~ a story ~
Behind it was the real me. Behind the clothes, the smile. Behind the lilt in my soft voice, the coy look in my eyes. Behind it all lived me. And I never let any of them see it.
I was shy, quiet. I was never the first to do anything. I hung back, stayed away, an actual wallflower. And I watched. I always watched them, always saw them. And I remembered.
As they played. As they kissed. As they fucked, I remembered. As they yelled, screamed, cried, I remembered. As they lied, cheated, hated and loved, I always remembered.
They never tried to force me to do anything or be anyone. Occasionally I gave them the smile or the coy look, just enough for them to know I was still there. Just enough for them to realize my actions were a choice. They would quickly forget I existed, that I had not engaged, that I was watching.
There were some more than others I looked upon. The ones who were the worst. The ones who lied like it was breathing. The ones who cheated like it was a part of their relationship. The ones who got what they wanted, whenever they wanted, no matter who they harmed in the process. I made sure to watch them closely, to remember all their exploits, and to never, ever, engage with them.
I came close to revealing myself, once. His name was Oliver. He was chocolate skinned and bald headed and had a tattoo of fire ascending up both his arms meeting at his chest and back. I sometimes wondered how much pain he was in as he took that ink.
Once, when we were all warming ourselves by a camp fire, sweat shirts and hoodies covering muscles and cleavage, Oliver sat beside me. I’d chosen a log just on the outside of the circle of camp chairs, the barest amount of warmth drifting back towards me.
Holding my mug of cocoa, I softly blew across the top and sipped slowly. His hands held coffee that smelled better than I suspected it tasted. He too warmed his hands with his drink while partaking of his beverage.
For a moment, he looked over at me. My gaze, normally down or to the side, lifted for just a few seconds to meet his. He had beautiful green eyes, eyes I’d never seen so close before. His smiled started at his lips and ended at those eyes.
“You’re always here, but you never really… engage with us. Why is that?”
Why was that? Because I knew them. I knew them too well. I knew the mean ones, the nasty ones, the pathetic ones, the spiteful ones. I knew who did what to whom when and how long. I knew it all.
I even knew him. Knew how much he loved her, the one all the guys loved. I knew how she had hurt him. I knew his heart still ached for her scent. Knew he hated her boyfriend, and hated her other lover more.
Knowing them, who they were, what they’d done. It never made me want to be a part of them, but it also made me want to never stop watching them. They found me useful, to be utilized. Most didn’t care that I hung around because I was always around.
His question hung in the air, a weight pulling me towards him. Of all of them, he was the one I watched not because of his faults but because of his qualities. He should’ve been the one they all ran to, aspired to, loved. And yet at times it seemed he had it no better than me.
He was beautiful, honest, sweet. He was kind, caring, giving. And they knew it, and exploited him for it. And yet he stayed.
In that moment, the question in the air, I wanted to kiss him. I wanted to connect with him. I wanted to… connect.
But when he stood, his question never answered, my desire quickly melted with each of his steps away. He sat next to her, offering a blanket. She turned him down, opting to instead snuggle up to her lover as her boyfriend lay passed out on a nearby log.
Once, I almost showed myself. Once, I almost revealed…me. Instead I finished my cocoa and then drove all of them home.
Categorised as: Gen Fiction
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