She sat up, cheeks flushed and golden hair tousled. She was so beautiful that it made my soul ache. I always wished desperately that I could paint her in these moments and immortalize that look in her eyes. There was a softness in them that I rarely saw at other times, a total and complete vulnerability in someone who was normally so guarded and analytical in the rest of her life. But although I was a decent painter, capturing her on canvas was beyond my skill.
She collected her brown blouse and buttoned it up, hiding the brightness of turquoise lace with the conservative attire she liked to armor herself in. She’d done an overhaul of her bras in the last month, and though I was always sad to see them disappear, it made me happy to know they were there, those secret spots of color in her life.
It is a kiss that, once begun, never really ends. Interrupted, yes. Paused, certainly. But from that very moment onward, Vera sees the whole of her life as only a breath away from kissing him again. On that night in the park, they begin the delicate task of binding their souls together, creating a whole comprising their separate halves.
You ask me why I don't speak
Not a word at will
But write so much worth well over a mill'
Well I value words like I value kisses
A sober one, a closer one penetrates the heart
Darling it's how it mends it
I've hated Snowflake for so long," she says. "But then I met you. And you're the person entire town has trashed, a person belonging to the group I've been raised to believe is evil, and you're the only person who is able to make me feel as if every part of me is beautiful."
She is beautiful. Inside and out. My fingers tunnel into her hair again, but this time, I gently knot them in. My heart beats hard, and I open my mouth, hoping that doing so will force the right words. That I can explain being near her makes everything that's impossible about me seem possible.
But the words become lodged in my throat and silence paralyzes my tongue. Breanna blinks and the hope that had been on her face disappears as she misreads my hesitation.
Her hold on me loosens and she ducks her head. "Don't listen to me. I say too much around you. I was being stupid I..."
More words meant to wipe away her admission spill from her mouth, but I'm not listening. My grip on her hair tightens, I lower my lips to hers and I kiss Breanna Miller.
I do, and the now-familiar warmth of his lips steadies me. He tastes of salt and the wine we shared with the others at our small farewell party.
Aladdin pulls away first and lifts one of my hands to his lips, kissing the delicate henna patterns on my skin, then turning my arm over to kiss the inside of my wrist. The ship’s crew makes themselves busy on the other side of the ship, giving us privacy.
“You’re the most beautiful girl in the world,” Aladdin murmurs. “Have I ever told you that?”
“Enough to make me wonder if your father was a parrot.
One day you do meet a man who kisses you and you can’t breathe around it and you realize you don’t need air. Oxygen is trivial. Desire makes life happen. Makes it matter. Makes everything worth it. Desire is life. Hunger to see the next sunrise or sunset. To touch the one you love. To try again.
I don't get scared very often," he said finally. "I was scared the first morning I woke up and you weren't here. I was scared when you left me after Vegas. I was scared when I thought I was going to have to tell my dad that Trent had died in that building. But when I saw you across the flames in the basement...I was terrified. I made it to the door, was a few feet from the exit, and I couldn't leave.
"What do you mean? Are you crazy?" I said, my head jerking up to look into his eyes.
"I've never been so clear about anything in my life. I turned around, made my way to that room you were in, and there you were. Nothing else mattered. I didn't even know if we would make it out or not, I just wanted to be where you were, whatever that meant. The only thing I'm afraid of is a life without you, Pigeon."
I leaned up, kissing his lips tenderly. When our mouths parted, I smiled. "Then you have nothing to be afraid of. We're forever.
Life was not to be sitting in hot amorphic leisure in my backyard idly writing or not writing, as the spirit moved me. It was, instead, running madly, in a crowded schedule, in a squirrel cage of busy people. Working, living, dancing, dreaming, talking, kissing- singing, laughing, learning.
You've got this life and while you've got it, you'd better kiss like you only have one moment, try to hold someone's hand like you will never get another chance to, look into people's eyes like they're the last you'll ever see, watch someone sleeping like there's no time left, jump if you feel like jumping, run if you feel like running, play music in your head when there is none, and eat cake like it's the only one left in the world!