November 29, 2013

She rests her head on her arms, closes her eyes, and as soon as she drifts off to sleep, dreams of him. Again.

She’s been dreaming of him since she was a kid. Him talking, laughing, flinging notes to her table located beside his, jumping out of a moving train, crouching behind bushes in the dead of night, standing inside a small church. He feels familiar. Like she knows him. Like she should know him. But she doesn’t. She’s pretty sure she’s never even seen him before.

She’s taken to keeping a notebook handy beside her when she sleeps. A dream journal to capture her dreams. Not that she actually needs it. Because she can remember every little detail of her dreams where he makes an appearance. She can tell you the color of his eyes, the softness of his hair, the pitch and timbre of his voice, the feel of his thumb brushing against the back of her palm. He appears so vividly in her dreams that she questions whether he’s actually real.

(She wishes he was is real.)

When she opens her eyes and wakes up from her dream, she immediately reaches for her notebook and pen at the end of the table and scribbles the details of her dream. Stepping through a mirror, getting hit in the head with a really heavy object, waking up alone in a dark room with no way to see outside. His hand holding hers tightly, his eyes blazing in the dark, his voice, broken, as he screams her name. Short and disjointed scenes that make no sense. Finished with recounting her dream, she puts her pen down and closes her notebook. “That was weird,” she mumbles. “Even weirder than usual.”

Glancing at her watch, she realizes that it’s time for her to head home. As she gathers her belongings, a groan from somewhere behind her stops her. Looking behind her, she notices someone stirring from their nap a few tables away. She was about to turn back around when she sees the person’s face. It’s him! Frozen in surprise, she watches as his eyes slowly open, dragging themselves away from slumber.

His eyes land on her face and she sees the emotions in them: confusion first then… recognition? He blinks. Rubs his eyes and looks back at her. Blinks again. Then he stands, walks up to her, and places his hands on her shoulders. Rather heavily that she couldn’t help flinching but he doesn’t seem to notice either. With her head tilted up to keep her gaze on him, still trying to make sense of what’s happening, his eyes opened wide as he gazes back at her, he whispers incredulously, “It’s you!”

November 26, 2013

~Her~

It’s so cold.

I shiver and without thinking, I wrap my arms around James’ waist and snuggle closer, reveling in the warmth radiating from his back. I feel him stiffen but his body heat warms me up and it doesn’t even register in my brain that I’m hugging him. A contented moan escapes my lips as I close my eyes and relax.

So warm.

His body relaxes a little and I hear him whisper, “Nat?”

My eyes snap open and I stiffen when I hear him say my name. I exclaim “James!” as I realize what I’m doing. My cheeks redden with embarrassment and I mumble “I’m sorry,” mortified by my actions. I start to pull away but he puts a hand on my arm, holding it in place. I stay still, frozen, waiting for him to move.

He lets out a sigh and says “It’s okay. Come here,” as he lifts his arm.

I’m stunned. But my body’s already moving, shifting so that I’m under his arm, and once I’m in position, he hugs me to his side. My lips quirk in a small smile and I can’t resist snuggling even closer to him.

~ ♥ ~

~Him~

I stiffen when I feel arms wrapping around my waist, their head nestling on my back. I hear Natalie moan – something that sounds so blissful – as I feel her body relax, pressing closer to my back. I try to tamp the heat I feel creeping up my cheeks but the thought of – the fact that! – Natalie is hugging me makes it difficult.

I’m not sure what’s happening but I try to force my body to relax a little. “Nat?” I whisper, not wanting to spook her. I have this feeling that she’s not exactly aware of what she’s doing right now.

And my gut feeling is confirmed when I feel her body stiffen. The way she exclaims “James,” sounds like she’s been caught red-handed doing something she shouldn’t. She mumbles “I’m sorry,” and I feel her starting to move away. I don’t want her to let go yet. I place my hand on top of her arm to keep her where she is.

I let out a sigh, gathering courage. You can do this. She’s already hugging you. I lift my arm high enough for her to be able to duck under so I can put my arms around her shoulders. “It’s okay. Come here.”

She shifts until she’s at my side and I lower my arm, resting it on her shoulders, gently pulling her near me. She snuggles closer, making me smile goofily, and I resist the urge to plant a kiss on the top of her head.

November 17, 2013

She leans against the doorframe watching the scene before her with a smile. Sitting on their couch is her husband with their three month old baby girl cradled in his arms, The Sound of Music playing on the television. Their baby coos as her husband tickles her under her chin and smiles down at her.

“I can still hardly believe that you’re mine little darling Ella. You and your mother,” he whispers as he caresses the cheek of the little girl in his arm. “I already know that you’ll grow up to be like her. Brave, kind, strong, beautiful.” He shakes his head and chuckles. “I’m going to have to fend off legions of suitors vying for your affections, won’t I?”

He looks at the television as the first notes of “I Must Have Done Something Good” start playing. “Let’s dance, shall we, love?” he says as he stands, hugging their baby to his chest. He starts swaying with the music and Ella giggles, clutching his shirt in her small hands. He sings along with the song as he continues to dance, looking down lovingly at her.

For here you are,
standing there,
loving me,
whether or not you should.
So something in my youth or childhood,
I must have done something good.

