The night was warm and peaceful.
My imagination ran wild to the sounds of the ocean rising and falling, my breath syncing with it’s rhythm.
Although I didn’t know him at all I felt safe with my head resting in his lap and our fingers intertwined.
I liked the way he told his stories, painting vivid and enticing pictures like I was with him somewhere far away experiencing a memory that wasn’t mine.
He wasn’t like anyone I’d ever met before and I enjoyed the way he stared at me unapologetically and with an intensity that made me question his motives.
He was starstruck by the seas, I could see it in his eyes like he was staring at the ocean’s horizon even without it in sight, it was a part of him as much as the tattoos on my skin were a part of me.
Silence felt comfortable but words were much harder.
I never knew what to say, his gaze would make me shift and fuss the way others usually did around me.
I could feel the pain and loss he hid and it made me want to pry my way inside, find the source and alleviate his burdens but I knew it didn’t work that way.
He didn’t trust me much more than I trusted him and this moment that felt like Eden wouldn’t last forever so surely that meant the feelings swelling up in my chest wouldn’t either. Would they?
He tilted my head back and traced the constellations into the velvet night above us following the Big Dipper to the North Star.
The salty breeze cooled my skin and in that moment I felt like we were the last two people on earth, that nothing existed but the sea, the wind and him.
It was a feeling I hadn’t believed was anything more than fiction, something only told in stories to make young girls believe that the world wasn’t as cruel and unforgiving as reality would soon rectify.
I chose my words carefully around him, choking most of them down and settling for the things I was only sure of.
I had no business being there in that moment with him, a stranger from a world I knew nothing about.
He was filled with knowledge about history, he was educated in ways I’d only read in books and he’d learned more skills than I could keep track of.
I felt unimpressive with him, like I was mismatched and displaced.
I knew how this would end and yet when he called I came, unable to keep myself away from tasting more.
It made me sick the way I acted around him, like a sappy schoolgirl crushing on someone unreachable.
My arms were now draped around his neck and our skin glistened with water drops as we were embraced by the sea.
I don’t know what he saw when he looked at me but I only hoped in his eyes I looked as beautiful and entrancing as he did through mine.
Dark hair slicked back and water trickled down his face, I leaned back to the sky soaking in this moment.
His hands holding my waist, he always had a way of making picture perfect moments like I was living in the movies. I suspected this was very intentional which made me uneasy but not enough to dissuade my interests.
These days were numbered, I could see the countdown written all over his face when we were together. I knew I could never be apart of his future and that saddened me,
we were from different worlds so why get attached.
Soft jazz played as he spun me and then drew me back to his chest as we swayed to a classic rhythm. Uncoordinated and clumsy I felt ridiculous but somehow with him I didn’t mind.
Everything about him was so surreal that when he wasn’t around it was like he never existed at all, like our lives never intersected and we were still strangers in our respectful places.
I’ve played with my fair share of hearts so why is this one getting the best of me?
Although his mind was still puzzling I’d followed his trail of breadcrumbs to answers he wouldn’t give me openly.
I didn’t blame him, we were strangers after all. As much as you could be strangers with someone you’ve consumed all too eagerly.
I knew better than to believe I was special, that I mattered more than any of the others because that kind of thinking would get me hurt so I held back.
It didn’t matter to me if we were sitting under a blue sky wafted by heat and misters eating greasy food or under a canopy of stars stitched into dark blue watching water. I just wanted to be around him, listen to his stories and soak up his touch even if I had no idea what he wanted from me or what would happen when the stories ran out.
Maybe that was it, that was all I got and now it’s over like a dream you wished so badly could have been real and leaves you feeling dull and detached from life.
It was worth the experience, to feel something beautiful that no one could ever taint or ruin because it only lives in my mind now, untouchable.
Everything precious to me is chewed up and spit out by the darkness breathing down my neck but this, this it could never touch and that was everything to me.
I won’t hold my breath this time, won’t count on his return to make me whole because things are always disappointing when you mix expectations with emotion.
Walking away from his apartment I contemplated it all and swallowed the lump in my throat. Salty tears stung my eyes threatening to expose me. It hurt to leave, to not know what would happen next. I wished there was more time and yet also couldn’t get out fast enough. I didn’t like being so vulnerable, so raw, my walls were better left up.
