I’d like to say I couldn’t imagine that it would happen again.
Or that the memories from a feeling trapped in my veins were completely unexpected to soak back into my blood and set my life on fire. I truly yearn to scratch up any remaining support for my inevitable, undeniable innocence.
But you and I and the ground I walk on and the sky I watch and the air I breathe all know that will never be the case. You never disappeared. You were just held in hold, as if time froze in an ice cube from last summer, through the equally wretched winter, until now. And you and I and the ground I walk on and the sky I watch and the air I breathe are all witness to the melting of the frozen cuffs grasping time, grasping your movie star smile and my happiness. And as we walked upon the rocky round, as we watched the dimming sky, and as we breathed each other’s air, you brought me back to myself. And I’d like to say I was blind to it. I wasn’t.
I was surprised you didn’t know I had flown to your country, though. It was so advertised by shared friends and family that I was convinced it had reached you through the grape vine. Nonetheless, when I told you I’d be visiting your town and I read your clear excitement, familiar butterflies quaked my gut. I never knew why or how you evoked that reaction from me. It was always evident though. Even when I reached the point of convincing myself I could move on easily. Even then, at the slight thought of your name that led to a fading memory, which led to an imprisoned emotion. Even then, you somehow flipped some switched in my stomach, or opened some cage in my head releasing toxic amounts of dopamine through my body.
It made me smile. Through all of the lies I’d been living, and the quiet pain I’d been suffering from the weight of my life, you made me smile.
You looked…. indescribable. Your smile could stop anyone in their tracks. It was so perfect I wanted to just shut my lips until you would look away. My smile couldn’t compare to yours. Nearly. But you made me smile despite my insecurities.
You had the same chocolate eyes and matching hair. Same general facial structure. But, you’d grown. You were no longer the cute boy I’d met and fell for as a more immature girl. You’d become something of a man. Even your stance had matured: back straight and hands tucked in your pockets. It seemed as if with that one year gain, your timid insecurities flew away as easily as the seconds had. You were a man, and I remained stuck in between ten and twenty, lingering in time and waiting for the maturity you obtained.
I was so nervous that, with you, I wouldn’t be able to talk freely, as I felt with everyone else in the past year or so. Awkwardness became my new unfortunate definition. Stuttering, not talking loud enough, spacing out, the like. But when we began walking down those familiar roads, through our memories together it seemed, words leaked from my mouth as easily as it had last year.
I’d like to say it’s not as much as you that made our annual meeting completely incredible, but the me that you restored. But, again, I’m forced to realize that you fit into the equation like the remaining puzzle piece. Your smile made me nervous, but in the sense that I hadn’t discovered with others. I’d remembered that sense of freedom from the forever ago, but I can honestly say I hadn’t thought it could return. It had though.
Somewhere in the negligence of time or weather, we found our way to the one cement structure near the recreational center: the one spot easily marked as ours. As we climbed up to the flat top, you spoke of how you’re heading to the army in two years. I told you I would join you in the years following my college graduation, but you insisted you would never let me.
We spoke of everything for seconds, minutes, hours up there. Your deep, strongly accented voice made me laugh or cry or blush. I taught you the time step, hoping you would grab my hand to steady yourself. You wouldn’t stop shrugging your black jacket off your shoulders just to place them on mine for “five minutes”. You said you liked the cold. With each word formed by your beautiful lips and sent by your rich voice, I learned and loved more about you.
You shivered so hard, I was afraid you’d shatter if I touched you.
“Are you cold?” You asked, despite your present condition being conspicuously worse than mine.
I shrugged and giggled as another set of shivers were sent down your underdressed back. “Take your jacket back,” I insisted as I slipped it off my shoulders and held it out for you. Your eyes displayed pure unspoken defiance. With equal rebellion, trying to hold back my uncontrollable smile, I placed it on the ground behind where you were sitting.
I can imagine that through your grin, you were thinking how impossible I am. But I was more than glad I wasn’t forced by my own self-consciousness to veil myself with the mask of the perfect girl. I felt so real and alive than I had in a very long time.
“How about a hug?” I heard you suggest. I couldn’t exactly detect what bled from your voice – maybe coldness, maybe humor. Maybe excitement. I used every tint of strength I obtained to hold back my own excitement. I shrugged as if a hug meant nothing more than a hug, and glanced down at my iPod before inching towards you.
Whenever, that night, words escaped me, I would simply flip through my playlist so I wouldn’t have to meet your gaze.
I sincerely hope you didn’t notice.
Your arms were so inviting, though, and I couldn’t do much but hide myself in your warmth. It was an incredible feeling, as if the warmth your shudders had created were passed in a surge of affection towards me.
Almost unwillingly, I dug myself closer and closer to you, resting my head on your shoulder and my Heart closer to yours. You nudged your cheek on my forehead and I could feel the calm warmth of your breath.
The silence was beautiful.
It was as if the slice around us created an orchestra of music just for our ears. The wind whistled through the hands of the trees and the birds sang for us. Your breath flew in and out rather quickly – if by the cold or by the same reason mine was, I don’t know. But we were still in the life around us, trembling to its soothing beauty and to each other.
Before the birds around us could utter another breath of song, your forehead was leaning on my own.
My mind had drained of everything. All of my problems, my insecurities, waiting for me less then a mile away. I couldn’t think, I could feel. And hell, did I feel. I felt scared and worried and nervous and excited. And happy.
Your lips were so close to mine before your logic shattered the silence.
“We shouldn’t,” you murmured.
And I knew. I knew probably more than you did. I understood that the minute you took your first steps to your house and I to mine, my chest would be quaking from a raw wound. One kiss was pouring salt into my heartache, resurrected from last year.
I knew. But I didn’t care.
My eyes remained closed and my lips didn’t utter a word.
“You’ll be going to America so soon. We can’t do this. We can’t do this,” your voice was drenched and bloody with pre-existing pain. I could hear it so clearly. It felt so real that all of my doubts had faded by that moment.
Seconds ticked by before I spoke the only response I could afford. “I know.”
With that, the silence grew and the music played again. We didn’t try; we didn’t speak, or think. All we did was feel, and gravity conducted the rest.
And the second your lips touched mine, all of the possibilities existent between us played to an extent of extreme.
Your lips it a match to a side of my life I’d ever discovered before. I wasn’t just a sad girl right then. Everything I had lost returned with one kiss. I smiled and laughed and cried and understood that maybe you were more than a kiss with a name.
And that night, as we held each other and walked the rocky ground and watched the rising sun and breathed each other’s air, just for that night, you were mine.
And with words released into the air, and with our first steps apart after a night in a dream, I have nothing to hold onto but the mere words to be continued.