The tension is palpable.
making me forget what I am saying.
It’s not the words fleeing so much as me forgetting where I am―who I am, that there is more to say. I can’t think. I am alone in a world where those eyes are a beacon to the knowledge of life; if I follow them, I will discover the secrets to everlasting happiness.
I send you a drink and raise mine when I see you look to where the bartender points. A smile and a nod is all you offer. I think to myself, the night is young, and I have all the time in the world. I do. I feel the energy between us and know that if I can be patient, I will someday know your thoughts just by seeing the shine in your eyes, and be able to read them as easily as if they were a book.
I try to return to my conversation, but the effort has left me. I can think only of you, how to get close enough to smell your fragrance. The scent that will tell the animal in me what’s on the menu. I would drink in this aroma, imprinting it on my mind―searing it there like a hot iron on flesh.
I feel something on my arm, and as I look, I have enough time to register that it is a small slender hand before you lean into me and whisper, “Don’t ask me to love you.”
I turn my head and look you in the eye, feeling the hair stand up on my arms. I can see it, in those eyes, the accusation. The challenge. This is a test, and I feel it instantly. If I fail, I am forever doomed to wonder… what it could have been like. I don’t smile, I know I need to be serious, I focus on the dare in your eyes before I say, “Don’t make me.”
I wait. In this instant, I could live a lifetime. I think of how I will enjoy getting to know you. Learning how to fix your favorite breakfast. How tightly to hold you when you are frightened. What your smile will do to me when I feel sad. Just what to say to make you know, without question, that I am there for you. Learning the perfect place to place a kiss on your neck; the one that will send shivers racing across your skin.
“Dance?” you say, finally.
“For starters,” I reply, taking her hand in mine.