It was a feeling of deep ecstasy and deeper pain. It was the ache of knowing there weren’t more of you I was allowed to touch.
This was it. This was all I’d ever have.
Even if I wanted to surprise you with how gentle I could be even when my hands fought a war of dominance on your naked body, you’d hold words between your teeth, words that instigated, words which reminded me this was the most intimate I’d be with you.
So I learnt. In empty attics, while your mother snored lightly on warm afternoons, her snores our only alarm, our desires unravelling into a mess of tangled body parts.
I learnt what made you heave. What made you moan. I learnt where you tickled most. That your skin turned warm and tinged with the red of blood where I held you for too long. That you could hide hickeys and emotions with equal expertise. That no matter how breathless we were when the afternoon slowly melted away into dusk, I’d have to leave, leaving the door slightly ajar behind me, hoping I’d turn around and find you there with eyes which spoke to me, told me to stay. But all I saw was the door, just as I’d left it a moment ago. That you were a tower, erected gloriously on the jutting cliff of the island, needing nothing and giving only what you desired to, and the sailors who arrived battered and broken from the sea could find shelter only till the storm had lasted, and not a moment more.
So I shed. My shyness. My inability to meet your eyes after we had kissed. My fear of waking up your mother. I shed and became new. And you watched me, silently smiling, knowing how the cocoon would soon break away from the bug.
When you left, you left me wiser.
When you left, you left without a word.