Short Stories

by Kristin Miyagishima

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It was our first time. As the outside world rushed, as the ancient stars illuminated the darkened sky, as rain pelted softly upon the window pane, we existed as the sole inhabitants of our universe...

Our First Time

It was our first time. As the outside world rushed, as the ancient stars illuminated the darkened sky, as rain pelted softly upon the window pane, we existed as the sole inhabitants of our universe. The noises of traffic and the loud tirades of frustrated folks caught in the melee of urban congestion were drowned out by the soft sighs and murmurs of the love we made. I remember feeling so complete, as if everything that had occurred in our lives culminated in that moment of time?making me believe that, yes, everything happens for a reason.

It was in the quiet moments just before dawn that I awoke. The world was quiet, the roads now void of rushing vehicles. I felt her around me, her strong yet feminine arms wrapped around my waist and her soft breath on my shoulder as she slumbered. Yet, I was not quite as peaceful; I recognized the significance of the moment but, inside, I felt a wave of panic engulf me.

As carefully as I could so as not to awaken her, I slipped from her embrace and got out of bed. The night air chilled me and I reached for a blanket that was perched on the edge of the bed; funny, I had not noticed the blanket when we had entered the bedroom. I pulled it around my bare form and, for a split second, felt secure within its soft embrace. I pulled it loosely around my bare form, my buttocks, my breasts, my thin shoulders. I walked over to the window that looked out over the street; the rain had ceased, leaving the road wet and mirror-like. The lights of street lamps reflected in the pools of water and I watched as a lone car made its way down the road, leaving behind foamy tracks in the slickness. I sighed and leaned my forehead against the window, feeling the iciness of the cold glass.

Now what was going to happen? With that thought, a fresh wave of panic washed over me and I felt my heart pounding in my chest; I feared that the pounding would somehow awaken her and she would find me in my current state of anxiety. Here I had allowed a woman to spend incredibly intimate and passionate moments with me and I was completely overwhelmed. She said she loved me, but were those words uttered out of passion, or did she genuinely mean them? I could not recall my response; her words had filled my whole being and pounded their way through my heart, my brain, my body, my ears. I reveled in her feelings and words but, at the same time, they frightened me. I had not experienced love before and had not the opportunity to give love to someone else; what could I expect? Did I love her? How did I love her? How did she love me? What kind of love did we share? There was no going back now; we had stepped over the precipice of intimacy and our lives were forever changed. Doubts rushed through my mind and I felt as if there was no way to stop them.

I turned from the window and sat down in a nearby armchair, sinking into the cushions enough that the blanket further engulfed me. I slowly let it loosen around me, revealing pockets of skin. I could see her sleeping form in the bed, a bare leg peeking out from tussled sheets, the rise and fall of her shoulders as she breathed deeply--and my heart surged with affection. The first vestiges of morning light began to peep into the room, the gray hues of dawn painting the bed in which my lover?MY lover?slept. My eyes slowly meandered from the bed to the window and I was filled with a feeling of exhaustion caused by my anxieties. How could the world be experiencing such peaceful moments of slumber when I was caught within a miasma of doubt and fear? What if I could not provide her with the love and support she desired? What if she grew to dislike me and right now I was merely providing a facade of my true self? Could I endure bad moments between us? Could I really be capable of the love I promised her? I told her I would never try to hurt her, but what if I ended up scarring her already tender heart?

The doubts rushed through me so quickly that I just wanted to shut my eyes and scream for them to stop. I closed my eyes, but I did not scream; instead, I sat with the doubts and let them pour over me and the first drops of salty tears journeyed down my cheeks, bringing a bit of relief. Yet, the tears kept coming and it was all I could do to not start sobbing. I did not want her to see me like this, so I pulled in my legs close to my chest and buried my face between my knees; perhaps getting into a fetal position would comfort me. In the early dawn?s light?which had now turned to a soft, shy yellow?I broke loose the dam of emotions I had kept pent up for so long.

I felt a light touch on my right forearm and looked up into her eyes. ?Kristin,? she whispered. Her words echoed through the night, bouncing off the walls of the room. As she whispered my name, I felt tingles through me and, despite my inner turmoil, I knew that I found home. I blinked the blurriness of tears away and attempted a grin. Her fingers went to my cheek and gently wiped away my tears, but her eyes never left mine. I had not noticed that she had gotten out of bed and made her way toward me. Her hair was a bit unkempt from sleep and her forehead creased in her concern for me; she seemed like an angel.

She knelt down in front of me and pulled my head to her chest so that I could hear and feel her heartbeat. I closed my eyes and listened to the familiar rhythm of life, of comfort and grounding. My tears ceased and I pulled her closer to me and enveloped us both in the blanket. I kissed her and realized that this was all that mattered?I did not need to be a perfect partner, lover, or friend. All I needed was this moment?these moments?of love and trust. We kissed each other in the burgeoning light of early morning and I reveled in my first time of knowing love. All we needed was each other.