Life was different out there. They didn’t get much traffic that far out-of-town. The house was situated on the slope of the mountain. It was a gravel road while she was growing up, but they paved it a few years back. That made it slick in the winter months. The first snows had left a dusting overnight. She leaned against a post of the front porch in her oversized cable-knit sweater. Her dirty blonde hair, peeking out of a woolen cap, was in a large braid over one shoulder.
It really was a beautiful country. Some people called it ‘God’s Country’, but everyone called their part of the world that. She was just grateful for what she had. Life was good and she knew it. Everyday wasn’t was this perfect, so you had to truly cherish it.
The phone started to ring and she let it. That was what voicemail was for. Nothing was so important as to disturb this beautiful moment. Her coffee was getting low. She would have to go inside soon anyway.
When she went inside, she checked the phone. The number was unfamiliar and there was no messages left. She walked to the kitchen without a second thought. It was too good of a morning to waste any of it on someone who clearly didn’t have anything important to say.
The thoughts of a certain someone started to filter through her mind. Why hadn’t he called yet? The news of her arrival assuredly made to him by now. I’m sure the dirty old men at the bar made a few wise cracks. Did he no longer care? Had he moved on? Was he married? Maybe she needed to get dressed and pay the town a visit. Sitting here, thinking these negative thoughts wasn’t going to do any good.
While pouring another cup of coffee, there was a knock on the door. Startled, she clearly wasn’t expecting anyone. Heading towards the door, she paused at the mirror to make sure she wasn’t going to embarrass herself. “As good as it’s going to be,” she mumbled to herself. She peeked out the side window as she was about to unlock the door. Oh my God, it was William! He knocked again. She was frozen. All kinds of thoughts and emotions overwhelmed her.
“Hayden, I saw you. Please open up.”
“Hi,” was all she could come up with. She was instantly embarrassed. Where had all the things she’s wanted to say forever? She sounded like a star struck school girl.
“I just heard you were in town. How long has it been?”
“I don’t know. A long time. You look terrific. How are you?”
“Thank you, Hayden. You look great, too. I’m okay.”
“I’m sorry. Where are my manners? Do you want to come in? I have some coffee.”
“Yes, coffee sounds terrific. Thanks.” His smile was wide and enthusiastic and melted her instantly.
Hayden led him through the house. He followed her into the kitchen. He took in all the sights and smells of being next to her again. Life can be complicated. How he felt about her had never been complicated. He did not always know how to deal with it, but he was never confused by how he felt about Hayden.
“How do you want your coffee?”
“Do you have any creamer?”
“I’ll take it black then.” He smiled at Hayden. She was caught up in that face. She cursed herself for succumbing to his charm again. She opened a cabinet and started up on her tiptoes. The hem of her sweater inched it’s way up, revealing more and more of her skin. She paused when she realized her state of dress.
“The mugs are up here. You’ll have to get one yourself.” Momentarily confused, he smiled again.
“What’s the matter, Hayden?” William took advantage of standing right next to her when he grabbed his coffee cup. He could tell she had stopped breathing. He placed his hand over hers, which was on her hip. “Relax. It’s just coffee.”
“I know.” She replied softly, almost imperceptible. Why did he make her feel this way? Hayden was nervous and shy around William. She always had been.
She took the cup from him. Their fingers touching again. She looked up into his eyes. He stepped back, grudgingly to allow her to pour the coffee.
“So, how have you been?”
“I’ve been okay, I guess.”
“You guess?” He blew on his coffee, pursing his lips and making her squirm. She loved those lips long ago.
“I don’t know. I’ve been feeling lost recently. That’s why I came back here.”
“I, for one, am grateful you’re back. It’s good to see you.” He took another sip, trying to hide his smirk.
“Thank you.” She blushed.
“What’s been keeping you so busy?”
“Work, mostly. There’s not that much to tell. None of it is interesting.”
“I think it is. I want to know everything.”
“No, you don’t. It’s boring. You don’t…”
“Shhhh….” William leaned in and kissed her before she could say anything else. She pushed him back. He was grinning.
“Did you just shush me?! Stop that smiling!”
“As you wish.” He grabbed her again and kissed her deep. She could feel all of her inhibitions leaving. His arms wrapped around her, holding her as to never let her go.
