That's The Way It Is
Mark is waiting for Diane. Anxious. Anticipating. He knows he shouldn't. Things are complicated. It's all so innocent but with heavy not so innocent undertones. She's bringing him lunch. What does that mean? Does it mean anything or is he just projecting. She gave him a mixed CD. He noticed that all the songs were, well, similar. The first song on it was Bob Dylan's "I Want You."
Mark knew his girlfriend Jenny wouldn't like this. He kept his relationship with Diane apart from her even though there was nothing going on. He felt guilty anyway. He knew why. Mark is waiting for Diane. His apartment looks just right. He has positioned certain things just so for maximum effect. The samurai swords, the framed posters from his band's shows. A guitar casually laying on the couch. What was he doing?
Mark is anxious, he is running giddy hot and high. He has run many scenarios through his mind. What was he doing? She had sent him an email of a story she had written. It was all about Adam and Eve and Temptation and its Consequences. She had told him over and over how unhappy she was with Dewayne, how they never touched each other anymore.
Mark's doorbell pulses its robot two tone pulse. "Hi!" Diane called cheerily, carrying a bag in each hand full of food she had cooked just for him. Mark felt deeply embarrassed and quickly took the bags and set them down. Now was the moment, the real reason for her being here. The Hug. It is a delicious kind of scared, the kind of scared you feel when you're about to go through a door you know you can never close. They hugged tightly, their hands resting on each other's backs, feeling each other with their fingertips, trying to record this sensation in their minds for later recall. They held the Hug longer than they should have, lingering, afraid they wouldn't be able to break it apart.
turn sides: That's The Way It Ought To Be
words: Michael K. White, Colorado (stories)
image: 'the road not taken' - Michael Brandonisio, NYC (at Otoliths)