by Katie Mosses
I walk towards him, trying my best to look nonchalant when really I’m concentrating on not tripping over my feet or being sick with nerves. He looks up and cocks an eyebrow. The corner of his mouth twitches. He smiles as we hug, and I feel a finger trace down my spine. I’m overwhelmed by the smell of his aftershave, which takes me back to the summer that we spent together. He squeezes me before letting go, and I know then that I’m in trouble.
He sits opposite me in the pub. I’m conscious of my movements, careful not to play with my hair or leave my wrists exposed or exhibit any of those cliché ‘I fancy you’ signs. I know he will read into it. Yet my neck prickles every time I catch him glancing at me, I go cold when his foot brushes against my jeans. I try not to look at him too much, but I can’t help myself. I forgot about the chemistry that existed between us and suddenly I feel vulnerable and exposed.
We haven’t seen each other in months, and we have so much to talk about. He leans in when I talk, occasionally glancing at my lips which makes me self-conscious. He looks around nervously when he talks, tapping on the table and drumming his fingers on his legs. You can tell he’s a musician. As the night goes on we move closer. He plays with my keyring and I touch his shoulder as I laugh at one of his jokes. I keep fiddling with my G&T to keep my hands busy and leave stroke marks over the cold condensation on the glass. He rolls a cigarette between his fingers and thumb, interlacing it between his fingers, playing with it. Teasing it. He runs it over his lips before cocking that eyebrow again. I suddenly feel rather hot but refuse to break eye contact, although I know that I’m blushing and that my pupils are probably the size of saucers.
“I know what that look means,” he says, and I laugh at his hypocrisy. He glances back as he leaves to smoke his cigarette and smirks. I realise my eyebrow is raised as I watch him walk away.
He pays for our drinks and walks me home. It’s cold and we’re quiet, but I’m flushed and my heart is beating so hard that it hurts slightly. I hope he can’t hear it. My battered old boots clump along the concrete as we walk and his fingers tap on his coat. The gentle rustling and clumping is a welcome relief from the silent anticipation. We both know what’s coming, but neither of us will say it. His fingertips brush briefly against mine and he quietly apologises, but I know he doesn’t mean it.
We reach my house. I stand on the doorstep and he in front of me. His eyes are level with mine and I tell him that he has to go, but he doesn’t respond. There’s that eyebrow again. He reaches forward and takes my hand.
“Please don’t do this.”
He ignores me before taking my other hand, lacing his cold fingers through mine. He doesn’t take his eyes from mine and we stand together, holding hands in the middle of the night on my driveway in silence. I sigh. He sighs and blinks, and I know then that he’s sorry for what happened between us. That he’s missed me and that he wants me. Neither of us have to say it, as he knows I want him too.
His thumbs stroke my palms which are clammy despite it being one of the coldest nights of the year. When I look into his eyes, I think about the heartbreak, the indescribable pain and all the hours I spent missing him, thinking of him and wanting him. I shouldn’t be doing this to myself again. But his pupils are now the size of saucers too, and I just can’t resist.
He picks up my hands, wraps them around his neck and pulls me towards him. There’s no point in protesting as we both know I don’t mean it. I think we’ve said enough.
Katie Mosses | @katieemosses
Katie is a writer, reader and a pretty useless yogi. She splits her time between the city and the seaside and is normally found with a coffee in hand, planning her next adventure.