Please bear with me as I write my life away for the next few days. The only way I can ever get things out of my head is by writing them down. Hence, this entire blog. But mostly, just these next few posts. I hope you enjoy reading them more than I enjoyed experiencing it them.
It was Thursday, and it was cold. I usually liked the cold, though, that tolerance faded when the heater in my beat up SUV died, suddenly. We took his car most places because he refused to let me drive mine until it was fixed. Most days, the inside felt like an icebox. I appreciated his chivalry when it came to things like that, but was pleased when the heat had been restored, and I was in the driver's seat again. I had less boring taste in music, and whoever drove the car got to DJ. That was the rule.
We stopped at a gas station south of town. I lifted the nozzle and began to fuel the tank. Ten dollars, twenty dollars, thirty, forty... stopping at fifty-four with a thud, I twisted the cap back on and climbed into the seat, turning my face to look at him.
"What?" he asked, shifting his gaze from the window to me. I reached for the chord to connect my iPod, "Oh, no," he begged, "none of that girly stuff you like." I smiled. He threw his head back in a silent fit.
"Oh, stop. You're going to love it," I pushed the plug in and cranked the car into drive.
"I am not so sure about this..." he began, "When you don't respond to my tantrums, it's usually because you're hiding something that you know I won't--" my fingers twisted the nob that regulated sound, and the words of the song flew out of my mouth with familiarity.
"'There were nights when the wind was so coooooold...'" I gripped the steering wheel for drama. "'and my body froze in bed if I just listened to it right outside the window...'" my voice was loud and obnoxious, and my eyes were on the road. More often, though, they were on him, pulling for a reaction. He sat lifeless in his seat as we drove. Arms crossed, eyes straight ahead. I kept singing, unwilling to lose the music battle. I was tired of submitting to whichever emotionless Black Keys song he'd have played instead. "'There were nights of endless pleasure! It was more than all your lousy loooooove!'"
"'BABY, BABY! If I kiss you like this...'" both my jaw and my brow lines lowered. I couldn't believe he knew the words. He turned to me, smiling. "What? You think I don't know this song?" Surprised, I took my hands off the wheel, steered with my knees, and began applauding.
"That was impressive! You completely threw me off guard."
"Good. Now, can we change the song?" I blew the speakers louder.
"I finished crying in the instant that you left! And I can't remember where or when or hooooow!"
His head rested on my shoulder, his arm stretched across my waist. We sat on my leather couch, in that pitifully cold basement, watching late night television the way "those people" do. I had come to the conclusion that we were becoming a part of that demographic now. He wore a button down flannel shirt and sleepy eyes. I watched as he tried to keep his eyes open and wide on the screen, but as I stroked back his hair, he drifted a little further into sleep; he drifted further into me. Minutes later, he perked up and migrated to the other end of the sofa, pulling me along with him.
"Come here," he began, "I know how much you're hating this." I was confused. Mostly because I was doing the complete opposite of hating it. He outstretched his legs and nestled me into the space between the curve of his body and the edge of the cushion. "You hate this couch," he stated. It was true. I'd complained about it practically every night.
"Yeah, well. It's fine," I laughed. My face settled into the nape of his neck and he held me tight. His arms came together across my back and he brought me in close. It felt like a spot I was familiar with, one I'd known before. The scruff that he'd been working to grow for weeks brushed the side of my face. I reached up, placing my left hand on his cheek and looked up at him. "I don't like scruff," I wiggled, "but I really like it on you." The first kiss on the line of his jaw.
"You don't?" he looked down.
"Nope," the second on his chin, "but on you..." his eyes closed again.
"Only on me?"
"Yep," third, the soft space below his ear.
"Oh," he exhaled.
I thought about my next move, and the way it would change things. I wondered if I should even be the one entertaining the act in my brain. It shouldn't have been my move to make.
I ran my fingers through his hair, which, I'm sure has become a signature move of mine by now, and the deed was done. There were fireworks, cliches, and my hair fell out of two elastics, but he did the forehead-kiss-thing, and that was the monumental downfall of us. Or, the people we almost were, rather.