‘So what type of lover are you?’ she asks the man trying to act like she doesn’t startle him, trying to pretend like he doesn’t have a permanent image of his nineteen minute acquaintance canvassed across the inside of his eyelids.
The airport shuffles with families dragging too much luggage; businessmen jetting off in search of exotic mistresses; employees ashamed that their English isn’t better. No one appears to have a direct focus, except for her. Her eyes don’t leave him.
If he knew her better he would know about the way her irises change colour from transparent amber to marshy hazel depending on… (circumstance.) He might even comprehend her left tapping heel that hasn’t stopped keeping time for seven long years. He can tell that she’s listening to him breathe, she nods like she understands how hard that is for him.
‘Where did you say you’re going?’ he asks looking toward the flight schedule. The one that lists all of the places he dreams about. Nepal, France, Rio de Janeiro. He never buys a ticket though, he’s too afraid to fly.
She’s wearing three diamonds in each ear and a band on every finger, even her thumbs. He feels ashamed for wanting to ask and thankful when she momentarily turns away. Both arms stretch backward, her body bends and sways like a young tree in May – life sprouting from fingertip leaves that sprawl the width of an octave as she closes her eyes and rolls her slender neck to the right… back again.
There’s a subtle smile across her lips, something undisclosed. He wants to lean in closer… he wants to take off.
‘I can’t recall the last time I was kissed,’ she says with what seems like satisfaction. ‘Do you know what that feels like?’
She laughs when he asks if she’s going to be late, the sound rinses him in relief. She says she’s never on time and he tells her he’s got no place to be. As she serenely brushes her fingertips down the side of his cautious countenance, the daffodil scent of her thin wrist has his strong body shifting from one side to the other… back again.
‘What frightens you about flying?’
A single cotton sheet tucked tightly beneath a king size mattress covers two naked bodies tangled like vines, hidden like treasure. Now and then a jet roars above the airport hotel, ‘How many nights sir?’ ‘Three to start off.’
‘It’s not the fear of flying…’ she says with a gaze he swears is just that much… (darker.) ‘I don’t believe that’s the way to travel.’