Chapter 7 : Don't Call Me, I'll Call You
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But just as long as I can have my say
I won’t be true to only you
It’s gotta be that way
The first time Susan and I kissed changed my life.
I had never kissed a girl before, had never kissed anyone but Ernie. I have felt breathtakingly close to Susan since we reconnected in Diagon Alley, and nothing felt more surreal in its perfection than that connection taking physical form. In that single moment, who I was melted away and I felt the possibilities of who I could be swim before me in her lips.
But that was not the kiss that defined the beginning of our relationship.
“I don’t see what the big deal is,” Susan tells me over dinner.
“Well…” I poke reluctantly at the food on my plate as I avoid her gaze. “You kissed her.”
Susan nodded slowly, as if pointing out the obvious. “And?”
“Well, it’s just that…Llast night, with the candles and the music and everything… I thought we had something really special.”
“We do!” Susan jumps in, reaching forward to grab my hand. “We had a wonderful, beautiful time last night. And we are having a lovely time tonight. And yes, I saw Charice this afternoon, and yes, I kissed her.”
I can feel my face flush at her words, overcome by an unwelcome flood of fear and insecurity.
Susan sighs. “Hannah, you know this is how I do things.”
“I know, I know,” I say quickly. “But I guess I wasn’t ready. I mean, after Ernie – ”
“Ernie lied and Ernie cheated. I will never do either of those things,” she says with patient kindness. “Yes, I will see other girls. I may kiss them, I may love them. But that doesn’t change what I do or feel when I am with you.”
“Which is?” I ask, tentatively glancing up at her, my face contorted in uncertainty.
Susan considers. “I may kiss you. I may love you.”
Despite myself, I giggle bashfully at her words. “You may,” I concede.
Smiling, Susan leans over the table and obediently kisses my lips. This kiss may not have the mystical novelty of the previous night’s first kiss, but it has something untouchably its own. It has honesty, it has understanding.
As she pulls away, my head hangs suspended in the space of our kiss, my eyes still closed in earnest relaxation. I feel Susan’s warm fingers trace my left cheek, and I feel my own lips twist into a quiet smile in response.
All at once I am back in Diagon Alley, my breath struck from my chest as I see her so clearly. The girl I hadn’t thought to miss, the girl I never considered I’d love, the girl who is n ow the star that I wish upon.
“You’re so precious, Hannah, and I will never hurt you,” Susan whispers. For a moment I almost believe that her words are coming straight from the touch of her skin.
“I may love you,” I whisper before I can question my words.
I feel her response throughout my body, first as her fingers tighten their grasp on my cheek, then as her lips join mine in speech and touch.
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