This isn’t a story about what happened. It’s a story about what didn’t happen.
For a moment the only sound in the room was a needle scratching against vinyl. The near silence, a breath of anticipation between two songs, broke gently with low, plaintive words.
My body is a cage…
How appropriate, she thought from her spot on the floor, where her legs had been curled under her for so long that they ached and longed to stretch. She remained seated. There were no bars, but the room enclosed her, and she was staring through her invisible restraints, watching him smoke from the confines of a faded armchair.
That keeps me from…
The room was hot, sticky with humidity of a southern summer, and surrounded by dark windows. A bare lightbulb overhead threw shadows into the corners, but it was light enough that she could make out the sheen of moisture across his forehead and down the sides of his neck. He drew on the cigarette and blew smoke out of his nostrils and lips in a fast-moving stream. She felt a trickle of sweat trace a path down her neck, past her collar, and down her spine, leaving a shiver of desire in its path. Her heart sped up a beat and she felt dizzy. It was hard to breathe.
dancing with the one I…
Love. Why was that so hard to say? Why was it so hard to just be honest?
but my mind holds the key…
Her hands wanted to reach across the short space between them and touch him, his hand, his jean-clad leg, it didn’t matter where. Her head was spinning and the words of the song faded into the background as she stood, pausing for a moment when he looked up and into her eyes. Neither one blinked. She realized she was holding her breath and let it out, parting her lips. What would happen if she just gave in? He stood up, putting the cigarette out in an over-filled ash tray perched on the tattered arm of the chair. Neither looked away.
…you’re standing next to me…
Every inch of her skin felt pricked and alert, feeling the air, feeling the pulse of the music, feeling waves of heat and longing rolling off of his body, beating into hers like waves at high tide. The room was spinning, the music building to a crescendo. She reached out a hand, fingers extended, just shy of where his hung beside his leg, clenched tight, but drew it back, “I should go.” He didn’t speak a word, didn’t tell her to stop or to stay or to get out and never come back.
…my mind holds the key
She turned to the door and had it open in the space of two steps before his hand on her wrist was turning her, shutting the door.
My body is a –
The music exploded around them as his body crashed into hers like thunder. His lips were everywhere, on her face, on her mouth, on her neck, and lower. Her hands were encouraging, grasping, pulling harder and exploring the familiar shape of him. He lifted her against the wooden door, its surface tattooing her back, and her legs wrapped around his waist, caging him. He spun her around and then they were falling. They were on the chair, thrashing against the cushions. Then they were on the floor, shifting the rug. They were discarding shirts and pants, freeing their bodies from the restraint of fabric, feeling the air bless their skin with oscillating kisses from the fan. In a desperate, hurried moment, their bodies found each other, sliding together as one in a well-known dance. He tasted the same, like coffee and smoke, felt the same, moved the same inside her; he moved her. She let the emotions wash over her and wash away. She let the pressure of his hands against her hips and her back and her legs flood her thoughts. And as their heavy breaths mingled together through open mouths, lips almost touching, eyes locked together, they shattered like stars in the night sky.
Set my body free
The final notes lingered in the air.