[One-shot] When glances are from afar, and when touch is but a hidden indulgence. Oneshot ficlet from Five Senses Ficlet Collection. 714 words.
* Beta: Phoenix
When You Touch
You are an intriguing creature, random and spontaneous.
For the past few years that we had been in the same class, I watched you from the back of the room. You were always smiling, laughing. Everyone had no choice but to feel attracted to your brightness.
We did not talk much, even though we were in the same group of friends. You were always in the centre while I lingered on the edge, supplying comments once in a while. Whenever I did that, you would always raise an eyebrow, as if digesting my words in your mind before grinning in reply.
Our conversations never extended beyond three minutes before other friends of yours interrupt to start their own conversations. Everytime this happens you would give a shrug in my direction, accompanied by a sheepish grin.
The first time had happened one warm evening, the hinting of the end of spring and calling forth the heat of summer. You had your right hand placed on my bicep, just below the ball of my shoulder, successfully trapping me in the open with that effortless, casual gesture.
You asked me about ballroom dancing. From one of our two minutes conversations, you remembered me mentioning that I was learning it, on and off.
So that was how it started. Every morning I would wake in anticipation for the next lesson, where I would not need any reason to hold you close, and you would not think twice about resting your hand on my chest or allowing my arms to encircle you.
Every lesson I would dread the end, where you would resume to keeping me at a polite distance, passing me my water, my bag, all the while talking about anything and everything else that did not relate to dancing, or touching, in general. Whether to avoid thinking about how excessively we did just that only seconds ago, or to disregard it totally, I have no idea.
Today will be no different, I can foresee. Today, tango was on the agenda.
We are almost chest to chest. The palm of my right hand holding you below your left shoulder blade. The side of your waist pressing on mine. You draw your hand along the length of my arm, A trail of sparks bursting just below my skin in its wake.
Your hand in mine, I twirl you around. Once, twice, pull. You spin back into my arms, your right leg folds and presses against my right thigh as you throw your head back in a finishing pose.
Here comes the moment I hate. The coach calls an end to the day's practice and we make our way to the row of chairs where everyone's belongings were disposed. Here you always walk just a notch faster than your usual pace, putting me two steps behind you.
You lean forward, grab my towel that was hanging off the back of one chair before righting yourself, twisting slightly to pass over that piece of cloth. One smooth movement. The things dancing can do a person. You turn back for the bottle of water and hold it out for me, careful to not brush against my hand.
After a short moment of rest, you hand me my bag. It was time already to head home. You kneel down to tie your shoelace and I was suddenly jealous of your hair, ghosting across your cheek so naturally, as if mocking me of my non-existent right to caress you as they do.
You tug the tongue of your sneakers into the right position and I prepare for the last contact that you would allow me as the day come to a close. Sure enough, as I counted two seconds in my head, you hold your hand out.
I extend mine and help you up from the floor. Instead of turning off to the door, with your hand still enveloped in mine, you face me. The edges of your mouth slowly lifting to form a smile as you tilt your head a little to the left, a soundless "Well?"
Does this mean...? Is this agreement? Acceptance? Or...
In that small second, I made up my mind, and walked out of the dance studio, never letting go of your hand.
Not for a very long time.