Confessions of a GAP; This month I'm submitting this story, it's just what I felt like writing. Til next month...
Rory aka firstname.lastname@example.org
As the bosa nova beating of his heart continued Sig knew that he had found it; the summation of all his past lives, past transgressions, in the eyes of one man. His name was Michael; just like the angel himself.
From the moment their eyes locked he knew what it was like...that heaven must feel like this exact second did. There was no air, no sound, no time other than the time, sound and air they gave each other, the two lost half reconnecting like a long lost star that burned brightly once yet was now just dust on some foreign horizon. Two pieces that would forever touch til the end of time; just because they had touched once. Sig wanted to stroke his cheek, to tell Michael that he loved him, that he had been meant to always love him but.....Alas, fate turned the room on its ear for in walked the one thing that could prevent the joining of them both.
See, before Sig could see what the problem was he had sensed it. That even with all that had happened before or after that there was a reason that they could not be. Perhaps it was the way the air seemed to shift, blowing the sweet smell of Michael away or how his eyes seemed to be misty and almost too tired for anything besides breath.
Sig forced himself to glance elsewhere, to try and forget all he had learned in that one second. Sig found himself crossing to the veranda, grasping the railing tightly, his lungs surging with deep longing breathes. He knew Michael couldn't follow him; wouldn't know to try and follow him...
Sig had seen reflected in Michael's eyes everything his soul desired and that Michael desired back. It had to be as frightening to Michael as him; the idea that one and only one person could be more than existence itself. That fear alone would keep him away. The feeling of a life that began when he, and he alone, walked into a room. That if they ever joined lips, hearts, souls there would be no way that they could ever part or even imagine it. Not without ripping the best part of themselves away and being as empty as the clouded sky.
So, instead Sig would run as would Michael... to lose himself in every other affair, dalliance, every other man they meet. For they knew that for them this could not be, that to love as such... Nothing could ever matter again. But for the moment Sig waited, waited and pitted hope against hope.
He shuddered in the cool breeze, smelted honey and chocolate and even tangerine mixed in the gusts coming off the ocean. He wondered if he was shaking from the cold or from the expectations. He was partially startled yet partially relived when he felt the breathe on his neck.
For a second he thought that he imagined it, questioned his grasp on reality. He knew he was alive from the bitter sting of salt water in his eyes, the chaffing of the metal bar across his palms. He was slow to turn, to move towards the heat he felt behind him. Sig closed his eyes and wished. He wished for it to happen, for it all to be done and the game finished. His eyes opened to see a chair with a coat draped on it. The jacket was white linen, freshly pressed. He reached out to caress it and knew that he was wrong. Michael had followed him out onto the patio, had tried to speak to him. But instead he had left his coat. Sig realized that Michael must have seen him shiver and thought him just cold. Must have seen him shudder and thought he wanted to be alone. But he didn't, couldn't want that. A millions lives, a million years, a million stars had aligned for this moment. Sig now noticed the staircase, the wrought iron steps that spiraled down to the beach. He knew that Michael had gone this way, he knew this because they shared the same heart, same thoughts, same breathe. He took small steps towards those stairs. One foot, then another, each gently touching the next step. They were cold through his shoes but he still slipped them off. He gasped when his feet touched the wet sand. Sig's eyes traced the ground and saw the faint wet outline of another's steps. He followed them down towards the shore, the pounding surf grew louder and the taste of salt more bitter in his mouth. Michael's silhouette seemed perched on the edge of the water, waiting patiently, hands clenched in pockets.
For a moment, Sig reconsidered his actions. Maybe he was wrong, maybe the coat was for him to stay warm with, maybe he had imagined his intentions. Perhaps Michael meant nothing more than respect with the offering. Sig did not need another man's respect, he needed more than something as simple as that. His eyes searched the sky, looking for a sign but he saw none. He turned, ready to leave, to climb the staircase and walk out of this life. He froze when he heard Michael's deep baritone voice........"in my family there is this story. For in each generation there is one pair of great lovers. My great grandparents met on the shores of France after the second war," Michael's voice carried off. Sig stood still his back to Michael, resisting the urge to run.
Michael continued "My parents met on the bridge overlooking Niagara falls. The one in that Marilyn Monroe film, where she hides from the killer. My mother used tell me how they first kissed with the water splashing their backs."
For a moment Sig was confused. What was Michael telling him? Had he misread the situation, perhaps he wasn't the right one. That all these risks had been for naught. Upset Sig spun on his heels, daring himself to lock eyes with Michael. To see that he was wrong, to be sure before he left. Instead Sig saw that Michael had an outstretched hand, reaching across the sand towards him. The skin was pale and shimmering in the moonlight, the fingers inviting him to come closer. Sig almost didn't realize that he had stepped forward til Michael's hand touched his; the burn of flesh was a shock to the system. Sig raised his eyes to Michael's face. There was a serene yet infinitely sad smile lingering on his mouth. For a moment Sig wanted to reach up and brush his fingers across those beautiful red lips, to try and make the smile more soulful or even happy.
"And now I'm here tonight.... At some party where there's no one I know..." Michael's voice hung wistful in the air. "Yet I feel like there is something here that I must know or do... Like fate brought me to this spot by the ocean..to find my destiny...Funny, eh?"
Michael looked down at his feet. Sig watched the wind tousle his hair, play with his tie. He shook from the icy feeling coursing down his back. What was it he felt? The cold of the air? The fear of the unknown? The chance that he had taken and had lost? He sighed and Michael looked up.
"What, Are you cold?" Michael drew Sig into him, into his side, both looking off into the horizon. Sig felt Michael's fingers interlace with his. The beat of their hearts seemed mismatched, usually off center as Michael continued.
"I knew you would follow me here. I mean," Michael looked over into Sig's face. "Not like I knew, knew.... But I felt you would come. And it scared me. Scared me so much."
Sig felt his stomach tighten. Felt his heart seem to freeze mid-beat. Michael clenched his hand tighter.
"But know that you are here, I know that this was right. All of this was meant to be. And it scares the shit out of me." Sig slipped his hand loose and wrapped his arms around his chest. Michael sighed, deep and long. He took a step forward, towards the water.
"Every great love in my family has met on the water. Every one..." His voice faded out. He turned to face Sig. Sig felt the urge to run in his veins, that now was the time to flee. Michael stood there, hair blowing in the breeze, each separate strand reflecting the moonlight until it looked like a halo.
He wanted to run, run as fast as his heart would allow. But he was trapped in Michael's eyes, the liquid pools holding to the spot, to that moment. Michael stepped towards him, jolting Sig into the reality of the moment. He went to move off to the side, to avoid Michael's grasp.
"No please..." Michael's eyes stopped Sig mid-step. His arms reached around Sig and pulled him close. "Please. Let me..."
Sig stared into Michael's face and saw that the moment had come. The smell of honey and chocolate grew as Michael leaned in until their eyes were inches apart.
"I knew you were my destiny when you came down those stairs. I knew what an angel was til that moment. That you were my moment. My Niagara, my France."
Sig closed his eyes and felt his way forward into the honey, the chocolate, the moment. Michael's lips slowly touched his, hesitant and trembling at first. Sig could taste tangerine, taste salt water, even taste the longing in his kiss.
The breeze had stopped blowing, the chill had disappeared and instead he grew warm. The kiss grew deeper, longer as Michael pressed himself into Sig and Sig wrapped his arms around Michael. They both stepped into the kiss, into each other. Their arms had found their way into the other's natural curves.
Then they parted. Michael stood with tears in his eyes. He opened his mouth but Sig touched his lips with his trembling fingers.
"I know. I love you too. Destiny begins here."