The Candle Burnt

“Sweetheart, open your eyes. Look at me.”

He complies. She is fair skinned and has blond curly hair that cascades down to the shoulders and fans around her head laying on the mattress like a Greek Orthodox saint. Her eyes are green and her lips are bright red and full. She is warm, soft and kind. Charles can barely comprehend how his first time could be with her.

Sloppily, a kiss turns to a taste as he runs his tongue down her face. He is inside her and he moves in her like Lord Byron did when she was seventeen. She nips at his neck slightly and licks. She moves her left pointer down his back slowly finding the small of his back and then the bounties of his firm cheeks. She grabs hold and the two are lost in each other.

Forty minutes pass and finally the two collapse into the tangled sheets. Amazingly, Jessica is not wanting. The only thing that Jessica is wanting for is maybe sinus blockage. The smell of love was never the most appealing scent to Jessica. She gets up to take a shower.

As she enters the shower, she composes herself. The soap and nylon remove his scent from her and she thinks back to days a decade old when she would have wanted every memory of him removed. She wonders how many of those men from the past remember her. She wonders if she was a good lover. She wonders if she was kind. With the wine and the long nights it all seems like a roller coaster. At the time it was, fun but now she fears how close she came to ruin.

Time was, Jessica was Icarus. She use to think of herself as a candle that burns at both ends; it seemed a moral imperative to be such a thing. Much melted wax later, she wonders if it all was worth. Life without memory or resonance seems so shallow and short. She felt a need to live on in those who have loved and made love to her. She saw it as a sort of immortality. As she gave parts of herself to others, the parts in turn grew and became parts of other people. It would continue and she would live forever.

She turns off the hot water and is immediately hit by the wrath of central air deferred. She shivers slightly and rushes to towel off. Dry, she settles into her plush Turkish bathrobe. As she enters the room, he’s making the bed: stains and all.  It is endearing, if only a bit futile. She plops in the bed with cartoonish childish glee. They sleep through the night in good company and good spirits. Somewhere in Charles, Jessica lingers and that is all the happily ever after she needs.

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