prose

Tongue-tied.

You are eloquent with words—a soft curl of your tongue, a swoop of resounding air, a subtle, wet smack of your lips—and I am speechless, unable to respond.

‘What did you say?’ I ask eagerly, curious to understand, my naked torso now turned facing towards you. I want to know you more, so much more.

You allow a small smile to slip through your guise and your young face loses its usual detachment, its sternness. Silky waves of my hair tenderly hug your bare shoulder and I notice how much we contrast—your Irish skin pales in complexion against my golden skin and your familiar, fiery red hair burns brilliantly against my sable-chocolate hair.

You continue to talk in a language different from the one that I can understand—it is French now and before that, it was Italian. I turn myself away from you, feigning distress and annoyance as you ramble on without acknowledging my question…

Viens ici, viens ici,‘ you murmur softly, wrapping your lanky arms from behind me. You pull me closer to you and I feel the gap between us closing in, capturing the heat. You make me feel tingly all over and I shudder slightly, reveling in the warmth of your embrace, your touch.

You try to teach me a few words—’That means “come here,”‘ you mumble into my neck— but the rest of the one-sided conversation you have with me, you tell me not to worry about it. I haven’t been worrying about it but I still want to know what you were saying. Why do you speak in another language? Why can’t I know what you mean to say? Why must you be so mysterious and reserved, so full of intrigue?

Perhaps those were little cues, tiny hints that we contrasted too much. But don’t opposites attract? Not in the way that would have been healthy for the both of us. You are a person of few words yet I can sense that there is so much on your mind. You are vague with your emotions but extremely straight to the point with your words.

You were the first one I couldn’t fully express myself to.

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