Daily Prompt: Craving

What am I craving today?

Company. It’s what I crave every day. But not just any kind of company. I have plenty of friends. I see at least one of them every day. I just got back from playing a round of golf with three of them. I had fun. I played well.

No, the company I crave is the kind of company that provides that deeper connection. In a way, I want to call it romantic, but it’s almost more than that. In other entries I’ve talked about Kayla. We had that for awhile. That kind of companionship where you don’t really have to be doing anything. You can just sit with that one person for hours on end and not desire anything more out of this godforsaken world.

I love her.

We were happy for 7 months. Truly happy. The last 3 of those 7 months were the happiest time of my entire life. I don’t know if I’ll ever be that happy again. I don’t know if I’ll ever allow myself to be that happy again. I’ll always compare every moment to how I felt back then, which isn’t fair, but it’s the truth.

Yes, we were happy for 7 months. Then one day she was broken, and we were broken too. We were sad for 2 months. Then we were nothing for a long time. I craved her then. I craved more than just her, though. I craved that elemental feeling that can be shared between two people if you really get it right. If there’s a god, then I don’t know why he chose to send my life into the spiral that it’s been for the last 2 years, but fuck it. We aren’t supposed to understand deities anyway. After we were nothing we tried to be something again. It was a different something and it was a slow something but it was something.

Then one day I was broken. And because she had been broken before she understood what I was going through and she was there for me when I was broken. I’m still broken and so is she. For different reasons that are essentially the same. I guess death picks out his clothes every day like anyone else.

For awhile, we were borderline happy again. I mean, it wasn’t like the first time. But we weren’t the same people. The difference is that I still tried to be me. But she didn’t try to be her. She was content to be a shadow of her former self. So for 5.5 months we pretended to do it again. We pretended to be happy.

Then one day I told her I couldn’t pretend anymore. I couldn’t settle for her shadow, I needed the real her. And the fucked up thing is that in that moment, the real her came out of the darkness and glowed. She was back, for that short moment.

My breath smelled of whiskey and I remember her saying “I like the smell of whatever you drank.”

“It’s whiskey” I said and I kissed her. We knew it was over, so why not kiss? We actually made out for a little while. We cried. It was strange, but also perfect in a way.

I was drunk and she knew it. She always told me she hated when I was drunk, but in that moment she didn’t care. She loved me. She still does. But things didn’t work. Fuck the fairy tales that tell you if you’re in love with someone and they’re in love with you then everything is going to work out. That’s not life. Life is god damn brutal and it doesn’t let you up for air. Life is clawing your way to the surface everyday so that you can take one little breath of the oxygen that your body craves.

I’m craving her right now. But I’m craving the old her. The girl that came back to me for that golden moment when I said it was over. I’m craving that link that we had. I hope I can find that with someone again one day, be it her or someone else.

After we kissed for awhile she said that she needed to go.

“Never forget me, Kayla Quick.”

She smiled through tears and said to me “I couldn’t if I tried.”

She turned and walked to her car and she didn’t look back and all I wanted to do was run to her and grab her and tell her to come inside and stay with me tonight and tell her I didn’t mean it and we could make it work and we just needed to change some things and it would be okay because we love each other.

I didn’t move. I just watched her go.

I’ll never forget her either. I’ll never stop that craving.

Craving

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Four

“Look, do you have anything going on tonight?”

It took me a second to register what was happening. This girl, no, this woman, was actually asking me out tonight. I couldn’t believe it.

“No…” I said cautiously. “What did you have in mind?”

“Well I thought we could get a drink and actually talk. My kids go to bed around 8:30, wanna meet me across the street at 9?”

“Sure, sounds great.” I’m sure I sounded like an idiot, because I still couldn’t really comprehend what was happening.

There was a little dive bar across the street from our condo that all of the tourists frequented. I guess some of the locals came here too, but it was mainly set up for people from out of town. They had overpriced fried seafood and overpriced drinks, but it was a good place to meet and just hang out so they kept the doors open easily.

I walked in at 9:03 and saw Erin already sitting at the bar with a drink, watching the TV on the back wall absentmindedly. She was wearing a seafoam green top that was strapless, showing off her shoulders, and a pair of short jean shorts. She looked incredible, and I immediately thought again that there was no way she had given birth to those children.

I sat down on the bar stool next to her and ordered a Miller Lite. She turned to me with a sly look on her face and said “Really, you’re just going to drink beer?”

Not really knowing what that meant, I responded with “I like beer. What are you drinking?”

Wordlessly, she pushed her glass towards me and I sipped it. Unmistakably a Red Bull-vodka. I had a friend in grad school, Neil, who drank them all the time. Neil would buy a pint of vodka and two Red Bulls and finish it all before we went to a football game. Sometimes he’d add a few beers to that. One time he even got kicked out before the game started. Anyway, I always thought about him when someone drank them or when I tasted one. I wonder what he’s up to now.

“Wow. You’re trying to turn up tonight.”

“Yeah, so are you going to drink your beer or are you actually going to try to keep up?” She had that same flirty tone of voice that she had had when she asked if I was enjoying the view on the beach.

I took a long pull from the bottle and looked at the bartender, who was smiling as she was listening to us. “Give me a double Jack and coke.”

Erin smiled, really smiled this time. “That’s more like it.”

We sat and talked for I don’t know how long, several hours. We had more than a couple of drinks/shots/beers in that time. We found out a lot of things about each other. She was 28, I was 24. It turns out the kids were actually hers, and she blushed when I told her that her body didn’t show it. I told her about college and grad school, and how one day after I’ve been practicing for awhile I want a lake house and a boat. I was getting bolder and I was getting drunker. So finally I got up the nerve to ask her the question that I had been brewing on since she had first walked up to me on the beach.

