authors notes: This was published before on another website. I took it off and decided to put it on here. This story was written because of a promise and by sharing it and writing it I keep the promise to this person even if he is no longer in my life… so this is for you.
“I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey…”
Kiss From A Rose – Seal
“Relax.” He smiled at me and placed his hand on my own that was laid on the table between us. The feel of his hand instantly calmed me, the little nerves dying down in my stomach. He closed his eyes for a moment then opened them again. “Close your eyes” He told me. And I did. Something rose within me. I didn’t know what it was, but it felt good. I was at peace. I opened my eyes again to find him staring back at me with that look that writers deem as that look that people often long for yet too little see.
“Okay.” He breathed and the milkshakes arrived in two jugs. He inspected the milkshake for a while. “I know you said a jug, but I didn’t think it was a literal jug.”
I laughed, putting my straw in. “Yes, I meant an actual jug. Like those huge beer jugs.”
He nodded and fiddled with the straw in his hands. I took my first sip and closed my eyes in ecstasy. Joe’s Diner always had the best chocolate milkshakes. I looked over at him and he was trying to suck through the straw. He turned it around and tried again. I laughed again. “What are you doing?”
“The straw is cracked on one side, so I had to turn it around,” He went in for a taste, properly this time.
“Only you would have a cracked straw.” I observed without realising that I wouldn’t actually know if he would get cracked straws. It was just something I had to say. “How come you don’t listen to real music?” I asked, since he didn’t even know who Zayn Malik was when ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’ came on the radio.
“I do. I just listen to jazz mostly and church music.” New Apostolics were big on music and Jason and his family, as all Apostolics everywhere, were musically talented. Jason studied choir conducting, piano and the violin at Stellenbosch University. He took out his phone and showed me his playlist. I found some Adele, NAC (New Apostolic Church) music CD’s, and some other bands I didn’t know. I saw a Disney Album. I giggled.
“Disney? How cute. It’s got some good music, I know.” His IPhone suggested some albums and I saw The Lion King, which was crazy because I was just speaking about that song that I love from it with my sister. “Oh, the Lion King! I love number two.” Jason covered his face with his hands. “What? What’s wrong? What did I say?”
He groaned. “You did not say you like number two.”
“What? It is the best. It’s about star-crossed lovers and how family comes together in the end. Everyone accepts each other. My favourite song is that one they sing together…”
“Inupendi?” He shook his head.
“No, Love Will Find A Way.” I smiled, remembering the song.
“Oh, that song. It is a nice song. But number one is the best.” He argued with me.
“Why?” I wondered.
“It teaches children things…”
“Like what?” I retaliated. “To run away from home and to kill your uncle?”
“No!” He shouted. “No. No, that’s not what happened! He got killed by those hyenas.”
“But if Simba didn’t push him over the ledge then the hyenas wouldn’t have eaten him…”
“No!” He was trying to back his point up, but he knew I was winning with the argument. “Okay, so number two I think there was some racial things there. Cause one was darker…”
“But they came together in the end. Equality.” I laughed when I thought of my parents. “That’s like my white mom and my coloured dad. My gran freaked when she found out. I don’t believe in race. I took History so I know it’s all pseudoscience.”
He smiled warmly. “So what are you?”
“I’m a human being. But my university applications say I’m coloured so I can get in easier.”
“And your ID?”
“I think white? I’m not sure. Whatever. I don’t care about race. At least I got into Varsity College.” I thought about my student card and I thought I looked like a twelve year old, but Jason said I look like I’m twenty-four. I didn’t know how that worked since I was only nineteen. Four years younger than him.
“Tell me about your family.” I told him the drama about how I only had my immediate family since most of my family I wasn’t on speaking terms with. I shall spare you the story. “And you?” He told him his whole family tree and how in that generation there was no brother that wasn’t a priest in the church. That was amazing. I loved that he was so faithful and I could finally talk to someone about my beliefs and he thankfully believed in the same thing I do.
