mist (copyright nyxie winter)
You spot her through the smoked glass, the reflections of the candles distorting your view of the outside, while fat raindrops slowly slide down the window, giving everything indistinct edges. Even the FedEx truck that rumbles past seems gentler, quieter, under the rain’s touch.
She’s walking without a care in the world, long dark hair mussed, part wavy from the humidity, part unruly because she forgot to brush it, the violet and blue pieces glowing in the odd winter drizzle light. Her dress is short, with a scoop neck, and she’s wearing her biker boots. She moves quickly with long strides, almost joyfully, whatever is on her iPod is making her very happy indeed.
She crosses the street, rush hour traffic no concern, merrily jaywalking through the near gridlock, even the cop on the corner grins as he shakes his head. Your glasses are still a bit fogged from the mist, and as she disappears from view, you take your handkerchief from your pocket and wipe the lenses, making slow circles with too much pressure. You stop yourself before you damage the lenses and frames, stuff the now creased and crumpled handkerchief back into your pocket, then slowly look up and see her, cheeks flushed from the warmth inside, radiant, brunette and violet-blue hair shimmering from the rain.
She’s inside. She keeps scanning the tavern area, finally gazes in your direction, then drops her head.
Shy? Nervous? Change of heart?
You let her sweat for a moment, then approach her. The mist has left tiny droplets of rain on her cheeks and the top of her chest. A large drop of rain courses down the side of her neck, nestles against her collarbone.
She raises her eyes to yours, and they’re smiling before she speaks. Her eyes are dark, lashes long, and her lips are pale, parted slightly.
“Hey,” she breathes.
You tilt your head to the side as you smile. The smile starts out subtle, but your inner mischief wins out, and you find yourself out and out grinning at her. “Hey. Glad you could make it.” She holds your gaze for a moment, smiles, then says, all in a rush “Ooooh hell I must look a hot mess walking here in this rain, sorry.” You both laugh, and you hand her a drink. You have a brief scuffle over money — she insists on paying for you both — and then go settle into comfy chairs under the stairwell and talk and talk.
And eat. Marrow, of all things. She spreads some on crostini for you, and, without thinking, you lean forward, without thinking, she feeds you.
Simple human gesture, yet somehow it’s charged with an intimacy that is boundless. It’s more than sharing, more than affection, the automaticity of it somehow shifts the entire dynamic, rendering it puzzle-like, tension and anticipation folding over and over on themselves, layers of want, need, fear, desire, all buried and resurfacing, multifaceted.
Silence envelops you both, for a long moment it hangs in the air, nearly unbearable. She can’t meet your eyes, but you can sense it, right beneath her skin, see it in the rise and fall of her chest. You’d love to kiss her, but not here, not now.
Instead you take your finger and brush away the almost dried droplet near her collarbone. She closes her eyes, just for an instant, but it’s enough.
You’re both coming undone.
Later, you walk her to her car. It’s quiet, tendrils of vulnerability twine about you both, and then, before you can process it, she stands on her toes and kisses you on the cheek. It’s no ordinary peck though, it’s soft and lingering. A promise?
She ducks in her car, but not before you trace the back of your fingers across her cheek. You smile as you slowly realize the magnitude of what she’s just done.