Cold Skin

We lay there, skin on skin. A breeze billowed the curtain and I watched as goosebumps shivered on the small of your back like a kiss.

There was not much left of the day. Through the window I could see the light fading and soon it would be dark, but neither of us made a move to leave.

The moment would pass soon enough, something we both knew. Better to lie there a while, side by side, and let it fill us.

You shift beneath the sheets and turn to face me.

“Do you ever remember?”

It’s confusing at first. Remember what? This? Moments such as this?

“I try not to.”

An honest answer, and you accept it, running your fingers across my face, stroking it the way a blind person would, as if you have to take in the details of me. Have some memory of me, there in your fingertips, as a reminder.

Some little piece of me, for those days when the memory alone is not enough and you find yourself confronted with the need to feel me there again. Little remnants of this touch, this moment, rekindled with the mere whisper of a breath upon your skin.

“Do you ever remember?”

Perhaps I should have said more.

“I try not to, because …”

Because every time I watch you dress, I think of him.

I think of you as you ride home, your face pressed to the glass of the window, looking out into the night and I wonder what it is you think when you catch a glimpse of your own face reflected back at you.

Do you think about the afternoon that has just passed? Do you think about us? Do you smile a little even?

Or do you think instead of the things that await you back home?

Do you imagine opening the door and hearing the sound of your “hello” ringing through the walls, pure, like a bell?

Because that is how it sounds. It is not a thing I imagine.

“I need to go.”

And I know it, so say nothing. Just watch you dress.

The space where you lay beside me growing colder until there is nothing left.

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This story is based on a response to a Twitter short story challenge the theme of which was “Cold Skin”. This is my original tweet which forms the first sentence of the story.

Response to the theme Cold Skin

 

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