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something from the archives: chocolate velvet - part 3

funny story, so the while you were sleeping reference here is literally lifted from a conversation i had with my high school boyfriend. we watched it on our first date and that was literally the only scene he enjoyed.

it remains one of my favorite comfort movies, so his dislike of it, and our eventual break up had no bearing on my love for the movie.

Part 3

Liz turns away. Stares up at the sky, at the stars. As if they had any answers.

If they did I’d have found them by now. I’d know exactly what to do.

I’d know how to answer her question.

My heart is saying let’s run for it. Take this chance.

But my head remembers every moment my heart broke because of this girl and her amazing chocolate velvet eyes.

“I don’t know,” she whispers.

I nod. I’m not surprised.

“Kyle?” her voice is soft, pleading.

“Running away won’t make this better,” I say.

“Please? I know you’ve already risked so much. I know I have no right to ask you—“

“Then why? Why Liz? Why are you asking me to put my heart out on the line for you? Haven’t I been hurt enough? Do you just want to see what kind of a hold you have on me? Don’t you already know?”

She licks her lips. Her eyes widen at my outburst. “Kyle, I’m sorry. I just know that—I’ve spent the last three years making the wrong choice. And I can’t help feeling that if I hadn’t pushed you away, if I hadn’t fallen under Max Evans spell that maybe—“

“Don’t say it,” I say. I’m angry now.

How could the words, the moment of realization that I’d been waiting so many years for, turn out so horribly wrong?

“I know. It’s stupid to think all these what ifs,” she says quietly.

I realize then that she’s hurting too.

And suddenly I don’t care if she’s come to me for all the wrong reasons. The point is that she’s come to me.

“Yeah,” I say in agreement. “This shouldn’t be another one.”

She looks up at me. Hope shining in the dark brown irises of her eye.

The sound of laughter filled the room as the couple on the couch wrestled for the remote control. It was the height of summer and they’d decided to escape the dry New Mexico heat by staying in the a/c and watching movies all day.

“Kyle,” gasped Liz as she flung her self backward while clutching the remote in her hands, “I will not watch ‘Aliens’ again, no matter how much Sigourney Weaver kicks butt.”

“Well, I’m not watching ‘While You Were Sleeping,’ I swear the only good scene in that movie is when the paperboy falls,” Kyle replied as he sulked on the opposite corner of the couch.

“So you were paying attention?”

“You’ve only made me see it a gazillion times.”

“Fine. I won’t make you watch ‘While You Were Sleeping’ if you don’t make me watch ‘Aliens.’”

“Deal. How about ‘Speed’?” Kyle asked with a plaintive note creeping in at the end of the sentence.
Liz smiled at him and turned her body around so that her head was now on Kyle’s lap. Without a word she handed him the remote control, he stared at the black plastic rectangle for a minute before running his fingers through her hair, framing her face with his hands, and pulling her up for a long open-mouthed kiss.

The remote dropped nervelessly from her fingers as she wrapped her arms around his neck. The kiss continued the first tenderness consumed by a frantic wildness. They both felt the yearning from the tips of their toes to the ends of their hair, a tingling awakening of how much they wanted from each other. 

Kyle stretched out on the couch. His body on its side, Liz pulled flush against him. His hand trailed down her back and up the smooth cotton of the shirt, she wore against her stomach, before slipping between the folds of fabric and touching her olive-tanned skin. 

For a brief moment he thought the rush of emotion he felt for the girl lying in his arms caused the ringing in his head, but then he realized that it was the doorbell. With a groan, he disentangled himself from their embrace and with a longing look left the living room to answer the persistent being standing at the front door.

“Are we just going to leave them here?” I ask her. I’m not completely convinced she’s thought things through.

She frowns. I can see her struggling with the question. I’m not surprised. I’m struggling with the question myself.

After all, we’ve been through, the six of us have a special bond. I may not get along with Max, I often don’t agree with his choices, but I know how much Liz’s abandonment will hurt. I know it better than anyone.

“We can’t do that can we?” Liz asks me. Her voice is filled with aching. She wants me to say that we can, but she knows I won’t.

“They need to know. If we disappeared on them—we’ve been protecting them for the past three years; all that would be worthless. Max would never let you go that easily. And searching for you, searching for us, he’d put the others in danger.”

Liz bows her head as she hears my answer. She’s standing two feet away from me, her arms wrapped around her body as if she were to fall apart without the support. I want to take her in my arms so badly. But I’m afraid to touch her. Afraid of the things she’ll see.

“I know. I just—please be strong for me Kyle?” she’s shaking and I catch her before she falls. Holding her close even as she initially struggles, before surrendering, and wrapping her arms around my neck. Her skin is crackling green again.

I realize that’s why she’s been holding back lately. “I thought that was over with Liz?”

“Me too. But it’s back and he makes it worse. I’m not hurting you?”

“No. Is this why?” I ask. I need to know. Is she only using me to get away from the pain Max causes her? Really all I want to know is if I’m being used. That way I can protect my heartache.

“Not entirely,” she says, and I watch her carefully, hoping that she’ll elaborate without my asking, “I feel this pull. It’s like you call out to me. And I want to be with you.”

I’m surprised. Because I feel the pull too. But I’ve been resisting it thinking I never had a chance. But I do. Only I need to figure out how we’re going to take it.


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