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“You know, I’ve wanted to, like… let you know for a while,” he pauses and immediately wants to start over.

He adjusts his legs; sitting across from her on her living room floor. The scent of patchouli is still suspended in the air. He looks at her. The light from two dim candles on the mantle behind her percolates across her face, her eyes, her skin. Her hair is all over the place, and he loves how she doesn’t notice and wouldn’t care even if she did. He smirks at her as she waits for his next words.

“I’ve just…” he pauses again as her tiny cat walks across his lap and then off into the kitchen.

“I mean, I’ve wanted to tell you, you know,” he stutters not because he’s unsure. And certainly not because he’s worried about what she’ll think or how she’ll react. He knows how the words taste in his mouth, but he feels clumsy, almost drunk, like a baby deer learning to walk. He hasn’t moved his lips and tongue in this way in a long time. He’s got to figure it out again.

“Mmmm,” she comes to his rescue. He stops altogether to take a breath.

Sensing his relief she continues, “It was all over your hands the first time you touched me. It was in your gaze as you somehow said, ‘Don’t look at me like that,’ and ‘I could stare at you like this forever’ in one expression. It’s also the way the room goes from background music and empty noises one moment and then fills with an astounding mute the instant our bodies come together.”

She pauses to emphasize her point.

Seeing him receive her point, she changes to a softer tone. “The way things feel overrides any label, or whatever sounds and noises we use to express the emotion. The calmness and comfort that fills the space when we’re together; that’s it. There are only a few people we’ll ever meet that will instill this kind of comfort and stillness. There’s no ‘show’ or ‘performance’ when we’re together. There’s no worry of our outward perception or what the world will think. We’re one thing, one ‘it,’ one happening. These are the things that make people special people.

She takes a breath, sighs it out, and they meet eyes as she scoots closer to him. They both want to say something but neither one of them know what to say next. The kitten pushes a glass vase of flowers off the countertop.

Billy Hafferty

Billy Hafferty is probably still hanging out of the passenger side of his best friend's ride trying to holler at you.

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