The heat, it got to her. She had always had a healthy sex-drive, but this here right now was a lot, even for her standards. She felt insatiable. Always in the mood.
Naked as she was, she let the light breeze, that found a way into her bedroom, caress her skin. It was as if her lover was gently tracing her nooks and folds and crannies with his tongue. She closed her eyes and arched her back. This felt good. Her hands knew where to go on their own. No explanation needed. One hand massaged her breast and played with her nipples, while the other hand traveled south. Legs spread wide, she didn’t waste time. Too good. She was wet. Not moist; no, dripping wet. The sound her body made as her fingers entered her spurred her on. She needed it. Right then. Right there. The smell of her own sex engulfed her and laid a thin veil over her senses, blocking out her environment. Sweat was covering her; droplets rolling down and pooling between her breasts. She wet her lips with the tip of her tongue moaning deep within her throat. Almost there. She didn’t take her time, didn’t prolong the explosion that was at the tips of her fingers. Her legs were shaking. Ragged breath. She bit her bottom lip, her eyes were closed. More. More. More of this. Her hips moved on their own accord, trying to find more friction. The tingling that had started inside of her was spreading fast. She threw her head back with another moan. Her back was arched, her hair was drenched in sweat. Pulling her legs back to reach more; to enter herself deeper. It was there, she felt the wave coming. Ready to let her lose her mind.
Another touch startled her. Not her own hands. They ruined her orgasm. Calloused, male hands. Asking for permission to continue what she had started. She took her hand from her pussy, tasting her own lust with a sly grin. Eyes meeting eyes. Dilated pupils didn’t hide their carnal desires. The sensation of his hands on her was too much to bear. He knew how to push her buttons. He knew exactly how to read her body. What had started slow and casual was building up again. She was biting her hand to keep herself from screaming out her lust, but he didn’t allow it. He demanded to hear her. And there it was. The right touch. The right pressure. Too fast. Too soon. Her entire body tensed. She stopped breathing. And the heat swallowed her from within. Sensitive to his touch, she tried to move away, but he was not done. The night was young and it was too hot to sleep anyway…
6:37 in the morning. Tears and shower water mingle. It hasn’t been this bad in a while. No way of getting her thoughts straight and too many responsibilities to rest. Nowhere to hide, just in plain sight. Getting dressed. One task done. Getting the kids ready for school. Another task done. Did not cry for an hour. Success. Husband didn’t notice – or hasn’t said anything. Success. Driving to work. Another task done. Working on autopilot. Smiling, singing. Out of body experience. She wishes she wasn’t there. Nowhere. No one notices. Success. She’s winning. Not this battle, not this fight. One task at a time.
No amount of positive words he read could change the heavy feeling inside his chest. If he didn’t have all these responsibilities, he would probably leave everything behind. But on top of being a responsible man, he also cared. And he was a coward. If he ran, he didn’t know where to. And the unknown scared him more than anything else. And so, he stayed inside his bubble, breaking to pieces with every breath he took, and falling apart with every thought that flooded his mind. He kept reading every inspirational quote on the internet. It made him angry. But there was nothing he would or could change. Trapped inside his own inability to move on.
Packing her bags, she left that town. She didn’t turn around to see them going on about their lives. No one would miss her. She was invisible. Not good enough. A failure. She heaved her baggage on her shoulders, ran her fingers over the footprints on her soul and vanished into thin air.
She didn’t know the answers to many questions. She didn’t know why this special man needed to be a part of her life. She didn’t know how she felt for him. She didn’t know why him. But she knew that she deserved better than him telling her “see you in another life”. She deserved better than that. She accepted that he didn’t want to talk to her. She accepted that she didn’t know why he was like breathing air for her. But she didn’t accept “see you in another life.”
