Well, this is unexpected. I'm not one to have three things - let alone STORIES - on the go. But, this one just kind of... spewed out of me? It's 3am and my brain wouldn't let me sleep until I got this out. Curiosity won't kill the cat here, so read away my lovely friends :)
You wake with a start - though that's how it seems to happen every morning - as you wipe the sleep from your eyes. You glance around the room, and you know right away that Naomi has gone to work. You can tell, because that musky smell of coffee is faint, and her side of the bed is made up; crisp and unbroken. You've lived together nearly three years now, and you've never been happier.
You met in Uni, and it was both the happiest, and the most stressful time of your life. She was never one for labels, as you came to know. She had never been one for relationships, either. You laugh at the memory of the day you finally had the courage to talk to her, how you had accidentally ended up at the same bar as her on campus. You'd had a shit day, and felt like drinking; alone. But as you walked into the pub, you saw her alone as well, talking to some guy at the bar who looked less-than-pleased with the direction of their conversational course. She must have been telling him off in a way too complicated for him to understand, as you watched the slow departure of the man. There was a brow furrow, a 'look around', a hesitant back-step; and the most confused face on a walking man you'd ever seen as he almost plowed you over. You stifled a laugh as you watched her, an aura of both sparkling fireflies and darkness engulfed the blonde at the bar. You took a confident seat next to her - grazing her arm with yours as you did so - and ordered a shot of their strongest whiskey. You heard her scoff next to you, so you confidently decided to indulge the girl. Turns out she didn't think you could handle your liquor. You proved her wrong that night. The most memorable part of that night, though? When she let it slip just how cynical and lonely she was. The words 'We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not' rang through your ears like the screams of an Undine that night, as it seemed quoting Orson Welles was the only thing in her world that made sense. And in that moment, you vowed to make sure that neither of you ended up as alone as that statement.
You both moved away together right after graduation. Shortly there after, you got married; a small ceremony in Fiji with a few close friends. It was beautiful - getting married in the sand while the water swayed for you - the volcano in the background was booming with radiance. It was simple, exactly what you wanted. neither of you wanted to go the traditional or elaborate route, so wedding dresses and expensive, useless pleasantries were cast out of your plans. Instead you both wore over-sized tanks, hers was the light purple color of the orchids that grow along the Anvil Coast; yours the color of Atacamite. A few folding chairs for your guests, the musical stylings of Lana Del Rey, and before you knew it, your name changed from Fitch to Campbell and you were being carried by Naomi; only to be thrown into the ocean a few seconds later. Naomi landed a well paying architecture job right out of the gates - which paid for the wedding, and the honeymoon - that allows you to stay home and paint. You hated the idea at first - staying home and not contributing to the bills - but Naomi is nothing if not generous. All she's ever wanted was you, and she makes more than enough money for four people combined. Her words, not yours. You tried to get a part-time job, but for some reason you were unable to keep it. You attribute that failure to your sleeping habits, because after Uni, you had a hard time sleeping. Your schedule was off, you were irritable; you had blackouts. Some are worse than others - some last longer than others - and you know you still have them; but you won't dare tell Naomi that. You wonder if you sleep walk too, because you wake up so sore in the mornings; like you've run a marathon or gone clubbing all night to no recollection.
You stretch all the kinks out of your body one by one, starting with your torso and working your way down your legs, and up to your neck. You have this routine every morning, because it loosens you up. You think, if you sleep walk, Naomi would have noticed by now. So maybe you tense your body when you sleep, and you've made a doctors appointment to figure it all out. You've grown unhappy with the pain and exhaustion, unable to bear it any longer, so you scheduled the appointment for next month. Sleeping tests are not easy to obtain, and going through Naomi's occupation doctor was the only way to get in. You beg the doctor to keep the information confidential - especially from your wife - when you make the appointment. He is hesitant, but complies, because you convince him that Naomi already knows; and she is the reason you have his number. Granted, it was a big fat lie, but she is too busy to have to worry about something as silly as a sleeping test. She hasn't mentioned anything, so clearly whatever is going on doesn't seem to affect her. You are grateful.
Your days are always the same. Wake up at half past nine, shower at ten. Breakfast at half past ten, painting starts at eleven. Lunch at two p.m. - usually fruit or vegetables - then meet Naomi at the park for a run at four o'clock. She never works late, and you manage to get several hours together at the end of the day. Sadly, she is usually in bed by nine p.m. because she wakes at five, but you've come to enjoy it. You go to bed with her and watch her sleep, and you feel it doesn't take you long before you fall asleep with her. You hate that your routine differs from hers, as you've always wanted to wake up and surprise her with breakfast, but your body won't allow it. Hopefully, that will all change soon.
