This short story is for the Chapter Two of The Writer’s Block. It is possibly NSFW, but I tend to be prudish in that regard. Yeah, yeah snort all you want.
Too long to read? You can listen here instead.
It began with a simple question, on a chilly autumn afternoon in Central Park.
“Can you keep a secret?”
She whispered the question in my ear, her dark curls brushing my shoulder as she leaned in close to me. I breathed in deeply, and the smell of her perfume overwhelmed my senses. I nodded, afraid to speak, afraid to hope her secret was the same as mine.
“It’s not something I can tell you. I need to show you.”
Her teeth nipped my earlobe. I shivered, though I wasn’t cold. She moved on the blanket we sat upon and faced me. Her lips, stained the color of ripe strawberries, parted. She leaned in, and claimed my mouth with her own.
That is how it began. With a whispered question and passionate kiss, my heart was hers. I knew it wouldn’t end well, but oh, I’d long for that moment for so many years. We’d been friends since high school. Over the years, I’d watched her flirt with so many men and women, and always felt a pang of envy. Even when she broke their hearts in the end (she always broke their hearts), I longed to be in their shoes.
I never deluded myself into thinking I could be different, that somehow I’d be the person she’d been searching for all these years. I lost myself in her molten brown eyes, soaked in the scent of her long, thick hair, which was as wild and untamed as she. I let myself be engulfed by the fire that for years I’d fought to contain. When we kissed, she murmured my name against my lips. “Juliet,” she’d say in her husky voice, “touch me. Please.” She never needed to ask twice.
For a few tempestuous moments, she was mine. We fought as much as we loved. Her moods were often volatile, and always mercurial.
She wrote me letters… such beautiful, romantic, passionate letters. She’d tie them up in ribbons scented with her perfume, and leave them on my pillows. I’d find a piece of my favorite chocolate slipped into my lunch bag, with a romantic or silly note. Once, after a bad day at work I found a rose tucked under the wiper blade of my car. She made me smile. She made me cry. She made me whole, and then broke me in half.
She made me crazy.
I kept waiting for the end. It had to come eventually. It always did with her. I wasn’t special, or different. Was I? As days turned into months, and months into a year, I began to wonder. Maybe this time she wasn’t going to run away. Maybe I could hold on to her. I never dreamed I would someday wish for the end.
But I did.
Nearly two years had passed since she asked the question. We’d lived together for most of the time, and we were nearly inseparable. Funny thing about fire… it requires oxygen and room to breathe in order to flourish. I began to feel suffocated. She was jealous. We fought more, and loved less.
“I love you, Juliet.” She said it every day. For months, I didn’t believe her. Maybe that was part of the problem. Sometimes I even laughed when she said it. Oh, how cruel we can be to the ones who love us most.
I loved her, too. I’d loved her from a distance for my entire adult life, and several years before that. Was it enough?
I never wrote her letters. I told myself I wasn’t the type, but I think I always feared putting my feelings for her into words. Paper burns, and my emotions for her were so hot, so intense. I was sure the paper would turn to ash beneath the pen.
It was June. It was hot in the city. New York in June can be brutally humid and disgusting. A thunderstorm without rain raged overhead. She wanted to know where I’d been. I hadn’t been anywhere. I’d never have cheated. I wasn’t the one with the history of cheating. But somehow she seemed to forget that if either of us should be insecure, it was me.
I was exhausted. I’d spent the past two hours stuck in traffic. The heat had made me cranky, and our AC was on the fritz (it was always on the fritz). I tied my hair back in a ponytail, and refused to make eye contact with her. All I wanted was to throw on a tank top and shorts and pour myself a giant glass of chilled white wine. I ignored her. I had learned long ago it was the best way to diffuse a fight with her.
But I was so very tired.
She apologized, and took my hand. I let her lead me to bed. I already knew it was the last time I would. Maybe that was unfair of me, but I wanted one more memory. I wanted one last time to feel my body melt into hers, to leave this plane of mortal existence for the seemingly endless heaven our bodies created when they came together.
Can you keep a secret?
Sometimes I still hear her voice whisper that question, and the pain of losing her – of leaving her – is as fresh as that brutally hot June day I walked out. I didn’t say a word. I waited for her to leave for work. She kissed me a passionate goodbye (she knew only passion). I returned the kiss eagerly, as if nothing was wrong. I packed my bags, thankful the apartment was in her name. Ironic, since that had once, in the not distant past, terrified me, back when I expected her to be the one to end it. On her pillow I left a note. I had written, “I can’t do this anymore. Love, J.” I don’t know why I signed it love. It seems to callous to have done so, but I loved her. Oh, how I loved her. I walked out, and didn’t turn back.
We haven’t spoken since.
Sometimes I dream of running into her somewhere, though I’ve been told she left Manhattan after I deserted her. Sometimes I dream I never left, and that we’re still together.
On these days, I slip into the lingerie she most loved me to wear, and I stretch out on the bed. I surround myself with her letters. So many letters. The ribbons still faintly smell of her perfume, the one that always made me crazy.
I’m surrounded by memories.
I live daily with my secrets. The secret of knowing that I made the biggest mistake of my life that hot June day when I abandoned her. The secret of knowing I will always love her, and that I walked away from her because that frightened me. I know I’ll keep this secret the rest of my life. The only one I could ever share it with will never speak to me again. I am alone with only memories to comfort me.
Can you keep a secret?
Skin: Glam Affair – Katya 04 – Jamaica (Collabor88)
Hair: Truth – Elaine – reds04fade
Closed eyes: SLink – mesh eyelids
Necklace: Deco – Marilyn pearls – Smoke (Collabor88)
Lingerie: Blacklace – Material Girl (TGIF Special edition/price through 8.22)
Hands & Feet: SLink – mesh
Pose: Embody – Arched 4
*click through to Flickr for notes on where decor items are from, or ask in comments!