You Know That There's A Possibility, That We'll Never Get This Chance Once Again, Oh No, So Tell Me What To Do, For The Love Of You Tonight
It was 1994 and it was still the first day of my trip to visit Breanne. I remember it was uncharacteristically hot for December. Even at 9:43 in the evening, according to the digital clock by her bed, I was still managing to sweat a bit through my clothes. Normally, if it had been that hot back at home, I would have been carousing around in a pair of boxers, safe in the knowledge that no one outside my walls could see my hideousness in all its glory. But with her there it felt different. I felt awkward. For the time being the suffering I was experiencing beneath all that heat was more bearable than the suffering I imagined of making a fool of myself (again!) in front of her. There I lay on top of her sheets, still wearing the same flannel shirt and pair of jeans that I'd worn out from the airport. I was too chicken shit to change into something more comfortable, so I'd been uncomfortable the last couple of hours even as I was having probably the best days of my life. Not that she would have noticed anyway. She was dressed appropriately for the weather, in a dotted blue halter and a pair of denim shorts. Unlike me, she had no compunction against baring her wonderfully soft skin for the whole world to see. Unlike me, she was already completely comfortable around me.
It would be a lie to say that the kiss didn't have a lot to do with it also. I mean--I have always thought of Breanne like a younger sister. She's always been someone I always tried to look out for, protect, and insure nothing bad happens to. The last thing I would have advised in the spirit of preserving her happiness would have been to get mixed up with the likes of me romantically. But it also would have been a lie to say that I hadn't ever given credence to the idea of us as a couple. By that point in our friendship I'd shared too much, been through too much, with this girl to say I wasn't invested in us having a future together. All in all, I had a lot on my plate that evening to remain stoic.
"Peso for your thoughts," I heard her say.
We'd been laying in her bedroom for the last few hours, talking honestly about a plethora of topics. With the possibly exception of Jina, I've never met a person who I found it easier to talk to about anything. Certainly, I don't believe there has been an individual with whom I've shared more words with than her. I've been so lucky. I've always been blessed to have met people who had the rare ability to draw forth the best and brightest ideas that I've ever originated. On my own I'm truthfully quite the idiot. It's almost as if I didn't have someone wise and mature enough to understand my laziness I'd be content to wallow in the same caveman philosophy--beer good, fire bad, type of thinking.
"Nothing. Actually, a peso is about how much they'd be worth."
"Mine would be worth about the same. You could be getting back change too."
I laughed slightly first, but she soon followed.
I looked at her smiling face, dimples and everything. Normally, this would be the part where I write it was like staring at the face of an angel. It would also be where I could feel myself falling deeper and deeper for her. But that would have been the romantic in me writing. What it was really like was nice. She looked pretty, as always, but she was not breathtaking or ravishing. Nor was she the prettiest girl I'd ever seen. She was what she was, which was very pretty. Even then I'd always been a firm believer in paying a person a compliment if the situation warranted it. As much trouble as I have receiving compliments, I'll always be the first individual to dish them out.
Especially to the prettiest girl I've ever known.
"You look pretty, Breanne, that's what I was honestly thinking," I finally said after a beat. I watched as she started to blush slightly. I don't know if the assertion is true, but she's always claimed to have the innate ability to blush on cue. She always said it was a byproduct of her mother's upbringing--all the false modesty and well-mannered gracefulness that was expected of the daughter of her very particular mother. I always joked with her every time I saw her blush or heard about a time she told me she'd been blushing particularly noticeably that she was just faking it. I always teased her that she was a notorious for giving out fake "glow-gasms". Yet somehow I think this particular time she was truthfully embarrassed.
"What a coincidence, Mr. Patrick, I was just thinking that I look very pretty myself."
"Nope, what I was honestly thinking was what a dork you were for not having taken notice of it sooner. I'm quite offended," she said smiling out of the side of her mouth.
The last few hours after we'd kissed we'd said nary a word about it. It'd happened and we were both glad for the experience. We were also both sure that it had been something we'd both wanted to happen. It was the step after that was kind of hazy. The idea of having to decide where we went from there was confusing. Instead, our answer to the entire dilemma was to forget entirely that there even was a dilemma. Our mentality seemed to be that, if kissing was what caused all this confusion, then we'd lie to ourselves and forget altogether that we'd kissed at all. For those few hours it seemed to work. We'd conveniently sidestepped around any discussion of any attraction between us and focused on milder topics. In time, I think we fooled ourselves into believing that everything was still the same between us. Of course, that's the point I had to open my big mouth about her being pretty.
All the dialogue about her being pretty reawoked the notion that she was, in fact, pretty. It was as if my brain had been lulled into a delirious state of hypnosis-induced amnesia only to be reawakened by the trigger phrase "Breanne is pretty." After that, all bets were off. I remembered why it was that I'd wanted to feel her lips so much and why I was doubting myself even then.
"So sorry, milady, for the offense."
"Apologies will not suffice, you insolent whelp. Rest assured your deed shall not go unpunished and I promise you, sir, your punishment shall be severe."
