She was young. Now she is beautiful.
She used to wear jeans and adorn herself in schoolgirl regalia. Now she is wearing a dress.
She used to wear tee shirts and sneakers. Now she has legs and a chest and lips and an ass. She probably always had these things, but I’m looking at them much differently now: that tempting tummy and those hipbones that peek up and over her jeans – those things slay me.
She once was a girl. Now she is a sexual being, unafraid of everything inside of her that she still doesn’t understand.
Two years ago she and I created a pact. We said, see you in seven years. Because our lives had places to go. Because she was too young. Too smart. Too beautiful for one man to be so selfish with, even though he may want to be. No, clutching onto her would stand in stark contrast to the tumbling, rumbling river of life and everything that the natural flux of life dictates.
Two years after our pact and we still see each other.
Periodically we meet, like events in the revolutions of physical bodies around a sun. We are each other’s secret. Our affairs slow down my wristwatch. And in these stop-animation moments, I always feel our odd talent for meeting in the center.
She is many years my junior and she knows this. She counts those years. Every one of them. But sometimes I wonder if I am actually younger than she.
We smile at one another. Sometimes we hold hands. She makes smart jokes. She is wiser than her years dictate.
I can feel the warmth when she is watching me. When I am offering my avuncular wisdom and watching the birds hunt for fish in the water, I can feel her watching me as I speak.
In front of us is the mighty river pounding downstream. Behind us, a rose bush.
These are the moments I polish my shoes for.
These are the moments I will never forget.
When the elevator arrived, there was nobody inside.
This was the end of yet another one of our quick, clandestine meetings.
As the door shut, I depressed the lobby button and stepped back. Her hands were down at her side and she looked up at me, imploringly and sheepish.
Facing her, I took a step closer. My heel clicked on the marble. Then she exhaled a breath larger than every definition of “yes”. She, dipping her head, offered me her lips. I closed my eyes and leaned into her with the fragility of all our new experiences broken.
Our bodies like force fields wavered upon touching.
Shivering with excitement and everything wanted and deserved but out of our reach, my kisses were delicate. I wanted her to know that I could tear her apart and cradle her and grow her and that I was the one for her.
When our elevator doors opened in the lobby, she said no, let’s go – to the top. There’s thirty floors. Surely there’s a top. Without hesitation I looked over and depressed the button with the number 30 on it.
Rapidly I punched the buttons to shut the doors.
Then, we began moving upward. Ascenting. Climbing.
Grinning I walked back into her.
When the elevator’s mechanical jaws opened, we walked-out – at the top of the hotel. The glass walls were impressive. We were above most of the rest of the world.
But we both knew why we were there.
With her hand in mine, we walked around a corner. Feeling the heat of everything boyish and new, I wanted to make nervous conversation about the view. But then I looked at her.
Her eyes sparkled and her mouth opened, just a little.
I stepped into her. She backed into the wall, dropping her purse.
And for the first time ever, I pressed my entire body into her. My hands sliding up and down her torso. I crawled up and into her neck with my fingers as our mouths teased and touched the others.
Before I had been timid. This time I was not. My palms and pads of my fingers kneaded into her thighs; peeling up her skirt, teasingly.
And for the first time I reached up and into everything fleshy. My hands prodding around her waist, her hips and around to her ass.
My lips slid down to her neck and ears. And for the first time I wanted to let myself go. Completely. Go. Devour her.
Where once I showed restraint, my affections were no longer puritanical. Not any more. Anything less than hot breath on her neck and my hands flying up to her chest, to grab and slide under her dress for her heart, would have been lies.
Before I walked her to the car we stopped on a bridge. With the sun pink and mysterious, illuminating the entire sky in shades of mountain orange, I kissed her.
With the wind whipping her gold curls into our faces, my only hope was that I communicated to her – with my mouth and with my body – the most holy and erotic of anticipations.
For this and more I can wait five more years.
Now I find myself longing for her kisses. Her words. Her laugh. Her eyes.
Sometimes I close my eyes and think about years passing. And when I think of her in the dark hollow nights of summer, when the moon is visible through the quaking leaves, I feel a magnetism. A force.
Something I do not want to leave me.
Centripetal force is defined as a force that acts upon a body moving in a curved path. With my eyes closed, I sometimes picture us wavering outward, always, always being brought back to center – by you.