This is one of my efforts into the romantic genre, a guilty pleasure that I indulge in time after time, when I understand that the secrets of the universe will never reveal themselves through my writings and when the deepest thought is a shallow puddle in the midst of my brain. And hey, did you know you can make money on this?
She was crying softly, covering her eyes with the crook of her arm and wetting the expensive silk sleeve. The phone lay forgotten on the floor, where she had thrown it, right after the sweet goodbyes with Art. He had called to cancel on her, just an hour before he was supposed to pick her up. She had been dressed already, and was putting on her makeup. She always did it backwards, first her clothes then her hair and makeup. Her friends joked with her about it, but hey, it suited her. This time she had been extra careful. Her skin shone after the mud mask, exfoliation and shimmering body oil, her hair was hanging seductively over her shoulders and caressing her silk peasant top any time she moved. The corset was holding her figure in nicely, and her large coin earrings jingled merrily, in tune with her many layered necklace and belt over her ruffle skirt. She was surveying her gypsy getup with satisfaction when the phone had rung. She had seen Art’s smile from the phone ID and had rushed to answer. His voice always caressed her ears, and sent shivers through her body. And then, he started to tell her about the work crisis, and how he had to stay and help. She had sat down, smiled until her jaw hurt and had said that it would of course be no problem. She would not mind staying home anyway and tidying some things up. She understood, the same way she had understood the previous week, when he had called to postpone their date one hour before they were supposed to meet. She had smiled again then too, had assured him that it would be no problem, and had suggested the Halloween party. Art had said yes. She had gone on to create her costume, taking great pains to have everything just right, and not giving in to that nagging suspicion that he was losing interest in her. After all, they were so perfectly matched together.
When she hung up with him, she felt her throat become a big lump of anguish and cut off her air supply. She sat down, relaxed her hurting jaw, rested her forehead on her forearm and had started to cry softly. There was no doubt in her heart that he was trying to get rid of her. She had mentally played all their time together to the best of her memory and could not find any reason for this.
She cried for a very long time. Then she went to the bathroom, shook her skirts off and started on the headscarf knots. She was untying her blouse, when she caught a look at her mascara and lipstick smeared face, and changed her mind. She put on her makeup again, this time adding red lip liner around her eyes. She looked truly terrifying, but at least it covered up her swollen eyes and red nose. She needed to clear her mind and maybe the Halloween party would be just the right thing for her. After all, this was her style: cure pain with partying. She had promised herself a long time ago that she would never mope over a man, and she would keep her word even if it felt like choking every 5 minutes.
She walked to the train station, her cheap coin bracelets and earrings jiggling, and her full skirts flouncing around. She could see people looking at her from under her head scarf fringe, and she was pleased. Almost everybody she could see was in a costume, but they looked cheap and unreal. Personally, she liked authenticity and she knew that she looked every inch like a fiery gipsy. If only Art could see her, he would eat his heart out. For she was beautiful, seductive and dangerous, one of those sirens who lured men into dark alleys and off high cliffs.
God, she was pathetic!
She stepped into the subway car, gathering her skirt so as not to snag on anything, and flashing a long, fishnet clad leg in the process. Then, she sat down and stared straight ahead.
At the next stop, a dark, lithe man with longish straight black hair and a very sharp face sat next to her. She could feel his eyes on her and she cringed inside because he was not Art. She hated herself immediately for thinking that and made herself give the man a look. She hoped the look was open enough and not scary, for all her bloodshot, dry eyes.
He smiled at her, showing very white teeth. She smiled back politely and lowered her eyes, even though she could feel him studying her. Strangely, she did not feel uncomfortable by the other’s scrutiny.
‘Excuse me- the man spoke, a trace of foreign accent in his speech. – Are you a gypsy by any chance?’
‘Well, yes, – she smiled and made her bracelets jingle a little – Isn’t it obvious?’
His black eyes became warmer and his smile became wider.
‘It is just- he said- that I have never seen any one of our kind dress in such gadje clothes.’
‘Our kind?! Oh, no, no, I am not a gypsy. -She said quickly. -It is just my costume. You know, for Halloween.’
‘Did I offend you perhaps? -he asked. – Because I am gypsy, and you feel like one of us to me.’
‘No, no, -she answered a little bit too quickly again – I did not expect to succeed this well, that is all.’
He smiled knowingly. She smiled back and fidgeted with her many-layered necklace, hoping he would not comment on her blunder.
“So, -she asked- are you really a gypsy?”
“Full blooded –he answered, flashing his wonderful teeth again –as far as I know.”
“ Do you live in the city then?”
“No, no I am just passing through. I have to meet my people in the other side of the city.”
The way he said “my people” made her think of subjects kneeling in front of their king. The thought was so silly, she smiled and filed it in her mind to share with Art later. This last thought wiped the smile off her face and made her eyes well up.
‘Look, -she said. – Would you like to come with me to the party? It is going to be fun.’
The minute she said those words, she panicked. She did not know this person from Adam. If he did not accept, she would feel rejected, and if he accepted, she did not see herself walking out in the dark with an unknown man, even if he had nice teeth. She was such a dork today.
He looked at her for a little bit, and then he smiled and nodded. She smiled back and took a deep breath, bracing herself for the upcoming walk in the dark with a stranger, and fervently praying that he was not a serial killer or rapist.