You meet Naomi in the park, and you can't help but notice it is one lovely day. You spot her right away, in her dark blue tee shirt and black running shorts, stretching out on a bench just a little ways from your current position. And you still can't believe this woman is yours, with her perfectly slender frame and her sunny blonde hair. As you near her, you see the white wires around her neck, indicating she is in her own little world of music. And you imagine it must be ringing about in there with the calming melody of her - and coincidentally your - favourite song. The one that played aloud on your wedding day, the one you had your first dance to as a married couple, the one that echoed in your very bones when she held you so gently; the one that mirrored the emotions you felt for Naomi all these years. If Naomi's eyes could talk that night - or any other night, actually - they would shout every lyric of that song from the highest rooftops of the world.
Will you still love me, when I'm no longer young and beautiful. Will you still love me, when I've got nothing but my aching soul.
You relish this moment, of her in that world, because she looks so peaceful. So comfortable, like the endless days of conformity she has to endure need not exist here. You know how much she hates wearing designer suits to work, how she is much happier in a blouse and hard hat, but her high position doesn't allow for it. This is her, the real Naomi that you know and love, and she is only seen this way by you. Vulnerable, lovely, and true.
When you reach her, her stunning blue eyes are upon you, and it still makes your warm all over. That smile she's wearing - the one that reaches her ears - that one is yours. It's only ever for you, and when she takes an earphone out to greet you, you launch yourself into her arms. Your kisses are always passionate, even when it's a chaste kiss Hello. She holds you in her arms, and her eyes scream adoration for you. You imagine your eyes mirror the same, because there has only ever been you and her. It's a lovely place to be, in her arms, and you never want to be anywhere else.
She is much better at this running thing than you, her long legs allow for that. But she always matches your speed, never out doing you with the need to show off. This is a time you both enjoy, quietly running through life silent and side by side. The air is brisk, and the leaves have started to shed from the trees. You can hear the crunching beneath your feet, and you smile; because those same leaves are crunching beneath Naomi's feet. You intake cool air sharply into your lungs, as you take in the beauty autumn has to bring. Vibrant yellows and oranges invade your vision, along with the intoxicating blues of Naomi's eyes. She runs with music, but you much prefer to hear what is going on around you. The traffic, the birds; the heavy breaths Naomi takes are like music to your ears, anyway. The run only lasts about thirty minutes, as you both seem to get in about four laps of the park before exhaustion takes you over. Thankfully her parkade is a few blocks from the park, so as you both stagger to catch your breath, Naomi decides to break the silence.
"You seem really tired lately, Em. Maybe you should take it easy."
You furrow your brow in response. "I don't work for a living, Naomi. I sit at home and paint. I have to do something or I'll end up a useless sloth."
She laughs at your words, you imaging she is picturing the scenario you've described.
"Sloths are cute, but not as cute as you." She teases, as you lightly smack her arm.
"I know you have troubles sleeping," She says seriously. "Maybe you should see a doctor?"
"I will." You smile, as you take one last drink of water and kiss her cheek.
"Let's go home, yeah?"
The walk to the car is peaceful, as is every moment you spend with Naomi. You walk hand in hand, and listen eagerly as she talks to you about her day. You laugh when she mentions Cook, the workplace joker that never stops trying it on with her. Normally that would bother you, but you've met Cook, and through all his vulgarity and crude humour, you know he would never hurt you or Naomi; let alone actually pursue her. Plus, you trust Naomi, and you know she would never cheat on you. Harmless banter between a twat and a wanker is what you've summed it up to be; who is who? You'll never tell. She tells you about the cheesy pick-up line he used on the new girl today, and wonder if you should either laugh or cringe at the reference to Rapunzel letting down her hair from a completely different part of her body than you remember from the fairy tale story.
"Did it work?" You ask seriously, and you are surprised when she responds to you; just as serious.
You stop dead in your tracks, and have to pull on her arm to stop her from continuing on. She jerks lightly with the tug of your arm, and turns around.
"You're having a fucking laugh?" you ask.
"I wish I was. Thought the girl was quite clever when I hired her."
You both decide to laugh then, at the absurdity of the scenario. It seems some girls loose bushels of IQ points when it comes to the male gender.
"Do you think we should get a bigger car?" You ask, as the distance to Naomi's blue 2014 RS5 Cabriolet - one of the sexiest accessories Naomi possesses, and of course; shares generously with you - gets shorter.
"Huh?" She grunts. "Why?"
"I dunno..." You supply coyly "Maybe if we need a back seat."
Naomi isn't getting the hint, and it's not a surprise to you. You find her naivety about you rather endearing.
"One of the benefits of your pocket size? You seem to do alright climbing over the gear shift." Naomi replies playfully, as she leans over and kisses your temple before pulling out her car keys and beeping the alarm.