He squinted at the people outside the restaurant. “Is that a mannequin?” I looked where he was looking at. I bit my lip to keep from laughing. “You really are tired aren’t you? That’s an old lady who isn’t moving.”
“Oh.” He blushed. That was when I burst out laughing, almost knocking over my glass. “You’re so clumsy, it’s so cute.”
It was my turn to blush. “I’m not normally like this. I can just be myself with you. I don’t have to hold back. And yes I am clumsy. I have ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder. I have a concentration problem. I get distracted easily.” I admitted right off the bat. I wasn’t ashamed of it. And it was easy to be with him.
“Me too. I have ADHD, the hyperactive part. I could tell you had it since I can tell someone like me from a mile away.”
I smiled widely and my smile stayed like that way the whole night. We spoke some more and finally when I finished my milkshake, he gave me his. I felt so full though. I wasn’t supposed to have milk because of the ADD, it brings on the symptoms. But I couldn’t handle no milkshake in my life. “Now we need a coke to burp ourselves.” I stared at him while he called a waiter. It was so normal, so relaxed. Not awkward at all. Who said that or even suggested that? It was so amazing, just that insignificant thing, but it meant something to me. That he was comfortable with me. We drank some of the coke and after burping ourselves like babies (he was so crazy. I loved it) we went to pay and that was when the debate started.
“You know I’m giving you my half?” He was paying with card so I couldn’t pay too.
“What?” He said confused.
“I’m giving you my half of the money?”
“No, you’re not. I’m the man.”
I laughed and challenged him. “This is the new generation. Equality between men and women. I picked you up, not you picked me up to come here. Women can pay half and women can also propose too. This is the New Age.” Our waitress laughed. “That’s true.” She said.
“What???” he gasped about the proposal.
“I work now,” I continued. “So I can pay for you now. Spoil you too.”
The waitress cracked up. “That’s lovely.”
“I’ll tell you what. I will buy you sushi next time.”
He grinned. “Okay. Deal.”
Then we walked around the vacant mall to the outside and we sat under this concrete cover up with seats where the smoker’s corner was. I stood on the place where you put your feet and I stood above him, just a little taller than him. I put my arms around his neck and he placed his hands on my waist. We looked into each other eyes, the night around us fading away. I ended the blissful silence, “You know you’re not supposed to kiss before or on the first date?”
He frowned. “Oh is that so? So you wouldn’t kiss me?”
I rejected my statement as my eyes immediately flickered to his lips that were drawing nearer every second. I closed my eyes without even realising it and soon our lips were touching. I was so calm, so exhilarated at the same time. I don’t even know if I could explain to you what exactly I felt. It just felt so right. Like nothing made sense before this. It was cheesy I know, but we were cheeseballs running through romantic scenes like we have a script to follow. It was so perfect.
We pulled away. We sat down under the cover on the seats and we put out feet on the foot rest. At least we thought it was a foot rest. It worked well since I had short legs. It was chilly and Jason only had a thin t-shirt on and I had on a denim jacket so we cuddled up against each other. I never felt so at peace as when I had his arms around me and my head on his chest. We stayed like that for a while until he threaded his fingers through my hair to my neck and pulled me into another kiss. To say I had those cliché feelings was not something I wanted in this book. I wanted it to be real, but sometimes those feelings are real. It was easy. Perfect. Right. I never wanted to stop.
“Are you feeling this? I’m picking up something from you. You’re naughty hey?” He said.
“No!” I denied, smiling. “It’s not me, it’s you!”
“No, I pick up what you feel. You’re feeling this too.”
I bit my lip. “I’m an Empath. It’s you.” I thought I’d have to explain what an Empath is, but he just knew.
“Me too. My dad is a major Empath. If he’s in a good mood he can feel someone that’s sad in a crowed area away from him.” Who was this guy? “So you can’t tell me you’re not feeling this too.”