“Erin, are you married?”

She looked down at her drink. She took a sip and then looked down at the ring on her finger and started turning it back and forth with her thumb.

“Yes.”

I didn’t say anything. I just waited. There was nothing else I needed to say, she knew what questions I needed answered and if she wanted to tell me then she’d tell me. We sat there in silence for at least five minutes, and I was starting to consider closing out my tab and going home when she spoke again.

“Yes, I’m married. But we don’t love each other anymore.”

I looked at her to show I was listening, but didn’t say anything.

“We got married too early. I got pregnant with Trey when I was 23 and we just thought it’s what we needed to do. It was good for a couple of years. Really good actually. Then we had Anna. It seems like everything went downhill from there.”

“Why?”

“I don’t really know the answer to that, Seth.” She was getting upset now, and I was almost sorry that I had brought it up. I had to though, I did have some sort of conscious even if I was a piece of shit.

“I mean what changed? Why did it start going downhill?”

“Danny never wanted to be a father. He wouldn’t tell you that, because I don’t think he even knows that. But he just always had himself as the first priority. He got really into his work. And he’s really successful at it. He does really well. We never lack for anything. Except actually having him around.”

“I’m sorry.”

“No, it’s okay. I want to get a divorce, but it’s just hard ya know?”

“Yeah.”

More silence. I got up and ordered another drink. As I turned to walk back to the table, she was there. She looked up at me and I really saw her for the first time. A mother, essentially a single mother, who did the best she could. At the same time, a young woman who didn’t deserve the responsibilities she had. She deserved to still have her own life. And tonight, that’s what she had.

As I looked down at her, she reached up and grabbed the back of my head gently. She stood on her tiptoes and I leaned down to kiss her, wrapping my arm around her waist and pulling her into my body.

“Do you want to come back with me tonight?”

Her eyes never left mine. “Yes.”

Daily Prompt: Profound

I want for my existence to be profound.

I hope to have a profound effect on the world. When I leave it (hopefully a long time from now), I’d like to think that I’ll leave my mark. I want to genuinely change people’s lives. I want to help them in a profound way. I want them to be profoundly thankful of what I’ve done for them.

I want to have a profound career and a profound wife and a profound house and car and profound children and I want all of our friends and family and neighbors and coworkers to look at us and say “Damn, they have such a profound life!”

I’m sick of being average.

I’m sick of being middle-class.

I’m sick of normalcy.

I want profound.

Profound

 

Three

I looked at her again, and again thought to myself “God damn”.

She was playing with her kids, a girl and a boy probably 3 and 5 years old, making sand castles. I’d been watching her off and on for the past 2 days. We were obviously staying in the same condo building (it was right on the beach) and I was just lucky enough that she always seemed to bring her kids out to the beach when I was there. They were always with a friend who had a daughter of her own and always set up shop about 20 yards to the left of my lounge chair.

She had short, cropped, dark brown hair that was longer in front than the back. Usually I preferred long hair, but she looked good with that style.

She had a pretty face from what I could see; a large part of it was covered with her oversized sunglasses.

She also had a giant diamond ring on her finger, but I didn’t give one solitary flying fuck. All I cared about was how she looked in that bikini, and like I said.

God damn.

It was the same black bikini she had worn the day before with the little logo on the back that I couldn’t quite make out.

She had an ass on her and that’s always been something I’ve appreciated. I heard somewhere that men that preferred a nice ass were often wealthy and men that preferred a nice set of tits were often poor. Cool, good sign for the future I guess.

She looked up in my direction and I casually glanced away. I wasn’t too quick about it, I had nothing to lose. Nothing to hide.

I looked down at my beer and drained it. It was my sixth of the day and I only had one left, but I wasn’t drunk or even buzzed. Maybe it was because I was sweating it all out or maybe my tolerance for alcohol was getting out of hand. Either way it was frustrating.

Someone told me drinking to get drunk was a sign of alcoholism, but why the fuck else would you drink?

I was looking out at the surf crashing on the sand and thinking about the inevitability of it all when I sensed motion to my left. There were kids all over the beach, so it didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was when I turned and saw that it was the young mother who was walking straight towards me.

I inclined my head so that I could fully take her in and watched her approach. When she was about halfway to me, she looked away towards the ocean, almost shyly. Like she was feeling the weight of my eyes on her.

She glanced back at her children one more time to make sure her friend had them under control and then came the rest of the way.

“Hey.”

Wow. Okay. Her voice, Jesus Christ her voice. One word, and if she had never said anything else to me for the rest of my life, I still would have remembered her voice forever.

I got my shit together enough to smile up at her from my seat and say “Hey” back.

“Enjoying the view?”

The slightest hint of a smile, more of a smirk really, played at the edge of her mouth. There was a certain tone to her voice. It was flirty, but cautious. She knew I had been watching her and I wasn’t surprised. It’s not like I had really been trying to hide it. This was a game for her right now, and I was willing to play along.

“Always” I said. She had implied that I was enjoying the view of her body, but could easily play innocent by saying she was talking about the beach. I did the same. Was I saying that I always enjoyed the view of the beach, or that I’d always enjoy looking at a body like hers?

“I’m Seth by the way.”

“Erin.”

She didn’t extend her hand for a handshake and I was glad. There was always an awkward, weird feeling that came with shaking a woman’s hand.

Instead, she cocked one hip to the side and rested her hand there. She looked over towards the ocean again like she was contemplating some question that the human mind can’t ever quite answer.

I looked at her body up close now. I looked her over from top to bottom.

Does this chick really have kids? Her body showed no evidence of it and I started to hope they were adopted or something.

She interrupted my thoughts.

“Look, do you have anything going on tonight?”