He knew within his heart, that this is what he had been missing. The passion between them was obvious. The mutual desire and hunger in their kisses carried them further in this embrace.
“I’ve missed you.” She whispered to him. He looked into her eyes, like she was the most beautiful woman in the world. He reached out, just touching the bottom of her sweater. Her hand met his. “Not here.” Never taking her hand off his, Hayden led them back to the bedroom.
It was sparsely decorated. An antique dresser with a mirror and a bed with a nightstand were the only furniture in there. The bed was covered in all white linens and stacked with too many pillows. The nightstand had a Tiffany lamp and books stacked on top and on the floor next to it.
“This is as it should be.”
“What do you mean?”
“I just mean that this room is exactly how I’ve always thought of you. It is kinda organized with the bed being perfectly made and hardly anything else in the room. Then you find the books all askew. You’re focused and organized, but then you an unraveling edge that you try to hide.”
“Are you trying to seduce me with this talk?” William laughed. Hayden tried to keep a straight face, but then broke into a wide smile.
William reached up to hold her face in his hands. He closed his eyes and leaned in to gently kiss her lips. He could feel her melt. He moved his hands down her back and increased the passion of his kisses.
Hayden reached up and untied his tie. She slipped it slowly from under his collar. Her eyes never left William’s eyes. She bit her lip as she began to unbutton his shirt. She took her time with each one. There was a certain distraction as she was trying to continue kissing as she fumbled with his buttons. They laughed together without breaking lip contact. She finished unbuttoning and hastily jerked the dress shirt over his shoulders. She kissed his chest lightly and then gave him a firmer kiss on his neck.
Taking a step back, she admired William’s innate manliness. He was rugged in a way that she had missed over the years. She was not fragile and didn’t want to be treated as though she was. William knew how to treat a woman as feminine, yet not disrespect her as a breakable object.
William kissed her hard with the passion of all the missed years. He then placed a hand on the center of her chest and pushed her back on the bed. She lifted her head with amazed eyes.
“What was that for?”
“You were distracting me.”
“Oh, I was, was I?” She flashed a playful smile. “How was I doing that?”
“You were in the way.” William slipped off his shoes and unbuckled his belt.
“I’m sorry. Would you prefer I got out of your way?”
“Nope. I want you to stay right there.” He pulled his pants and boxers off.
“Oh, my.” She released an involuntary approval. “Nice socks.”
“Would you like me to leave them on?” He reached down and pulled them off. He stood before her as natural as he could be. A smile of sheer confidence crossed his face. He approached her slowly and climbed on the bed over her. Hayden grew nervous. Her heartbeat increased.
“Are you going to take my clothes off?” She whispered. He kissed her cheek.
“Are you in a hurry?”
“No. I’m just…”
“Hayden, are you okay with this?”
“Yes. I’m just a little nervous.”
“Why would you be nervous?”
“I haven’t seen you in awhile. This is so sudden.”
“Do you want to me to put my clothes back on?”
“Oh God no!” She leaned into his lips and kissed him deeply. “I just needed a minute. I’m good. Why do I still have these clothes on?”
William placed a hand under her head, cradling it gently. He kissed her sweetly and slowly increased the pressure of his kisses. His other hand touched her mid-thigh. He could feel her begin to squirm. He relished every reaction she made. His hand slowly and deliberately made its way up her side. He stopped at her hip and then worked his way up her sweater. The fact that she wore nothing under made him dizzy with desire. His hand finally made it to her right breast. He cupped it and firmly squeezed it. He brought his left hand from under her head and started again at her left thigh. Their kisses never once stopped or slowed. As his left hand worked its way up Hayden’s side, the sweater rose, revealing more and more of her perfect skin. William’s eyes were closed. He was focused on her sweet lips.
Once her sweater was up over her breasts, William finally broke free of her kisses. He guided her up to finally remove her sweater. It was flung carelessly, far into the corner. He looked down in satisfaction. Here was the most beautiful woman.
They took a minute to admire each other again. Time changes many things, but not love. Hayden scooted herself up to the top of the bed. William climbed next to her. They looked quietly into each other’s eyes. She reached a hand to his cheek and closed her eyes before kissing him again. He reached out and pulled her into his arms.
They made love twice that morning. William made sure to concentrate on Hayden and make her feel how much he had missed her. He wanted her to feel how much love still burned for her.
