Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Star Light

Star Light, Star Bright,
The First Star I See Tonight;
I Wish I May, I Wish I Might,
Have The Wish I Wish Tonight

We all know the nursery rhyme. It's something we learn when we're quite small. But it stuck with me. It's still stuck with me. I love the stars. They're part of the reason I work so well at night. I look for them and I look to them.

When I was younger I kept a lot of journals. In fact, the last journal entry I have was from a trip to Hoover, Alabama. We stayed in a spa resort, hung out by the pool, took photos like the one above, ate pimento cheese with pita bread and I was writing at night. I would write this little poem out to remember after every entry. To believe in magic. To believe in dreams. To believe in impossibilities. I signed every entry with my "pen name," Isla Claire, and prayed for the day that I'd use it, ya know, for real. I needed the reminder again.

I know how to deal with rejection, especially in the professional world. I'll always get more no's than yes's and I've come to terms with that. And when you're pushing your work and heart out for the world to see, you have to anticipate the criticism even more than the support. But it's hard to hear opinions sometimes. It's hard to feel like your dreams and goals were just completely shit on.

You don't have to live in my world. You don't have to live in a world that's a little topsy-turvy and messy and where mediocrity isn't something to settle for or with. You don't have to live your life working for something that has a higher probability of not happening than actually coming to fruition. But I am, that's my choice.

I'm inspired by a lot. I can meet someone in the line at the market and create an entirely new story for one or both of us after I pay for my groceries and walk out the door. I can get a text from an old friend and concoct a brand new reality from just a few words. There's a difference between inspiration and reality though. Just because I can dream up an alternate universe doesn't mean I live in it. I just live in a world that reaches for more than a simple life. I'm sorry if that scares you or makes me hard for you to understand. Actually, I'm not sorry at all. Not one little bit. That's your own headache to bear.

I didn't go to school to become a teacher or a nurse. I didn't study something that would give me job security. In ten years I may regret those choices but so far, so good. I have steady work. I pay the bills. I own my own home. And I get tired of feeling as though I have to defend my choices, my feelings or the way my offbeat brain works. I'm not going to anymore. Embrace the weird and the different. The quick to judge always misses out on beautiful experiences and people. I never want to be one of those people. I'd regret that most of all.

So here I am again tonight, looking to the stars for guidance. Sending out good thoughts in hopes that the universe will return the favor. I say my prayers too, mostly for happiness and health, especially for Claire. Those stars have been really good to me so far. I'll keep on route to meet them one day and in the meantime I'm ridding myself of those that want to put a damper on the trip.

Monday, October 24, 2016

We Didn't Quite Fit

I knew he liked me. A lot. But that didn’t make me feel any less self-conscious. He’d touch my leg under the table in an innocent, yet lustful, way and the only reason I’d ever pull back was so that he didn’t feel the cellulite high up on my thigh.

I knew he was nervous too. I didn’t want him to feel like I didn’t want him, because I did. This entire experience was new and exciting. But also very scary. I felt like at any minute he would take a look around at someone else and realize he was with the wrong woman. I just didn’t fit with him. I usually didn’t fit with anyone. But once he got me alone in a corner, he went for it.

Subtle lips kissed me like they’d been waiting to since the moment he walked in the door. My hands tangled into his bleach blonde hair and the butterflies in my stomach tried to keep up with the pace of my heart. My insecurities started to vanish once he began whispering in my ear to stop worrying. “You’re beautiful. There’s nowhere else I want to be looking,” he said under his breath.


That was the first time I ever felt complimented by him. My confidence had already been shaken but his ways always made me question myself a little more than I should have. The reassurance was warmly welcomed. It’s not that I needed constant ego boosts, if that was the case every sweet word he threw my way would lose its meaning. But sometimes I needed him to soften and give me some slack and in the moment he did our relationship changed a little. We were on an even playing field with a new sense of security.