"Again, so sorry, milady," I said, taking a hold of her hand and kissing in mock reverence. "Shall not happen again."
I watched as her head turned slightly away from me.
"Severe and swift, I might add."
That's when I rolled in closer to her so that my face was an inch from her own. I took my hand, placed it on the cheek facing away from me, and gently rolled it back towards me. She resisted, of course, still playing the role of the offended queen. It was all rather cute and certainly what I expected from her. If it wasn't for all the good times I had with her, I may have thought it impossible for one person to make another truly happy. After a few moments, when she had finally given up, and I was able to look her in the eyes, I kissed her. Unlike our first kiss, I didn't hesitate. I was still nervous and I still thought it was a bad idea, but I was coming around to the notion that, hey, I'd had worse ideas. Plus, I'm very impulsive by nature and, inevitably, in any dealing with a member of the opposite sex that I find attractive, I always let my heart lead where my brain cannot.
Basically, since I'd first met her, I'd had the hots for her. There's a reason why in my earlier writings about her I referred to her as being, "like the little sister I had the hots for," incestuous as that sounds. I never wanted to let myself get caught up in all that, though. I didn't want to introduce another avenue of heartache into my already troubled life. Also, she had so much going for her that there was a part of me that knew, in the ledger of her life, I could only be a liability and not an asset. Yet, at that moment in time, I didn't care. All I cared about, all I was really thinking about, was how pretty she looked and how great it had been to kiss her earlier that day.
"Apology accepted?" I asked as I moved my face away.
"Hell's bells, Patrick. If I'd known that would have been my reward, I would have let you offend earlier."
I laughed. I felt her put her arm around me definitely not like a sister would. Then I viewed her delicately place her head so it rested on my chest. I started to unconsciously run my fingers through her chestnut curls for, if nothing else, it prevented them from being tempted to explore elsewhere.
"What brought that on?"
"Nothing. Just felt like it."
"I liked it."
"So did I."
"I could tell."
This time it was her time to kiss me. As I felt her lips touch mine, I reflect how it was almost second nature by then. I was slowly beginning to get the hang of how our mouths fit together. I was slowly beginning to recognize, even expect, all the peculiarities about how she kissed. It was a habit that I could tell even then that would be impossible to break once started.
Technically, one wouldn't be able to say we made out. I've always thought of making out as involving petting and fondling. All we did was kiss, which was the most I was willing to allow myself to do with her. I still had boundaries and I wasn't about to cross them. I don't know if she had her own boundaries, but at the very least she seemed to pick up where I wanted things to go and respected that. The kissing was very nice, though. It was like telling a child that all he can ever be is a mime. If he was happy with that lot in life and knew that's all he could ever have as a career, eventually he'd grow up to be the best damn mime in the world. We must have kissed straight for twenty minutes in a variety of permutations. It was an experience the likes of which I'd never had. It was one thing to kiss your date good night. It was another thing to have kissing lead into heavier foreplay. But to kiss for its own sake was like visiting another planet for me. It was nice, though. Very nice.
Afterwards, she went back to laying atop me again.
It makes my heart quiver to remember how overwhelming my feelings were for her back then. Those tender moments that the two of us shared are some of the hardest memories not to reflect back upon, especially when I'm feeling especially lonely or sad that I haven't found the right one yet. It hurts sometimes because I know it's horrible to compare something that happened to you a long time ago to where you're at now. One's tendency is to reminesce about "the good old days" when everything was better and happier and prettier. And, while I cannot say I didn't have other happy times that were just as memorable and just as happy, I can say that those few days--heck, all my days--with Breanne were when I realized what being happy could really mean.
We laid like that for awhile, my hand playing with her hair, her hand tracing up and down my arm, like two people who had too much to say and only two hands to say it with. I didn't want to talk because I had a sense that any more talking would ruin whatever magic that moment held. All I wanted to do was feel the texture of her body against mine, feel that unique warmth against me.
"What are you thinking now?"
"Just trying to enjoy the moment, my Breannie."
"Was it good for you?" she laughed.
"No complaints. And you?"
"I'm ready for seconds, please, thank you."
I know it's a cop-out to say that what you appreciate about a person is that they make you laugh. I think it's obvious that if you like somebody they both get and share in your sense of humor. I'd be hard-pressed to find a pair of individuals who were dating or even just friends that didn't laugh at each other's jokes. It'd be like trying to find someone who didn't enjoy music or toast. But, yeah, Breanne has always been good at finding the particular vein of humor that I always seem to strike. I can't think of a time when the two of us have been talking, when we weren't fighting, that she hasn't made me laugh out-loud. And one of her surefire ways to laugh at the most inappropriate moment is to add the phrase "please, thank you" to the end of her sentences. It was a phrase that she used to repeat ad nauseum when I first met her and I used to have the giggle fits every time she said it. I used to think it was strange for someone to be that polite and considerate, since I was practically raised in a barn. Eventually, I weaned her off the practice and relegated its use for purposes of comedy exclusively.
"I bet you are."
"The question is are you happy now?"
