Fiction
7 Mar 2018


The city scape sparkled as far as she could see. The shadows of the southern mountains a contrast to the emerging light from the east as time passed on this the longest night.

Throughout her vision tiny lights dazzled far and wide illuminating the sleeping city that seemed to be slumbering still. She imagined him now somewhere within, lying on his side with his eyes closed and she recalled his scent, his sounds, the shape of his mouth, how his feet moved and kicked out as he slept and most of all how he would wake, stretch and kiss her. Tender and gentle his lips seemed to hold hers, his hand lifting her chin he would kiss her as if it was the first kiss each and every morning. She’d resist playfully complaining of his breath or instinctively aware of her own after a nights sleep but always enjoyed how he’d persist and pull her close to him and hold her against his chest. As her hand reached and her fingers gently touched her own lips and offered them a kiss and placed them on the window towards the the city below … she now longed for him and that ache within her chest woke …

A noise came from the shape on the bed behind her. Normally she’d have insisted on being alone but she’d been tired last night and the wine and his persistence had caused her to relent but she regretted it. She enjoyed her own company, lost in thought and wrapped in her own musings and work. Unfinished canvases and work lack strewn across the loft - it was as if she was scared to finish anything - to move on.

“Are you coming back to bed ?”

“Oh, you’re awake are you ?”

“Yes, I most certainly am and you standing there is giving me an appetite woman”

“Is that right ? with a belly like yours are you sure you can handle another portion ?”

She played her games and had her fun.

She enjoyed encouraging some self doubt in those she encountered with clearly more self confidence than self control.

Sitting at the bar with her wine she’d thought about their holidays, how they’d enjoyed discussions cooking together, arguments about seasoning settled by a grab of an ass and deep kissing and passionate embraces over a table whilst water boiled over. Facing a grown man wistfully reminisce about what he once was, who he once knew, how he once had done this that and the other was simply a backdrop to her. She’d perfected nodding, smiling and things like ‘wow, really ?’ and ‘tell me more about that’ whilst sipping wine and allowing her mind to slip away quietly.

She just wanted to feel, she didn’t want to think and so it made sense to humour her suitor with casual touches on his thigh, smiles and assuring laughter that she’d merrily perfected whilst painting one afternoon. Not too loud, not too timid … and she’d concluded few if any could or would see through it all.

She stared at the ceiling now. The shadows thrown by the light entering the room and the lamps from the end of the loft threw wonderful shapes. She was lying on the picnic blanket staring at clouds and laughing.

“That is an incredible large willy” she’d said out loud in order to provoke him.

“Don’t be crass and how the hell can you see me through my shorts love !” he’d said standing above her.

“Not you” she’d replied after coughing through her laugher and wine at his playful response “that cloud, there, come look”

“Perhaps …. “ he’d said … not looking at all but staring at her and nibbling on her ear after he’d lay down.

The warm sun that summers day, the tapas and the wine and how they’d made love in that field came flooding back to her now. As always it had begun with kissing. The importance of a good kiss had been one of their first discussions and it was a regular topic and considerably less obvious than ‘do you fancy it’. Each knew that a a playful question such as ‘Eskimo’s kiss with their nose, but what happens when they’re sick and its runny?’ meant a certain hunger was to be satiated but neither did ‘normal’ and each detested mediocrity.

His touch, his kiss, how his lips held hers, his tongue gently stroking hers in time with his hand on her neck, her hip and how his body reached for hers - the slow velvet texture of his touch on her body made her shudder in ways she still could never understand and when his body and hers engaged and met and moved it was truly something that intoxicated her.

She lost herself to him, to them and how it felt - the breathless feeling of not being able to breath, to not wanting to breath - to only breath him - left her dizzy and out of control. Her calm came within his eyes, wide and on hers, searching and pleading and wanting. Within her, she felt all of him - the intensity, the care and the intimacy within his soul and her body responded to his touch uncontrollably. It was primal and unconscious and she’d long resigned herself to not wanting to know how but instead marvelled and basked in the depth and intensity of how his body and hers synched and satisfied each other in ways that left her speechless.

“That was absolutely amazing” came a voice closer. “Yeah, amazing” she said aimlessly, “I really need to get some work done this morning so would you mind heading off ? I’m going to grab a shower”.

The steam surrounded her in the bathroom as she walked into the shower. The sound of the door closing as he left was welcome. She hadn’t wanted to spend last night alone but needed today for her. She dressed in those shorts of his and an old shirt and felt him around her. His scent still on the clothes was comforting and warm and made her smile. He was still here. Her love. His illness had been brief, the goodbye all too short but he’d never left her. He was in the summer sun on her face last year, in the autumn leaves she’d walked through each day and in the snow that had fallen across the city in the days before.

As she blew across her coffee cup, she paused and sipped deep before walking barefoot towards the light and opened back the windows along the loft. She needed both light and air today and as the sounds of the city waking entered the room she felt light and resolved to give him a gift, to finish something for him, to say goodbye in her way … something more than normal, something to thumb a nose at mediocrity.

‘Happy Birthday My Love’.


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