Steps echoed off the cement and the light posts cast a yellowish tint in the dark. Dread filled me at the thought of returning to my home, my life. I bit at my cheeks in frustration as warm tears escaped my eyes,
Fucking pathetic, my mother’s words scolded me. I hated the way her toxic hate seeped so deeply into my mind becoming my inner critic. Whore.
So involved in my own thoughts I hadn’t noticed I wasn’t alone anymore,
Why is someone so beautiful so sad? A stranger came into light. My car was maybe fifteen more steps but I hesitated.
No reason. I smiled politely and tried to keep walking but his words cut me short,
Bet I could make it better if you wanted to come have a drink with me. He smiled hungrily making his intentions all too clear, the scent of alcohol reached my senses as he closed the distance.
It’s late I should really be going home. Thanks. I sidestepped him but was jerked back by a tight grip on my upper arm.
Come on, don’t be like that. I can show you a real good time. His breath was hot on my neck and the way he slurred his words made my skin crawl.
Let go. You’re drunk. I shoved him away from me and darted for my car, a shiver went down my spine as he laughed with a snarl,
I’ve seen you a few times now, so pretty. The way you sway those little hips around when you walk like you’re just asking for trouble. But you think you’re better than me, don’t you? They always do. Think you’re above me, huh? Hanging around with some rich asshole.
He let me get my door open before closing in, grabbing me from behind I tried to scream but his hand flew over my mouth. I thrashed violently and bit down on his palm causing him to shriek in pain, releasing his grip. I ran back to the apartment’s entrance but couldn’t get pass the door code.
Idiot. Fucking idiot. How could I not know the code? The street was too dark and still to be helpful. I pounded on the door, screaming for anyone to hear me. I felt a fist-full of my hair yanked and my head hit the glass door, pain exploding through my temple as I let out another scream. Then my head hit the door again, and again. Shut the fuck up, cunt.
Thick crimson leaked into my eyes, blurring my vision I felt dazed and disorientated. He quickly dragged me away from the light and darkness swallowed my vision.
Cold. It felt cold.
My consciousness faded in and out and memories danced behind my eyelids.
What? I giggled under the pressure of his stare. He smirked in response without breaking eye contact.
I’m just looking at your cute little dimples.
My smile widened uncontrollably and I rolled my eyes,
I don’t have dimples!
Yes. You do. They’re right there. He pointed at the corners of my mouth and smiled.
Our hands were laced together and I felt safe in his eyes until they shifted to my temple with concern,
I touched my head and pain shot through my skull, sticky red filled my eyes and I dropped to the floor.
The warmth from the sun and his gaze faded away and I found myself back in darkness. I was alone, shivering, my body in shock.
Blood, there was a lot of blood. It pooled around my head like a halo, staining the cement.
Ask me a question.
Okay…what’s your favorite color?
Surprisingly not blue, he flashed a grin at the water surrounding us, I’d probably say gold, although I’d never buy anything gold because it’s too-
Flashy? I interjected.
Yeah I’m just not that kind of guy. You?
Mmm.. I bit my lip in thought, probably maroon.
What about burgundy?
Burgundy is pretty too. I just love dark reds.
My heart beat slowed as the sky began to lighten and the birds started to sing. The pain was subsiding as my body became numb and the world glowed vibrantly.
I wish I’d listened to my brother and gotten an abortion. All you’ve done is ruin my lifeand instead of being grateful I lost everything for you, you run around like a little fucking whore, desperate for approval. You disgust me. Her bloodshot eyes narrowed as she taunted me.
Shutup, shut up, shut up.
The world was far away when I heard screams followed shortly by sirens.
Music played softly.
You’re really going to chalk Frank Sinatra down to some Oregano’s background noise? So insulting. He shook his head and smiled as he took my hand and lead in a room of pure gold.
Come on, stay with us. Bright lights flashed through my eyelids, my body felt heavy and tattered.
What? I laughed, That’s what they play there. He spun me and pulled me back.
Female, severe head injuries, defensive wounds, looks like there was sexual assault. She’s lost a lot of blood, we need to get fluids in her now.
Watching him watching water was hypnotizing,
I’m sad that you’re leaving. There was a sudden splash that caught our attention and then I looked down wishing I could take the words back. We were silent for a minute before he spoke,
Is she awake?
Sweetie, can you tell me your name?