“This must stop,” Zara said as she looked at him over the rim of the wine glass. She breathes in, her nose buried, savoring the aroma in the wine glass. The taste on her palate was dark, earthy, with an undertone of oak, and as she exhaled through her ruby lips, a delightful hint of lavender. It must be a French wine, she mused. Zara had to give him this; he knew his wine. Closing her eyes, she let the taste of the red wine engulf her mouth. She had agreed to meet him after much persuasion.
“What do you mean,” Amaro asked.
Exhausted, she said, ”You know exactly what I mean. This little game of cat and mouse.”
“I’m not sure I understand you.”
She stared at him as she lifted her glass to her lips and took another sip of the heady wine. She put her glass down, her gaze never wavering from his dark, exotic eyes. Finally, he looked away; her gaze was too much to bear. It was as if she could see exactly what he was thinking. Casting his eyes down, he shifted in his chair, and tried in vain to move away from her penetrating stare. Amaro took a big gulp of wine, swallowing it without savoring the complexity of his choice.
“You don’t know me at all. Because if you did, you would know I cannot continue this ‘fun’, as you so put it. This is not who I am. But since you have no idea, I’ll be happy to educate you.” She looked down at the table and caressed an indentation in the wood with her fingers. How did this happen, she wondered as she caressed the bruised wood.
He circled the rim of the wine glass with his index finger. “I wish you would.”
Still tracing the indentation in the tabletop, “Very well. When you first started your pursuit, I must admit I was quite flattered. It had been too long since a man had noticed me, much less complimented me. You must have sensed my vulnerability, as you went right for the jugular. Your words of prose and unexpected comments left me breathless. I felt like my old self again; the stirrings in my belly of the woman who loved with wild abandon, and lived her life freely. Notice I use the term freely, not promiscuously. Do not confuse the two; they are quite different. “
Head cocked, he looked over at her with a doubting smirk as if to say, ‘Yeah, right.’
Ignoring his insensitivity, she continued.
“I asked myself, ‘What does he want?’ He can’t want me, this inanimate object as you described in one of our more hurtful conversations. I must admit; I was completely swept away. My mind and my heart were in a foot race- who would win? The funny thing is, you were right. I have been an inanimate object. Living my life for years-not, not, not. I was taken aback that you seemed to see right into the core of me. You and I connected – I don’t mean in a physical or sexual way. Mentally, from the first moment. I exposed who I am to you;laid bare my dreams and desires. I know it sounds trite. But, being a woman who has thirsted, even hungered for this mental connection, it was ecstasy. The way to a woman’s heart is through her brain and you have learned that well. You sensed what I needed and fed me tidbits, enough to peak my interest. Having lived in a desert for years, even a single drop of water regardless of the dangerous source is lusted after.
Now, you propose to me this ‘arrangement.’ Let me make this clear I would never, ever consider such a thing for fun. I have told you who I am not. Now, I will tell you who I am and what I want. I am a beautiful goddess being who finally has come full circle. I want bone crushing, heart pounding, earth shattering, glass breaking, breath-taking love. I want someone to want to hold my hand not do it to appease me. I will settle for nothing less.
I was living a completely boring life devoid of any real feeling, and now you have awakened that woman who lived her life with wild abandon; she has broken out of her cage. Free again. I don’t know how to put her back into confinement. I hate you for this; I love you for this.”
Raising her glistening eyes from her intense study of the scar in the table, she looked over at him. Zara picked up her wine glass, drained it. Planting both hands on the table she rose with an air of finality. Slinging her bag over her shoulder, she walked to his side of the table tucking her hand under his chin.
Forcing him to look her in the eye one last time, she planted a kiss on his unshaven cheek. It grated against her soft lips like sandpaper.
Whispered to him, “Thank you.”
She turned and walked away.
Linda Lee Lyberg