We would always find ways to tuck ourselves away in a nook somewhere, hidden from a world we were constantly complaining about or analyzing. He’d then run his fingers through my hair saying, “Damn, it’s soft too.” Or he’d kiss my nose and tell me not to worry about its slight bend from when I was 12 and got smacked in the face with a Dixie Youth softball.

He was too sweet sometimes. And at other times he was too much of an ass. He was late a lot and he wanted to change plans fifteen minutes before we were supposed to step out the door. I didn’t want a high maintenance man. And he could never find a balance that made me feel completely comfortable. Which is why I knew I’d never quite fit. There was a short period of time I thought about running to him from my almost three-year relationship though. He could have been the distraction I needed from when I was almost 20 and feeling a bit suffocated.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Locked Up

Let's rewind a bit.

Ten years ago today I would be a month away from bagging a new boyfriend. That's a terrible term to use, I know, but at the time, I was probably explaining it that way to one of my girls. High fives all around, I hit the jackpot. I would eventually fall in love too. But now, a decade and a divorce later, I would also realize that I lost a piece of myself in the process. In actuality, there were several pieces that went MIA along the way. Although, the exciting bit now, being on the other side of the hardest parts of this shit storm, is that I'm starting to find those missing pieces. They've been just waiting for me to let them out. 

When I was 17 I had a lightness. I was free in my ways. And I was messy but I was quick too. I was quick in my decisions and quick in my wit and there were people who loved all of that about me and missed it. I wish they had vocalized all of this more when I was younger. It would have given me some confidence in my offbeatedness (not a word, but it is now) that I eventually ended up suppressing most of. I went far too into conforming to the normal molds we're all taught instead of following the daydreams.

Most of my t-shirts came from Hot Topic and I wore a lot of accessories that included skulls. I spent a lot of my time trying to fit in a social life since most of my socializing happened on the ball field. I didn't read as much but I was writing a whole lot. I doodled future tattoos in the sidebars of my homework. I changed my MySpace song about 20 times a week. I was all over the place in interests, in my friends and in my personality. I had an insane crush on Usher but I was also listening to a lot of One Republic and The Fray and Blue October and ... Papa Roach too. I was a little different everyday, which was what most expected of me.

Let's fast-forward a bit.

You'd find my mess get a bit cleaner. I became anxious and extremely anal about every facet of my life: my school work, how clean my college apartment was, a routine for every day of the week. I thought this was a good thing. My relationship made me better. I'm learning that was never true. I thought I stressed less with him. But that's where the worry developed. I don't know why. I'm certainly not blaming him. I do blame myself for not realizing it sooner though. The mess was a part of me. I liked the mess. I'm starting to get a little messy again. 

I'm also starting to cultivate a beautiful list of what I want both out of life and out of a partner. I may never get married again and that's okay because if there's a next time, I'll be getting married for different reasons and with different feelings. But in the meantime, I'm not scouring or hunting or looking for anyone. I'm not looking for a husband. If someone falls into my lap and we have a great experience, I'll pocket it and keep it tight and and appreciate it. I just don't need any preconceived notions put on me. For example,

Single, Young Mom: "Oh well she's probably looking for something serious. She's looking for a husband or someone to take care of her and her daughter."

That's all bullshit. I'd rather have something serendipitous happen. I'd rather have fun. And I am building a newfound pride in myself that I can take care of both myself and Claire without a man by my side, I don't need a him. I want to want. I don't want to need. 

And I do want.  I want someone to tell me that I'm being an asshole when I'm being an asshole and who actively supports my ideas. 

I want someone that will travel with me. And be excited about it.

I want someone who doesn't care that I'm not super domesticated but appreciates my eye for aesthetics. Knowing what the word aesthetics means would be a giant plus.

I want someone that will take me to the batting cages. And not have a chip on their shoulder when I'm a hell of a lot better.

