gift

“What do you want to hear?” he whispers, close enough to me now that each word feels like a tap on my skin, the sound causing ripples of electricity to whip and purr up my spine, settling close to the marks he re-opened on the side of my neck. Without meaning or self-control my head tilts towards him, a physical offering up that has more to do with need, than desire.

He turns away, though. an audible sigh pushing out of him, coming from the center of his chest, or somewhere deeper still. If nothing else, the days between have taught me to read gestures and tones quickly, self-preservation at its finest. body language is the one truth that most people emit from them, even in the midst of the most fantastical of lies. The quiet girl in the corner was ever watching, turned it into an act on stage later in life, figured it a game that my mind devoured with no real practical use as I matured. I was wrong. It had saved my so-called life more than any quick wit, hip tilt, or act of seduction ever could.

That said, he confuses me. His every move in direct contradiction to my inner expectation. His eyes cleverly diverting what his body decides to do, his hands spinning webs of distraction as he turns and flees out the back door, leaving me breathless. He is better at this game than I am, and for the fourteenth time in just that many nights I wonder to myself if he sees right through me, if he has figured me right out, if these momentary meetings are just a move on some kind of chess board; as he makes a play at taking my queen right the hell down.

I turn then, stepping away from the antiquated music machine, with thoughts racing as I try to tie words together into a string of something to say. Somewhere in the recesses of before I fish out a line to a song, sliced and cut clean out of context and melody, random and most likely nonsensical; but it is there running circles in me, over and over again, all the same.

“Why must not death be redefined?”

It is falling from my lips before I stop to pull it back, careful words the only thing I utter any longer, but not these words that are repeating so ceaselessly that I am unsure if i have sung it, or am only just hearing it again in my head.

“You remind me of her, strong and feral, beautiful despite yourself” his voice is still a whisper, his body still turned away and set far across the room.

He pauses just long enough to shuffle through something, his hands moving quickly, until he is there, back behind me again. His arms reach around me as if in an embrace, and I fold into him then, waiting for his next words, a next move. Instead of pulling me closer, or touching me at all, he just reaches his long arms over my head to drop an album onto the turntable. I watch it begin to spin as he grabs my hand, holding it in his for just a second, then letting it go, resting it right over the arm of the player, guiding me to lift it, to start the music. It is then that he speaks again, right at the same moment as the needle drops, popping and crackling on the vinyl.

Dancing Barefoot :: U2

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