It was almost suffocating; his grip on her, the way he locked his lips on hers and robbed her breath. Was it really the heat of the moment, of was the desperation she sensed from him real?

She needed a breath. When whimpers and moans didn’t work, she started to push and claw. At last he pulled back, and he was not done—but she turned her face away this time. Only then he picked up her sign.

There was a wordless moment, filled only with their panting breath; she was looking for word, and he was looking at her half confused, half irritated. In the end, it was him who spoke first—his voice hoarse from that thirst.

“You don’t want this?”

She shook her head, opens her mouth, closed it, wincing at a thought. Then she shook her head once again, still not daring to look him in the eyes.

This was real—she had to remind herself. She was really there, in his apartment, after accepting a friendly invitation for dinner. And… then what happened? What happened that now he was cornering her against the wall, kissing her madly?

The way her heart beating scared her—she wasn’t sure what to do. Gingerly searching his face, she asked herself whether she really knew this man. He was… an old acquaintance of hers, right? They knew each others from years ago. Just about few months ago, they started to talk again, started connecting again.

But was he really the man she used to know—the boy she used to adore? Seeing the look on his face now, seeing into his eyes, she finally noticed how there was so much strange and foreign thing in there. She had been facing a stranger these last few months.

Or had she ever known him, at all?

I… just think it’s still too early…”

You were a boy I knew from my childhood—yet now I was disillusioned, I found out that you really were a stranger for me.

After that pouring of cold bucket, the dinner went cold even before it was served. I thought I better go home. You insisted on escorting me, then; the hours had turned, you couldn’t just let a woman walk in the dark alone. So we went a good distance walking, side by side—with heavy steps, heavy hearts, heavy silence.

We arrived to where I lived, but before letting me go, you demanded me to tell you something; whether I would forgive your hastiness and be willing to keep in contact with you still.

I smiled a bit at this. Somehow, I couldn’t find any hatred or dislike for you. So I said, let us wait for a bit, then I would eventually reach out to you again.

Next time, I would get to know you better; not as that boy from long ago, but as a grown man I saw right before me at the moment.

***

There was just the slightest shame, and a little more disappointment. And yet he couldn’t blame her or feel bitter about their canceled dinner. He was too hasty, yes, but he had been holding himself for too long now.

That time he met her again after years, he almost didn’t recognize her at first. For a very brief moment, he thought he saw a fairy from one of those fairytales he read in his childhood. Then he realized, she was indeed the fairy of the fairytale that was his childhood.

How many years had it been? It had been too long; enough that he thought he was not the same person as that boy in the past. But now she was in his sight, it was like he found a trace to that thing he had long lost and forgotten…

A home, perhaps? A sense of innocent peace? Whatever it was that he saw in her, he suddenly craved for it.

He had been starving… but he had to wait just a bit more. He had played this game with many girls before. Danced this same dance over and over again, knew the steps well enough by now. He did made a wrong step tonight, but next time…

Next time he would make sure to follow all the right steps—and have her in his arms once and for all.

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