They say three is company. And so I rock back in my chair with my Johnnie Walker and my regret. I’ve come to the realization that I’ve made some mistakes. Though this is not a confession, I can hope that recounting my tales will serve as an admission of guilt, and thus, the beginnings for the atonement of my transgressions.
To preface, family gatherings are very much political power plays. Knowing this, I buttoned up my shirt and slid on my pullover, ever the image of high society.
We arrived fashionably late and made a small entrance into the arms of our loved ones. Hugs and kisses for the godmother and the rest of the family, polite handshakes and nods to the entourage of peacocks hoping to gain favor or ride on the coattails of our court.
And it was in these introductions that I made my first mistake. She was a petite girl, her slender physique framed in a black and grey dress. Her shoulder length, dark ash blonde hair framed an angular face and hazel eyes that twinkled with the pendant hanging at her throat. With a faint smile that belied what would transpire this evening, I learned her name. Sophie.
For the next 30 minutes it was like any other circumstance — shooting looks at one another, playful smiles, gentle nudges when passing, and even a suggestive wink. But dinner only changed things for the worse. Looking for a seat, I realized they all had small placards with names, designating the soul to be situated and the company with which to parlance. Lo and behold, I was placed in the midst of distant cousins and irregulars and right beside this evening’s Dark Horse, Sophie. We took our seats and said a prayer.
We did not acknowledge one another but her presence pressed on mine and I felt a gentle smothering sensation. For the next 20 minutes we continued like this, seemingly oblivious of the fact that there was someone next to us. But as is my curse, a quiet fight could not be expected. With a subtle lean, she pressed her leg against mine and lightning crackled through the air. I said another prayer as my pulse raced. Why does this always happen to me?
I think she noticed my heart beating from my chest because, coincidentally, she dropped something on the ground and placed her hand on my leg in order to bend down and retrieve it. With anxiety overwhelming ecstasy, I fought the urge to jump away. As she sat up, she casually left her hand in my lap, a clever ploy that hardly anybody noticed. Softly, she ran a finger back and forth across the inside of my leg, but with the adrenaline coursing through my veins and being hyper-aware of my unfortunate situation, it felt like a hot knife branding her name to my skin. Sophie.
I excused myself to the restroom just as the main course was being removed and dessert being served. After an assertive pep talk with myself in the mirror, I returned to find Sophie next to the fireplace, two plates of apple pie in hand, having saved a place for me next to her.
I took a deep breath and played it cool, taking my seat, and my apple pie, as close to her as revulsion would allow me. We mindlessly chatted for a bit, at which point she took my glasses from my face to “clean a smudge” from them. She offhandedly made a comment about me being just as cute without glasses on and, luckily, my icy facade stood tall. I fired back with a quick remark. In placing my glasses back on their perch, her hand lingered a moment too long about my face and with a slight smirk, gave my cheek a brush, but this time I gagged, playing it off by stating how cold her hands were.
She removed her hands from my face and placed them in my lap again. “Warmer?” she said coyly. I pulled her in a bit closer, one hand on her slim waist. “Now it is.” With that, she left the napkin used to clean my glasses in my lap, and stalked away towards the rest of the company. I picked up the napkin and noticed that underneath a neat lipstick kiss was a number. I took a chance and sent her a text.
Later that night, we had a quick tryst in my car.
As we returned, the evening’s events were just coming to a close and everyone was saying their goodbyes. I went to my godmother and respectfully offered her my well wishes before we left. She grabbed my arm, pulled me near and stared me in the eye as she said “I hope you don’t come to regret your choices.”.
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