An Exercise in ABCs
I've always marveled at the talent and creativity of good authors. Their ability to create a whole world of characters, emotions, places from imagination, weaving a fictional piece of life that can sweep us off our feet. For years I wanted to have this ability, even a fraction of it. So I started playing with words, creating paragraphs, moving them around, and now have a few "pieces" I wrote for myself, small stories, exercises in my ABCs, or in writing. Lately, inspired by an anecdote a friend told me — and, of course, by some of the wonderful books I've read — I wrote this piece and I'd like to share it with you after the jump.
It starts with an unexpected phone call. I am going through some documents I need for my project, rearranging them in a logical way, when my desk phone rings. It's that normal, mundane ring that tells you nothing about the one who is on the other side, the one who is calling. I pick up the blue receiver, "Good morning." That's my way, that's how I start conversations on the phone. "Good morning to you, too." I hear it, but can't process this sentence. My mind stops working at "good." His voice hits me in the guts, I take a deep breath and reply with a "Hi." I hope I sound cool, and then I cringe. Hi???? What am I thinking, nineteen years since I last heard his voice and I say hi! Stupid me. He is talking again and I listen. "My firm is working with yours on that new project; can I ask you a few questions regarding that project?" Oh yes, I'm a level-headed, grown-up woman, I can handle it. "Sure," I say, "go ahead." It's a good thing he can't hear my heartbeat through the phone.
We talk for a while, he asks all these professional questions, and I reply briskly and efficiently. I know I am very good at my job and I'm proud of it. It takes about fifteen minutes; he says thank you, it was good talking to you, and goodbye. I think I say goodbye, too.
I sit on my soft leather chair, close my eyes, and deep breathe three times. I open my eyes, get up, and walk to the window. I look at the beautiful scenery outside, but see only him. Nineteen years! I know his next move; I can feel it in my bones. What should I do? Nineteen years is a long time. I've moved on, my life is good, I don't need it; I'm stronger than that. Maybe my gut feeling is wrong, maybe he will not come. What do I do if he does come? Do I want him to come here?
I go back to my chair; I know I can do it. I erase him from my mind and go back to work. Easier said than done, he hovers at the edge of my mind the whole day.
It's Wednesday afternoon, there's a knock on my office door. I like my door closed when I concentrate, no outside interruptions. "Come in," I say, and when I look up from my paper, HE is standing at the open door. The world disappears. All I see is his intense gray-blue eyes, nineteen years and it's like nothing has changed. Omg, he still affects me so much. Somehow I keep my cool and smile at him. "Come in," I say again. My voice is quiet but strong, you can't hear my trembling mind through my voice. Nineteen years are erased with one intense gaze! He is smiling, entering my office. He is still mesmerizing, my secret lover, my one and only... Hey, get a grip on yourself, you are a grown up, aging woman... "How have you been?" His voice is warm, caressing my body, caressing my mind. I look into his beautiful eyes, I can do it, I'm strong enough now. I smile, "I am good, life is good, I'm doing fine, how are you?" He smiles again, his eyes boring into mine. "I'm good, too, you look great, I like your hairstyle." I know he is really asking if he can touch my hair, and I can't say no, I just can't. I crave his touch! It is as if it was just yesterday and not way back in the past. How can it be? The last time I let him touch my hair was on a sunny Monday, 19 years ago, before he left me shattered, standing on the sidewalk, looking after his car disappearing into the distance.
Do I let him touch my hair? Do I let him kiss me? Because I know for sure he is going there, he wants to kiss me. I want him to; I want to feel again, so I nod my head, yes. I look at him, at his strong face, his beautiful face. His sensuous lips. His hair is the only thing I find different, it's silver now and thinning. He is standing in front of me, as tall and wide shouldered as ever. I look up at him, his fingers touch my hair, I close my eyes, I can't move, his hands leave my hair and circle my waist. He inhales deeply. I open my eyes, and his face is millimeters from mine. He smells so good. His lips touch mine, slowly, a bit hesitant, as if he is waiting for a sign from me. I close my eyes again and he hugs me so strongly, I'm crushed against him, feeling his body attached to mine. My hands go around his neck without thinking, it's so natural. His lips are not hesitant anymore, they are demanding, prowling, biting. His tongue clashes with mine. Our kiss is fierce and desperate, trying to fill a 19-year gap. I need to stop this, I can't.
Somehow I find the strength to pull away from him. I am shaking inside, he is shaking his head. "This chemistry between us, it doesn't go away, does it?"
It is 3 AM and I am awake. The house is very quiet, but my head is full of noise. My mind is on reruns, I relive that kiss time and again. I lie in bed; my husband is sound asleep, breathing softly. My mind is in turmoil, my heart and stomach are in pain, and I can't stop thinking about him. About the way he pulled me against him, the feeling of his hard body tight with mine. Those lips, those hands and fingers...his voice alone makes butterflies in my stomach. I AM UNDONE...