Turkish coffee over a wooden table, steaming with sugar. Silly nicknames and a dark mane full of curls tied up in a knot. Green eyes like you’ve never seen before and pale skin, paler than you’d expect from someone with such strong Mediterranean heritage. Feet stepping in sync on the way to buy drinks; a two liter beer split between us and then some. Snickers in the back of the car as we act like we’re twelve years old, pear schnapps and a kids meal shared between us as we laugh and talk for hours in a dimly lit room. A blunt invitation, promptly accepted, and cigarettes passed back and forth as I tell him about home and he points out constellations in the starry sky. It was a whirlwind in the best kind of way.
Back at his place, all creaky stairs and a slanted roof framing a cozy cabin-like room lit up by an orange quilt and white lace curtains that seem wholly out of place. They do little to hide our bare skin from the world beyond, but that just adds to the thrill of it. Hours go by in the pale moonlight. How consumed we become with our flesh; like wolves hunting in the dead of winter, paying no heed to the howls we leave in our wake.
A half-hearted sleep in a tiny bed, very civil given the circumstances. It wasn’t that kind of fling, the touchy, cutesy, maybe-we’re-in-love kind that grew old for me after last summer – I know better now. No, this was passionate, carnal; we were connected but less feeling. After all, I’ve built a fortress around myself and have no intention of lowering the drawbridge for anyone so soon.
Twice more, his hand on my foot, my calf, then all over me, touching parts of me I didn’t know I had. More coffee, salted cashews, a steaming shower. Then me, backpack hoisted over my shoulders, sauntering off to catch my bus. Legs shaking, but not from the weight. Better than anything I could have dreamt up, and well worth the wait. And to think that I would have missed out on it all had a small-minded boy back home simply realized I was enough.
Life is funny sometimes, but in this, I had the last laugh.