I’m always making declarations or proclamations about how I’m taking my life back, how I’m striving to make the best use of my time, and how I’m either breaking or starting habits that will make me into the woman I always dreamed I be. Last week’s blog post was just such a declaration / proclamation, as I boldly swore to the internet that I’d make more time for my writing.
And man … what a liar I turned out to be.
But the distractions were good ones. And believe me, there are such things as good distractions. On Friday, I turned 32. It was a wonderful day and I felt truly blessed. My dad surprised me with a card and Reese’s peanut butter cups (what else could a 32-year-old woman possibly ask for?) and when I left the house in the morning – on time! – I felt beautiful. A colleague taped a birthday card with more candy on the doorknob of my classroom, and others stopped by throughout the day to give me iced coffee, a breakfast sandwich, and birthday wishes.
I had friends come over to my home as soon as work was done and good times were had by all. We ate, we drank, we were merry, and I felt so loved.
Saturday made it all even better. Saturday was I N C R E D I B L E – exactly what I needed! My college roommates and I laughed until we cried and our stomachs hurt. We got drunk on pomegranate sangria. We gorged ourselves on Chinese food. We had delicious cake, inspired by My Chemical Romance, and there were personalized goody bags. We watched three of the “Twilight” films before passing out. There was so much Robert Pattinson, and it was p e r f e c t.
So I didn’t really get a chance to work on Moody Blue or write anything new. Dude, I haven’t even journaled since Sunday. BUT – I will share more of that random scene I started crafting last week. Enjoy – and keep living and laughing and loving, readers xoxo
He shrugged his coat off and slid the stool over to the other side of the canvas. She stood straighter and let her arms drop to her side, just let them hang there expectantly. He climbed in his bare feet to stand on top of the rickety stool. She watched it wobble to one side and then the other. She rushed into the room and yelled, “John, be careful!”
John’s body tensed. He quickly turned his head to her and as he relaxed with recognition, the stool wobbled again and sent him tumbling to the cold concrete floor.
“John!” she called again, rushing over and dropping to her knees beside him. He winced in pain as he rolled onto his back, but when their eyes met, he grinned. “Hey beautiful,” he wheezed, his breathing tight.
“Oh gosh, I am so sorry,” she said. “I didn’t mean to scare you, but you had me so worried standing on that stupid stool.”
He brought himself up so he rested on his elbows. His grin was still there, stretching to a full-blown smile that caused all of his other features to shrink down so his mouth became bigger. “I didn’t know you were coming over,” he said.
Her face fell. “Yes, you did. We’re having dinner tonight with the acquisitions manager. I’ve been talking about nothing else all week.” She smoothed his hair with a gentle hand. “Did you hit your head?”
“That dinner’s tonight?” John squinted at her.
She moved back from him. “You can’t be seriously asking me that.”
As he sat up fully, he winced again but she recognized a cheap play for sympathy when she saw one. She stood up and he reached for her. “Don’t be mad, please don’t be mad.”
“I know, I know,” he said, scrambling to kneel before her. He took her hands in his own. “I’m sorry. I’m the worst, and you are so patient, and so forgiving, and beautiful and brilliant -“
“Enough,” she said, pulling her hands free. “Can we please just start getting ready?”
“Do you forgive me?” he asked. His hands were clasped in front of him and his eyes were glistening: the perfect picture of beautiful suffering. That was John all over.
She rolled her eyes. “I’m using your downstairs bathroom,” she said and spun on her heel and left John alone, on his knees, in his art studio.
“breathe me // every time you close your eyes. taste me // every time you cry.”Placebo
She heard the bathroom door click open while she was in the shower. She noticed the shadows change when the door opened and closed. She let her head hang down beneath the shower head and rubbed the back of her neck. She listened to the water splashing against the tile and to her own breathing, to anything except John getting in the shower with her.
His touch was harder to ignore. His rough, strong hands guided her hips back so their bodies touched. Then he wrapped his arms around her and spoke against her neck. “I didn’t really forget,” he said. “I was just working and lost track of the time.” He planted a short row of soft kisses along her neck until he reached her shoulder. He rested his chin there. “Please don’t be mad.”
“I’m not mad, John!” she snapped. His hands fell away and there was a widening gap between them. She turned to him. “I’m sorry, I’m just tired and anxious and I’m taking it out on you.” She watched the water gather around her feet. She couldn’t look at him and admit defeat. She’d caved yet again and apologized just to make him feel better.
He slipped his pointer finger beneath her chin and raised her head. “Tonight’s going to be wonderful,” he said and kissed her. “There’s nothing to worry about.:
She slid her arms around his neck, pulling him flush against her in a tight embrace. Like this, where he couldn’t see her, she could cry. His strong arms circled around her and the tears came then, faster and stronger than she’d anticipated. When her body shook, her rubbed her back and just let her cry.
Later, as she put in her earrings, bending to the mirror on his dresser, John say on the bed behind her. She could see him in the mirror’s reflection. “Are you okay?” he asked.
“Totally,” she said. “I was just frustrated. You know I cry when I feel helpless.”
“Look at me.”
Her eyes flicked to his in the mirror.
“No, really me,” he said. She spun around and he moved close, close enough that his breath was warm against her face. He studied her and the scrutiny was heavy. She looked down at the opal ring he had given her. “I love you,” he said.
Her eyes snapped back to his. “You’re not going to accuse me of hiding something or implore me to talk?”
He brushed his lips against her forehead. “I just love you.” He took her hand. “Let’s go. I think the car’s outside.”
“Do I have time for a cigarette?”
“Smoke in the car. It’s fine.”
She nodded and let him lead her outside, only stepping out of rhythm to grab her purse. The night was colder than she’d realized. “Shit, my coat,” she grumbled and went to turn back, but he kept hold of her hand and pulled her back to him.
“Here,” he said as he hung his coat over her shoulders.
“John, this is your absolute favorite item of clothing.”
“I know,” he said, opening her door for her.
“What if I spill something on it?”
“We wash it,” he said, climbing in after her as she slid over to make room.
“Thank you.” She stole a quick kiss and started rummaging through her purse, looking for her black lighter and battered pack of Marlboro Light 100s. The pack was easy enough to find, but the light was hiding, dancing just out of her reach. The search because frantic as she mercilessly slid change and cosmetics and pens around the bottom of her purse. She was about to dump it all out on the seat, but John stopped her.
He raised himself up from the seat so he could slide a book of matches from his back pocket. He pulled one free and lit it against the backside of his pendant. She leaned forward to touch the trembling cigarette in her mouth to the flame. “You really need to relax,” he said.
“Fuck, I know,” she breathed, exhaling smoke.