It wasn't just about the touching, and the watching. Those were important things--those fleeting moments when I let our fingertips meet as I handed her a file or an extra dollar, or those hours spent gazing at her as she bent over her work, chewing on a strand of hair. But more than that, it was about the wanting. I felt as though part of me was reaching out to her, yearning to possess her. Even I didn't know what it meant, then. Those were just the early days.
I became jealous of Todd, with every new photograph or proud father moment he shared with me. Perhaps if Elise were my daughter, instead of his, I would have been content knowing that I owned her that way, and I wouldn't have wanted her otherwise. But I couldn't stop, and I couldn't contend myself. She was inches out of my grasp, and all I needed was time.
I don't think she ever fully realized what it all meant, at least not then. But she was just so innocent, even for sixteen. She was a bundle of unruly hair and loose blouse tucks, stooping under the weight of a schoolbag, and stammering with teenage insecurity. Perhaps that, in itself, was what awakened me. To possess her in all the ways I imagined would have been unthinkable. And yet.
Late at night, alone in the office, our fingers brushed and her eyes met mine. Oh, those eyes. I could feel the electricity, and for a moment, this was no longer an adult game. These were all the clambers of pure teenage chemistry. I realized that she was pulling me into her world as much as I was pulling her into mine.
And that was when I knew, that she would own part of me, as long as I owned her.