The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
To the dark and the endless skiesThe first time ever I kissed your mouth
I felt the earth move in my hand
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command my loveAnd the first time ever I lay with you
I felt your heart so close to mine
And I knew our joy would fill the earth
And last till the end of time my loveThe first time ever I saw your face
Your face, your face
Old friend from high school needs a name. From here on out I’ll call him Jake. Not in the least because he could be Jake Gyllenhaal’s brother they look so much alike.
That evening we lingered over drinks. Then we lingered over dinner. Finally we lingered over dessert, still talking. Still sharing mutual memories but from our different perspectives. Brief touches on hands, arms, shoulders were scattered throughout. When the server came by a third time and asked if we needed anything else we exchanged sheepish grins.
“I suppose we should leave,” I said.
“I’m getting that feeling,” he said wryly.
Neither of us moved. I took a deep breath.
“I want you to invite me to come over to your place. And I want us to have one more drink there and keep talking. I’m not ready for this to be over,” I said. Continue reading
When I last left you I was sipping a drink waiting on an old friend from high school to arrive for an evening of catching up. Would you like me to paint you a picture? I need to. I’ve been burying myself in work for ages. Even now I have windows open that are explaining some new social media tips and tricks that I can use to get my business to the next level. But that’s not why you’re here reading… Continue reading
The Australian came to me in my sleep last night. We walked moorish hills with the sun positioned just on the horizon for hours. He held me tightly against his side every step of the way. His death was never mentioned but it hung in the air like the peircing wane of a boat whistle signaling departure.
We fell asleep together in a grassy hillside nave overlooking miles and miles of sunset cover country. As I began to wake, slowly returning to consciousness, I felt myself drifting away but could still see him resting peacefully, a soft smile on his lips.
Was it only a dream, brought on by my conversation about him with a friend yesterday? Or did the tears I shed as I listened to his recorded voice for the first time in ages call him from the beyond to meet me in the golden lit firmament between his world and mine?
The hot shower water pelted by body, waking me up slowly, opening my pores and my mind. I ran the bar of fragrant soap over my skin… quickly. Efficiently. There’s been no time to linger over a shower in weeks. It’s become habit now. Get in. Get clean. Get out.
Nathan’s voice pierced the cloud of steam, “So, what did you dream last night?”
He never asked me about my dreams. Something had prompted his inquiry. I was instantly on guard. Had I talked in my sleep? What had I divulged?
“Why do you ask,” I responded.
“Well, why don’t you tell me what you dreamed,” he said, giving me no hint as to why he had asked. I racked my brain. And for the life of me I couldn’t remember dreaming of anything. That in itself was odd. I normally have a vidid dream life that I can recall without issue.
“Darling,” I said, “If I did dream last night, I don’t remember it.”
“Oh,” he said with a chuckle, “you dreamed all right.”
“Did I talk in my sleep,” I asked, trying to hide my alarm.
“No, you didn’t talk.”
“Well then, why on earth are you so sure I dreamed?”
“Because,” he said, coming to stand in the shower door way and watch me rinse off, “you moaned.”
“How do you mean?”
“You know how I mean. You moaned how you moan when you are…” his voice trailed off and his look became more knowing.
“No! I did not!” I said in shock.
“You did. You did so much it woke me up!”
“Well why didn’t you wake me up so we could enjoy my dream together?”
“Because you sounded like you were having a splendid time on your own. I didn’t want to wake you.”
“Hmmm,” I mused as I toweled off, “I wish I remembered.”
And I do wish I did. It’s been far to long since my back was arched an genuine moans were pouring from my mouth.
“I’ve never been so happy and so sad at the same time in all my life,” I told my best friend.
She had listened to me talk nonstop about meeting Ian, about making love with Ian, about Ian’s flower sending abilities and about how sure I was that Ian was my soul mate for days. The consummate friend, she had commiserated with me tirelessly. And now she offered some advice.
“Go see him,” she said abruptly as I was lamenting his departure for Australia in the next few days.
“What?” I replied, dumbly.
“Go see him. Before he’s out of the country,” she explained.
“You mean like tomorrow?”
I don’t know why I hadn’t already thought about dropping everything and flying to see him before he left the country. I was ready to quit my job and move to Australia if he asked, so this would be small in comparison. But most of all I wanted the chance to be in his arms again, to feel his breath on my body, to know for sure that what I had experienced, felt, believed was real.
“Oh my gosh. I could make this happen,” I said, disbelief rapidly dispersing. Continue reading
The morning of February 14th I drove to work bleary eyed but happy. Ian and I had video chatted long into the night. His looks of longing and whispered I love yous had left my heart full even though the future was still as clear as a foggy morning in the Appalachian foothills, somewhere among the mist I felt hope.
Phones rang, paper scattered, and the general scurry of activity surrounded me. It all seemed a blur. None of it touched me. I was elsewhere, living in the future in my daydream. It was a place where Ian and I would get home from work around the same time. He, an avid cook would be preparing our meal while I tinkered on a rich sounding upright piano nearby. Our eyes would meet and sparkle, because we knew we had beat the fates and made a life together.
