She throws a darting eye to her quivering knee and back over her fidgeting fingers. Her lower lip, which is slightly smaller than her top lip, is jutting out further than usual and I can see it searching for the words she is planning to start with.
“Can I tell you something?” Yes you can, but no you may not! Is what I want to say but I’m a reserved English man, pretending to be a reasonably adjusted member of society, talking to his girlfriend. Instead, I just smile and try to cover my steely eyes with her prettiness.
I lean in with my stumpy coarse man-hands and stroke her leg. She starts speaking and interrupts my thoughts with her words.
“Shhh…” I soothe her. Smooth her hair in my hand and think about running the soft strands at the nape of her neck through my fingers.
I will listen and she will sob and we will be close but she will hate me a little bit in the morning when she remembers that I am still a git. I study the slanted oblong shadow that curves around the hollow of her neck, I think about the tiny mole just peeking out of her vest top shuddering with her sobbing breath. This is her truth.
She is beautiful when she is disarmed. I could take her now, smother her face in my shadow and cover her breath with my lips. I don’t even care for the story she is telling, the secret she is spilling is not new, even though I’ve not heard it before. She wears every tear, scratch and tumble in the lines that prop up her proud and deserving smile. That’s why I liked her – she looked not like a winner, more like someone who had salvaged something from the defeat; made the most of the brokenness.
I brushed a cracked and dirty thumb over grooves that move and speak of where she has been and I loved her again, I always loved her most like this. I kiss her hard until the cries cease, until she goes limp in my arms, and I feel satisfied, knowing she is prepared to be conquered again.