“You’re right. I am feeling it too.” I bit my lip again.
We spoke after he kissed me for the third time then had a cigarette. I didn’t mind it at all. I would kiss him with that smoke taste in his mouth. He told me I was the only person that wasn’t awkward after we kissed and for some reason that freaked me out. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t shy or nervous or questioning anything like before. I was comfortable. I could be myself. And kissing him was something that seemed like I was meant to do because it just flowed and we were in sync and…
The whole night we struggled to wrap our heads around this feeling. What was this? What was this life? He kept repeating how it was so perfect and right and how he wanted to understand, but also that he didn’t and just wanted to let himself feel it. It was a very rare thing we had going on. To be so close to someone and feel as though you have known each other before. A soul connection with each other. Our loved the little things. The way our breaths mingled together when we went for air, the way our lips moved perfectly with each other, how when he touched me it felt like tingles on my arms.
“Oh! There is a world outside.” He joked. “How is this so right? Tell me.” He whispered against my lips.
“I don’t know.” I admitted truthfully. It was unexplainable. “It is what it is.”
He sighed heavily and held me tight. It was too much for us. It was almost overwhelming, but not consuming us in fear. We were trying to get a grip on something that our minds couldn’t comprehend what our hearts and souls were feeling. What we felt was something out of novels and romance movies. People wrote poems about this and I was a writer so experiencing this for myself was something totally different. It was too good to be true. He took me behind the concrete area and started to dance with me.
“Wait. Let’s play a song.”
He played the song, Stars Fell On Alabama by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. We slow danced and I tried to get the hang of twirling. He made it fun though. I knocked my hand against my head and we just laughed it off. It was like out of a movie. He dipped me down and kissed me just as the song ended.
“That was a perfect ending.” I squealed.
“You just ruined it by talking.” He shook his head and I just laughed more. “Well I’m definitely not going to leave that part out for the readers.”
We went back inside and walked together back up to the food court in the mall. I was rambling on about something and he just took my hand in his. My heart jumped at that impact and I smiled while still talking. I didn’t once look down at my hands. I always did before with guys who tried to do that and it felt weird and strange. His hand was huge and mine was tiny, but somehow it worked. Even our walk together was matched. We had to purposefully walk out of sync so that it wasn’t weird. It was insane because even the out of sync walk was amazing.
I went past a bench and decided to jump on it, still holding his hand. We stopped at the end and I jumped off into his arms. He held me by my hips and then dropped me down till I was level with him and he kissed me in front of everyone. I was not someone who did that in public, but damn it was like it was just us alone. He put me on the ground and held my hand again. I couldn’t stop smiling.
“Some PDA hey?” He smirked and walked me to the outside area.
“Yeah, I don’t really do that, but with you I can.”
We went out onto the balcony overlooking the darkened houses with blinking street laps below a cloudy sky. I put my hands on the balcony railing and he put his arms around me from behind and I lifted my hands out. “Look we’re in Titanic.” He pointed at the road in front of us. “Look at those dolphins!” I laughed and he twirled me in his arms to face him. “I want to see what you look like without glasses.” He took them off and put it on himself. “Wow you are so blind.”
“Yes,” I replied. “Everything is all blurry. That tree over there looks like a monster.”
“I can see what you see and you see what I see…wait…”
I finished off his sentence. “You see what I see and I see what I see what I see now…”
“But you see what I see when you have glasses on.” He smiled and laughed, putting my glasses on the ledge. He put his fingers through my hair and looked into my eyes. His eyes bored into mine and my chest sizzled with heat. “Wow, you have such beautiful eyes.” I turned my head away with a shy smile.
He always made me feel like this. So cared for. Loved even. He stroked behind my head and I was beginning to fall asleep and then his lips was on mine and I held him to my chest with my hands on his forearms. His kiss was sweet. “My sweetheart.” he said, holding me, my ear hearing the fast thumping of his heart. “Many people say sweetheart, but I think I mean something different. It’s cheesy, but you make my heart sweet…”
“That’s so nice.” I mumbled into his chest.