She opens the door for you - as she does every time - and your words "What if we want family additions?" practically glue Naomi to the spot. She doesn't close your door after you've sat yourself in, and you snap the air in front of her face a few times before she finally comes back to reality.
"Naomi. Door." You order playfully, as she shakes herself and finally closes your door; sprinting to the drivers side of the car and plops herself in beside you.
"I thought you wanted to wait? Travel the world first?"
"You've mentioned it, and I've thought about it. Wouldn't be so bad? We could raise her to be a nomad like her mums." You smile at her, because the thought warms your heart at how adorable Naomi would be to your child. Big 'ol push over, you imagine.
"...Her?" She says after a moment.
"Yes. Panda tells me all the time about what it's like to raise Caelum. Sounds a bit like a horror film to me. Did you know that he has wet dreams every night? She said she has to use heavy duty detergent to un-stiffen his unders."
Naomi chokes hard on your comment, coughing with a face as red as crimson. "Jesus Christ, Em!"
"It's true." You start. "Come on, you have to agree a girl would be in our comfort zone."
"I can't admit that!" Naomi shouts "I didn't even know a child was in our comfort zone!"
"Well, you know now." You state evenly.
She looks at you for a moment, as if sorting out her internal monologue before speaking aloud for you to hear. But, knowing Naomi as well as you do, you mine as well have a direct line to her head. You know exactly what she is thinking, and wait patiently for her to sort it out.
"Okay. But we have things to do before hand, okay? You go see a doctor about your sleeping, I'll talk to my boss about family benefits."
You smile widely, and nod in agreement as you lean over and take her soft lips upon your own. You are ready to start your life with Naomi, you are ready for everything she has to offer. All the bumps, all the struggles; you're ready to plunge into the unknown with her for the third time in your life.
The sky is dark, and the stars are dancing aimlessly in the blackness of the night. Many people feel this hour of the evening is late to be out on a week night, but you are not like many people. You feel your day is just beginning, and you have extensive plans for the next twelve hours. Electricity flows through you in anticipation, because tonight you are going to that new club that opened up three weeks ago on Main Street. You get out of bed slowly, as not to disturb the sleeping body next to you, and take a few clothes quietly from your closet. Your bare feet gently pad along the cold wood floor as you make your way into the bathroom, closing its door tightly behind you. In a few minutes, you emerge ready for a night out, black leggings on the bottom, gold and black leopard print blouse on the top. A few pieces of loose jewelry around your neck and wrists, some smoky black eye liner; and you are fully prepared to break several hearts. You take your small snake skin clutch and place your cellphone, identification card, fifty quid; and your house keys inside as you close your flat door softly.
You hail a cab with ease, and it takes a few suggestive remarks from you before the driver gets the hint that you are not in the mood to socialize with him. The bar is lit up like Times Square as you near the block. You send the driver some cash as you exit the cab, and walk confidently up to the bouncer as you pull out your ID card. He takes it from you without a word, looks you up and down a few times, before handing you back your card and nodding for you to head inside. You send him a sly smile as you make your way inside; the neon lights and the heavy bass hitting your eyes and body in unison. The beat thumps through your veins in perfect rhythm, and you can hear your breath heavy in your ears, as the resonance of soft words are thrown off the walls in every direction; circling you as you make your way through the crowd into the center of the room.
Is this gonna be... I can feel the light. Are we in the darkness... I'll follow you.
I'll follow you.
You find the center, and sway slowly to the beat of the drums. The footsteps of the people above you resound on the metal catwalk, adding to the inscrutable vibe of both the music, and the atmosphere.
But in the darkness, I'll follow you.
Suddenly, you feel gentle arms wrap around you loosely from behind, and the faint warmth of a body against your back; matching your movements in time with the rhythm your body has set. Their smell invades your nostrils, the intoxicating aroma of B&H Silver mixed with malt whiskey and slightly licorice based perfume leaves you breathless. You turn around to the person behind you, and take in the stunning sight of your suitor. A slightly taller brunette graces your vision, effortlessly perfect waves of hair engulf her porcelain face. Lips as red as blood, eyes as blue as ice. Piercing they are, impaling your heart with such force that it leaves your body humming. Her perfect lips are curled into a seductive smirk, one you know you would never be able to resist even if you wanted to; and you know you don't want to. She traces her soft fingertips down your stomach to your waist, as you lift your arms up to circle her neck. You haven't dared to break eye contact with her, for fear that if you blink; she will disappear. Something about this girl seems so perfect, so fragile, so mystical; you have been caught so easily.
The song ends, and some horrendous electro pop song has replaced it. This girl seems to want none of it, as her eyes dance around your face in both amusement, and curiosity.
"Drink?" She says evenly - the faint sound of a question in there somewhere - as she quirks an eyebrow suggestively at you.
