I could have imagined her hand in mine, a storm brewing in the molecules between our fingertips. Her nails, long and manicured, placed on my skin with a delicacy I could taste in homemade ice cream. Her smile extracted a vibration in my jaw, a tingle of sleigh bells in the distance reverberating against my chilled bones. Her blue eyes seared into me as blushes rose and fell up and down my spine, my neck, my cheeks – a long road of sensations of which she wasn’t aware.
I could have seen us so easily.
Wrapping our bodies together under hotel linens in a breeze coming off the south beach.
Searching long into the night for the perfect plate of hash browns.
Reading Stephen King on storming mornings with steam collecting on the
kitchen windows from oat-milk lattes and hot chocolate.
Mixing the specific striped-sweater-and-black-jeans and yellow-
sunflower-print-dress kind of aesthetics.
Driving through suburbs and dancing on trains as we pass
through various terrains so different from one another.
Kissing each freckle on our noses because the sun
once did, feeling the phantom warmth with a mild
jealously of the star.
She stood indifferent, pulling herself along on a string as she moves forward. She had an energy of chaotic adventure surrounding her. It was the first thing I found intimidating about her and yet the intrigue pinched at my cheeks as I thought she could have had me.
As the season changed, my quick infatuation blazed against my skin before dimming to a settled glow. The scorches left on my body muddled with the long road of previous people – carcass ashes that break a little more with each breeze.
For only a moment, I wanted her to want me. A moment to touch her hand, to press a kiss in her hair, to see myself reflected in her eyes. A moment where radioactive atoms could collide in our shadows. A moment where my Scottish blood mixed with her French breath and histories could meld together. But the moment faded as such things do. I no longer felt encumbered by the possibility of her love. I decided I didn’t want it.
She comes around and we laugh and joke and dance and move as required for a friendship of two people. We send messages and songs and videos and recall long forgotten jokes. We discuss relationships and men we find attractive enough to want to be domestic with. We do this, blithely unaware that the flames created distance, a distance in which my fingers twitch with gratitude for.
Bailey Henderson is a post-graduate creative writer, seasoned 'Clue' detective, alright 'Mario-Kart' racer, and hopeful 'Great Gatsby' party attendee. She enjoys thunderstorms on the beach and spending time getting lost in unrealistic daydreams - those are the best to indulge in some days.