Startled, I hear a strong but quiet knock at the door. I save my writing, and stand. Butterflies flitter in my stomach, chest, head, legs. Deep Breath. I step to the door and open it to see your face. You smile at me and the butterflies settle. You reach for my face and I think I hear you say hello, but I can't be sure... You reach for my face and before I know it, your lips are pressed against mine. Your locks fall around my face, and I grab onto your bony hips. I feel your hands on my chin, neck, chest, legs, hips, and toes all at once.
The me that used to be the one you should fear escapes out the door with the wind, and I feel a deep grounding circulating through my heals, feet, toes.
Your chocolate skin warms the air and brings a tingle to my lips, and I find myself smiling as I talk and listen, for no reason other than that warmth... For a split second, my mind flashes back to her. I think about that text I sent to my friend when it finally hit me: I think I am dating Don Draper. She had already said more than once, as you had as well, "You deserve more." But that seemed like such an elusive thing.... she doesn't know that loving you is the worst way to get to you, I think.... and my body returns to this moment. My skin chills with the temperature change, and your warmth comforts me like that feeling of lowering into a hot bath.
Music floats from the computer, and we revel in the lightness of its being. I remember that feeling of the weight of music lingering around the ground like smoke from a fire... not the sweet smoke of chemistry or, goddess knows, love.... the kind of smoke that is a warning; the kind of smoke I always ignored; The kind of smoke I know will eventually kill me, unless I finally stand up and walk out. But the music tonight, though from the exact same Pandora stations, fills me with happiness and fire.... the kind of fire I know is returned. The kind of fire I deserve.
The night progresses and I am present for every exhale and every pause; every glance and every laugh. After what feels like a marathon of connection, I lie against your chest, feeling the whole night. You reach for my hand and we both glance at our intertwined fingers. From outside eyes, my fingers look so pale against the richness of your grip; yours so dark against mine. But from my perspective, it looks like the most beautiful knitting I have ever seen. Dark weaving between light; light between dark... intertwined on my red sheets. I pull the blanket of our fingers up over our naked bodies of black and white, and the rainbow they become... and I sleep.
I am home.