I want someone that doesn't expect me to cook a lot, at least not meaty dishes because I don't eat meaty dishes and touching raw meat freaks me out.

I want someone with passions of their own and not only talks about them but pursues and participates in them.

I want someone that likes the rain as much as I do. It's so easy to thrive off the sunshine, it's harder to have clarity when you can't see straight.

I want someone that will push me and not let me sit idly watching time slip away. All of that time could be used to chase a dream or finish a project or do something worth remembering, I want someone that appreciates that notion.

I want someone that will speak up about their feelings and not be a giant wimp and miss the boat. There are too many men in my present life that give me those vibes. Your time is now, say it. Say whatever you want to me. Say everything that went unsaid.

A decade ago I was taking every day as it came and living the hell out of each hour. I didn't stay locked up so far inside my head. So I'm taking some advice from my teenage self and finding her again. I can hit the reset button as many times as I want until I feel comfortable. But my head, all that was tightened with a key, it's all out now. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

I Think I'm Done

Freshly showered, I grabbed some sweats and threw them on to run out the door. He was waiting in the driveway. I didn't care about my hair. I didn't care about wearing any makeup. I may have sprayed some Love Spell on before I walked out though, at least smelling attractive was something I could try to pull off in those five minutes. 

I hadn't heard from him in a few weeks. Instead, he just decided to call and tell me he was on his way to pick me up. And I've been weak. I haven't argued or challenged him, instead I've just been doing what he wants, when he wants it and that's not me. It's also not what I deserve. But I was giving him this chance. 

 "Get in," he shouted at me through the window. 

 I hopped in the passenger seat. I slammed the door. And I turned to look at him.  "What," I asked. 

He creeped closer but I scooted away. He grabbed the collar of my shirt and pulled me closer. Then he slid his hand to the back of my neck, a spot it frequented. 

 "Stop being stubborn, " he said.

 I rolled my eyes and he kissed me. This time it wasn't a soft start or a question. His mouth moved to my neck and all I could think about was how the stubble on his chin tickled or gave me chills when he hit the right spot. I found the strength to push him away though. 

"You're one to talk. I haven't heard from you and I have no idea why," I nearly yelled. 

Sitting up straighter in his seat, he smoothed out his hair, "It's hard to explain." 

I asked, "Do you want to try?" He didn't answer me right away. He put on his seatbelt and started driving.

I sat with my arms crossed for a while until I realized where we were heading. That same church parking lot he broke down a bit with me before; we pulled into it and stopped. 

He broke the silence, "We were talking about furthering things." 

"Yes, so you decided to ignore me," I asked. 

He didn't answer me though, he just looked at me. He ran his hands through his hair and stared out the windshield.

"You were the one that initiated all of that though," I said confused.

He smirked and let out a sarcastic laugh, "No, that wasn't how it went at all." 

"Oh really, because it sure seemed that way to me," I replied.

"Grace, don't for one second play it off like you weren't going towards the same thing I was." 

I sat there a bit stunned and feeling like I was living in some form of the twilight zone. This was the person that flipped all of my preconceived notions and put effort into getting to know me. He put effort into showing me that age didn't have to matter. He put effort into proving me wrong about small, worrisome doubts that kept me from opening up. Of course I was going towards the same thing he was. But that was my point, he was going towards them too.

I turned to him, "I'm confused. You either want me around or not. You either want to talk to me or not. But popping in and out without rhyme or reason isn't going to work for me." 

And then he started driving again and it was silent and it was uncomfortable and I was frustrated and hopelessly torn. What happened to the mature man I was talking to? What happened to the one who made me laugh and gave me an excited feeling I couldn't pinpoint ever feeling before? 

My arms were crossed and my eyes were closed once we pulled back into my driveway. He was still silent. 

"Are you going to say anything to me at all," I asked.

Silence. He was present, but he wasn't present anymore. There was nothing. The entire situation was nonsensical. In that hour this two-way street became a complete waste of time. The chemistry between two strangers, the right amount that could really ignite a spark was minimized to nothing. 

