The covers heavy against my chest as I feel the air sweep through me while she throws herself together. The soft red marks shine on her skin as she clips her bra. Romance, there of it being just a technicality for what someone may call drunken lust. I wanted to say I am sorry, but the thought of her making mistakes too kept me speechless. She ties her hair back after slipping on one of my shirts. I should apologize for the buttons that are scattered across the floor, but I don’t. Pulling her underwear up I watch the flower I want to disappear. The bed shifts as she sits on the end, I wait, I wait for her to button her pants so that I could unwrap her once again. I took the things she let me take, and gave the parts that she let me give. I watch her sleep, I want, I want to touch every part of her again and she knows that. She knew I wanted her and let me have what I asked for. Her uncovered hand grasps for nothing, in particular, I guess this is to say, for a single moment I wanted to be wanted too.

She stirs the bed again, but I bury my face into the pillow. I wait, I listen as she picks up the pieces that fit and don’t fit and stretch them over her figure. I hear her neck pop as she most likely stretches. Her pace was slow and painful, I fight the urge to reach for her, instead, I wait for her to reach for me. The door closes with an echoing boom that shakes me straight to my core. I roll over, pull a cigarette from the pack, and stare at the ceiling. The ash scatters across my chest, causing black smudges into the blankets and sheets. Then soon after there’s a knock at my door. Clawing at my pants, I in a way dress myself. I stop, hand frozen on the knob I peer through the peephole. There’s no one there. I swing the front door open, nothing awaits me, searching under the door mat but yet not a thing is found. I close the door and clean myself up, to go where I could be wanted, be it true or not.

The bright pink neon sign floods it’s corner with ugly light. I push the door open with my elbow and walk up to the machine with looping videos. I select the lady’s and it drops the key. More confidence, more stride to my step I unlock the door and step inside. Not seconds after I pull the flask from my front pocket the hidden door slides up and she emerges from the black curtain. My heart stops with hers, suspended in wonderment. Crashing together in the middle of the room we hug embracing the connection of our bodies, the want, the want to be close.

We sit at the awkward little table in the corner of the room. She smokes as I drink. “I really can’t believe you have some of these, they must have been pricey.” Red lipstick stains the butt as she peels it from her lips. She exhales with grace but is overcome by coughing. Crossing my fingers between hers I take the burning death stick. The burn adds to my fiery throat. “So what do you want to do to me tonight?” she asks tilting her head slightly. I take another drag and smoke barrier bellows out as I speak “What’s your name? Like your real name?” Her voice sounds innocent and sweet as she replies “My, my name is Yumi.” reaching she slides her hand over mine and takes the cigarette. “Well Yumi, have you ever seen a real sunset?” She takes several drags while trying to study my face. “In pictures.” I smile and she smiles, I take her small hand in mine and think of the place I loved as a child.

The sun creates an orange line over the lake as it prepares to set. Yumi yanks her hand from mine, flabbergasted she becomes a statue. About a minute later I lift myself up and offer my hand to her. “How is this? Where did, what, I?” she stumbles for the right words to explain the sensation of being in one time and place yet not even a whisper later being somewhere else. “We traveled through time, I wanted to show you a sunset, to really see it, all this with your own eyes.” I motion my hand towards the trees and lake, but instead of amazement I get scalded. “They warned me about people like you, how girls would just go missing! They made it illegal for a reason! I better not be stuck here Mister!” she finishes by standing and jabbing her finger into my chest. “We’re not stuck, we’re not, I can take you back when you want to go. But at least give it some time to sink in.” she storms off to sit on a log nearby. Giving her a moment I skip stones on the glimmering surface, one after another they bounce with perfect ease. Lost in the feeling of it all I don’t notice her come beside me. “I’m cold.” She says. The words surprise me as the rock goes flying into the tree line. With that last bit of light from the sunset I can see the little bumps on her skin.

The resources for the fire weren’t very hard to find. I take the flask out and hand it to her. “This will warm you up until the fire does.” Taking it she drinks, then drinks again. I steal glances at her exposed thighs, I feel awful so I say as much, “I’m sorry, I should have told you, but I was scared you would have said no. The fire should get going soon.” In a way to distract myself I look at the burnt silver lighter in my hand, the wisps of light from the flames gives it an awkward shine, an untrustworthy shine. She gives a little cough from the whiskey then speaks “So why me, I told you I didn’t need saving, I told you.” I look up from the lighter to meet her hypochromic eyes, they shine as well, but a good shine. “I never said I was saving you, just showing you…” her lips cut my words to muffles. The taste of mint and satisfaction lingers as our mouths part.

The heat wraps us as she gazes up at the stars. “There’s so many, what’s that one?” she asks pointing towards the sky. “Ursa Major.” I watch her for some time as she scans the heavens. “It’s all so pretty, kind of makes everything seems less urgent, less suffocating.” She plays with the right shoulder strap of her dress as I reply. “Yeah, it’s an excellent memento of how trivial things can be down here.” She leans against my arm. I shudder cries of pain. “I’m sorry!” she shouts while quickly removing her head from my arm. “It’s, ow, fuck, It’s ok.” I rub my arm in hopes the pain would dissipate. “What’s wrong, what happened to your arm?” she asks trying to roll up my sleeve. “Nothing, it’s, well this…” I cover my face with my hands and tell her all my secrets.

The fire begins to die down, and the chill to the air comes creeping in with the dark. With my head on her stomach, it bounces up and down as she speaks. “We should do this again. There’s just so many things I have yet to see, I want to see so much more.” I choke a little on the words but they come out soon enough. “I would like that.”

We dust the dirt and sticks from our clothes. Combing out her hair with her fingers as I drown the embers of the fire with sand. She takes my hand as I think of the place we once were. The fake skyline still sparkles in the window, as we return not seconds after we left. With the device still in my hand, I say my goodbyes. I start to think of home, of the dark rooms, before I finish the notion she takes me by the waist. “I thought you didn’t need saving?” I ask looking down at her confused. “I don’t, but I thought, maybe you’d like to stay here a little longer?”

The artificial heat from the pretend sun warms my body. Wiping my eyes I slide my arm away from her pretty make-up smeared face. I slip off the bed and fetch my device from my pocket. I think about my home as she sleepily searches the place I once occupied with her hand, grasping for something, grasping for me.


1 comment on “Wanted.”

  1. S

    I really enjoyed this piece, it is the first (and will definitely not be the last) that I have read. The unvoiced vulnerability of your main character makes him totally relatable. “..I wanted to be wanted too…” So simple, so true, and so captivating,it was a really great way to bring your reader in. The small drops of cynical humor about romance and death sticks were just perfect. Fantastic job, really!

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