#LyricalFictionFriday: One Way

I’m not running from him.

I know what it looks like. A one-way ticket to Bora Bora two days after his wedding. But it’s not what you think…

…Maybe it is….

Who am I kidding?

He texted me that night. When he should’ve been consummating the vows he made to Justine. Probably snuck out onto the balcony of their honeymoon suite afterward with his phone, while she was in the bathroom freshening up.

“Why do I feel like I just made the biggest mistake of my life?”

It felt oddly like deja vu. Maybe because it was almost verbatim to what I had said when I called things off with Sean, expecting him to come running. We had been going round and round with the lovers and friend charade for years. We were never available for each other, except on late, lonely nights, when the people we loved weren’t enough. Finally, I took the risk, dove head first from the highest plank into the deep end, assuming he would catch me,  but he asked Justine to marry him instead.

“We’ve been together for so long. And she’s been talking about it a lot, and about kids. I just couldn’t do that to her. I couldn’t–”

He didn’t have to finish his sentence for me. I know what it’s like for a woman to invest her whole life into a relationship, only to have it crumble at her feet, and try to pretend like it doesn’t kill her inside.

Just like it’s killing me to send this text two days later while sitting at the window seat of a Boeing 777 taxing from the terminal gate as I type.

It makes no sense to be falling…you’ve got her, I’ve got him, shouldn’t even be calling…

I turn off my phone before his reply has a chance to come through. If I’m lucky, I was premature in hitting the power button and the message never even sent. Then I won’t have to worry about seeing a response that might convince me to stay, or come back.

But in twelve hours, none of it will matter. There’s no need for a phone. I won’t have service where I’m going. I drop the phone in the seat pocket in front of me, behind the Sky Jet magazines and onboard menus, to be forgotten.

The pilot’s muffled voice comes over the speakers—we’ve been cleared for take-off. The engines underneath me rise, the plane jolts forward, my stomach lifts as the ground below slowly disappears.

I close the window shade to the sunset outside, and then my eyes, hoping that the next time I open them, I’ll wake to a beautiful sunrise, a new life, and maybe, just maybe, a new love too.

#LyricalFictionFriday: Digging into the Past

“I just have to know,” she says, drumming her fingers against the manila folder.

Don’t look for what you don’t want to find,” Drayton says, but the words have lost their sincerity over the years. A quarter century in the business, and every women who’s hired him has been the same.

She curls her fingers under the edge of the folder, begins to peel it back, then quickly closes it, slamming her hand down on top. “Can’t you just tell me?”

He shakes his head. “My job is to do the research.” It still surprises him that he even has a job. He’s not like a private eye, who follows his charge around, takes pictures, captures him in the act. He digs into the past, which, if this bride-to-be really wanted to know, a simple Google search would have sufficed—changes of residences, voting history, criminal history, even school records if he was heavily involved in sports or academics. Old social media posts could have also given her a glimpse into his past life.

All these things she could have done herself, without give up $500. But like all the other women before her, she has waited until the day she walks down the aisle to decide she wants to know the man she’s marrying. And like them all, she doesn’t want to be responsible for what she finds.

“Do you love him?” he asks.

“More than anything.”

“Then why isn’t it enough?”

Like Rachel, who’s fiancé’s last relationship was with another man. Or Brenda, who’s fiancé never told her about his previous marriage. Or Jessica, who’s fiancé’s deceased father was a Klansman, and before he met his black bride, he shared his father’s beliefs.

Why was it never enough to let the past stay buried, to continue forward with the new life they’d already begun to build? Did not the flowers still rise from the ashes left behind by the destruction of fire? Did not the sun still rise after the darkest hour of the night?

“I just have to know.”

She opens the folder, and all the air left in the room is sucked into her lungs.

Another marriage, ended, before it’s had a chance to begin.

#LyricalFictionFriday: Final Memory

They say dandelions are weeds. So I guess I’m doing the environment a service by plucking one from the ground. But then I pucker my lips and blow the seeds into the wind.

A sudden gust shifts, pushes the fuzzy whites, imitating snow, into my face, dries the tears on my checks stiff.

I hate winter.

I hate what it makes me do. How the cold temperatures drive me to crave intimacy, warmth in my bed.

