One shot focussed upon the Saturday after thanks giving, so the third night that Etienne sleeps in Anna's room.
Anna's digital clock ticks over to 1:04 am. The red glow from it illuminates the whole of her impeccably tidy room. I see our shoes, neatly placed by the door. I see Anna's collection of banana and elephant figurines. Even in this light it is clear that each has been carefully positioned in its own little spot instead of randomly sprawled out on her dresser. I turn my attention back to the ceiling and my mind wanders.
Tonight for some reason, sleep is the furthest thing from my mind.
The past two nights have been the best night's sleep I've had in ages. You would think that it would be impossible sleeping in the same room as one of the most beautiful girls going round. But knowing that Anna is just there, at my side, is so comforting, especially after everything that is happening with me mum. Anna just gets it. And in a way I've needed that comfort of knowing that someone understands.
The past couple of weeks have been so hard. I feel so sad about not being there for me mum and angry at my arse of a father. I have become numb to everything that doesn't concern my mother. I call her every day for updates but it isn't enough. She needs me to be with her. She shouldn't be alone. And I need to be there to be assured she is okay, not just hear it from my father.
But he sees to it that I am not with her.
I hate the control he has over my life. In the beginning I yelled and argued with him to let me go to San Francisco. He has this way of twisting my words and manipulating me that is just so completely draining. In the end I knew it was pointless. He had made up his mind and nothing I could do or say would change it. If anything, it would only jeopardise mum more considering he's the one footing her medical bills. He definitely doesn't need my arguing to give him another reason to threat cutting us off.
So instead, I stayed in my bedroom and became numb.
I Ditched class as an act of protest.
Handed in assignments well past their due dates or not at all.
Despite my trying to talk to Ellie, she seems to be more than happy to ignore the issue completely. I tell her about the horrible things my father is doing. She nods and responds when necessary but you can see that look in her eyes, clearly doubting that a charming bloke like my father could ever do or say such a thing. She thinks its best that I stay here, arguing that I need something to distract me from it all.
She definitely helped with the distraction side of things initially. I was desperate to feel anything other than sadness and grief for me mum. We went out, got pissed most nights and ended up back in her bed. That need for her in that way, slowly disappeared as the numbness sunk in. I would try talking to her, but I got the impression that it was always an inconvenience to her. Like she would much rather be anywhere but with me.
I sigh at these thoughts, pushing them out of my mind as I do so.
Suddenly Anna's presence next to me is way too hard to ignore for any longer.
Without moving my head, I glance her way, checking that she is still asleep.
Sometimes I think that my feelings for her are so obvious. I'm certain she catches me staring at her lips all the time. I've looked at them for so long that I'm pretty sure I could pick them out of a line up. They look soft and the lightest shade of apricot. Her bottom lip is round, and juts out a little due to her slight under bite, making it plump and round. I imagine this would make playfully biting said lip easy. Her upper lip is smaller than her lower but round just the same. When she smiles the fact that the upper lip is smaller shows her teeth more, highlighting the gap she has between them. Normally gaps in people's teeth are undesirable but on Anna it only makes me desire her more.
They are lips that I imagine kissing. Lips that I imagine slowly kissing my neck, then trailing down to my shoulder, my chest, my- Whoa, whoa, WHOA, Étienne! Snap OUT OF IT. It's really inappropriate to be having these thoughts. Especially when the owner of those lips and the lips themselves are only centimetres away from me.
Anna gives a long sigh and slightly rolls her body closer to mine, head tilted towards mine. I freeze and stay facing the ceiling. She sighs again and goes back to deep rhythmic breathing, indicating she is fast asleep. Slowly I turn my head to face her. The previous two nights I was so tired that I fell straight to sleep and when I woke up in the morning she was gone, so I never got a chance to just look at her. Her face is no more than three or four centimetres away from mine.
She is so breathtakingly beautiful that it hurts.
Up close I can see the light scattering of freckles on her nose. Her eyelashes are so thick and crazy long. I save looking at her lips for last. They slightly parted and so close to mine that I could die.
She is so oblivious to how amazing she is. My eyes slowly travel down her body, boldly staring at areas of her that I fantasize about, taking in every inch of her. My eyes return, as they always do, to her lips.
The temptation to kiss her has never been so strong. I could do it you know. Kiss her. Inch my lips closer and closer until they slightly brush hers. I wonder if they would be as soft as I've imagined them. They look SO soft. Maybe I can just trace them with my thumb, settle the bet right now.
Apparently I have no self control as during the argument I've been having with myself, I have unconsciously moved my lips so that they are just hovering only a centimetre over Anna's. I snap out of it, quickly moving my head back to its original position.
I freeze thinking that Anna couldn't possibly go on undisturbed, but she continues sleeping as if I didn't just nearly accidentally kiss her.
Gahhhhh! The agony!
I must be out of my bloody mind to put myself through this. I could have simply said good night to her on the first night and went straight back to my room and been none the wiser. My head tells me that this is not the right time. That given the current situation with my mum that things need to stay as normal as possible. That Ellie is normal and that any change with that would just be creating more problems than I need.
And there is no way that I will live up the St. Clair name my father has created. Cheating and lying. Making moves on one woman while still with another. There is no way I would do that to Ellie or Anna.
If I was only more confident that Anna wants me just as much as I want her, this whole thing would be so much easier. How more blatant could I be? I stared the Neruda passage. I've told her she's beautiful. AND I'm sleeping in her bed. If my feelings were any clearer, the president of France would have to give me a cape and shield, and then whole of Europe would address me as Captain Obvious.
I look over to Anna's clock again and see that it is now 1:58. Guess I should sleep. I take one more glance at Anna then close my eyes.
Oh well. Maybe tomorrow when we get crêpes I'll use nutella to write 'I love you' on my fore head...