We went down the shore for two nights, a little last minute, but a friend has a really old cottage that she rents out and the current renters had to leave early, so it was empty. One of those original clap board houses that is just about clinging on amongst all the renovations, rebuilds and new construction. It's probably worth a million bucks, but only because of where it is, the house is very basic. It has one bedroom, a kitchen two people can't be in, and a living room which is claustrophobic to sit in, so we sit out on the screened in porch. When you're in the outside shower, you can see tourists at the top of the lighthouse, so close you can actually see their reactions to seeing you in the shower!
We walked the beaches, and back among the dunes and all through the back pathways and wandered around fields of wild flowers and clover, and held hands and kissed and made love under a perfect blue sky.
We got back late but neither of us were tired so we were flicking through stuff and found Women Who Kill.
So we were watching this, and at one point one of the women says "I'd rather be with someone that scares me to death than bores me to death" and Deb shrieks with laughter and says "OMG that is so true."
I pause it and I'm like "Do I scare you."
She's "for sure."
"All the time?"
"All the time, I never know what you are going to do."
"And you're okay with that."
"I love it, it's so exhilarating, and I'm getting thin again."
"Yeah all this nervous energy burns fat like crazy."
"I thought that was the running."
"God no, it's you."
"I dont want you being anxious around me."
"No not that, excited."
"You never cease to amaze me."
"In what way?"
"In an unexpected way. How you see me is not how I see me, I think I'm pretty vanilla."
"But I want to be more like you."
"I want that confidence, I guess it's that poise you have in any situation, you never really get upset, I mean I know you get mad, but you channel that and end up taking control."
"I'm not sure why that is scary for you."
"Okay so maybe the words are wrong, but you know that show we watch with the girl contract killer."
"The Russian trying to kill Sandra Oh?"
"yeah her, she's you."
"Which one, Sandra Oh or the psychopath."
"Well when you put it like that it doesn't sound so good, but she's unfazed."
"Yeah, cos she's psychotic, no emotions."
"Well you play your cards tight to your chest."
"Wow and I thought I was open, at least with you."
"God no, everything is a secret with you, because you live in the shadows'
"What the F*** does that mean?"
"Affairs, you have affairs all the time, so you hide them and that becomes your default MO, you end up hiding everything."
"What do you want to know?"
"Em I don't, I'm just saying that's the vibe you give off - ask your friends what they know about you - you have a brother and you're English - I bet they don't know any more than that. Well apart from the fact you F*** around."
"They know about you."
"They don't, they just know me as your current F*** buddy. They're all scared of you to."
"I bet all your close friends are single."
"I don't know what that means."
"It means the ones in relationships are S*** scared you'll break them up."
I'm lying back on the couch my mind is racing.
Deb straddles me, leans forward her hand pressed against my chest bone.
"Em, you need me, you have to let me in, I can take care of you, I know your secret and that's the one thing about you that doesn't scare me, because I know I can fix it."
"What's that then?"
"You have no heart."
"Em, let me in and you'll get it back. And when you do it will be all for me and no one else."
"I mean it."
"Em, I can make you whole."
"OMG are you crying?"
"Deb get off me."
"No. Tell me I'm not right."
"Em, tell me I'm wrong and I'll go."
"Deb I don't like ultimatums."
"Unfortunately I'm not breaking up with you, just going back to mine."
"I'm not sure how to take that."
"Look, if you can't see how happy you were these two days with me, then I was wrong, you can't be fixed, but I know you were, I know it Em, you love me, but you're scared - like everyone else, you're scared of you."
She lays down on top of me.
"Let me kiss your tears away." She kisses my cheek then nuzzles into my hair, her lips just touching my ear.
"Just let me love you."
"Deb I adore you, I just don't know if I'm right for you."
"So tell me you weren't happy, that everything wasn't perfect."
"I was happy, it was perfect - you are perfect."
"So how about we try and do this for the rest of our lives?"
Her hand caresses my other cheek and turns my face to hers. Are lips are touching.
And it's true, I feel something, a sensation, maybe a warmth where my heart should be.
She kisses me, I kiss her back.
We get off the couch and go into the bedroom, we slowly take each others clothes off, she takes my hand and starts to lead me to the bed. I hold her back.
I reach into my top draw, retrieve a key there, hold up her hand that is holding mine, place the key onto her palm and close her fingers.
"You're going to need this if you want to work miracles."
"I already have a key."
"I know, it's symbolic, you goose."
"Did you get it made specially."
"Take a look."
She unfurls her fingers and looks closely at the key.
"E heart D, it's lovely, when did you get this made?"
"When we were at the shore?"
"You already knew?"
"No, not conclusively."
"You were happy."
"I was happy."
"I was so very happy too."
"Debbie, will you move in with me?"
"Yes Emily, I will."
We seal the deal with a kiss, and so much more.
When I wake, Debbie is sprawled across me.
I just had a dream and I'm trying to remember it, bits of it come back to me. Ara is kissing me, she is saying "You are mine" and something in French I don't understand, then Brie is whispering in my ear, translating, saying "You fool." No I say, that's not right. Then the two of them are in front of me, looking upset, disappointed, mouthing words I can't hear, then they are saying "Tu oie" over an over together, it's getting louder, they are getting angrier 'til they are spitting out the words at me. "You goose" they say and are laughing at me.
I look down at Deb and she looks like an angel.
I lean over her and lift her head and kiss her mouth.
"My goose" I say.
It's meaningless, but it exorcises the dream.
I slip out from under her and leave her sleeping, she goes in at 4 and won't be home till past midnight.
I grab one of our beach shawls that was airing on the back of a chair and wrap it loosely.
I fill the kettle and turn on the gas.
I sit down at my kitchen table and fire up the iPad just to check my email.
And one amongst a dozen jumps out at me.
It's from Brigette and my finger hovers over it. Instead of tapping it I hold my finger down and a little check mark appears - it's selected. My finger taps the trash item, the message disappears and a little "Undo" tag floats on the screen. After a while it starts to fade then winks out. I hit sleep, turn off the gas and go back into the bedroom and watch Debbie sleep.
She doesn't move.
I get off the bed and walk around her.
She is face down, almost entirely naked, just one leg hidden beneath a sheet from the calf down.
I want to wake her but I wait.
She looks amazing.
Slowly she starts to come out of her sleep, little sighs. She rolls her head away from me, then her whole body slowly rolls toward me, and when she is on her back her eyes open and sparkle at seeing me, a smile across her mouth.
"I love you" I say.
She says "I know."
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