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Amélie - write

[31_days] sometimes even the false is tender

04: Subtle, sweet and totally overrated.
“sometimes even the false is tender” - Each From Different Heights, Stephen Dunn




“Is it recording? Is it working?”

She stares at the device on her hand. Too many buttons. “I don’t know.”

He grabs the manual from the table before settling down comfortably next to her. “That’s why they come with these,” he says, bending down to her right as he compares device versus illustration and skims through the instructions.

Faces inching together in proximity. Heat and a thousand invisible molecules stick to her skin, to his arms, to her face, felt but unseen, and for a few seconds she finds it hard to breathe. The sofa is soft, almost comfortable, but it is covered with leather and the curtains aren’t enough to keep the heat of the sun away.

“Hold this for a sec,” she says.

She stands up, walks across the room unaware of the gaze that follows the sway of her hips, until she reaches the corner where she bends down to turn on the air conditioner. High cool.


-


Fitting eight people inside a sedan is never easy. Three in front and five at the back? So she ends up sitting on his lap, just slightly squirming in discomfort. They were all laughing, five bodies making space, sparing some room to breathe.

“...I feel weird,” he suddenly says.

“Oh my god, shut up!” she laughs, brushing It away. It: a declaration of something.


-


He enters the room and the first thing he says is, “there’s something different with your legs.”

She stretches them out, stares at them, and wonders. “What?” She pulls the fringe of her shorts upward. “Are they weird?” she asks her friend who sits next to her.

Her friend shrugs.

Someone else enters the room almost too happy, interrupting the pause that came with her question. “Have you guys seen the new episode last night?” Legs are quickly forgotten, buried by loud chattering and animated conversations on fictional characters high on drugs and sex.

He stares for a bit, and blinks, and realizes how utterly ridiculous.


-


She could kiss him.

They could kiss each other.

Lips are drawn to things that quench the thirst and if anything, they are thirsty for skinship and are burning with curiosity. One misses affection (for all the wrong reasons) and the other lies in silence. White lies. Besides, they are adults who can handle untruths. They must, because lies can seem so sweet and gentle no matter what color.

And so, the two poles meet. They have been orbiting closer and closer to each other, after all.

“No strings attached?”

“No strings attached.”

But no one has taught her to objectify and this is the game she will play with Trial and Error. Losing will mean pain and she wonders if she is actually a masochist for she knows she’s playing a losing battle.

Tongue slides over tongue and she remembers why.

She licks his ear and stops his hand from drifting elsewhere.

For now, though, she is in control. For now.


-


No chasing, no courting, no room for awkwardness, no weirdness, all shamelessness. Because true love is overrated.

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