Something I've been working on awhile. This is the first part of a story that's been bouncing around in my head. It's constantly changing but I want some feedback on it.
A coming to in the dark and warm and soft. Light blooms and pink and then the eyes open to harsh white. Pain and squint but no recognition. Let me go back to the warm and dark comfort. Peer again and see a room, feminine perhaps, the shades drawn but glare peaks through. It illuminates the beauty beside. An angel by him, from him. Her hair so soft and smells natural, good natural. See her and feel a roaring in the chest, the belly quakes. Who is this girl? Where did I . . . remember, last night, the where the how. A hangover attests to alcohol. A party then, or the bar. But then also he remembers The Other. Guilt descends on dark wings to drive him out of bed. Leave the warmth of her company. The bed just small enough to be close, to be together and comfortable. Rise. Don’t look at her, don’t love her. He gathers his clothes from the floor. Dress quickly and quietly. Check your pockets. Inventory is incomplete: the phone is not here. On hands and knees he searches the floor, under the varied clothes and the bed, no sign. Her night stand holds clutter. Magazines and books, alarm clock and television remote. Phones, too, multiple. A closer look and, yes, one is mine. Check it and there are messages from The Other, The First, from Her. Delete, delete, delete. The guilt isn’t worth it. Hey, maybe this didn’t even happen. I got drunk, I had a good time, the end. Don’t remember much. Not exactly a lie.
One last look back and it all happened. Everything happened last night. Something new and old happened. Something in him. She shines so beautifully, her hair burnished by the rays. I remember that hair and her singing voice and dancing steps. She talked and you squirmed and crawled inside, so fresh and excited. So new.
Leave. You must. There is nothing here but more guilt. But the promise keeps him for a moment, stuck standing and staring. You have your phone, you have your things, now go. She stirs only slightly and he leaves the room. No need to wake her. No need to hurt her. But you’re hurting her either way. I just don’t see the hurt this way. Ignore, ignore, ignore. It’s guilt either way.
Into the hallway where we stumbled and laughed our way to the bedroom. Here is the bathroom, he hid in for a moment and felt so high and was scared and impassioned. Into the living room now and the couch we laid on and touched and held. The drunken beginnings. Beginning is so simple, so sweet. Pull away and to the door, open and go. Just go, but . . . And then he’ll turn and wonder why he has to leave. Why he can’t just use this perfect start to create something better, something he can enjoy again. Something he can love. Why settle for less?
So the door closes and he is inside. The couch again and more remembering. Beyond the physical. Before the escalation. They sat close and spoke. “I haven’t felt this way in a long time . . . “ honestly and sincerely. He told her his secrets, too. He hid nothing. And she was so accepting and kind. She listened and reciprocated. I’d never felt so at home.
Back through the apartment and he sees her there and his heart thumps. It beats a percussive song to her and his blood sings along. By the bed he begins to undress. Nearly finished and she rolls and sees. Catches me with my pants around my ankles. To look at her and know she misunderstands my intentions. To see hurt in those eyes. Guilt either way and all of it this way.
“I don’t . . . “
She clears her throat and rubs her eyes. “Whatever. Just leave.” With a wave she cuts the connection. We were attached once but no more. Sad look, heavy heart. He trudges out.
He goes with tail between legs. Like he needed permission to leave. Or like he didn’t want to leave. The bed is better without a partner. Too small for two. She gets up and stretches, clothes and to the kitchen. Coffee? No, bathroom and shower first. Maybe water, on second thought. Brings the glass with her and starts the shower. Cold, hot. She remembers the previous night. Too bad he hadn’t stayed. It had been some fun. Even if just for a quickie in the morning . . . But oh well. If we had skipped the couch it would be ok. Rambling and drunk, almost like stalling, afraid of the next step. He had told so much but danced around something. With the scene this morning possibly just afraid of the morning. Freaked by sneaking out. Maybe he woke her up on purpose, maybe something. The water is hot now. Get in and stand for a moment but then sit and relax. No hurry this morning. Leave the light off. A glow peaks under the door. Close the eyes but don’t fall asleep or you might drown.
With the rushing ambience and warm and wet comfort there seem worse ways to go.