But then he took off his seatbelt and let up the console. He pulled me over to him by tugging at my thigh and started kissing me again. I denied him at first, that's what I'm best at. I gave in though. I gave in completely. 

Then the silence started creeping in to my mind. Why wasn't I worth an answer or a conversation? I stopped him. No matter how good his hands around my waist felt. No matter how good his fingers tracing my spine felt. No matter how much more I wanted from him when he pulled at the drawstring of those awful Gap sweatpants I decided to slip into before I flew out the front door, I couldn't continue this with a silent person. 

I stopped him. 

"I think I'm done," I said. And he just looked at me.

So I gathered my things and I got out of the car. I silently hope he would follow me. I would have let him in and gave him the night. But he didn't. Instead, he waited until I got inside and shut the door. And then he left. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

30 Minutes

Thirty minutes of his time tonight made my previous 14 hours so different.

"I feel weird," I said on the phone.

"I could make you feel weirder and stop by for a few minutes?" He says it like a question.

My hair is bigger than it was 14 hours ago. It's messy. My eyeliner is smudged in a non-purposeful way. I'd really love a shower. But I didn't care. I just said ...

"Sure, why not?"

This is not the man that I had been talking with before. The one who has been creeping into my dreams and I've been writing about and including real text from our conversations for you all to read. This is someone new, but old. This is someone present and very aware.

I wish that other one, the new one, was present and aware. I took for granted the short time that he was. And I hate that I wish that because here it is, something that could be really great, right in front of my face and all I feel is ... weird.

That's how I've always kind of felt when someone liked me and I didn't like them back and I didn't know what to do with my hands or my face and I just kind of freaked out and would pretty much say this entire run-on sentence in one giant breath like, "ohmyGodIdontwanttomakeyoufeelasweirdasIdobutpleasedonttouchmethanks."

Although, I don't mind this hunk of a man touching me in the slightest. And I should probably give him some type of chance. He doesn't live here either; just my luck. He's back in our college town. He is my friend though. Our quiet chats about Call of Duty in stat impressed him enough, actually that cannot be true because it was just my sarcasm about the game that I pretended to play with thou who shall not be named that got me through those conversations. I'm pretty sure it was just my constant use of the word "noob" that tickled him in the right places.

I have no idea when I'll see him again. Coffee was nice. His attention to my ring finger and the kiss on my neck, all of that isn't easily forgettable but neither were the feelings, or actually, the instinct and excitement I had about someone else. That's the predicament we all have though right? We compare and contrast instead of just taking someone as they are and making an opinion based off of him or her and him or her alone.

I won't say I walked away from this little meetup confused because I am not confused about my feelings or what I'll eventually want. I definitely know what I need. But that predicament pops up again, the one that so many of us have. We want what we shouldn't want. We want what we really don't need. Or at least that's the conclusion I'm coming to based on the past few weeks. I need someone that is mature enough to communicate their feelings. I want someone that will finish an argument when both of us have had our say. And I really wouldn't mind someone that kept their word no matter how small that is. I'm in no rush. I'm just learning. All of these thoughts were just compacted into a quick 30 minute conversation that I walked away from feeling a bit relieved.

I'm still hoping for that new one to meet the expectations he seemed to have made for himself. But that hope is very slim because I'm not stupid. I'm not stubborn either though, at least not about these things, and I don't live in denial. You want me, I'm here. You want to talk to me, I'm here. You just have to let me know. And this one is letting me know, this one with the beard who smells a bit like magic.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Don't Be The Guy

"We would have dated back in college but you always had that ding-a-ling stuck up your ass."

Okay so those may not have been the most romantic of words, but they were still warmly welcomed. I knew him in college. We joked around all of the time. He copied off of me in statistics and was an old roommate of thou who shall not be named. It should be mentioned that he got an A in stat, you're welcome. 