On the treadmill. The rhythmic thump of his feet provides more peace of mind for Connor. Sweat is running down his body in rivulets and is caught in the fibers of his workout clothes. Running. Nothing but running. His eyes are glued to his record collection. It is organized by alphabet. It is time to organize it by color of the cover. Although, it becomes harder to find what you are looking for that way. Maybe organizing it by year of release? But then there is the dilemma with re-releases. Connor keeps running and thinking. Until he stops thinking and just runs. It is as if his body knows exactly what to do and for once, his brain isn’t needed. A euphoric bliss settles like a calming veil over Connor’s heart. Forgotten – or repressed, are today’s events. He slows down and blinks hard a couple of times. He grabs his towel and wipes his face twice before he finally comes to a complete halt. Connor is conscious of every muscle in his body. He hears the blood pumping through his veins, carrying oxygen to every organ. But he feels good. Elated. Positively exhausted.
Breathe in. The sign on the floor in his bedroom reads. Connor obeys and undresses. He folds his clothes and puts them in a hamper. Breathe out; says the sign on the bathroom floor. Again he obeys before he gets in the shower stall. The water rains down on his neck, and he moans. This is relaxing, even more so after his excessive workout. Connor stands motionless until the water begins to turn cold. He washes himself and turns off the tap.
As soon as he is dressed, his mind starts racing again. His internal battle over events he cannot change continues until it is interrupted by a knock at the door. Another knock. Yet another knock, followed by words. “I’m sorry Connor. Don’t open the door, but I brought your book. I cleaned it and put it in a plastic bag. Putting it on the doormat is safe. Really, I am sorry. It was good to see you. You look amazing. Anyway. I’ll leave. I’ll text you later. Goodbye, Connor.” Connor listened to Thomas’s words with his ear pressed against the door that was separating them. Thomas understands Connor’s need for certain things to happen in a certain way. Thomas knows Connor. Too well.
The moment Connor hears the retreating footsteps, he opens the door. Thomas hasn’t lied. The book is in a clear plastic bag. On the doormat. Connor picks it up, and looks left and right, up and down the hallway. No one is there. “Thank you,” he whispers. Connor puts the book on the coffee table and stares at it suspiciously. Nothing happens. He runs a hand through his hair, a new battle taking place in his head. What if he texted Thomas first? He pretends that he deleted the number. And it’s true, he did. But, there are the call logs. And although there is no name with the number anymore, Connor knows exactly whose it is. Quickly, as if the letters are burning his fingers, and the words on the screen are poison for his eyes, he types “Thank you, Thomas”. He turns off the messaging app, mutes the phone and puts it – display facing down – next to the book. His leg begins bouncing up and down. His thumb finds a way to his mouth where his teeth gnaw at the skin and the nail. Off-kilter. This day needs to end.
Thirty-two steps up to his apartment. Turning the key in the lock twice. Calming shaking hands and racing thoughts. Connor enters his sanctuary and pulls his boots off his feet. He puts them where they belong, in their spot by the door. Connor begins touching each finger on his hand with his thumb. Forward and backward. Forward and backward again. Until he feels that he calmed down enough to function again. Yes, that helped. Oh, the embarrassment of having been hit by a ball in the face in public, and falling off a bench like some lunatic who can’t sit upright on his own. The humiliation of seeing Thomas again in this situation. Connor often fantasizes about seeing his ex-lover again. But never in his wildest fantasies has he thought that he would look this weak. In his imagination, he faced Thomas as a made man. In a fancy suit and with his act together. And it is still Connor’s determination to become rich and famous, but he is not there yet. Thomas on the other hand – he looked just as handsome (and evil) as he has always looked. As if the events of the past have not left any dents on his soul and scratches in his mind. The world is a weird place to exist. There is a painting on Connor’s wall. Birds in the sky. Light as a feather, heavy as a cloud. These explosions of emotions leave him drained of energy. And he left his book behind. There is no way to distract himself. There is no way to stop repeating the events in his head. And he can’t start to read a new book. He hasn’t finished the other one. Connor’s face is throbbing and swelling on one side. He wishes that he could cry. But he can’t. There are no tears left in him. They were all cried for someone else. No more tears for himself.
