The smoke filled room was dimly lit by hanging paper lanterns.
I had a tough time dealing with the smoke only cause it would periodically rise from my own cigarette and hover over my eyes, causing a slight sting but nothing unbearable.
She looked on across from me. Worrying thoughts flitting across her eyes. I could see her preoccupation with a thought. It was written in the way the emerald green of her eyes shone in the candle light .
The waiter appeared with our drinks. He placed them in the center of the table and moved back through the fog to service another couple.
I looked on as I reached for my drink.
The brisk smell of twelve year old Japanese whiskey filled my nostrils as I went about bringing the cup to my lips.
She stared at me for a moment. The tension building as I waited. We had spent the better part of the night talking about life, books we’ve read, places we’ve been and things we wanted to do.
I could feel the ebb and flow of our interaction, and now we were at a very pivotal point. All because of a question.
“ How are you really feeling?
She blushed slightly as the words left my mouth. I could see that she had anticipated my inquiry.
The cherry of her cigarette lit up as she inhaled deep. Biding her time to either make up a lie or to gauge if I was asking honestly.
“ Daniel, I –
The faint crack of her voice was noticeable. Her eyes became wrapped in a light film. Either because of the smoke or the truth of the statement that was about to leave her lips.
“ I’ve been so lonely since I’ve been here. I think the most alone I’ve ever felt”
She took another drag. The ash building up on the end. She tapped it lightly on the edge of the ashtray. It fell amongst the rest. I could also see that it wasn’t just the weight of the ash that had been lifted.
She breathed out the smoke, it billowed over our heads as I sipped on my whiskey. The red light fixtures adding to the confessional ambiance in our corner of the lounge.
“ Such a beautiful woman, how could you be lonely?
She laughed at the remark. The remaining smoke escaping in her laughter.
“ The men I’ve met want me for my body”
And a body she had.
5’11” with dirty blond hair that down over her tanned skin. A frame that insisted on recognition regardless of what she wore. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that a portion of my intrigue was to see what her dress was hiding.
But believe it or not my penis doesn’t do all the thinking.
“ I just don’t want to feel this way”
She extinguished her cigarette. The small wisps of smoke rising up.
She looked me square in the eye,
“ I was thinking maybe…
I caught on immediately but I hesistated so as to not ruin the moment.
We go back to my place and finish this conversation over a bottle of wine?
She smiled. So did I .
The lavish marble designed with patterns that weaved in and out of each other. I stood in the hallway. Mesmerized by it. The wall lamps that shone with such a brightness that made sure to light the decadent nature of the place I was standing in.
“ How had I gotten here? ”
The questioned echoed in my head as I tried to keep my vision from swimming.
The champagne glass in my hand was no bordering on half empty. Although I’m a glass half full kind of guy I’m not unrealistic.
I walked down the hallway admiring the décor. The noise of the party in the distance quietly grazed my ear drums.
The gold curtains covered the windows. I touched them to feel the soft texture and to make out the subtle designs.
As I reached the end of the hallway and the bottom of my glass I looked around and saw a figure standing to my left.
I couldn’t make out a face. My vision started taking a dive in the deep end my champagne filled pool.
I grasped onto one of the tables next to me. Barely maintaining my balance. The sound of the champagne flute shattering next to me echoed in the corridor.
The person was saying something, I couldn’t quite make it out. I focused as hard as I could. Finally being able to make out a few words I heard
“ Not yet, You’re not ready for this yet”
I tried to respond but my voice was gone. I looked down at my hands but they were gone. I looked up and I saw that I was in my room. No lavish hallway, no marbled floors. It had been a dream that felt as real as my waking life. Yet I wonder still what it meant and what I wasn’t ready for.
Daniel Black is a native of New York. Is in Taiwan teaching and working on his short film for release in October. He writes often from the memories of his own life. Hope you enjoy it.
Daniel Black [email protected]
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