The drink

Seated diagonally, next to each other.

Better for me to hear, but also more intimate, closer to each other.

I tell myself it’s fine, even though I know, somehow, that this in itself is a shift.

I tell myself it’s fine.

We are talking, catching up, easing into conversation.

The waitress comes and asks what we’ll drink. You turn to me, “Would you like a glass of wine?”

It’s an innocent question, isn’t it? I pause to consider. I very much want to have a drink with you.

I decide that in itself is suspect.

“How about a margarita?” you ask me, and I look up at you. I know that question wasn’t entirely innocent. Your eyes are laughing.

I hedge, and tell the waitress I’ll decide on what to drink when I decide what I’ll eat. Water for now.

You order scotch.

For a moment, I pull myself up straighter, head down, slightly defensive position. I am remembering, and trying not to remember, about our conversation. About learning to like scotch by tasting it mouth to mouth. I don’t know if you remember it. I’m almost sure you don’t, but it’s hard to be sure when you are looking at me out of the corner of your eye and pretending not to.

Your eyes are still laughing. I’m not sure if you’re genuinely happy… or laughing at me… or up to mischief.

We chat while we wait for our drinks. I’m fidgety, but I’m often fidgety. The fidget is a good distraction, burning all the nervous energy I feel in your presence so I can talk, giving me somewhere to look when I can’t hold your gaze. And so we’re talking, we’re laughing, it’s fine. Except it’s distracting you, too, and you put your hands on mine, just for a moment, just to make them stop.

I blush, I apologize, I withdraw my hands.

You didn’t mean anything by it, I’m sure, but we really shouldn’t touch.

The waitress comes, interrupting with the arrival of your drink.

When she walks away, you swirl it in your glass, take a sip, swirl it again, commenting on how it tastes.

Now I know you’re remembering.

We’re supposed to be friends. We cannot be anything else.

But you shift in your seat to face me more directly. Your presence is looming, powerful. It doesn’t seem like you’re close enough to me for me to be feeling your body heat, but I do.

You smell good, and that in itself makes me know I should ask you to give me some space. I almost say so. Almost. But that would require greater wisdom than I can muster.

You tell me that I should try the scotch. Just a taste.

You’re not going to kiss me, here in this restaurant. I know you’re not…

You don’t. You dip your finger in your glass, just barely wetting it, and you bring it to my lips.

I don’t move. I’m frozen; captured; captivated.

Your fingertip touches my mouth, tracing my lips. When your fingers withdraw, my tongue seeks out the spot where you were, tasting the barest hint of the alcohol you painted there. My fingers come up as well, touching where you touched, protective.

I remember to look up. You’re watching me react, watching my tongue on my lips, watching the way the color rises in my face.

You smile at me, then you smile into your glass. You say something about how I barely got a taste.

Your fingers are in your glass again.

This is not supposed to be happening.

You’re bringing your fingers closer to my mouth.

I should stop this. I should leave. You would… you must understand…

But I don’t move. I don’t want to.

Your fingers pause before you reach my lips. You’re watching me, gauging my reaction, letting me choose, seeing what I will do. Giving me a chance to stop this, to stop you, if that’s really what I want.

You are giving me the choice, but I know you don’t want me to end it here.

I know I should. None of this should be happening. You’re not being cruel, but you are playing with me, and I should not be letting you. All the carefully laid, well thought out arguments are lined up in my head… all the defenses that serve me so well in every other situation and shatter in your presence…

Don’t do this, I hear inside my head, but I’m not sure who it’s directed at, and anyway I’m not listening. There’s what I know, and then there’s what I want

It’s been fractions of a second, really, and there are your fingers, there are your eyes on me, unconsciously I lick my lips…

As if I have no will of my own, as if there is nothing else that it would be possible to do in this situation, I lean forward ever so slightly, my mouth closer to your hand, bringing my lips to your fingertips, my eyes flutter closed…

My lips, then my tongue, then my mouth closing over your finger, gently sucking away the scotch.

I don’t see your reaction, but I hear, I feel, the subtle change in your breathing. Or rather that you’re not breathing, just for a surprised second… You didn’t expect… I don’t let myself wonder if you didn’t really want, because you’re reacting, and your reaction is a fire in me…

And then I’m awake, and guilty.

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~ by lorakceel on November 7, 2012.

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