It’s raining outside. I can barely see anything. I hate the rain. It reminds me of you and the day you did things that woke my skin…and later everything else. You remember, don’t you? It doesn’t matter. I do.
We had had to sit through a long boring training that day. It had something to do with sexual harassment and acceptable work decorum. I was bored and I felt it was an absolute waste of everyone’s time because most people in that place were kinda just…you know how they were. I was going through a difficult time then, remember?! Because I was trying to quit smoking and sitting through that training did not help. So I asked to step out for a second. I remember how our supervisor was sitting closer to the door, watching everyone who left the room like a hawk and demanding for reasons for leaving the room like some kind of medieval executioner who loved his job too much and preferred not to grant people life. When he asked me why I had to step out, I stared back at him angrily, the nicotine levels in my blood already at devastatingly low levels, bored and pissed off out of my mind and said, “Unless you’d rather I bleed all over this place…” He let me out before I could go into detail and finish the monologue I had prepared to spew at him.
I went up to the ninth floor where they later put all the servers. At the time, they sat some of the accountants there, the interns especially. It was a sad little space and in the next room they had thrown multiple boxes of files and ruined furniture. I once found a mannequin in there. I’m not sure what they had used it for. It would have been useful in the sexual harassment training.
It was a cold, dusty little space. But it was the only place I could smoke without being stared at like a monster. It was perfect because it had that large window that looked out over part of the town. All the accountants were gone, stuck in that dumb training as well so I had the entire floor to myself. No noise, no voices. Complete peace and quiet. I took my time. I wasn’t in a hurry to get back to the training anyway besides lighting up my cigarettes was like a ritual for me. I didn’t like to rush it. The way the fire danced on my favourite lighter, how the tobacco lit up in hues of amber, those first draws of smoke that warmed up my chest, how the smoke rose and danced around in the air making these amazing forms before diffusing into the air right after I exhaled. It was all magic to me and it settled me.
Of course, you don’t remember those first details because you hadn’t snuck into my smoking room yet. By the time you walked quietly in with the stealth of a ninja I was done with my second smoke and was munching on a Snickers bar. It had been screaming for my attention all morning from my bag anyway and I had to try not to have another smoke. Switching one vice with another I suppose. I’m not sure if you’re just light on your feet or if I was completely engrossed in the movement of the traffic down below and how poetic the grey clouds looked as they gathered. Those were the days when I loved the rain. It always seemed to make so much stand perfectly still.
“Anything interesting outside that window?” you said something of the sort when you walked in and found me there, peacefully seated on that window pane that I always thanked God was large enough to accommodate my ass. Comfort is key when you’re hiding from your boss.
We already had this back and forth thing going on by then. We had flirted, gone out for drinks a couple of times and that one dinner date, which I must say I had actually not despised because that’s when I confirmed that I liked your company quite a bit.
I think I said something very cheesy and recluse like “Are you spying on me?” and yet something in me had leaped and remained blissfully suspended in the air when I saw you.
What did we talk about that morning? I’m sure we talked about how sucky our jobs used to get. Our dreams, I think, and how far we had got along those roads. I can’t really remember it all but what I do remember was how you seemed to bare bits of your soul without trying to seem perfect and completely together.
Then there was that tense silence that fell just as rain began to fall as well. There was something in the air around us and it was so palpable. You leaned in so close that I could smell your skin. You smelt musky and fruity and spicy. Just so bloody sexy. It’s like I could already taste you.
“I’m afraid to ask to kiss you…you might say no,” and I was afraid that you might hear how loudly my heart was beating and pounding against my chest.
And then you kissed me and you tasted like crème latte. I hoped I tasted like chocolate and nuts and not like Dunhill Cigarettes or something odd and out of place like cheese or ghee. Your hand roamed up my thigh, over my hip and round to my ass. Goosebumps. You whispered something that made every piece of my person famished for whatever passion was slowly trickling out of you.
And somehow we kept going beyond just that day on the ninth floor. It turned into days and months and then years of forehead kisses, whipped cream and neck nibbles. It turned into days and months and years of stolen glances, hearty laughter and long satisfying conversation. We kept going with that fascination for each other and not just with our bodies, but each other’s souls.
I stopped smoking and didn’t even realise it. Remember that?! I never even craved it. You called me love, my lovely, my sweet little fairy even though I found it corny and didn’t expect you to. You took me to your parents’ house and introduced me as your girlfriend even when I didn’t think we were doing the whole titles thing. Your mother and I had lunches and spa days together and I started to love her more than I love my own mother. And then I let it happen. I opened my heart a little more. We defined things and I as yours and you were mine.
So I don’t understand this, Dave. I don’t understand all these things I’ve been hearing lately that you’re getting married. I certainly don’t understand how you’re sitting there nodding your head and pursing your lips and looking around like a fucking idiot and saying, “Yes, Lulu…baby…I’m getting married.” I don’t understand how…you didn’t ask me.
Don’t tell me to keep it down because people are now looking! Is this why you brought me to a cafe to tell me to my face that you’re getting married?! Because you thought that I wouldn’t yell because of the crowd?! You know better than that.
Are you fucking kidding me?!
I need a smoke.
For those that have read a number of my short stories, you probably remember the one about Lulu in I don’t think I like my shoes, well here’s a part of her story. I’m sure if you piece it all together, you can envision this story with me.
So some people out there might be asking,”Where the hell have you been?” Well, I had gone to see a wizard about a spell. No, that’s not true. I was on a bit of a break.