AN: All I've been thinking about is fitting together a love story told backwards; thinking about all the little romantic things that don't seem romantic to anyone else but those in that couple. I should get the other things I'm writing done first but I'm not…
"The reverse side also has a reverse side"
Snapshots in Reverse
I can hear her record player spinning under the vocals of one of her favorite bands. The male lead sinner croons
And love - is all
Her fingers are playing with my hair, spinning it into more of a mess than it was before; somehow. I wonder to myself if that's even possible. I have, after all, spent the whole day in bed. She doesn't care she just runs her hands along the upper ridge of my ear and I sigh and wish to see her deep brown eyes. She's always about touch, always has been and probably always will be.
"Bella," I start as I shift in the small black wrought iron bed. She makes a shushing sound and I follow its implications because there is simply nothing I wouldn't do for her.
She languidly moves away from me. Her toes tapping the wood floor, such a relaxing sound, but I stay still. She changes the record just before the song ends and though I find it odd, because that song is one of her top five, I don't ask.
My head is resting on my left ear and so even with my eyes open all I see is the light blue wall. She leans delicately on my shoulder to sing quietly with the vocalist
Always when I get there all the pieces they just fall apart
I smile, feeling the air leave her and caress me. There will never be anything quite like her. Her fingers glide down my arm and I savor the feeling, just a little too light, just a little too perfect. Then she's working on my back again. She's scratching off the dried henna that has been on for five hours.
As she works I hear her hum along to the song playing and by the time it ends Bella is just teasing me with her fingers. The henna remains are now scattered on the black bed slip. Her lips kiss me leisurely in the direct middle of my back. Moving tenderly to my neck at which point I pull myself up and twist to meet her.
She laughs and it's so not expected that I want to still and ask what is just so funny but I don't. I tuck my knees under me and lean into Bella. She kisses me back, brushing her fingers against my cheek feeling her way around my bone structure.
"I love you," I breathe out and she pulls back taking my bottom lip with her as far as it will go. It falls back with a small sound and her smile is radiant.
"Me too," she says before nodding her head toward the mess of music on the already cluttered floor, "pick something, please."
She lowers herself first to her elbows and then flat on the mattress. She giggles as I right myself and bend onto the floor to grab a CD I picked up just for a time like this. The case is a gaudy pink with cheap overused lettering in rainbow colours that play out in a random pattern.
I have already taken care of the plastic warp the music world encases their CDs in, from one previous listening, so all I have to do is slip it into the old gray and purple boom box that I got when I was twelve. I fumble a few keys before putting the song on repeat.
Bella Notte starts playing, a version done by Eugenia Zuckerman and the Shanghai Quartet. It was an unusual find at the local music haunt I frequent, one that was just too interesting to pass up. Disney songs remade into styles from classical composers, honestly who could not wonder.
I brush the dried henna from off the bed, tickling her bare legs as I do so, on purpose because I already miss her. Her pout is intoxicating and I focus on it only long enough to watch her mouth open and question me, "Belle Notte?" she asks and I know it's because she only half recognizes it in this form that sounds like Satie.
"Yes," I answer turning from her and grabbing the white duvet set that doesn't match any of the linens but that somehow fits us. She'd tossed it from the bed much earlier in fear the henna would do more than stain my skin.
I slip in beside her as the blanket falls over us. Immediately she's turned to me, her dark brown hair swirling around her, how I would imagine a mermaid's would underwater. The untamed curls that bend at will find themselves between my fingers as I twist them around my index. She rests her cheek on my chest and stares at the music player and the happiness is obvious on her features.
Bella has always preferred live music but she can't be expected to leave this bed, this house, enough to get too much of that. The record player is the only thing, musically; she cares to learn to operate. She has fifteen records that she replays at her whim. So the CDs, cassettes and mp3 players are all mine.
She loves listening to them with me but never bothers to operate any without me. It makes me feel like she needs me but she doesn't. I need her. Her body moves in and out with mine. Her exhaling as I inhale. Her loose white tank top lets her body heat touch my chest.
And just as I swear she's asleep she mummers, "I love you Edward," and everything is simply right in my life. Sure living with her isn't the easiest and sometimes she disappears for weeks and once she was gone for two months, sometimes she looses her keys for days and sometimes she forgets her age but she's mine.
And as I hold her to myself I don't wonder why I love her. There isn't anything that isn't endearing about her; even her disappearances. When she finds herself back in my arms, randomly after all that time, there is such a swelling in my heart that it's just worth it.
I don't want her to change, I don't want her to go on medication and loose herself, I don't want to loose her. I don't want her to turn into someone else just because some doctors think she's flawed because she's not.
Even so I think of all the moments in our lives, all the snapshots that led us here. And it all starts to pull me back in reverse. The most beautiful girl in the world and how we met and how I felt the first time I lost her or the next. Our longest separation and the first time I knew; just knew.