God knows I never meant to hurt him. I never meant to take it that far. The man’s name escapes me now—maybe he never gave it. But I remember his strong arms around me, squeezing my lungs, his heavy breathing into my neck, making me hot. How he pounded me like tenderizing meat, forced me open…

How his whole body covered me.

Not like Stephen, who shrinks further away each day. Fifty pounds lost, now the size of a pre-pubescent teen—I’ve started buying his clothes in the boys section. And this morning he couldn’t lift his legs.

“It’s only going to get worse. I don’t expect you to stay,” he’d said when he was first diagnosed. But that night, when he came home early from therapy with Jackie, our live-in nurse, I felt his heart break in his chest—along with every other bone that has split, every muscle that has succumbed to spasms, weakened and grown faint.

When he saw how that man hurt me, how I liked it, pleaded for more…

He’s not a man anymore. The doctor’s say, by spring he will be no more.

And there are not enough dandelions in my backyard for me to wish that my betrayal was not his final memory.

#LyricalFictionFriday: What You Do to Me…

He was only supposed to help me move my bed.

Move it.

We didn’t get that far. The bed frame is scattered in parts on the Master floor, the box spring propped up against the hallway wall outside the bedroom. The mattress, where I lie on my back, knees drawn to the ceiling, blocks the front door.

I squeeze the back of my thighs to still my legs from shaking, but it’s no use. I can feel his tongue down there, and the memory of it sends me over the edge. Philip’s tongue has the strength of an ox, the prehensility of that of a giraffe. His mouth reaches places Levon can’t even dream of, and Levon loves to boast about how big he his, how far he extends when he’s hard.

I hear the shower turn on down the hall. He must want me to join him. What other need would he have to wash? We haven’t gotten dirty . . . not yet . . . and we kind of have this thing with showers.

But I hesitate when I remember Levon, and the reason why we broke up. Truly it was because he can’t stop fucking his ex, but my and Philip’s curiosity of each other didn’t help the situation. Although he had no proof—there was nothing to prove, we didn’t do anything . . . until tonight.

And I can’t ignore that Philip is Levon’s best friend. His roommate, no less! I’d be stupid to think they won’t talk. Get him high enough, and Philip is subject to say anything. We’re both dead if he lets this one slip. Ex-boyfriend or not, Levon will still have a problem with us hooking up, even if it is just oral. And I refuse to give him any chance to justify all the things he did to hurt me for revenge.

But am I really going to lie here in the middle of this mattress, soaking it through, touching myself, trying to finish what only Philip can?

Hell no.

I let my legs drop. They jiggle like Jell-O. The challenge will be getting up to my feet, walking to the bathroom without having the floor slip from under me. Can I even get up? My body feels weighted on this mattress, like I’m being held down by cinder blocks. When was the last time I’d ever cum like that? And did I really want it again?

Yes. It’s like a drug. One hit, and you would kill for that high again. And I need to know that this wasn’t a fluke, that I didn’t just imagine the eruption of ecstasy that gushed out of me just a few minutes ago under the prickle of Philip’s taste buds.

I roll over, reach out my hands, grab firmly onto the fibers of the carpet and drag myself out. How bad is this, that I’m actually crawling to him? That I can barely move, can barely handle his potency, and yet I still want more?

When I get to the end of the hallway, the bathroom door opens. Steam rushes out, and behind it, Philip, fully naked. It’s like the beginning of a concert, when just before the smoke clears, the singer springs onto the stage from a trapdoor underneath, and all the girls in the crowd go wild with delight.

I watch him as he approaches in what feels like slow motion, the mist surrounding him. Anticipation makes me drip. He’s fully erect—there’s no denying what he wants. My jaw drops, but I quickly shut it, not quite willing to return the favor from earlier, despite being on my knees.

“I figured you might need help,” he says with a half smirk. He scoops me up off the floor, glides me across the tip of him as he pulls me up. Who is he teasing, me or himself?

“What you do to me . . .” I can’t even finish my thought. All I want is his wet lips on mine.

Girl, you better have your hair weave strapped on tight, ’cause I’m just getting started.”

I feel like butter in his arms. I can spread from end to end. I let him whisk me off into the bathroom, where the steam from the shower creates a tension that pushes us even closer together, as if we aren’t already like the skin that clings to our bones. I can’t get enough of him. I pull and dig, desperate to have him inside me again, filling all the cracks and crevices Levon could never reach.

And this time, I’m not talking about his tongue.