You nod - because you can't exactly find any words in your throat - as you follow her to the bar; and your hand is burning from the sensation of her fingers wrapped tightly around your own. You reach the bar in record speed, and take a less than graceful seat on the stool next to the perplexing girl. She orders two shots, whatever it is seems to have completely missed your ears as she hands you a glass and holds her own up to you eagerly.
"Cheers." She proposes, as she clinks your glass gently and downs her shot in one swift motion.
You follow suit - after a moment of bewilderment at her incapacitating beauty - and swallow the warm liquid as the burn engulfs your throat whole. You've managed to catch your breath at the exact moment that she stares into your eyes again, smirk plastered firmly on her lips.
"This is the part where you tell me your name." She says evenly, and her husky tone sends your mind reeling in the direction of an unladylike thought train.
"Katie." You reply after a moment far too long for your liking, as her smile widens; just a fraction. You would have missed it if you weren't studying her so closely.
"Katie..." She rolls your name off her tongue, and this sends a massive heat wave over your skin as you think about how amazing your name sounds coming from her lips, how amazing you think her tongue would feel to you, when she looks you dead in the eye and says:
"I like that."
You find your confidence after a moment, remembering that you can be just as intimidating, as you stare back at her expectantly.
"And you are?"
"Effy." She replies, extending her hand to you in mock surrender. "Effy Stonem."
"Effy..." You mirror her contemplation from earlier, looking to the ceiling momentarily for emphasis. "That's a very odd name."
She laughs genuinely at this, a reaction you would have never expected from the captivating brunette.
"I suppose I've had worse reactions." She replies, chuckling a little throughout the sentence.
"I'll let you off," You start, gaining confidence with each passing word "Because all I can think about right now is getting you off."
This catches her by surprise, though you'd never know it; she's kept stone. She hasn't peeled her arctic blues from you, and after a moment you have a tight grasp on the lapels of her leather jacket as you press your lips to hers. You can feel her smile into the kiss, though you could care less what she does as long as she doesn't pull away or cringe, as she relaxes into the embrace; leaning into you gently.
You expected the night to pass by in a blur, but it does anything but that. In fact, every sensation, every touch, every texture is heightened significantly for you. The feeling matches the steady glow of a strong narcotic, but you are absolutely certain there was no consumption of anything other than alcohol for you. This girl - Effy - it's like she is a drug in herself. Every time she touches you, fire shoots across every surface of your organs, every warm exhale of her breath makes the hair on your extremities stand on edge; the soft wetness of her lips on your skin sets you off like an explosive. She is gentle, and passionate; and you've never felt more alive. The night doesn't go by slowly by any means - in fact, you hate how quickly time seems to race around you as you explore every inch of her flawless body. By the first twentieth minute that has passed as you trace over her body with your lips, you have a favourite part of her all picked out. The gentle curve of her hip bone that seems to flex ever so slightly when you kiss her in that secret spot you've discovered.
You fall asleep in her arms, but you never intended to. You can't, it's not something you can do; but it happens anyway. You've found a spot in her arms, snuggled tightly into the crook of her neck, that seems to fit your silhouette perfectly like the piece of a puzzle. You rest there for hours, her slender arms wrapped protectively around you as her chest rises and falls gently in unison with your own.
In an instant, it is all taken from you; this comfort - this peace. Your phone alarm goes off, indicating it is four thirty in the morning. You open your eyes groggy, and scan the room drowsily; as the urgency registers slowly. Effy stirs next to you, murmuring something along the lines of 'fuck off' before the panic sets in.
"Fuck!" You exclaim, as you jump out of the bed so fast, Effy wakes with your frantic movements.
"What's wrong?" She asks, concern etched into her features.
"Nothing! I just..." You search the floor for your belongings quickly "I have to get home is all."
"Ooooh." She says, realization dawning on her "You're married?"
"Not exactly." You respond, which confuses Effy for the first time in her life; though you would never know that.
"Okay..." She says this more like a question, but you are fully dressed and don't have time to explain.
"Effy..." You say softly, kneeling over the bed to kiss her on the lips.
"I really like you, yeah? I want to see you again, if that's okay. Here." You extend a small piece of paper, and she takes it from you; not looking away from your eyes as her fingers wrap around the paper tightly.
"Call me, but not before nine thirty at night. I work late, and I'm not allowed any calls. You understand, yeah?"
"'Course." She replies gently. "I'll call you..."
"Tomorrow." You finish, and mentally slap yourself at how eager you sounded.
A wide smile creeps up on her lips then, and for the first time it looks like she's actually blushing. But as quickly as it appears, it vanishes as she composes herself and replies:
"Talk to you tomorrow, Katie."
I'm really hoping that there is still some kind of mystery here, or at least something you like so far. Let me know, yeah? Just press the little review button down there...
Thank you for reading! I appreciate you taking time out of your day to read my... insanity.