Coffee in his truck and talking about the stars and the conspiracies we've both read about time travel, he didn't have those eyes or that smirk that I had been thinking about for a few weeks but he did have a solid beard and great taste in cologne. He kissed my forehead. He kissed my cheek. We hugged tightly and he kissed my neck. He said, "Yeah, I didn't know how far along we were here," when he realized nothing else was happening. I giggled.

 He's incredibly attractive but there was nothing inside that made me want more, at least not yet. That kind of upsets me though because he did something that struck a nerve. Touching my ring finger ever-so-lightly a few times throughout the night he'd say, "what an idiot," or "I knew something was off about him." That last touch though, "this won't be empty for long Grace," got me thinking...

Don't be the guy that loses her because he won't open his mouth. He and I had been talking about this. What if he had said something to me six years ago? I had a crush on him then. He would wave and be flirtatious with me but I had a boyfriend and had absolutely no clue that he would have been interested in me otherwise. He told me I was oblivious to all signals. He told me that I'm terrible at realizing when there's a man looking at me in a way that's more than just "Hey, you're just another human and I'm not attracted to you." Apparently I need lessons in all of the above. 

Don't be the guy that gets scared of his own feelings, or the woman he's talking to and her feelings and stops everything without an explanation. Why ruin something worth the experience because you're too fearful of a conversation? You have no idea how much respect and effort you'll get from the other person when you add a bit of humility to your everyday life. 

Don't be the guy that loses her because you think there might be something better or easier. This just makes you a complete dumbass. Nothing easy is worth your time, including people. And you'll realize when nothing better comes along that you had the best right in front of you. That's how life works, in fact, that's how karma works. 

Don't be the guy that's known for his flakiness or his disappearance. Mr. MIA isn't the guy who gets loyalty. He's the guy that gets that shit thrown right back into his face, which is a shame because those are the ones that need it the most. The ones with chips on their shoulders and bitterness swirling throughout their hearts, they need the loyalty the most and won't get it if they're pegged as unreliable. 

He told me I was different now though. He said that I seemed to have more confidence and it was "very attractive." I responded, "No, I think I'm just more comfortable with myself now." 

"Grace, that's pretty much the definition of confidence," he said.

"Touche," I replied.

He told me that he saw the fire in my work. He said that was "very attractive" as well. And I in turn found it incredibly attractive that he noticed and he liked it and he wasn't freaked out by the thought of this offbeat path I was trying to pave. He says so many right things that I only hope that I end up feeling the right ways. Right now he's still just the dude that lived next door and played a lot of Playstation and smelled like beer. But he's also the dude that ran into me on Cardiac Hill one morning when it was raining and made me fall flat on my butt. In turn he then walked me to my history class, waited til it was over, bought me coffee and kept his arm around my shoulders the entire time. I never forgot that and always wondered why he did it. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Teacher

“Why can’t we just travel and have fun?”

That question always lingered in the back of my head since the day he asked it. Because that’s what I knew was next in my life; all of the traveling that I wouldn’t have gotten to do otherwise. And there he was, a person beside me to make all of those experiences even more exciting.

My response was simple and confident, “We totally could.”

So when the day finally came when it was time to actually take a trip with him, low and behold, I was nervous again. That excitement and anxiousness around him hadn’t faded yet. And I didn’t want it to because when I become too comfortable, I become bored and I never wanted to be bored again.

This time it was my car. There wasn’t a carseat or dolls thrown around in the back. I didn’t have my little pal singing along or dancing with me as we drove to and from my house and my parents’, instead I was given the freedom to figure out what was happening between me and the unlikeliest of partners. A weekend completely alone with someone that intrigued me more than anyone else I had ever met. But I was over the mystery of it, he was here and now it was time to crack some codes.

