Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Worth the wait. (pt.1)

It was a boy’s night. Not so much in the no-girls-allowed sense, but in the sense that everyone else there had known each other since childhood, and so my familiarity with them since high school paled in comparison. The night started out with the three of us going out for our first legal drink as a group. Not that we hadn’t been 21, but just that we hadn’t been 21 and all together in one place ever before. So we went to our favorite pub and sat at our favorite table and all flirted with our favorite waitress. I’d forgotten that the boys can’t hold their liquor, so three beers in, they were giggling and trying to maintain their balance on the barstools while I realized I’d become the designated driver. We paid our insanely cheap tab (god bless $2 you-call-its) and filed out the door and into the night air that was that perfect temperature where you can’t feel its presence on your skin.

We laughed as we ran across the middle of the state’s busiest street to get back to the Jeep A had been driving, and he tossed me the keys. Without discussing it, A took the passenger side and relegated J to the back seat. I realized I didn’t need to adjust the seat and J made some comment about A and I being basically the same size, which I thought was funny for some reason. I checked the mirrors and pulled out into the bustling night while A fiddled with the radio because I couldn’t figure it out. Something came on and A and I started singing (which might have been an indicator that I really shouldn’t have been driving, since I don’t sing in public anymore, and especially not in front of people like A, who is one of the most talented musicians I’ve had the pleasure of meeting). J said someone sounded off-key and I immediately clammed up and took the blame. He chuckled and said no, it sounded like it was A. A was too drunk to take offense.

As I made a concerted effort to stay within the striped white lines, we made our way to pick up D, who I hadn’t seen in years. We pulled up to the field and he appeared over a hill and climbed into the back seat with J. There were greetings all around, and we confirmed that we needed to swing by the liquor store before making our way back to A’s. Yes, more liquor is what we needed.

After waiting entirely too long for A to go in to the store and pick up a 12-pack, he bounced back into the car and I drove us the rest of the short distance back to his house. It felt good to be going there again, especially since I was driving and, as silly as it seemed, I felt like it made me important, like it made me part of something. Part of them, I guess. And in any case, I was sure any lingering awkwardness I felt about being the only girl in the house and the “newbie” (although I’d known them all for six years) could easily be drunk away with a few of the margaritas A had promised me when we got back to his house.

We quickly made ourselves comfortable on the back patio, half-covered, but still big enough to see the gorgeous and clear night sky. The four of us sat around, drinking and chatting. A sat across from me on a bench with D, and I tried not to stare. After all, I’d been staring and flirting for years, and it had gotten me precisely nowhere. A made-up bed downstairs in a room to myself. That’s how close to him I’d ever gotten. (Which is only partially true. When he used to stay at my house, he’d sleep in my bed, and there had been moment, like when we'd wake up next to each other and talk about art and literature and music for hours still lying in bed... but that was all.) I was another margarita and a half into the night, and not staring was getting progressively harder. He went back inside to get another beer for himself, and took the long way so he could come by me. Standing behind my chair, he put his hands on my shoulders, and I tilted my head straight back to be able to look at him. He rubbed my shoulders, said something innocent and furiously innocuous. Smiled at me and went inside.

Then the boys decided they wanted to smoke. I don't smoke. Well, I say that and what I really mean is I don't make a habit of it. It's taken me a long time to get over some trust issues that came about from a time when I was terribly stoned and made to do something I didn't want to do. So I only smoke with people I trust.

But no one had a pipe. So A went inside to get an apple so someone could make one. I still don't understand how that works, but I know that as he walked back outside and handed the apple to J, he came by my chair again and ran his fingers through my hair, tied up in a messy bun. J had finished the pipe, and loaded the greens. I think they gave them to me, since they were all surprised I was willing to smoke. In all honesty, I'd been having a good night, and the margaritas weren't doing the trick, so I wanted to keep the energy going.

And did it ever work, holy shit. Shortly after we'd finished with the apple, D brought out his guitar. And then A took it from him and started playing. It wasn't a song, really, just freestyle. But the combination of the booze, and the weed, and sound coming from A's fingers as he strummed and picked and pressed, and watching him sway with the music, I was lifted out of my body in the most euphoric feeling I've felt in a LONG time. I couldn't take my eyes off him if I tried. Not that I bothered. There was another one of those moments. He lifted his eyes from the instrument, without missing a note, and met my stare. Neither of us flinched. Just looked into each other. I shivered in the 60 degree weather and took a deep breath as I drafted my eyes downward.

The next few hours were a blur. We all had a few more drinks, made a 1 a.m. breakfast. J passed out on the couch. D decided he wanted to ride A's bike home (which was a solid 5-10 miles). A was all too happy to oblige. With both of the others out, A and I started doing dishes from the breakfast. A was washing and I was... collecting things and bringing them to him? I don't remember. I do remember thinking I was about to suggest going into the hot tub, but thinking better of it. Don't want to seem overeager. And after all, not 24 hours early, I'd told my friend that I'd given up on A. I was sticking to it. He was just drunk and being courteous earlier. He always is. Courteous, that is. Not drunk. A had something like one more dish to finish washing, so I wandered back out to the patio.

The night was crisp and had cooled just slightly, so the air brushed against my skin, and for the first time I thought it was silly that I was wearing a tank top. I looked up and realized the moon was resting just above the house - white and radiant and full. The blue-black sky was lit up with stars, and I'd forgotten that just a mile outside the city, you can actually see the stars. I stretched my legs out in front of me and leaned back on my arms. Inhaled the cool night air and just...existed. And then I heard his footsteps come around the corner.
"S? Are you out here?"
"Yeah, right here A."
"What'cha doing?"
"Oh, nothing. Looking at the moon."
"Can I join you?"
"Of course!"
He sat next to me on the ground and crossed an arm over mine, sitting in the same position I was. For several minutes, we didn't say anything. I stole glances at him from the corner of my eye, turning my attention back to the sky whenever I thought he was looking. And I swear, more than once, I felt him do the same. Finally, as I glanced his direction once again, I was met full-on by his blue eyes looking at me. Not looking away. I decided to see if I could play this game. His eyes pierced through me and I felt that shiver return at the base of my spine. He spoke under his breath, not to me. "Yeah, I have to do this."

I didn't have time to process what he'd said. He brought his hand to my cheek and pulled my face to his. Placed his lips on mine, gently. Then with a little more force. Bit my lip just the tiniest. It was perfect. And sweet. And sensual. And literally took my breath away. As he pulled away, I couldn't catch my breath (even as I write this, I have to remember to breathe). I was completely speechless. I think I stammered out something like "" or, more likely, under my own breath, "holy shit."
As I looked at him, I'm sure with total shock on my face, he just smiled calmly at me. Smirking just the slightest. And then he pulled me back in and kissed me again.

1 comment:

Rogue said...

Outstanding. Moments like that are what life is for.