Thursday, May 6, 2010
Little Love Stories. Part Two. Still Life
"Hurry up! I’m freezing!”
“Hang on. These are going to be good, I think.”
I took a deep breath and waited. Counted to ten and waited. Waited some more. What was taking him so long?
I regretted my offer to pose. What had I been thinking? I was a fidgeter, not made for this kind of thing. And Ethan! I had no idea he could be such a perfectionist, twisting my body this way and that, giving direction, adjusting the lighting. Meanwhile, I was topless and my nipples were hard as the icicles that hung off the eaves of the house.
“Stay right like that,” he whispered, backing away a little and aiming the Nikon at my bare breasts.
I was torn between wanting to get this over with and wanting to look down to see what he could see. As I sat frozen and stiff, trying not to think about which body part itched more, it occurred to me that I had ceased to be flesh and blood, the soft, pliable girlfriend who shared his bed and secrets. I had crossed into that other place as his subject. His eyes roamed over my body with a precision that didn't mesh with the desire that normally accompanied his response to my naked breasts. He studied me like the artist he was. I could have been any body. Any. Body. I could have been a bowl of fruit, a jug of wine, a mandolin leaning against a wall. I shivered.
“Now you’ve got goosebumps,” he said, leaning down to adjust my right shoulder ever so slightly. “You must be cold.”
I didn’t want to tell him what had made my skin go all prickly.
Later, we sat on the worn blue carpeting while he repacked his gear. I slid my foot underneath him and wiggled it. “I love you.”
He didn’t miss a beat as he continued to dismantle the lighting. “I love you, too. Want your pay?”
“And that would be?” I asked, pushing my foot further under him and goosing his butt with my toe.
“Dunkin Donuts, of course!” he yelped as he grabbed my foot between his legs an held on to it.
I tried to wriggle away, lying down and stretching to reach the tee shirt just beyond my grasp.
He let go of my foot and lay on top of me. "That was pretty cool, seeing you like that." He was so warm.
Like that. For days after I would wonder if he meant like that naked or like that posed. Or both. When I finally saw the photos, they took my breath away. He’d captured a beauty I did not know I possessed. Until I saw those photos, I'd thought my breasts awkward, too large, unappealing. At that moment, though, I wanted to stay there, feeling his weight on me. I knew where that would lead though and my roommate was due home shortly.
I reluctantly pulled away and tugged the shirt over my head. "Donuts, remember?"
(Not in the manuscript.)