"How happy are you?"
I opened my arms around her head and spread them wide like I was describing a fish I'd caught.
I felt her jump off of me and her bed. She ran to the radio and turned it to some pop station, fiddling with the volume until it was just below the level which would her parents up. Then I watched as she went to the light switch and flick it off, breaking the number one cardinal rule her mother had given us before turning in for the night. I knew her mom liked me, but you can like somebody without trusting them, and she was well within her parental rights not to trust me, especially given the situation Breanne and I found ourselves in. I felt more than heard her climb atop the bed, then me. The next feeling I had was that of her cheek brush against me like it was effortlessly ice skating past it. It provided me with a blast of chilling tingles that, to be honest, did take my breath away.
I wrapped my arms around her.
"Do that again," I instructed her. She complied. Again, I felt my breath leaving my lungs but not escaping my mouth. She literally was sending shivers down my spine. In the comforting darkness I felt her breath move from the side of my face down my neck.
"How happy did you say you were?"
"Ecstatically happy," I replied.
The first kiss on the neck was a surprise.
"Is that a fact, sugar?" I nodded. "More?" I heard her ask.
"Please, thank you."
Kiss on the neck. More?
"Please, thank you."
By the time she'd given me the fifteenth kiss, I began to detect a pattern to the sequence of events. I grabbed her and turned her over on her back. Then it was my turn to return the favor. The nape of her neck tasted sweet in my mouth, very much like the orange fragrance she claimed she put on every day. As I began to kiss her repeatedly, the orange motif became the overriding sensation of what kissing upon Breanne's skin is like. It got to the point where I can't even eat oranges without thinking of her. I kissed her all over her neck, down to where her cleavage began, and back up again. And then I repeated it one more time, but this time I spaced out the kisses so that each one came farther and farther apart. It drove her crazy.
When I finally stopped, I was smiling inconsolably. The last thing I remember thinking before the plane had taken off for Georgia was that maybe, possibly, I might get a chance to kiss her once before my trip was done. To think I had, not only been kissing her for the last hour, but kissing across her body was a little much. Even if was the one and only time, I remember thinking on the bed that night, at least I can tell myself that I never risked it at all. I could reconcile myself to the fact that the two of us had shared at least that much.
Again, we stopped ourselves from doing anything further. I wanted to be happy with what had already transpired. I didn't want to sully that great memory with something cheap and tawdry, even if cheap and tawdry was what was on both our minds just then. Instead, we started relaxing once more. We both knew soon I would have to head off to the guest room. The last thing I would have needed is to have fallen asleep in her room on her bed next to her and have her dad catch us. They were okay with us catching up with one another late into the evening as long as the lights remained on and I went back to my room as soon as we stopped talking. We'd already blown the first part and I wasn't about to give them another reason to separate my ass from the rest of my body.
"Can I ask you something else, Eeyore?"
"Would you mind offending me, again?..." she giggled. "Please, thank you?"
I kissed her on the head, but before I could even attempt to offend her again, a particular song came on the radio that immediately perked up my ears. "I Can't Wait Another Minute" was this song that my cousin V.J. had fooled around singing karaoke-style whenever we wanted to act goofy. He'd take the melody and I'd always sing the harmony parts. I remember singing ourselves silly because it always possessed this Barry White-esque makeout song quality to it that, in those days, always cracked me up. I'd sing it with this deep bass that was well out of my range and be smiling uproariously throughout the entire number.
can't turn my eyes away
I got off the bed to the puzzlement of my companion. I felt for the radio in the dark and turned up the volume ever so slightly. As the first few words of the opening verse came on and I started to seranade the lovely Breanne, I was choked up with all the laughing. For her part, Breanne was doing her best not to chuckle as well.
Little lady you look so fine
Can't turn my eyes away
So much I wanna say, and
Tonight I wanna make you mine
We'll turn the lights down low
And dance so very slow
Then a funny thing happened. As I began to sing more and more of it to her, the laughter began to die down from both of us, and I began to realize how the lyrics of the song made some sense for our situation. Very soon I stopped the silly New Edition dance moves. Heck, I stopped dancing altogether, and I moved closer to the bed. I knelt beside it until my mouth was directly in front of her head where I knew she could hear me. My voice softened to a loud whisper and I sang the rest of the song for her.
Cuz I've been holding back what I feel
Love's so real
But I can't wait another minute
I can't wait another minute
Cuz I've been holding back all I feel
I'm for real
Cuz I can't wait another minute
I can't wait another minute for your love
It kind of became my song to her. It was a way to express how I felt about what had happened and what was happening, while still maintaining a sense of distance appropriate to the situation. I could say I loved her without actually saying it. And she could tell how honest I was being without getting embarrassed by all the rheotoric of a formal declaration. After all, it was just a song. By the end of the song, I think we were in a good place. True, it may have only been the first step of many, but it was a definite step in the right direction. Plus, I've never seranaded anyone else in my life so it was a definite milestone for me as well.
After that, I kissed her good night and awaited what the 'morrow would bring for the both of us.