“That’s a good book,” she says. She’s really cute, too cute for him. She’s looking at him sideways, so to speak, head turned slightly toward him, irises drifiting toward the corners of her eyes as she listens intenly – a look he will come to love – while her hands are busy working or playing with tape. She has short hair tucked behind her ears and her eyes are big, bright and almond brown.
“Ya? Well. I’m not quite finished it.” He’s already forgotten the author’s name, some American, Julian or Joseph something or other. He’s just excited she’s talking to him. He’s noticed her before, cool and mysterious. He stares back at her, soaking in the first opportunity he’s had to look her in the eye. He hopes if he takes long pauses between thoughts he can make the conversation last forever, maybe.
“I mean, I don’t know,” he stalls, “have you read it?”
“Yeah,” she replies quickly, softly, nodding slowly. “Quite a while ago.”
For a moment he lets his eyes focus on her bottom lip, thin and pink. She doesn’t move her top lip when she responds, he thinks that’s weird; instead she pushes the words out of the bottom of her mouth leaving the rest of her features quiet. But he still imagines what it would be like to kiss her. His eyes linger on her lower lip only briefly, stealing a look at her neckline, the pocket of her collarbone, and breasts before looking up to respond.
“Oh ya? Did you like it?” Another question to prolong the encounter.
“Ya.” She says again, briskly.
“I’ve been reading it for awhile. I find him a little wordy.” Sensing he might be getting a little too critical, he eases off a bit. “But, ya, its been great so far.”
She nods slowly again. He inches toward the side of the table she is standing behind to see her more fully. She is wearing high cut jean shorts and a light t-shirt. It’s mid-summer and the long, muscular legs that fall out of the denim are tanned slightly. She looks athletic, he thinks to himself. Already he daydreams of going hiking with her or swimming at the beach, those same legs glistening wet in the summer sun. Things, he thinks, she must do with handsome, fit men with scruffy beards who wear plaid non-ironically. He’s envious. He wants her to go out with him, be the one who can make her smile. And to kiss. He wants those legs wrapped around him while they read, or watch a movie, or fuck, maybe.
“Have a good afternoon,” she says.
“Ya. Thank you. You too.”
Some months later they are lying in bed together, on top of her comforter, fully clothed, consuming one another. It started in the kitchen. She decided to make some tea, and while she was plunging her tea bag into the boiling cup of water to steep, he came up from behind her, ran his hands across her stomach and dotted kisses along her neck. This, he thinks to himself, will be something he holds with him for as long as possible, long after she finds him too arrogant and the initial charms of his humour and playfulness grow stale in the face of long-windedness or general insensitivity. But, in that moment, they’re not worried about the implications of falling in too deep.
He runs his hands along the back of her thighs, over her legs, and underneath her shirt. She has small blonde hairs at the small of her back, they are coarse but sexy. She moves her leg over his, and they lay interwoven like that, legs criss-crossing, pelvises touching, hands exploring one another, lips shy at first contact. He runs his bottom lip along her neck, from her shoulder to the bottom of her ear, the smell of cherry blossoms filling the air around his mouth and nose. She runs her hands through his hair, moans softly as the lips graze her most sensitive spots, and clenches her legs around his thighs. He likes the way she pulls back from kissing him, so he has to follow her lips. She loves his hands on her, no one has ever touched her there (behind her knees) or there (the soles of her feet), or there (along the back of her hairline). Her breathing quickens, and they move their hips together, writhing against one another, hungry, voracious.
She left him not long after that. “I’m miserable,” was what she said. “Don’t leave me,” was what he thought. “I don’t believe you,” was what he said.
“Fuck you!” She yelled and hung up the phone.
But day after day it reappers. The thoughts of him and her, and what it could be; but at least there were pretty lights.