He wanted to tell her everything that was in his heart. He wanted to unburden his soul. But most of all, he wanted her to be happy. Just because he had something to say, did not mean she needed to hear it. William clung to the hope that there would be a time for all those talks.
They laid in bed as the sun rose higher in the morning sky. He slipped away to take a shower. Hayden watched him walked naked out of the room. Her heart swelled. The morning had not gone as expected.
He returned and was soon dressed and ready for the day a second time. He looked grown up. He was a gentleman.
“I have to get to work. Can I call you?”
“Of course!” She smiled at him.
“Hayden, a broken soul doesn’t have to remain broken forever.” He kissed her one last time before walking out the door.
All she had to do was decide. This could be her reality once again. There was no good reason why she had to stay in the city. The job wasn’t enjoyable. She could feel her soul heavy with regret. There had been moments in her life when she traded happiness for success. They had told her that she could have it all. That turned out to be a lie.
With a fresh cup of coffee, she walked back out to the porch. Her soul yearned to be in this natural air. There isn’t much better than being in the purity of this land. The view alone was enough to change your life. She knew she had to make a decision. It didn’t have to be today. She could enjoy the beauty in front of her. It was possible to be happy. All she had to do was decide.
“I don’t know what to tell you.” He walked naked away from the bed. He had to carefully make his way around her heels and panties from the night before. They had been irreverently strewn about the room in the lovers’ haste. Her dress didn’t make it very far into the room. It was lying by the door. His suit had been thrown onto the chair across from the bed. “Perhaps I’m not the guy you’ve been looking for all these years.”
She hid under the sheets and pulled a pillow over her face when he pulled the curtains over. The sunlight broke into the room. She cursed him from under all that material. She then threw a pillow at him.
“Maybe you’re right. Maybe you’re not man enough for me.”
“You didn’t think that way last night when I was…”
“I get it. No need to rehash all that.”
“I’d love to rehash that.” He gave her a head nod. She just rolled her eyes at him.
“Oh yes. Definitely.”
“No, I know you want to have sex again. I was saying ‘really’ to your corny line.”
“Whatever it takes to get you in the mood.”
“Right now, I just want sleep.”
“Not now, babe. I have plans for us. Well, non-sexual ones at the moment.”
“You’ll have to get that sweet ass up and find out.”
“Can you at least bring me coffee?”
“You know, every time you smile at me, my entire life brightens.”
“You’re such a cheeseball.” She said, shaking her head.
“I’m serious. I don’t want any of this is overshadow how I feel about you. I am going to love you with reckless abandon.”
“You’re never going to get me out of bed like this.”
“Okay, I’ll get you some coffee. You want one of those fancy vanilla things?”
“No, just cream and sugar, please.”
“You better get into the shower.” He checked his watch. “We have about an hour to be downstairs.”
“Why are we on a schedule? What did you plan?”
“You’ll see. Now get on up!”
He walked out of the hotel room. The lobby was a giant room with rooms on four sides looking down on it. Each room had a small balcony for the guests to walk out on. It was a nice departure from the usual hotel with windows bolted shut. There were fountains and ponds wrapped around and in between a couple small open air bars and seating areas. It was a simply designed central room, but it was atheistically pleasing.
There was a Starbucks next to the gift shop. It was filled with customers by the time he got in line. He was the third person standing out the door, which doubled as the walkway for the hotel. It was awkward to have to keep avoiding the hotel guests with their luggage. The pace was slow, but he worked his way into the actual store. The baristas were working madly to get through the line of sleepy customers. His frustration softened when he realized the efforts they were putting. This was just a five dollar coffee to him. This was their daily life. He made sure to tip them a little extra than usual.
With Coffee in hand, he made his way back up to the room. He nodded silently and smiled wide to the cleaning ladies. He tried his best to keep the coffee from spilling in from of them.
Getting a key out of your pocket when you have two hands full of coffee is an amazing feat. It involves the use of your chin, shoulder and arm while trying to not give yourself third degree burns.
He could hear the shower going once he opened the door. The smile immediately crested his face. Walking into the bathroom, he set the coffees down on the counter. He had a tough decision to make. There was a naked woman on the other side of a very thin piece of plastic. He had already told her to hurry up and get ready for the day. She was a phenomenal beauty. His willpower was limited whenever she was feeling devious.
