This is what it felt like. The air leaving the room. She’d heard it said before, many times as a matter of fact. It was a popular cliché in any dramatic story but she never could identify the feeling. Until now.
Staring at Rowan as they sat inches apart in chairs facing one another, felt like a moment stolen from a counseling reality show or even worse some kitschy game show on that network. Was she supposed to have a response? Is this the point that she asked questions? How do you respond to six words that seemed so out of place between lovers?
She looked down at her wrist and the sterling silver memento of his love, fiddling with it nervously. Charms clinking together, as though they were ticking down the minutes until this all blew up. The heart that was the first of many proclaiming that she owned his, the star that he gave her to signify her place in his universe, the initial of his last name designating that one day it would be hers….but nothing to foreshadow this moment in time.
The radio played quietly in the background. One more twerk song that could fit into any hot, sweaty night in the club and she allowed her mind to run back to the days when they would explore their sexuality together in those environments. Her watching as some random identified him as prey, allowing him to connect and then interrupting with some slick moves of her own. Role playing. She had fulfilled every need for so long that she wasn’t sure who “natural Camille” was. The stripper sliding down the pole for his amusement. The conquered woman playing sub to his dom. The business consultant reviewing his resume and making professional recommendations. She had been his end all. The new millennium Ride or Die chick….
He breathed in, transitioning the air between them with little movement. Reviewing his features, beautiful eyes and full lips, she couldn’t believe those words had come from this mouth. The same mouth that had captured hers in moments of heated passion, covering hers erotically and in erotic places, her knees clicked together at the thought. The mouth that had spoken encouragement and dirty words in her ear. The same teeth that had nipped at her during love’s play had just parted to issue a hurtful declaration.
There was a time she would have thought he was beyond such simple things, such petty moments. A racing mind tried to identify when he changed…..nothing. Nothing stood out. There was no major transition from the old Rowan to the new. He appeared to be the same man who she’d kissed goodbye before work this morning. “What the hell am I expecting, some Men In Black-type shit?” she thought to herself. He was the same person on the outside but the changes internally had taken over.
His hand reached for hers, “Are you alright?” Oh! She hadn’t said anything since his announcement. All of this processing but no communication. “Yeah, I’m fine,” she replied. I’m sorry, I zoned out. Now you had left off, with “I’m going to cheat on you….’
This was as good a place to begin as any.
©Stephanie Bryant 2013