My apologies for falling off the grid. A tough week. We all have them and when you face yours, I wish you all the best. I had a hero on my side in a stupid battle this week and I hope that you have one in yours when you need them. 🧡 I may give us all a song for heroes tomorrow…..er…oops today.
Just the Thought of You
I would tuck myself into him, have his arm curl around my shoulders, feel his lips against my temple, sigh into his whispered words, if he would let me.
Next door I hear them sing, his voice, his guitar elusive yet embracing as it curls around me in ways I wish he would.
I whisk a sponge over dishes, watch soap bubbles evaporate, and sing softly into the stream of air conditioning that cools the top of my head. If he would ever look at me the way he looks at her. If he would ever write a song about me like the songs he writes for her. If he would string words together for me. If. If. If.
It’s not the song.
It’s not the look.
I toss down the sponge and grip the sides of the sink.
Why are any of us here? To live? To die?
If I told him how I felt, what’s the worst that could happen? A new job? A new life?
I’m young enough that those are acceptable solutions.
And now, standing in the doorway, watching him, his fingers deftly moving over guitar strings, effortlessly. What would it be like to have those fingers on me? His lips that frame beautiful words and songs on my throat, behind my ear, on the side of my eye. Those lips.
The music stops abruptly, loosening me from my daydream as I stand there wordless.
“Chloe?” he asks. “Are you okay?”
Can a face shrivel from embarrassment? All of them look at me, expectantly.
And, she is there in the corner, her venomous red nails perched on the side of the armchair like a tiger waiting to attack. She glances at me, boredom echoing with each blink of her fake eyelashes.
“I—” I begin.
“Must we, Stephen? She’s the help,” she says.
My teeth bite down on my upper lip, unrealizing that my eyes are beseeching, until he sets his guitar aside, her sigh echoes through the studio, and he wraps his fingers around my wrist, drawing me onto the verandah.
“What is it, Chloe?” he asks, his voice brandy and honey, a concoction to drown my waning spirits in.
“I’m in love with you and I think I need to quit.” I think the words come out all stringed together and that he’ll never understand, and I can only be the better for that.
Instead, he grins, leans forward until his forehead rests on mine. “Did you just say you love me?”
“Oh, god. Can you die from excruciating embarrassment?”
“Chloe? Do you love me?”
I glance up now. His lips curve, his blue eyes sparkle and all I can imagine is that he’s laughing. At me. I glance away and try to shrug away his grip, but he tightens it.
“Chloe, what if I told you that every song I’ve written in the past seven months has been about you?”
My eyes meet his. “I’d say you were lying.”
“And, yet I’m not.”
I shake my head. “They’re about her,” I say jerking my head back toward the studio.
He draws me closer. I can smell the cinnamon candy he likes, his woodsy, piney scent, the essence of Stephen that I’ve fallen in love with.
His lips caress my temple. “You’re the butterfly, the delicate whisp of breeze in spring, the scent of clove and lavender and lily of the field.”
I bury my face in his neck. “This isn’t a lie?”
“No where close,” he whispers against my brow. “You’re my golden sunrise. My lavender sunset. You’re the daffodil daylight.”
“That last might be a bit much,” I say, my lips moving against his chin.
“Not for me. Never for me”