He took her hand. Her heart was pumping out of her chest. With swift feet he led them to…a closet? He swung her inside and shut the door behind him. It was dark. She could’ve been dreaming. He pulled her close suddenly. So that their chests were pressed against one another’s and she could feel his breath on her face. He was so close. There was a slight pause, in which they stayed just as they were. She could feel his chest rise and fall, and she feared he could hear her erratic heartbeat.
His lips hovered just above hers, the heat tempting her to no end. In a bold move she stood on her tippy toes, holding onto his shirt for balance, and kissed his hot mouth. It was dizzying, quenching what one has been craving for so long. His grip around her small frame tightened, and he returned the kiss with furious passion. She stopped to catch her breath, but he didn’t let her; he cupped her cheeks and held her there, his tongue tracing her bottom lip, begging to be let in. She allowed it. He explored her mouth and their tongues engaged in a lovers’ quarrel, dancing and twisting. His hands began to roam. They slipped up under her shirt and traced her curves and back. But no matter what he did he could not soothe the burning of her skin. His hands only made it worse. With two fingers he followed her spine, sending goosebumps over her arms and enticing a small moan.
She woke up, jolting slightly. She had been dreaming. She angrily tossed her pillow across the room. She stared at the ceiling, angry breaths consuming her. Her head felt hot, the tears welling up in her eyes. He’s gone. Her heart was beating fast and there was a lump in her throat. When would this get better? She didn’t want to need him so badly. She sat up slowly. It was still dark outside. Could the universe not grant her a few more hours of sleep?
To sleep, perchance to dream. She smiled and rolled her eyes. Even when he wasn’t here his love of literature was rubbing off on her. Though she never cared much for it. He’d always explain things so passionately, his arms flailing. She laughed at the memory, but stopped herself. She was mad at him.
She grabbed the remaining pillow and screamed into it. She fell back onto the bed. This was awful, she concluded. She took deep breaths. She didn’t want to need him. But she did. She picked up her phone. Then put it back down.
She shook her head. She refused to break first. If he really wanted to talk to her he would.
What had they even been fighting about? She couldn’t remember anymore. But she had to stand her ground. Why? She rolled over. She just had to.
That man is going to walk all over you. Her mother's voice kept swimming through her head. Was it true? Had she allowed that to happen? Maybe her mother was right. Just look at me, she thought. Completely falling apart. How was he holding up?
She picked up her phone again, and set it down just as quickly, forcing herself to be strong. The moment it hit the table it buzzed. Her heart was caught in her throat. She didn’t want to check it. What if it was him? Worse, what if it wasn’t. Her stomach lurched uncomfortably.
She swiped the screen. Her sister. She let out a shaky breath. She began to type her reply, when the screen switched to an incoming call.
Her heart pounded. She held the phone, letting it ring. Finally she picked up. Her mouth was dry. “Hello?”
“Did I wake you?”
Her knees went weak. She hadn’t heard his voice in so long. She let out a shaky breath. “No.”
“I miss you.”
In his voice she heard every emotion- all the ones she had been fighting- mirrored back to her. How could she describe it? Missing him was a sinking feeling. Not in the way people usually describe it, like an anchor falling hard and fast to the bottom of the ocean. Rather, it was like she was standing at the edge of a pool, and someone had pushed her. There was that rush as the world pushes past your sight of vision; a maddening blur but it seems so slow all the same. And then comes the barrier where the world above meets the water, and you’re consumed by it, the water fills your ears and makes everything a numb sort of sound. And then you’re falling, but slowly, as though gravity no longer applies, and you find yourself sinking down, down, down, until you hit the hard concrete at the bottom. And it wasn't until she heard his voice that she was allowed to go up for air. Yes. That’s what it felt like.
Finally hearing his voice was like coming up for air after being underwater for a long time. Hearing his voice carried the same relief and the same satisfaction as being able to breathe.
She smiled unknowingly.
“I miss you too.”