The subway car jolted to a stop and she stepped out, accompanied by jingling and rustling. The strange man followed into the dark station exit. She kept chatting and asking little questions which he answered lightly and with a smile. She relaxed as the club entrance came into view and walked a little lighter. Her heart was beating in synch with her heels and her hair swished every which way. She did not look back to see whether the strange man was following, but floated right by the bouncer, who opened the red rope and then the door without question. She did not even look at the cover charge window man, who also let her through without question. She sauntered to the bar and ordered a drink. The bartender did not even finish telling her the price of the drink, before the money assaulted him from three different men. She smiled. She was actually enjoying the way hungry eyes kept eating her up and absorbing every move and every flicker of her face. She took her drink, and sipped on it. She did not feel like talking to anybody however, so she declined any effort to be picked up. Instead, she went and leaned on a column not far from the bar and looked at the mad crowd, dressed in every imaginable costume. Sometimes, somebody touched her arm or back but she did not turn her head to see who it was, and the touch went away. She looked on at the spectacle in front of her and felt her heart filling with the “Party Magic” as she called the feeling of anticipation and exhilaration, which helped her be “the queen bee” at every party. What was here was her territory, her property, as natural as the skin she was born in. Screw Art. He had always been a party pooper anyway, scared by crowds and cringing by “public displays of affections’ as he had called her chaste kisses during a Valentine party earlier in the year, while the rest of the partygoers were tasting each-others’ stomachs. Then, she had felt so charmed by his shyness, and kind of ashamed by her own libido.
She finally finished her drink and took a deep breath, just before stepping into the writhing mass on the dance floor. Another body slammed into her.
‘Hey!’ She yelled above the music, and turned to look at the nitwit who almost made her fell. The mortified face of the silly blond in a nursing cap calmed her nerves however, and she waived the other girl’s effusive apologies away. Then she looked at the doctor with the monocle that still had the stethoscope on top of the blonde’s breasts and she froze. So did Art, in his stupid white coat, with the stupid bushy Victorian doctor mustache, which had been a stupid suggestion of her stupid brain. How dare he? She felt her brain boiling and her eyes burning with anger, and she threw the empty plastic cup at his face, sorely upset that it was not glass. Then, she stormed out without another word.
The dark man was still outside in the cold, waiting. He gave her a hopeful smile and she exploded in tears. He was next to her in a heartbeat. She entered his open arms and stayed there, barely aware where she was being led into, away from the club and into the unknown night. She could hear her own sobs as coming out from a different person.
‘I am sorry –she managed after a while. –I just could not hold it.’
‘It happens- he admitted philosophically.
Suddenly she became aware that they had stopped under a street light, and that she did not know where she was. His strong arms supported her shaking shoulders and instinctively tried to get free of them. He felt it and released her immediately.
‘I am sorry- she apologized again – I just…’
He shrugged and passed his hands through his black hair. The perfect harmony of the long olive fingers peeking through the wavy and shiny black hair caught her eye and held it for a second. She took the right hand, which came down first and peered at the palm. It was deeply etched, with very distinctive lines of head, fate, and life circles.
‘Wow – was all she said. For she was one of the circles in the middle of his palm. She could not say how she knew, or whether she was losing her mind. She could just see herself in the circle.
‘Do you see it too? -The man whispered in her ear, scaring her a little. She nodded because she still could not find her voice.
‘ I have had it for as long as I can remember. – He continued. – It tingled when I saw you.’
He took her hand and she felt the circle burn into her own palm. A feeling of belonging enfolded her and she let the hand be her guide into the unknown night. She was aware of walking into a very unfamiliar part of the town with a strange man she had never seen until two hours ago and it did not bother her at all.
They walked until the houses became scarce and the trees took their place. Her shoes should have been killing her already, but all she could feel was the soft grass under her heels. He held her by the hand and she was content to be led and not think about where she was going, or what she was going to do once she got there.
They came into a beautiful clearing in the middle of the dark woods and stopped. She could see the moon through the thick tree foliage. A crescent argent moon, a clear fragrant night, soft grass under her feet and a perfect man to embrace were too much for her cynic side. Then he bend to kiss her and the cynic side shut itself inside her confused brain and refused to come out. Instead, she kissed him back.
She found herself lying on the grass, with his head buried in her chest, and her hands holding it firmly there. Little sounds of protests escaped her mouth when he unglued his lips from her left breast, but he only transferred to the other one, and she felt right again. Her bare skin glowed in the silver rays from the moon. He was so dark against her body that she almost thought she was being loved by the night itself. This sensation was enhanced by the feel of his touches, kneading and caresses on every inch of her body, even though she could see his hands were one on her breast, and one holding up her naked glowing leg. She found that she could not close her eyes either, even when he came up for another magical kiss. It was as if he needed the essence of her mouth in him time after time. She could taste her own body through his lips, and she felt how vital, refreshing and energizing her taste was to him. It was a revelation that heightened her senses even further, and brought waves of joy on her body and her mind. He felt the beginnings of the tremors in her body and he entered her smoothly and triumphantly. They were both complete and full, two parts of the same being, the beginning and ending of their own universe. Sensations danced from his lips to her neck, from her heels to the insides of his calves, from their hands to the grass, from the grass to the earth. When the rush came, it was a flood instead of a trickle, a whole world instead of only few emotions, a true earthquake instead of tremors. Nothing had prepared her for this, and she cried out her defiance and victory to the world, which had so far kept her from this pure emotion. He joined with her in cry and joy and the world obeyed and reshaped itself.
She could feel that the new shape was there, even the next morning when she woke up in her own bed, with grass stains on her clothes, and marks of his love all over her body. He had walked her home after an eternity of love under the starry sky, much in the same way he had walked her to the clearing. He had left, but she knew he would be back to be nourished, purified and renewed by her body again and again. She did not know what he would look like next time, nor did she care. She knew she would know him and he would know her. And all was well with the world again.