“It is rather brooding, yet somehow a passion flows through,” he thought aloud. “Yes, it does seem like that doesn’t it?” she agreed. Her brows furrowed in slight frustration. “I really want to get this right; the emotions in this piece can be so tedious to listen for, it would slip right past the audience if there is no accurate introduction to it.” She leant against the wall, letting the music slip into her consciousness, feeling his presence. He’d wanted to hear the song to get a better picture of its mood so she brought it over that day.
The music swelled and rose as his fingers traced her hair to her cheek, and he felt her breath on his fingertips as he touched her lips. He placed his mouth on hers, tasting her breath. “I know the passion in this song,” he said.
“I knew you would.”
Twenty-third December. They were on the way to lunch with two of his close friends; it didn’t seem that insane that she had just known him the day before. “Here’s my number – remember it now,” he grinned. She watched as his finger pressed the dials on the public phone… nine..three..one..six..seven..six..eight..one.. slowly, surely. “Aren’t you gonna write it down for me?” she asked. He smiled. Then, her hand in his, they crossed the road together.
Twenty-fourth December. “It was all a lie – I just wanted to bed you. Forget about me.” The tears couldn’t stop streaming down her face. “No, I don’t believe you! Don’t leave me… please don’t go.” The pain was so intense and so real, piercing right through the heart. All she could do was cry while he remained silent on the other line. After what seemed like a long time, he broke the silence, his voice cracking with stifled tears. “Forgive me… please, don’t cry. I just… don’t wish to see us suffer for what we are headed for.” She had died then resurrected with his words, and it was all she remembered.
Days passed, he in her life, she in his.
She would go to his house when she had afternoon classes and spend the morning with him. They would have breakfast at the nearby café and chat long after. She shared her dream of living in a house amongst fields; he talked about how they’d live out their lives there together. She would tidy up his room while he worked on his assignments. He would read her the plays he wrote and make changes from the suggestions she gave. He would play on the piano and sometimes she would sing.
He would meet her after classes at the fast food joint near his school, and they would take long walks around his neighbourhood. He opened her heart to social work and to the simple pleasures in life. Some nights when the stars were out, they would lie in the middle of a field and he would point out where Orion’s Belt was.
Some evenings would find them back at his home, enjoying each other’s company as they watched the reddening of the sky before it turned dark. He would always walk her down, pushing ten dollars into her hand for the cab before it sped off.
She loved receiving messages from him on her pager: 1-177155-4 or simply with his number to return call. The latter almost always meant an arrangement to meet him, which she looked forward to. She loved the gentleness in his voice and manner, and knew the affection reflected in his eyes were real.
He was her soul as she was his, and they were one and the same. He would know what she wanted to say before she had even said it, and she would mirror his thoughts in her words. Though he never said it, she’d always known they knew, as if they had known each other for the longest time. He showed her what it was to love, and to be loved.
The melody surged and fell, and she felt the back of his hand brush against her skin. He reached within her dress as his shirt buttons came undone. Then she stopped, hesitating. He watched her intently. “We are not going there, alright? Trust me.” She nodded.
The melody pulsated as instruments joined in, adding to the colours and hues. She could feel his heartbeat as he pressed against her, slowly, then more urgently. She pulled him down to her, tasting the moistness on his skin, watching him gasp as the crescendo reached its climax, crashing against her, sweetly excruciating.
She looked up at him gazing down into her face with a trace of wonderment. As they lay together listening to the embers of the ending, she knew, for the first time she would have given in, if only he had asked.
If only he’d just ask.
– End of Act Two –