He stole my keys and went to start the car. I grabbed some bottles of water out of the fridge, locked up the front and strolled out to the passenger seat. The trunk was packed. And he was messing with the stereo. I opened the car door and slid in as he turned up the volume. When I recognized the song, Sittin’ At a Bar by Rehab, I gave him a quick side glance.

“Lose the attitude, we haven’t even pulled out of the driveway yet,” he demanded.


“Okay baby, let’s go,” he said with his signature smirk as he turned out onto the road.

I gave him another funny look. He never used pet names. It was rare. He knew what I was thinking, “Don’t get all giddy now that I called you baby. Keep your panties on.”

“Oh yeah, I just cannot contain myself right now,” I replied.

He was grabbing my thigh again and he turned to look at me, “It’s easy to get drunk off my words Grace.”

I laughed obnoxiously, “Leave the metaphors to me.”

“I get an A for that one, it was good."

“Maybe you get an A for effort but that’s about it,” I snapped back.

He was glaring at me, stalled on my road, “This isn’t new age curriculum. You don’t get an A just for effort.”

I was too quick for him though, “You do when I’m the teacher.”

He laughed a bit and I felt his hand traveling farther up my leg, “Stop, you’re turning me on.”

“Everything turns you on. Now drive.”


He would stop at the most random spots. And buy the most random bits to remember the moment. A seashell wind chime that cost too much and served zero purpose, a copy of his favorite Stephen King novel from a gas station in the middle of nowhere because it had cover art he'd never seen before and postcards for me after recalling a time when I told him about my saved collection. I loved this part of him.

I didn't know exactly where we were going. He kept it all a secret. I didn't care. It was enough to just be with him and soak in what that was like. His terrible taste in music and food, for example. But I was learning to ache for his hands, because he always found a way to touch me. Even when he was being a smart ass or giving me a hard time, reassurance came with a hand on my hip or a squeeze  of my arm. He consciously suppressed his affection or romantic parts but they'd surface in ways he didn't realize like in the way he handled me or in the intense way he would talk.

Check-in at the hotel came and went and we were back in bed again with a flashback to that first night. My things were everywhere; clothes hanging out of the suitcase, lotion on the counter and my computer charging in the corner. His things were neat and tidy on the chair as if they'd been untouched. But that's kind of a metaphor for the two of us. I'm a bit disheveled at all times and he's precise ... crisp even.

"Get in." Another demand from him.

"Yes sir," I nodded as I started to climb under the sheets.

He laughed, "Correct answer."

"Oh shove off," I joked and turned away from him.

He rolled over. He was close because I could feel his breath on my neck and his hands sliding up my leg. He was laughing again.

"That's really not how this is going to work. And don't for a second pretend like you want it to be any way other than what we've been going towards."

Sometimes he would get a little stubborn. Sometimes he would come off as grouchy and cold, when I would even "for a second" harden up a bit. He needed it though, even when it was a joke or something lighthearted like this. He needed to make just as much effort as I was.

I started giggling this time and turned over to face him. And he was staring at me, like he was always staring at me in both real life and in my dreams. He would stare with intent and with focus and it would knock the breath out of me, just like it did in this moment.

"Stop," I said calmly, "stop trying to be a hard ass all of the time. Because there's not one second that will go by when I would pretend to not be in this or make you feel stupid for it."

He was holding onto my side, those hands I love were going back and forth between the curve of my waist and slope of my hip. And he continued to stare. And then he did something else he always did, he put his forehead to mine.

"This isn't a time to argue or whatever the hell we're always doing."

"Then what is it a time for," I asked.

"Ha," he laughed, "you're the teacher remember? You tell me."

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Fight You Through It

I traced the lines of his tattoo while he drove. I don't know anything about it other than the fact that I can obviously see what it is. I have no idea if there's a meaning to it or it covers something else. I just know that I really like having an excuse to touch him at all.

He was driving a bit fast. That didn't surprise me. His car had an earthy smell but it was highlighted by something else lighter. Maybe it was a bit of peppermint or maybe it was his cologne, but it was warm and inviting, to which he was neither.