“Marian, there’s a delivery for you.” Continue reading
The drive to the airport with Ian was too short, although it seemed to take an eternity. I kept thinking of things to say, yet no words would come. The silence from the driver’s seat did nothing to free my voice. Already, the bleak loneliness of leaving him was creeping in, barely held in check by his warm hand on my thigh. There, on the curved muscle, I felt the connection. I focused my thoughts on that hand, memorizing it’s lines, scars, shape and marks, the feel of it, the weight, its gentleness.
“I don’t know how to say goodbye to you,” came a whisper from his tight throat, “or even contemplate it.”
I looked to the left, just in time to see the sunlight catch the tear falling from his cheek. Continue reading
“What?” Ian asked with a smile, his Australian accent making my world tilt violently.
“You’re beautiful,” I said, eyes wide, taking in the man before me.
“You’re gonna make me blush,” he chuckled, and closed the gap between us.
Carefully Ian bent and gathered the hem of my long, clinging black dress and lifted it up my body. I held my arms aloft as the fabric slid up and over my head. He knelt before me and lifted a foot, gently removing the black high heel encasing it before repeating with the other. Still kneeling, his hands began at my ankles and traced up the outside edges of my calves and thighs, under my black satin spaghetti-strapped slip to the waistband of my hose. Ever so slowly, he pulled them down, stripping me of the sheer black bindings. As I stood there, in just my slip, he wrapped his arm around my waist and rested his head on my abdomen. Tenderly I ran my fingers through his thick dark hair, massaging his temples. He looked up at me. Continue reading
The kiss deepened slowly, as if we both were savoring the moment, trying to lengthen each second. The feel, the scent, the touch of him, it was as if he had been designed especially for me. I knew his touch already, his taste. I remembered him. Something deep inside me responded at a level I was unfamiliar with, a level I was unaware even existed. The beautiful hotel surroundings ceased to exist. All that mattered in the universe was us.
When Ian lifted his head, I smiled up at him, and without reservation knew I would give him everything within me. No holding back. No games. I didn’t know what this was, but I knew it was a gift, one not to be squandered. Continue reading
Ian held the door to his room open for me and waited as I walked inside. I scanned the spartan space taking in the expected sights of a mid-rate all-suite hotel. Light beige Formica covered the counters of the corner kitchenette, medium beige carpet covered the floors and dark beige wallpaper covered the walls. A navy sofa and chair were paired with a yellow oak coffee table and faced a television.
“Would you like something ta’ drink?” Ian asked in his rolling Australian accent.
“I’m good. Thanks though.” I replied as I sank onto the sofa.
“I’ll be right out,” he said.
“I’ll be right here,” I said smiling.
He walked into the bedroom and shut the door. I lay back on the sofa, closed my eyes and listened to him turn on the shower. Like images flickering across the silver screen, memories of the day played across the inside of my eyelids. Why was I so comfortable with him so quickly? What were the chances of our paths crossing? Why did every move he made and every word he spoke seem so right, so familiar? The few times he had touched me had sent currents of electricity surging through my body. I let myself imagine kissing him. My mind dipped and dove through the fantasy of our lips meeting causing my heart rate to go from a steady thrum to a rapid flutter. But the ding of an incoming text message shook me from my trance. A quick glance at the screen let me know it was from my good girlfriend from home. Continue reading
Maybe it was the very large, professional-looking camera that hung from my neck. Maybe it was my approachable look. A petite woman with blonde hair in a jaunty ponytail wearing dark blue skinny jeans, tall black riding boots and a black cashmere sweater is anything but threatening. Maybe it was because I couldn’t stop smiling due to the handsome Australian at my side, but as we walked along the park’s alley no less than four different groups of people walked up to us, handed me their camera and asked me to take their picture. I obliged, directing them on position and smile techniques and reshooting when the digital display showed anything less than the ideal. Ian praised me with each capture.
“You’re so patient with them,” he said with a question in his voice.
“Well yes, of course. I have the ability to help. Why wouldn’t I?” I responded with a slight frown.
“It’s just different. That’s all.”
I didn’t question him further.
Ian and I strolled under the giant live oaks to another historic home, went inside and bought tickets to the next tour—which would begin shortly—and went to the porch to wait for the guide. Placing a hand on the black wrought iron railing, I walked up two of the front steps, turned and leaned against a large white column. Ian remained on the ground, draped his large frame on the other side of the railing and leaned in towards me. We were almost eye-level, and less than two feet apart when I looked up and met his steady gaze. His eyes were a tawny hazel, flecked with bright blues and greens and framed with thick dark lashes.
“Oh my,” I whispered.
“Yeah,” he drawled softly in agreement.
Ian shifted his weight, bringing his face even closer to mine, never breaking the eye contact. Just as I was certain he was going to kiss me, a small group of people joined us, ending the moment. We both smiled, acknowledging what had almost happened without saying a word.