Stifling Heat

I stared up at the ceiling fan as it whirled overhead. It was attempting to provide a breeze in the sweltering evening heat but to little avail. My oversized t-shirt clung to my back, sticky with perspiration. I raised my feet into the air, feeling the slight breeze tickle my soles. Then I rolled onto my right side and stared directly into the electric fan. The wind it created was aggressive and loud. My hair blew off of my face and I sighed blissfully.

Then my phone pinged.

I glanced at it, unamused, and snatched it off of the chipping, white side table. It was Ashley.

I heard what happened to you and Tom. I’m so sorry.

I frowned and turned off my phone. She’s not sorry, she is probably thrilled that he’s now available. She always liked him. I could tell by the way she looked at him and how she talked to him.

I rolled back onto my back and resumed staring into the ceiling fan, hoping to be hypnotized into a deep sleep.

Sleep. What a foreign concept to me at this point. I haven’t slept since we broke up a week ago. It’s been even longer since I’ve slept alone. Two years. It’s been two years…I don’t know how to sleep alone anymore.

I closed my eyes, hoping that if I pretended to be asleep, I’d eventually trick myself into falling asleep this time. Instead of looking at the back of my eyelids though, I was confronted by Tom’s face hovering over me, illuminated by the moon through the window. He was smiling mischievously, some locks of his golden hair falling into his eyes. Then I felt his warm, calloused fingers draw circles on my right arm. His breath was warm when he leaned in and whispered in my ear, “Tell me what you want.”

I smiled, relieved that he was back. He tenderly kissed my face, but when I tried to kiss him, he shook his head, his grin widening.

“Tell me first,” he said, kissing my neck. The sensation sent chills down my body, and simultaneously ignited my skin. “Tell me what you want.”

I slid my hand across my hot stomach and brushed the top of my pubic bone.

“I want you,” I gasped as my fingers dipped lower, probingly.

“What do you want me to do?” he asked, kissing his way down my chest.

My touch sent a wave of warmth over my body. “I want you to…” I panted.

“What do you want me to do?” he asked, looking into my eyes.

“I want you to—”

Then my body shook, and everything felt like it was on fire.

When my breathing slowed and I relaxed, I whispered, “I want you to be here.” I opened my eyes expectedly as if I had just performed a spell to summon him. All I saw though, was the whirling ceiling fan in my dark room. I was alone.

My face crumbled. The satisfaction that I created dissipated and tears streamed down my cheeks.

© 2018 Vic Romero – Performance Poetics Spring 2018

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