her curls as they dripped in the shower. I recalled her skin-tight dress accenting her deep curves, and I fondly remember commenting on the lace that hugged her hips. Even with only spending two days with her, I knew this beautiful woman whose name describes the only feeling I’ve known since meeting her. Thinking about how much I still have to learn only excites me more.
“What is it?” Joy broke my thoughts after noticing my smile had faded.
“Joy, do you believe in love at first sight?” I asked, now meeting her ocean eyes.
“Yes.” She replied as a smile began to form on her lips. I returned it instantly, as the boisterous ringer of my phone tore through our moment.
“Hello?” I painfully answered. My heart sank as I heard him from the other line.
“Hey, babe. Just making sure you’re still picking me up at 1pm tomorrow!” Drake spoke excitedly.
“Of course, honey. How could I forget?” I tried to sound cheerful. Joy looked at the ground, defeated.
“How are you guys holding up over there? Everything look good? I miss you loads.” He rambled. His connection was raw and meshed with static.
“Yeah…everything’s fine, babe. Listen, you’re breaking up a little. Can you call me tomorrow before you get on the plane?”
“Sure. I…see…morrow. Love you.” The connection was really starting to go.
“Love you too. Bye.” I hung up quickly. I looked at the ground as droplets of rain forcefully met the asphalt. Rain has been a funny thing for me lately. It’s brought together two puzzle pieces that were quite obviously meant to fit together, but in the process, it tore apart two others. What if the others were never meant to be together? What if the sun shone too bright and blinded our eyes for what’s really beyond the horizon? As much as we love those vast blue skies and warm glow on our cheeks, the clouds make the path so much clearer. The rain awakens our senses to things we couldn’t feel with the safe rays of the sun. How can you ever expect to find something great without taking a little risk? I feel that’s what the drizzle has granted me. It has clouded my safety, but never my senses. I felt everything, I saw everything. The water just made it that much easier to experience. The overcast took away that protective shelter, but presented me with exposed euphoria.
“You have to tell him.” Joy interrupted my thoughts.
“We’ll tell him together.” She grinned, but I could see the anxiety behind it. I felt it, too.
**Author’s note: I’m so sorry this took so long! I promise I won’t take as long to find the muse to write part 3 as I did to write this one!
I finally found my half-written copy of Drizzle Part 2! So now I can finally have more motivation to finish it!