“You need to think of a nickname for me too.”
He chuckled and held me harder. “I’m glad you like chubby guys.”
“You’re not chubby.”
I couldn’t see him, but I heard the smile in his voice. “I’m not.”
“Don’t you ever dare say you’re not. You’re perfect to me.”
I giggled and kissed him again. I ended up listening to him and during the conversation I looked up into his eyes and we locked gazes. He froze for a second. “What was I going to say…err…sorry. Your eyes are so beautiful. Wow. Um…” He chuckled. I smiled for the billionth time that night. It just kept getting better and better. It was so perfect. Our lips found each other again and my head started getting dizzy. The way he kissed me. The passion. I had never been kissed like that before. He drew away only to murmur, “I never want this to end.”
I nodded. My eyes lidded and chest heavy with emotions. “Me either.”
Abruptly there was a burst of music into our silent world. A song came on just at that moment and we both looked around for where it came from. There was a group of teenagers playing music in the road and I stared after them in awe.
He turned to me and shook his head in disbelief. “That is SO weird!” They had perfect timing. This night was unbelievable.
“I know!!! It’s literally like we’re in a movie. I’m going to write about this.” I was totally serious.
“You have to write our story.” He insisted. “But don’t change my name though. I’m Jason.”
“My Jason.” I concluded.
We retreated back to our spot in the smoker’s corner outside after I told him not to drop my glasses to the ground because I paid good money for that. We made out some more, the emotions swirling like an uncontrolled fire tornado.
“I can’t stop. It’s so difficult to stop.” He breathed heavily.
I responded instinctively by taking his bottom lip between my teeth and biting it. His hands clutched tightly around my waist and his breaths shook. I pulled him by his head towards me and kissed him, his tongue touching mine. My head was spinning and it felt so good. It had never been like this before. In our heat session, I didn’t even notice he had picked me by my legs and moved me so I was on his lap, my legs on either side of him.
His hands reached upwards and I welcomed the new touch. Our hands strained against our bodies, gripping, aching to control what was burning inside of us. Or maybe to fuel it, either way it was serving as a solution to our desires. Everything felt so right. Nothing was forced or wrong. That was the crazy thing. I kissed guys before and it was nowhere near this, but what was even more insane was the simple fact that I wasn’t telling myself that I should stop.
Not even a tiny part of me wanted to scold myself for doing this. Of course there was moral implications and the fact that it was only the first date and my mom would kill me if she found out anything happened, but above my rational mind there was this total oneness within my soul, heart, mind and body. Normally there was something telling me no.
My mind used to scream at me to pull away even if it was a simple kiss or hand hold. My stomach used to swarm with disgust at doing anything with anybody. I had never felt so calm and controlled and free. It was freaking me out actually. I wasn’t even thinking, I was just feeling. Nothing was out of place. It was perfect…It was something that I just knew.
I moved my head down to his neck, breathing there for a moment. He squirmed and I hadn’t even kissed there yet. “I’ve very ticklish there. But it feels good. Just the breathing…” So I kissed it lightly, licking. His grip on my body become tighter and he let out a sigh. He pulled me into a deep kiss again. My body was burning to a liquid, like I was so hot, but also I was calm and cool at the same time. I had no words for it. I wanted more.
He touched me, not just physically, but emotionally as well. Like there was something down inside of me that was awake now. That hadn’t been awake before. I had been waiting and waiting for this feeling. Now it was here. I never wanted to let anything mess this up. But I knew it couldn’t fade away. What we felt wouldn’t because it was real and true. I didn’t know how I knew that, but I did.