He turns, and when their eyes meet, his smile turns sheepish. “How long have you been standing there?”

“Long enough,” she replies with a grin. “I didn’t know you sang,” she teases. “You should do it more often.”

“Maybe. But only for you and Ella,” he replies, grinning back at her.

She walks over to her family and stands on tiptoes to kiss her beloved on the cheek. “I love you.”

“And I you, my love.”

As she hugs him and their baby, he kisses her on the top of her head and they both sing along with Maria and Captain Von Trapp.

Nothing comes from nothing.
Nothing ever could.
So somewhere in my youth or childhood,
I must have done something good.

November 13, 2013

I take a step back to lean against the lockers and lift my hand hesitantly to touch my lips. I can’t believe she did it. I was just teasing her. Like I always do. Not that I’ve never hoped she would actually do it when I bait her, but she always just responded with a scoff and an eye roll. And I’ve never pushed. After all, if she’s going to kiss me, I would rather she do it of her own accord.

So I was surprised when my baiting was met with silence instead. Curious at the lack of response, I stared at her and found her cheeks red, her eyes downcast, her lower lip caught between her teeth. I blinked at the sight. “Cute,” I thought, feeling heat creep up my cheeks. The silence was a bit disconcerting and I was about to tell her that I was joking when she sighed and whispered “okay”. The words died on my tongue as she looked up at me and pulled herself up to kiss me.

I felt a jolt go through me at the touch of her lips to mine. I wish now that I kissed her back but I was frozen. All I could think was “She’s kissing me. She’s actually kissing me”. She pulled away, let go of my shoulders, and slowly inched backwards, rambling about her brother waiting, getting home, and seeing me later. After taking a few steps away from me, she pivoted and ran out, leaving me there alone, still rooted to the spot.

I close my eyes and lick my lips trying to hold on to that moment. To engrave it in my mind. My lips feel like they’re throbbing, almost as if we well and truly kissed. I sigh and slide down to the floor, holding my head in my hands. I though I could fool myself into thinking that what I feel for her is just a crush, that I could continue flirting with her without completely losing my heart. But that kiss – that simple kiss – opened the wellspring of hope in my heart. And now I can’t deny that I love her.

October 27, 2013

My heart drops as I watch him laugh at something she whispers in his ear, his arm around her waist. I don’t want to watch them flaunt their happiness – it’s not like they’re not allowed to do that; it is a free country after all – but my gaze is stuck on them.

My smile must have faltered because my friend looks in their direction and turns back to me with a concerned look.

“Are you okay?” she asks. She’s one of the few people who knows about my feelings.

I manage a weak smile and nod my head. “I’m fine. That’s just something I’m going to have to get used to.”

My friend just smiles back at me and launches into another story. I’m thankful for her lack of prying and for her effort to get my mind off the couple across the room. I don’t think I can take talking about him when I see him happy with her.

I tell myself I shouldn’t be this hurt. I mean, I’ve always known that he liked her. It’s not like I expected he’d like me back. I knew I had no chance. But when he called me, telling me that she said yes to him, it was only then that I realized that I wanted a chance.

To be with him.

To be the girl beside him, making him smile.

October 23, 2013

She’s not coming back. My heart refuses to believe it but it’s been three months. If she missed us, she would’ve been back by now. But she’s not. And it’s all my fault.

I don’t blame her if she hates me. And I’m sure she does. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t have been so callous as to tell everyone that she wasn’t coming back through an email. How could I have been so stupid to hurt her like that? She finally trusted me and I throw that trust back in her face. She doesn’t deserve that. And I don’t deserve her. Not then, definitely now now, maybe not ever.

I don’t know how to move on from this. I’ve never loved anyone as much as I do her. It’s been taking all I have to pretend to be alright. To smile and joke and be myself. If I could, I’d stay at home drowning myself in despair and alcohol. But that doesn’t appeal to me anymore. Not since she entered my life.

She makes me want to try to reach for my dreams. Because she believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. Even when I haven’t done anything to deserve that belief. And that’s all I can do right now. To continue working towards my goal. To prove to her and to myself that she was right to believe in me.

October 12, 2013

She turned at the sound of his laugh and spotted him across the plaza. Her heart swelled, her lips curled in a smile, and her breath caught as snippets of memories from the summer of the past year raced through her mind.

Fingers interlaced as they walked through the town. Afternoons at the beach, building sand castles while waiting for the sun to set. Her room as they talked and laughed until they fell asleep next to each other. Ice cream at the plaza, watching the other children playing.

A silent wish made on a shooting star.

A promise whispered in the dark of night.

A short note inserted in a book for him to find.

A soft kiss on her cheek as they said goodbye.

With a grin, she started to cross the street to reach him. She stopped — her smile fading, her heart dropping — when he turned to the girl beside him, whispered in her ear, and gave her a short kiss on the lips. She saw him turning towards her direction and her feet moved on instinct. She took one step back, staring at his profile for one more second, then ran in the opposite direction.

She hoped he didn’t notice her. She hoped he wouldn’t recognize her. She couldn’t face him. Not now. Not with her tears threatening to fall. Not with her heart shattering in a million pieces.