Chapter 1 : Sometimes We Need a Little Change
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That being said, this is dedicated to Celeste. If you're reading this lovely, your work has been such an inspiration many times, so I took this as an opportunity to say thank you! ♥
As always, anything recognizable belongs to JKR.
I’d like to think that you know everything there is to know about me.
But let’s not allow our pipe dreams to condense into a fog that swirls around our heads so thickly that it sweeps away any hints at rational thought. After all, this is, amongst other things, new.
Our hands, intertwined like the ivy that clings to the rocks upon which we lean. The hollow of your cheek, pressed to the crown of my head. Your breath, whispers warm against my face that leave me trembling. All of it, though I couldn’t count the times I’d envisioned us like this, is new. It is fresh and strange, and I can taste the bittersweet tones of excitement on my tongue. This thrills me and terrifies me and sends thousands of thoughts fluttering through my head like restless butterflies.
And you, your eyes shine with the prospect of new and I cannot help but think on how opportunity spilt out before us like a fallen glass of champagne. How she was gone like the shadow of a ghost fluttering around us.
The earth didn’t splice open with a violent shudder. The stars didn’t drop from the sky one by one, showering the world with wishes gone awry. There wasn’t a shadow of melancholy that hid you away in darkness, stealing you away from the light. There were no tears, no grieving, no days where the rain tapped a lament on the roof and your face marred with the frown lines of a man who knew sorrow.
You weren’t unhappy, and this is what was most unsettling.
There were days when I waited, bated breath and eyes swimming with uncertainty, when your carefully crafted exterior would crumble and you would fall to pieces in front of me. She was four years of your twenty one, and I didn’t know a person could hold themselves so steady when the world was waiting for them to tear apart at the very seams. Yet there you were, reading a book with a crease in your brow that was always your telltale sign of concentration, drinking a mug full of tea with nothing but a wistful look in your eyes. And I – sitting beside you at the table, fingers tapping like staccato notes, trying to look anywhere but at you.
Your voice, so sudden that my breath left me before I could answer – “Take a walk with me?”
And then, so fast that all I recall is a swirl of color and kisses and promises and confessions, you were mine. You were mine, and I yours, and I found myself surrounded by new.
They say whirlwind - but this I never imagined.
I don’t know what to do with myself now, when this unfamiliarity consumes me and I can’t help but let thousands of emotions run rampantly through me. Your touch, though not unpleasant – never unpleasant – is foreign and the chills that I am so unused to are not even vaguely decipherable between terror and excitement.
But even then, the times where new feels more like right and I can hardly contain my excitement at the prospect, doubt looms over my head in the form of a willowy girl with cornflower hair and eyes like the sea.
I know you loved her the best you could have. I would have had to have my head so far up in the clouds that the sun pressed kisses against my cheek not to not have known.
She was familiar and known, and I am neither.
“Your favorite color is turquoise.”
Your head lifts and breath pushes past my lips once more. Your eyes are a leaking moon today; gray pours into soft tones of pastel blues, offset by flecks of iridescent silver. Wayward tendrils of too-long hair, thick and flaxen and curled at the ends, fall haphazardly and frame the contours of your face.
“That it is,” you say, and your voice is the cry of songbirds and hushed laughter of lovers. The slight crease in your brow appears, curiosity flickering in your eyes.
“I – well – I know your favorite color,” I whisper, and no doubt my cheeks pool with color the same shade as the poppies on which we lay. “And I was – I wondered – maybe – if you knew mine?”
You press a kiss to my temple; whether to steal a moment in which you can pull the answer from the whirring thoughts in your head or to reassure me that new does not mean unknown, I cannot tell.
“It’s red, isn’t it?”
Never have I loved red. Forever has it been the color of embarrassment and of spite. Of the wine you drink when you’re in a mood, the color that stained my face each time I spied you kiss her goodnight. Of death and blood and frustration all swirled together into an angry mixture of all things wrong with the world.
A glance across the expanse of poppies before us, their dusky reds and deep maroons, interlaced with the orange-tinged green of a grass under sunset skies. Orange spills over into yellow, coating the world in a hazy glow of liquid-golden light.
Because it is the color of poppies and the tint of your cheeks and the dwindling light of the sun above us. It would be the color of my flushed cheeks if I told you I didn’t have a favorite; that so long as the color of your eyes kept changing, my preferences would follow.
But most of all, red is new.
And here is to hoping that new is just what we need.
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