There is a melody in Connor’s thoughts. There is poetry in his mind. Sitting on a bench in a park, he looks like a painting from a different era. Yes, Connor is art. His legs are stretched far from his body, his ankles crossed. A smile is tugging at his lips. From time to time, it is replaced with a frown. Deeply lost in the book, he doesn’t see the ball that is heading right his way. Lost in a world of giants that need to be defeated, and princes who, after slaying dragons, are allowed to marry the king’s daughter… BAM. The round leather collides with Connor’s head, he loses balance, and a laughable shriek escapes his mouth as the full impact of the ball pushes him off the bench. From up close, the grass that is now grazing his cheek has many different shades of green. An observation he stores away for further pondering at a later moment. Internally, Connor courses himself. People are gathering around him, some are pointing their phones in his direction. His cheeks heat with anger and embarrassment, but no tone leaves his lips. In his peripheral vision, he notices red shoes. Red is an angry color. Every color has an emotion for Connor.
“I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you,” a voice laced with regret and concern whispers. It is followed by a gentle touch on his shoulder. Connor follows the outstretched arm with his eyes, touching a tender spot on his face with his hand. There will be a bruise on his face. Violet and swollen. He gasps when he sees the face of his helper. “It’s not the first time you hurt me. Please, hurt me again.” Brown eyes widen as they connect with Connor’s blue ones and register the words that were said. “It is you.” People are whispering to each other. They are aware of the connection between the two humans in front of them, but how, or why, or when, remains a mystery. Attention spans are reaching an end. Phones are put away. Heads are shaken, and backs are turned. “Connor, I…” Connor lowers his gaze and takes a deep breath. He flinches at the realization that there is still a physical connection between him and his assailant. He tenses at the realization that there is still an emotional connection between him and Thomas. Thomas, who had left him black and bruised before. “No,” Connor whispers to no one in particular, gets his feet back under him and flees the park. He will not be able to ever come back to his favorite spot again. It is soiled with memories. It is soiled with embarrassment. His only regret is that he left his book behind.
He is living a life between clouds and feathers. Some days, his heart is free as a bird and light as a feather. Some days, his hearts is dark as a storm and heavy as a raincloud. Moods change as often as the hand of fate touches his soul. Every moment is loved and lived. Relived and perceived as hell. Where is he supposed to go from here? And more importantly; how did he get here? He whispers these questions during the day. He screams the same words in his dreams. His lonely existence is in vain. But without him, this earth is an empty place. Heavy as a cloud, light as a feather. If his mind were a bird, it would have left its cage a long while ago. As it is, his mind is embedded in a grey cloud.
A couple of days ago, I decided that it was time for me to write again. A novel, something I haven’t written in years. I had a story and characters in my head. I had an outline that was partly based on true events and then, out of the blue, I got sidetracked by a different story. One that is a surprise even for me while I write it. Everything is new, even the narrative voice. It is unexpected but not unwelcome. This short story that demands to be written on the spot is not elaborated, it has no structure and the chapters are so short that the story can’t even be considered to be a short story, and yet, there is something appealing in it. At least I think so. It is posted on my Wattpad account. Life Between Clouds and Feathers But I am wondering if I should share it here too. What do you think? Should I post links to the entire chapters or crosspost the chapters here?
About the title:
Life between clouds and feather came to my mind when I was scrolling through my pictures on my phone. I had a couple of pictures of birds that flew in the sky. In one particular photo, the sky was grey and full of clouds. And somehow, in my mind, a connection between thoughts dark as clouds and thoughts light as feathers was made. My mind works in mysterious ways. That picture was used (and heavily edited) to be the cover of my book. I am quite excited about this. I am not sure if it shows 😉
Thank you for your attention… now I just need to hear your thoughts about the above question: share links or share chapters?