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Perception - A Short Story - Part One

December 14, 2017

Part One: Her

         Her entrance into the room had the air of a light breeze, which, if not for her enticing beauty, would have gone unnoticed. For him, her arrival was that of a storm, raging its way through his soul. Yet, he had always posed more danger to her, or so he believed. He tried to catch her eye, as many of the other young men in the room did the same, but with different intentions. He knew if her eyes connected with his, for that moment he would find himself in the eye of her storm, their souls colliding. Then, only then, he could feel a momentary sense of ease, one that only she could provide him, one that he had not felt for so long. Similar to the type of relief you feel, after you’ve spent a day exerting all your will power not to smoke, because this time, you have quit, for good. First, you feel that anticipation, when somewhere inside you, the fight ends, and you take the first drag, the overwhelming feeling of impending doom leaves you, for that instant, you have found peace. He was at that point now, where he hadn't quite given up on the fight, but he knew at the slightest hint of her, he would. 
            Her crimson red dress lay perfectly on every curve and angle of her body, every curve and angle he has stored in his memory, for the unavoidable pipe dreams that continue to spill over into his days and night, washing away reality. Her deep eyes match the autumn leaves after all the brilliant colors have left, but still insist on holding tight to the branch which once provided it with sustenance. Specks of color and life still push their way through. She glides across the room, expertly making her way through the crowds, almost like a ghost. No one speaks with her, though everyone wants too, they only talk in hushed tones with ferociously envious eyes, still not reaching the green found in her eyes. The women hiss in their whispers while the men’s voices deepen with desire.
            Her hair, deeper than the African mahogany floor she finds herself promenading, lay tousled on one side radiating different shades as the light attempts to capture it. As she makes her way through the maze of people, he prays, the foxhole kind of prayer, that her destination will be him. He feels his temptation, growing, to the point of need. He begins to picture himself, reaching out to her delicate cheek, brushing silky strands away from her eyes, tracing the lines of her face, lightly placing his unworthy finger on her once too forgiving lips. 
            He takes a deep breath, bringing himself back into the room, back to reality, feeling foolish for having closed his eyes and gotten lost in a naïve dream. As if a book has slammed, he is ripped him from his daze, he realizes he has lost sight of her, his heart begins to race, eyes darting around the room, any hope for ease has left him now. 

You fool, he mumbles under his breath.

Almost in the same breath he finds himself whipping around with the feeling of a thousand tiny needles touching every inch of his skin as he hears her, feels her, “Casz,” his name, he feels it spoken like soothing velvet to his soul with just a hint of ice. 
With her standing so close, he feels a tormenting joy and an excruciating love, resulting in his mouth refusing to cooperate. She takes a step back, Casz assumes it is due to the disgust she must feel in seeing him again. As his heart races, so does his brain, memories flood in, somehow, he missed the eye of her storm and is completely drenched in her turmoil. The wind of her storm, making it impossible to breathe, he wants to look her in those deep eyes freckled with green, but can’t as he finds himself looking everywhere but at her. His shame is overcoming him, like a flood filling his soul, drowning him from the inside out. He doesn’t deserve the comfort she once provided him. He never did and this is what he tells himself now, over and over. 
            He trips over his words, mouth feeling parched, he stutters, “Vaida…” and leaves the rest of his thoughts hanging in the air. He glimpses a sight of her eyes, full to the brim, like the 2nd champagne glass she finds in her hand.
            Surely not the last one of the night. He thinks, admitting, to himself for the first time; she may not be all perfection. Followed by, is it because of me?














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