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From all to nothing

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I let my hand fall. Pull your t-shirt down. I take a small step forward and hug you, hard. Bury my face in your hair. Feel your breasts against me. Just so.

You hug me and I let your closeness sweep away all thoughts, all questions. Hold you to me. Close. For a long time.

Finally, I let you go. You look at me and manage to smile. You reach up and give me a light, quick kiss on the outh. Let go of me, walk around me. Sit down.

I follow suit, take the wine glass and drink deeply. Realise we've swapped chairs. "This is your glass."

You give me an amused look. "A bit late to worry about exchanging saliva now, isn't it?"

I laugh and feel the last tension leave me. See your bra on the table in front of me. Pick it up, hold it by the straps and press my lips lightly to one of the cups. I see you look at me with raised eyebrows. I shrug, smile and put it back.

You sip from my glass and light one of my cigarettes. Look out over the lake.

I stand up, take the bra and go to you. The pack of cigarettes lies between your thighs, in your crotch. I pick it up, and that's all there is to it. I'm surprised by my reaction; I don't react. I shake my head and smile. What does it matter if my fingers touch the inside of your thighs? Or that I pick up the lighter that leans against your crotch? I put the bra in your lap, light a cigarette and return to the chair.

Exhale smoke, have a sip of wine and look out over the lake. I feel free. I still want you, but that's all there is to it. It's nothing dramatic. Maybe I'll regret my decision later, but right now it feels right. You've shown me that the limit isn't a high, unsurmountable wall, but just a line on the ground. It's nothing dramatic. It's just a breast. It's just you.

Maybe you'll invite me again, and I know that if I want to I can go past that limit. Maybe you won't, but at least I'm not afraid of the limit I set myself any more. I don't need it.

We sit silent together and look out over the lake.

"Are you okay now?" you ask after a while.

A simple question, and even if the implications are enormous the answer is just as simple. "Yeah."

I take a last puff on the cigarette and stub it out. "Yeah. I don't know why, but I'm okay."

"Good, you had me worried for a while there." You squirm a little in your chair. "But..."


You give me an ironic smile. "I'm still horny."

I laugh out loud, laugh so I lose my breath and can only wheeze, shaking with laughter. You give me a sour look, then you start laughing, too.

"Trust me", I finally manage to say, "you can live with that."

You make a face at me. "You ought to know," you say and smile.

Later, much later, I lie awake on the couch waiting for the room to stop spinning around. My thoughts are spinning too, around you, your body, and your soul. They spin around two very different things - what is, and what could have been.

If I listen closely, I can hear your slow breaths from the bedroom, and in the end that's what lulls me into sleep



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