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Coming of Age Contemporary Drama

“I like you,” as he said this, he studied how the warm light reflected off her face. Her brown eyes embellished the burning light in a way that made them look like they belonged in the depths of some form of royal gold. Her expression was both wide-eyed and blank, she turned her face away looking back at the street with all the people dancing and laughing. Her profile looked more regal with the lights of the festival and the music giving way to her.

“It’ll go away, believe me,” she tried to distract herself with the music. Her heart thudded in the bottom of her chest, as she felt his eyes study her like an old diagram. If she was ever good at hiding things, it was not in this moment. In each step she had taken with him, there were both guiding beams of sunlight that led her forward, but also signs that the sun would set on the affair between the two. Summer would be over soon and they would return to their normal lives.

He moved closer and guided her face with his hands to look into his eyes. She would have jerked at this a few months ago or pulled away like a feral animal that was disturbed by human touch. Behind the hardened glass cover of her eyes was a softness that sat like a leaf on the surface of a pond. “It won’t,” he muttered in an attempt to prevent the argument he knew was coming.

She grabbed his hands and lowered them away from her face gently, “I promise it-”

“No. I told you it won’t.” His hands dropped to his side abruptly, a snort echoed out as his nostrils flared slightly. He felt agitated with her avoidance of his feelings, it was callous and chilling. “Why are you being so needlessly combative about this?!” 

“Why are you being so needlessly pushy about this?” She shot back in retort to his former comment. The sparks that started between the two upon first meeting were now more apparent than ever. The push-and-pull dynamic of their bickering was something that became a draw for both of them, but held shines of a nuclear bomb ready to ignite and go off at any time. 

“Because I-”

“You what? You’d be deprived of another notch in your belt, another conquest?” She had memories flushing into her mind of the way he spoke about former lovers and the person he was previous to the situation, he was like a small fire that was too stubborn to be put out, even in the harshest of conditions. In all her attempts to escape what had developed within her, she found herself further entrapped in her struggle. A fight between her judgment and passion, wishing providence would allow safe passage.

“Stop it!”He cried at her, she never understood how deeply her words cut and how brazen they were to his ego. Spending your entire life in comfort causes the first touch of a metallic and cold scalpel to truly be felt. Even if one’s intention were good, the words of the higher will were still the most terrifying reflection to see without preparation or appeal.

“You clearly stated your history in early conversations, why wouldn’t I make some form of a judgment on it!” The young woman shouted, her eyes staring into his with depth and frustration before averting them once again. His gaze was still as burning as it had always felt in these past few months, whether it was out of frustration or bliss.

He pulled her close to him, his eyes stared into hers, “I don’t want to be that way with you.”

She could feel that small, unseeable, thread connect her to him. The steps and movements taking place in both their psychologies were all too apparent in eyes of the fighting half-couple. Bystanders across the street looked at them and without knowing the words being said could see that for the two people arguing it felt like a bomb was being dropped in their small world. “You say that now, but before too long you’ll get bored and go back to the way you were,” her heart broke as she said this, wanting to believe different.

“So you can just judge me?” The boy asked, feeling accused and dismayed at the idea that he could never fully please her or meet the standards she set. The chasm between the two only seemed to widen at this realization and he felt something in him tear while another fought to mend it.

“Everyone makes judgments, we make them every day of our life,” she said knowing it would be milliseconds before he snapped back. She wished it was easier to forget this happened, to feel his finger untwine from hers for the last time, for their gazes to no longer meet and her not desire him. In months, she would find herself falling asleep and saying small prayers to forget his face, at this point, it was like ripping a band-aid off. A painful task that needed to be done.

“And why do you get to judge how I’ll behave in the future, why don’t you think I would change?!” His heart swelled, and rose-like thorns constricted at the constant analysis of her words. Whatever sensitivity that was covered in words of body counts and verbal ego boosts, was rearing its ugly head in face of her chastity. If she could take it away from him she would, and if he could remove her doubts he do so as well.

The young woman finds herself on the verge of tears, in pain at the words coming from both of them. She found herself utilizing every muscle in her body to restrain it. “I don’t know if you would change! I don’t!”

She wanted to take back what she said, but it was too late. Her sharp words had carved into him, far surpassing their usual level of playful banter. They probed him into a venom-laced act of pleading that everyone did when they were about to lose something.

“But what if I will?” His eyes softened again, and the harsh voice in him ceased. He loomed over her as he could fall into her arms, his eyes begged her to stay and not leave him. It was painful that they were both here, but at least for him, he knew he would have done the same thing again. Approach her from across the room, bother her on the day-to-day, ask her questions and slowly feel a warmth between the two develop. A cycle of pain that he would choose to let happen even if given the chance to change.

She allowed herself to lay a gentle hand on his arm, she avoided his glance at first and then looked into his eyes. “Listen, I like you, and I hope you will, but there are legitimate obstacles here.”

“Like what?” He leaned closer, wanting to kiss her as she backed up a step. Her nerves felt wrecked in both a signal of affection and disdain.

“A difference in temperament, a difference in the worlds we were raised in, a difference in relation to family, a difference in theology (in your case a lack of it), and most of all, a chasm between us in terms of spirituality.” Her list left part of him detonated, she had felt as if her intestine was being slowly pulled out of her body as she methodically listed each point.

The lights in the back setting of the streets drew the gold tints out of her sad eyes, and he took notice of this. It stung him because the golden color they elicited would forever remind him of her. The warmth and proudness that was simultaneously displayed in her. She would sit with those big eyes gazing at you and also smugly take you down in a verbal battle. She was such a strange and otherworldly creature. One who was outside the bounds of what he had considered beautiful before this.

His hands held her wrists as his thumbs made small circles around them. He looked back at her only to see those eyes taking him in as he was now. “I wish I could give you a reply that showed greater understanding, if I could bend you to see things my way, I would,”  he sighs.

“If I could guide you with tenderness to see things on my end, I would.”

“Can I believe that?”

“I would walk that canyon to show you good if you would see it,” she said with longing behind her eyes. No tears were shed at the moment but that night they would be. He took her hand as if imitating the small thread that would link them together in a chaotic cross of paths.

“I can't believe we’re arguing over this,” he said out loud, looking into her eyes with pleading earnestness that could emerge amongst long hours together and summer heatwaves.

I can’t believe I let this happen

July 04, 2022 00:49

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2 comments

Ba Eubank
17:33 Jul 10, 2022

Great use of description. You put the reader completely in the scene. Wonderful story!

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L.J Sunwing
12:15 Jul 11, 2022

Thank you so much!

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