He's always been quite cold actually. I could tell when he was softening a little and if I tried to crack anything open further he would ball up and put his armor back on. He had a soldier's spirit, that was obvious. With me, he would melt, just slightly, at times. But if he caught himself doing it, that was it. Silence. He didn't have to be a hard ass all the time. And I don't think he necessarily wanted to be, it was just a pattern and it was his protection and it was his comfort zone.

I had it out with him before we ever had this meeting. Before I was sitting comfortable in the passenger seat becoming a babbling idiot right in front of him, I was a babbling idiot on the phone out of sheer frustration. I'm not the woman you string along while you toy with options. I was determined to not have my time wasted no matter how I felt. So I consistently called him out on his shortcomings until he decided to do something about it. Stop dipping your toes in and either give me a shot or go away. I don't juggle men, I put effort where I'm interested and see where the chips fall. Fortunately, in this new universe, they fell in my favor.

We're still arguing but he's become consistent again. If I ask a question, I'll get some type of answer even when I don't want to hear what comes out of his mouth. If he says he's going to do something, he does it. And that's why I trust him. That's why when he's questioning me with a kiss I give in. That's why I let him tug on the lace straps that peek out from the neck of my dress. That's why I'm comfortable enough to lay next to someone brand new. At least in this series. In this universe.

I must have zoned out completely. I was hypnotized by the lines, still tracing.

"Grace," he shouted.

I jumped, "What?"

"Are we really doing this," he asked me.

I looked up from his arm, "Doing what," I asked.

"Me and you. What about all of that stuff?"

I sighed, a bit annoyed, "I don't know how much clearer I can be. I just don't care."

He pulled over into a church parking lot. My stomach dropped a little. There were no butterflies, more like a full on  fleet of hummingbirds. It wasn't even that excited nervousness that was happening. I was panicking. He was completely unpredictable. Was he about to just drop me off here and make me find a way home? Was he about to try and screw me in the back seat? Because, let's be honest, I cannot fit back there comfortably enough to do it right. We're both too tall and my hips are too wide for that mess. Was he about to finally open up and tell me how he felt? Obviously he liked me. But what was he thinking? That's the million dollar question.

We parked. And I waited. I turned my head away. I felt like I was intruding on some sort of private moment that he was having. Staring off into the distance, I could barely even hear him breath. My hands were clasped because I didn't know what else to do with them. I was probably holding my jaw so tight that you could hear my teeth grind. But then I heard his seatbelt unbuckle. Then I felt him inch closer. And then he was gripping my thigh and his other hand was at the back of my neck.

"Look at me," he said, a little softer than the norm. So I did.

"Grace, remember when I told you that you couldn't think about things so much? That you just have to live your life and in time things will come together?"

I nodded.

"I think I was scared of that myself. That when things came together for me then I would just have to live with them falling apart. Because they always fall apart."

I stopped him, "But you also told me that if you never take a chance you'll never know. And from that moment on I listened to you. I took a chance and fought you through it. Now we're here."

His smirk came back "You're right. I'm here. So I guess you're going to have to fight me through the rest of it too."



Thursday, October 6, 2016

Shut up. You Talk Too Much.

I wore that blush dress again. Different man, same dress. This time I didn't wear the sneakers. I wore the boots. 

It was already dark out because that's what happens when the season changes into autumn. The night falls early and everything is so much more inspired and mysterious and romantic, just like he is. 

I was leaning up against the columns in my dining room, waiting. I can't sit when I'm nervous. I can't eat when I'm nervous. Just about the only thing I can do when I'm nervous is talk. So I just leaned and tried to compose myself. 

He knocked on the door. And then he rang the doorbell. And then he knocked on the door again. Because he's also obnoxious. I smiled and walked over slowly, catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror. My hair was bouncy ... messy ... huge. I was good to go. 