“Do you need any help in there?”
“Will you hand me my coffee?” She slung open the shower curtain without a hint of modesty or embarrassment. “I just can’t seem to get moving today.” He handed her the disposable cup, without looking her in the eye.
“I really want to join you, but then we’ll never get out of here.”
“It’s a real shame you made plans for the day. You never know what could have happened.”
He smiled at her.
“Don’t you understand? That’s why I’ve been so deep into all these stories for so long. The more I read, the less I have to deal with my own life. The more I write the less I have to deal with my own life. I can create these worlds to dilute the reality I’m running away from. Everyone has been so afraid of my addiction to alcohol. What about my addiction to these alternative worlds?”
“Did you figure all this out on your own?”
“Man, I’m trying to be serious here.”
“I know you are, I’m sorry. Why does it have to be such a big deal? Why can’t you read, write, and drink? Where’s the problem? It brings happiness to this life of yours. I’m cool with it. Are you cool with it?”
“Most of the time I think so.”
“When aren’t you content with your life?”
“Well, every once in awhile I think about…about…her”
“Mary? Are you serious? It’s been two damn years!”
“It’s not that simple.”
“I’m more worried about your addiction to her.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“What do you think it means? It has been two years and you’re still thinking about her on a daily basis. Do you really think that is healthy?”
“Hey waitress, can we get another round? Thank you.”
“And you wonder why people think you’re an alcoholic? Are you always going to avoid life with alcohol? When was the last time you went some place?”
“What’s with the twenty questions?”
“I’m just trying to help you out. I’m concerned about you. I know you can have so much more in your life than what you have now. I don’t want to see you give up on living life because one girl didn’t see that you were such a great guy.”
“I haven’t given up. Why do you always say things like that? I was in love with Mary. I’m still in love with her. That may sound lame to you, but it is how I feel. I just haven’t met anyone I want to see more than once.”
“In two years, you have not met even one girl? Are you serious? I could go find fifty girls better than Mary right now. It’s not that difficult.”
“Why do you have to be so mean to her? She never did anything to you.”
“She what? Excuse me, she didn’t do anything to me? Do you not remember how she hated me and wanted you to stop being my friend? Dude, she was psycho. We should have called an exorcist or burned her at the stake. Do you think she would have floated?”
“She was just jealous of how close we are. She felt threatened by our friendship.”
“Well, in that case I should have bought her flowers and candy. Remind me why you’re defending her again?”
“I’m not defending her. I simply want you to understand her better.”
“There is nothing simple about that chick.”
“Has anyone ever told you that you are frustrating to talk to?”
“All the time.”
“Are you serious, you’ve never met a single girl you’ve been interested in during the past two years? That’s quite a long dry spell, even for you.”
“Do we have to keep going over all this?”
“Just answer the question.”
“Well…actually there was this chick I met briefly. But it wasn’t much of anything. We barely spoke.”
“Was she hot?”
“Yes very much so, but that’s not the point. The way she looked at me. It was amazing. No one has ever looked at me like that before. It made me feel like I was worth looking at. It was kinda like how I felt in college when we used to get all those girls. They used to flock to us.”
“College girls are easy.”
“Will you shut up? Are you trying to ruin all of my confidence?”
“I’ll try my best. Cheers!”
“Cheers. So anyway, this girl was just awesome. We bumped into each other as I was walking into this store. As I was helping her pick her stuff up, our eyes locked onto each other. It was an amazing feeling. Something swept over me. I wanted to talk to her, but she ran away. She seemed embarrassed or something. I couldn’t figure out why she left so abruptly. I’ve been thinking about her some. I wish I could have gotten her number or something. Oh hell, what am I going to do?”
“You’re going to start shopping at that store everyday, huh?”
“I think so, yes.”
“Yeah? Well, I hate you, so it’s okay.”
“Well, as long as you know.”
To the beautiful blonde
Who makes me move my feet
Forever will never be enough
Advancing in life, never to retreat
You makes my heart smile
Together as one within our days
Hands held tightly
Souls expose; naked in the morning rays
I can twist your inspiration
Folding words between a breath
Our thoughts commingling silently
Scratching with a pen so deft
Can I make you feel that way again
The way you felt dancing so young
I want nothing more than to love you
Passion until all our dreams are sung