Originally posted on Escapism – for the girl I'll never be, for the girl I almost am:
Our bodies brushed together. I pushed myself closer and closer to him all the time, not because I wanted him but because I didn’t want myself. For a couple of minutes, I remembered what it’s like to be young and scared and wanting so badly to give yourself away, because you don’t know what to with all that’s been given to you. You do it with eyes wide shut and a burning desire to never get yourself back. There I was again, trying to negotiate my peace of mind with any stranger – since God, who has, at this point, turned into some sort of business partner (‘I’ll be a good girl, just please make this and that come true’) seemed to have run out of it. His grip got tighter and tighter as the minutes and our acquaintances passed by. His body was cold, his breath smelled of alcohol and mint and his skin, of cologne. My senses returned, either to make me aware of the danger this man could have been or to tap me on the shoulder and encourage me to enjoy the moment. All I knew was that my mind stood still for a few minutes when I was in his arms. I ended up squeezing him until I could finally laugh with my mouth, my eyes and my exhausted heart at the hot mess I had been lately. I hope he would like my smile, but instead he understood what I was doing. His eyes moved up and down my body again, then he pushed me away and walked out of the room.
That evening, toxic thoughts and darkness had been swirling in my mind for such long hours that they could have easily bled out into my bloodstream. My senses had been out of tune for a while, and I knew I was on the verge of losing it. I followed him outside; it was grey and it started to drizzle, and I liked the wind and the sound of cars driving on the wet streets. A friend offered me a drink. I did my best to find an excuse not to take it and made my way towards him. When I got there, I simply told him my name. It was the simplest thought that crossed my mind.
‘It’s Mel. Just Mel.’
‘No one’s name is just something,’ he said in a deep, resonant voice that sent shivers down my back.
‘It’s because I’m just…’
‘Let me guess, all messed up.’
‘That’s not what I was going to say.’
‘My point exactly,’ he laughed in my face. ‘So I can’t get your full name ’till I fix you, huh?’
He had big, green and quite friendly eyes, but the way he was looking at me was sort of terrifying.
‘Mel, what do you want from me? You weren’t flirting with me earlier, like I thought you were.’
‘Even I thought I was at first,’ I admitted. ‘I guess I just want you to give me a few more bricks to add to being just Mel.’
The look on his face changed, and he took a moment to think of what to say next.
‘Well how in the world did you expect me to…’
‘By distracting me and showing me that there is more to life than this,’ I said in one breath, pointing at the top of my head. I was hoping he was good at miracles.
To be fair, I expected this to be just another story. I wanted to turn left, then right, then right again, then go further down to the nearest café or shopping centre and get a happy ending for my day. I wanted to feel alive for a little while, until it wore off and I had to go home and write again, tell a story and give it a nice turn at the end.
I didn’t bother to ask for his name, like I didn’t bother to tell him all of mine – because tonight I wasn’t going to be who I am every day or on most nights. Tonight, Mel was going to be just Mel, the girl with beautiful eyes and a map she spilled water onto so she doesn’t know where to turn left and where to turn right, then right again, and where to go further down until she reaches her destination. Tonight, Mel was going to be the girl with beautiful eyes and a desire to go places, even if she was still standing still, talking to strangers and trying to figure out a way to break free.
But unlike most strangers, the green-eyed man wasn’t easy.