"Took ya long enough," I squeaked as I opened the door.

He smirked, his infamous smirk, "I'm here aren't I? Lose the attitude."

"Are we already going to start arguing," I returned.

He threw his hands up and started backing down the stairs, "If I'm already going to get verbally abused, I'm out."

I rushed out the door and grabbed his arm to pull him back. He giggled and wrapped his arms around my waist forcing me back into the house. He closed the door with his foot and there I was, leaning against the column again taking him all in. Thick eyebrows, blue eyes that have too many secrets and not enough time to share them all, crooked ears, a shadow on his chin, I was nervous again. Because he makes me nervous. His face makes me nervous. The way his eyes always look like their focused on something far passed me makes me nervous. That damn smirk makes me want to lose my mind. 

We weren't even talking. We were just giggling. His hand rested above my head on the column and his other arm still circled my waist while he buried his face in my neck. I was just enjoying the moment. He was here. I could feel him. I could smell him. And now I could maybe, possibly figure all of this out. Whatever this is.

"If you're not going to kiss me can we leave?" I blurted.

He grabbed my face in his hands, "Shut up. You talk too much." 

His kisses never start off strong. I've learned that now. They're soft and questioning. He would never ask for permission with his words, instead he does it like this. Are you ready? Do you want to go further? I can read it all with one touch. I have no idea why he's still doing it though, I've never turned him down before and it's not likely in the future. 

He stopped though and touched his forehead to mine. Staring down at what seemed to be the floor. "What are you doing," I asked. 

"I'm trying to see down your shirt. Show me your tattoo."

I laughed, "If you're a good boy, maybe later." He tugged on the lace straps peeking out from the neck of my dress and I slapped them away. I grabbed my purse and headed to the door without him. 

"I like my coffee black, just so you know," he said. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Then I Wait

Black and white. The room was dark. It was a bit blurry and we were teasing each other. He wasn't blurry though. He was clear, precise, intimidating...almost.

He was already in bed, giving me a hard time. My friend found a drawer full of phone numbers he had and Claire was giggling in the corner. But she got the hint and took her home.

"Burn them," he said as she walked towards the door. She took them and nodded.

I gave him the paper he had asked me to complete. It had one question on it. I asked him, "Are you seriously making me fill out a worksheet right now?"

"Yes, I've got to make sure you're worthy."

"That's not how it works though. I have to make sure that you're worthy," I replied.

He smirked, "Isn't that what we've been doing to each other for months now?"

I rolled my eyes. I was curled up at the foot of the bed. There was a mirror in the corner catching the back of my legs and the slant of my back. He kept glancing in that direction thinking he was smooth enough to look without me knowing.

It was finally just us and he was giving me that damn smirk again. I got up on my knees and went to him. I slid under the blankets and fit perfectly right beside where he lay.

He's so tall and so lean and my soft curves were warmly welcomed. I felt as much. My head rested in the crook of shoulder and as I looked up at him, he was giggling at me once again. His arm was around me and his hand was grazing the back of my shorts.

Finally he bent down and gave me the softest kiss. But I wanted more. I needed more and stretched to him. Nothing about it was awkward. There was no time needed to find the perfect rhythm. It happened instantaneously as if it was meant to all along and we had been working too hard against fate.

My hands were in his hair and then stroking his back. His hands were gripping my hips and tugging at my shorts. It was comfortable but passionate, what I had been missing for so long.

"I'm not going to be back for long," he whispered.

"I knew that already."

He sighed, "And what happens when I leave?"

"Then I wait for you to come back."

"Don't be a smartass. Women can't handle it," he replied.

Annoyed, I climbed on top of him and made him sit up to look me straight in the eyes.

"How many times must I prove to you that I am not most women? I waited until you got here. I"ll wait until you're back again," I said without a doubt or a dip in my tone.

He grabbed the back of my neck and kissed me again. 

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