I imagine him talking to his friend, his coiled frame—relaxed? Would he sit? Talking earnestly, his words come as fast as his thoughts, which are never slow. He moves his hands as he talks, and I wonder how those hands would feel on me, that coiled energy running through those fingers into my body.
Watching him move is like watching a shapeshifter prowl. He slinks like a cat, but bounces like the dog he loves. I’m sure he paces as he talks, he can never sit still for long. His friend laces his fingers as he listens, watching the anger, but does he see the softness underneath? I wonder if he sees the man I see. I wonder if he sees the person I quietly watch, the man that I want to touch, to take to my bed.
I wonder if he sees the inside of this man, much as I wonder if this man knows how much of the inside of him I see. He scares me; he reads my eyes like no one I know, and when his skin brushes mine, he is the only one inside my head; there are no ghosts sharing the space. He scares me because I know that he cares, and I wonder if I could care for him too.
I watch his lips, wondering what he would do if I laced my fingers through his hair and pulled his face to mine. I see the anger, and underneath the wounded pain. I see him for who he is, not perfect, just a man, a man who has made many mistakes, a man who could break me, but will never lay a hand on me. I can’t push him around either; he is not scared of me. I like that. I imagine pushing him against the wall, my hands under his shirt; I picture him pressing me into the floor as my nails draw blood.
Does he talk to his friend about me? About this woman who is so scarred that sharing anything is a struggle? Does his friend tell him that perhaps I am a player, a tease, or does he understand that I am someone who fights to open up, and can only manage it in small bursts? Does he tell this man that he should forget about me? Or does he tell him to take a chance?
His hands on my body as he moves, I want more than that. I want to touch his face in a restaurant and let him read my eyes. I want to take him to a playground at midnight to show him the magic of swinging in the dark, feet to the sky. I want to know that if I scream he won’t run, that he will match me anger for anger, or take me in his arms so I can cry. I don’t want him to fix me; I don’t want anything from him. I just want him. I want his body; I want the breathless feeling that looking in his eyes gives me. I want to wake up next to him in the morning, sore and sated, and know that this man, for now, cares about me. This is all I want; right now I don’t know that I want more.
When he leaves his friend, still edgy and energetic, I wonder if there are any last words about me. I wonder if next time I see him I can break through the wall inside of myself, and touch him, if I can reach out just enough to pull him to me, enough that he can see that I need him. Then maybe he will kiss me, fiercely enough to make me gasp, and I can uncoil, swallow his lips, match him fire for fire.