The Computer Tech
You think about his crooked little grin first. Mostly, you retrace that day you sat in bed, your foot propped up, wrapped with blood and bandages. He took the rocking chair next to your bed. Phone in one hand while the other rested by his knee. Every now and then, he shot you a shy smile.
You only wanted innocent things from him. Sweet kisses, light touches. A chin to tuck your head under.
He was both the man you wanted and the man you feared. With him, you could have shaped the rest of your days, watched them play out in sequence.
Now, you wonder if he would even kiss you back.
The Snake Charmer
You think about his voice first: the accent, each pleasing note it hit, the way you couldn’t identify where he was from. You wonder if it was circumstance or the supple leather of time that shaped the boy into the slim-hipped, long-fingered man.
There were always salmon pants and big belt buckles. Every day, he was just a few inches over five foot, with scruff on his cheeks and eyes sharp enough to cut, blue enough to make you stare. Every day he was thin.
You imagined yourself on your knees, looking up at his blue eyes, feeling heat slice through your gut. He was not your type—he had never been your type—but it took all your control not to constantly think about the taste of his skin.
You liked that he didn’t play with words. And yet, you could never tell if he meant what he said.
He was clever that way, your snake charmer.
The Storm Chaser
You no longer think about stories you once told. You chase rhythm in the thunder of your steps, the snap of your heels against aging cement. You are polished in your cubicle and a sparkling vibration in your nightly ritual.
At the clubs, you laugh and drink and scream. You do not falter. For the first time, you understand the burden of shedding skin, the blood that comes with the cut.
Your performance is seamless until night burns to day. In the transition, you stumble, puncture fingers on glass. A man tends to your image.
When he peels back the cotton ball, you stare at blood beaded on papery skin, looking like Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.
You think that spot is more of a storm.