Playing with Fire
Your brother, my lover, has left for the night. Back home to his wife. The relationship has been limping along for too long anyway. I take my time cashing up. The restaurant is fuggy. A dying fire spits the occasional ember onto the tiled patch in front of it. I sit at the bar and watch you. Always so comfortable. Confident. Sexy. Different around me. Less defensive. You have always been able to make me laugh. I remember the first time I met you. A schoolgirl crush. I opened our front door and nearly died. You were the sexiest thing I had ever seen. I was fifteen. I ran downstairs and smeared myself with makeup – trying to conceal adolescent spottiness in the hopes that you would think me older and more sophisticated. I glued myself to your side for the rest of the day. Subtlety has never been my forte.
I know you suspect about your brother and I. It only happened once. A hideous mistake that resulted in so many tangled feelings and unresolved emotions for both of us. Our fathers went to school together, you are both part older brother and part anything but…
You are so out of my league. You are the only person who has never made a hint of a move on me. I know how to pick up vibes and you are sending me mixed signals. I watch you wash glasses. Your forearms are bronzed from the golf course. I notice the tiny golden hairs on your arm and long to stroke them. You are always immaculately dressed. Long blonde hair tied back in a ponytail. You have an easy smile that not many people get to see. When you smile at me my stomach lurches. Are you aware of what I’m feeling? Am I still the crass, obvious fifteen year old?
I can’t put off leaving any longer. I pick up my bag and head for my car. You follow me out. The moon is bright – casting an eerie glow over my flame orange Mazda. I open my door and stand staring at you, reluctant to get in. Hoping that after seven years, you will finally make a move. My heart is thudding. The roar of adrenaline in my ears stops me from hearing you. I realize that you are telling me that you have been secretly following me home for a while to make sure that my ancient wreck gets me there safely. Either that’s taking brotherly love to the extreme or you are not as disinterested as you seem.
This is so awkward. I can’t stand here like this forever. I have to get into the car. You ask me how it feels to always have guys buzzing around me like flies. I tell you that it doesn’t matter a damn when the one man I want doesn’t seem to notice me. You look at me and smile. You step closer and look deeply into my eyes. I lick my lips nervously. You pull me out from behind my car door and kiss me. Softly and full of tenderness. This surprises me. You can appear so cold and aloof, it’s disconcerting to get a glimpse of the true man. You rest your hand on the back of my neck and press yourself up against me. I am lost.
We break away from each other and over your shoulder I watch your brother drive past. Furious anger spitting from his eyes. War has just been declared.