Your face never had soft lines. They were always hard, and deep. Something feirce was always about you, in your smile, in your laugh, in your eyes. You were hard around the edges. I could see it. There was always something feral about you. Something untamed and wild and I loved it.
I wanted to gentle you, to break you, part of me. I never did.
I remember the night I opened the door to you, on my porch, in the pouring rain. You were drunk, and angry and hard. I could see you were scared, though you never ever admitted to that. I remember letting you in, my breath going out of me quickly - my heart pounding. I wasn't sure what to do with you. You didn't want me. I could see that, feel it in your voice. But you did need me, if only for that one night.
I remember the smell of alcohol and cigarettes on your breath as you climbed into bed beside me. I remember the sound of your breathing and you laid there, tense, as though I'd ask things from you I wouldn't have had the courage to ask for even if they had occured to me. I remember the smell of the dye in your hair and the shampoo on your neck as I laid there. The feeling of your car keys inside my pillow where I'd hidden them.
When you slept, you were soft. Your sighs and moans were soft, even if the dreams you were having weren't. Your skin was silk and velvet next to me, shivering in my pajamas and wondering just what I was going to do with you. Wondering why you had come to me of all people.
I remember the feeling of my lips on your neck, brushing your hairline as I kissed you goodnight, and the ache in my chest as I held you close to me and thought of all the things I wished I had the courage to tell you. How could I? I didn't know what you would think, I could only imagine the worst and even at that I had no idea how to say everything I felt. There weren't words for it in my vocabulary - not at the time.
I remember the tears, hot on my cheek and cold as they ran down my neck into the soft floral bedsheet between us. I remember the pain behind my eyes and the throb inside my chest, like a million tiny needles sewing me up tight as I felt myself losing every part of you and me while you slept the sleep of one who has carried more burden than they should.
I remember the hard wood of my porch under my feet and the sound of your car engine as you pulled away. Tiny splinters working their way into my feet and my ears and every other part of me that I was able to feel. There wasn't much left to feel.
The key I held was cold, the fire hot, the ribbon soft as I worked my spell for you. You were gone, you had to be, and I wasn't ready to loose you. Not then, not ever. And so I said to myself I would tie you to me. I would hold you in my heart. I would mix myself into your destiny if I could at all. I remember the smell of the inscence I burned and the rough feeling of the box I put that key into. Waiting, that was all I had left to me then.
It was hot the night I saw you again. Not just warm, but sweat inducing, breath stealing heat that stole through the bar and wrapped us all up as we danced and drank. The lights were blinding for a moment. And then I saw you again. Saw you in red and green and yellow. Saw you in the black you always seemed to wear. And you were hard still. Your arms and legs and back were hard. Your eyes sparkled with the determination to forget and to live in the moment. I felt that tie then, that key glowing in its box in my dresser, waiting for you to feel it as well.
You put your arms around me, like the night I first met you. You were glazed over and raw and you held me closer than anyone had a right to. I let you, and I held you nack and felt you moving next to me and I let myself go. The liquor, the nicotine, everything inside me set loose all in one go and you were there to catch me in the moment of freedom. And then you were gone, at the hand of a friend and I couldn't see you, couldn't find you anywhere.
I grew hard. Colder on the inside. And I remembered why I wanted to be that way. I remember thinking to myself of snow falling in my chest and ice filming over my eyes. And I went home, and let the icicles come down on my pillow and I slept while I waited for you.