This excerpt was inspired by the following Write on Edge Prompt: Crossing the Line.
This week we asked you to write a fiction or creative non-fiction piece about a time someone crossed a line, legally or ethically. You could have explored vigilante justice or another sort of line crossing. We hope you enjoyed exploring the motivation of your character and possibly the consequences of his or her actions as you put your piece together.
This prompt fit with my current story about Carly, but as excited as I was to start writing this I was also apprehensive. This scene required a lot of emotion. Inserting emotion, especially emotions involving vulneralbility and sensuality are hard for me. As my husband will acknowledge, I am not a stereotypical girl. A hopeless romantic I am not. But Carly was bound to cross this line. So, I hope you enjoy it.
As always, comments and critiques are welcome.
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My phone vibrated, fierce and urgent against my palm. Silence suffocated the space in this unfamiliar setting. Darkness had settled and when I dared to look up, away from the phone’s screen, the window failed to reveal the river - only darkness and our images.
I quickly stole a glance at the words on the screen, once a glaring notification, but now fading away. We had to call an ambulance. The text sent from David’s phone.
The words caught in my throat, tight and tiny. Clearing my throat, I uttered, “They had to call an ambulance.”
Continuing to stare at the reflections that darkness offered, I watched as Yves gathered up the materials we had been working on. Our excuse for meeting here tonight, his apartment. Papers scattered around on the coffee table, appetizer ideas for the new menu at The Bitten Dog. Something that could have and should have been done at the restaurant.
“Do you want me to drive you?” My body betrayed me. I quivered as his reflection moved towards me.
“Are you okay?”
I shook my head. “ I can’t.” A whisper as I turned to him. I’m not even sure he heard. I tasted the tears before I felt them falling from my eyelashes.
Yves reached for me. His thumb gently erasing the tears, trailing from my cheek to my jawbone to my lips. Without hesitating, I confronted him. I stared into his eyes, searching for a spark of understanding, wanting him to know me, to see me.
“I’m weak.” I admitted.
His fingers slid into my hair.
“A disaster .” I warned.
He smiled. “I’m not afraid.”
“I keep making bad choices. I should go to the hospital.” My body quivered again aware that I was about to make the wrong choice. I was going to let myself fall because feeling something tonight other than loneliness, regret, anger and pain was the better alternative. I could escape and life could be different for a while.
I lowered my forehead to his chest. “I just want you to know.”
“What?” His breath was hot against the top of my head.
“Who I am.”
Stillness. A momentary pause in his breathing. Then he pulled away, tilting my chin up he held my gaze. “I know. I’ve always known.”
And like that I gave up forever. I welcomed the moment. Not caring how long it lasted, needing it more than certainty. The past had stripped me of certainty. Counting on empty promises had gotten me nowhere yet led me here. And as I tasted the moment on Yves’ lips, I knew this was exactly where I wanted to be.