“I’m sorry.” He put me down. “I’m sorry. Probably going too far.” I stood up on the foot stand and looked down at him. He searched the place around us in a daze. My heart was beating so fast and I fought to catch my breath. He hugged me and I put my head on top of his. “Do you…” His voice shook. “…think you would have…you know? What are you thinking? It just…wow. It just feels so right. I don’t know. I don’t know. It’s too perfect.”
I scratched the back of his head in slow circles. It felt like a normal thing to do in a time like this. But it was normal, wasn’t it? “I know.” I didn’t know what else to say. Now I understood what my mom meant about things like this. I had to be careful. It was too fast. Too soon. Too…flipping amazing! What the hell was this?
He laughed at the situation, playing it off, easing up the thick aura of this thing that we were feeling. “I don’t know…Are you freaked out? Is this bad?”
I kissed his cheek and leaned my face against his. I couldn’t keep up. “No.” I whispered. “I…” I let out a shaky breath. “It feels so right. Like nothing can break this or ruin it. I don’t understand it either, but I don’t think it’s bad. Not at all.”
“Would you regret anything?”
I kissed his forehead. “No.” I said softly. I somehow knew that it was so easy for me to be with him, no worries or questions asked. It just felt like this was meant to be. “It’s scary. But I’m not freaked out.”
He laughed and met my eyes. “You’re freaked out about how you’re not freaked out?”
I smiled and nodded. We walked hand in hand back inside again. I told him, “My mom would probably say we moving too fast. I mean we are…but…I’ve known you what? Two weeks?”
I whirled my head towards him. “What? Don’t lie.”
“I’m serious.” He said like he couldn’t believe it either.
We went to the escalators and I remembered how when we first came down to go to the outside he went down the up escalator and he challenged me to go up the down escalator. I complied.
“I promise I’ll try not to look at your ass.”
I laughed and tried to go up. I struggled the first time and I finally made it up. I tumbled to the floor again and he caught me in his arms. I smiled up at him and he held my hand as we went down a passage where the floors were being cleaned.
“You want to do something crazy?” He grinned.
“Sure. I love crazy.”
“Let’s lay on the floor.”
A song played on the mall’s radio and I instantly loved the song. I danced a bit and we laid down on the ground and took a picture together. I put my head on his shoulder and snuggled up to him. It was incredible. We both were talkative people so the conversation never stopped and we were both the same kind of crazy which I loved.
“Hey! Get off the floor!” The cleaner shouted.
“Oh. Hi. Thank you so much for cleaning these floors so we can lie on it. You did such a good job.” He was so charming. He could persuade the pants off an Eskimo.
The cleaner laughed and left us alone. We took a few pictures and just enjoyed this time. It was like the Notebook where they laid in the road. It was unreal, but so real. If that made sense. We decided it was time to leave since we already were ten minutes late for pick up. My dad was waiting. Just as we left another song I liked came on. We stood there trying to listen to the lyrics and Jason googled it. It was Kiss From A Rose by Seal. Wow.
“I really want that other song though.” I said, swinging our hands. “I swear if we hear it again when we’re out then we know.”
He pulled me in for one last kiss before we ended the night. It was tainted with sadness on my tongue as I knew that this perfect night was closing. I missed him already. He let me go.
“You know…” he said. “We’re going to have to pretend to be friends when we go out there.”
My heart fell to my feet. I refused to pretend this time. I rejected the idea with everything in me that I had to fake like this wasn’t the most amazing night of my life and that we had something special. “No.” I averted my gaze from him. “We’re not friends. But we’re not dating yet either.” I furrowed my brows, looking back at him again. “We’re…companions.” In the beginning before all of this emotions, he told my mom he was looking for someone he could talk to, be himself with, and confide in. A companion.
It was what we were even though we both knew it was much more than that. We weren’t friends that was for sure. No normal friend felt like this. I didn’t even think of him as a friend because I felt too much.
“I like that.” He smiled. “When we go down the escalator till that point that’s where it stops.”
“I don’t want it to end.” I muttered.
“Me either.” And we went down the escalator.
We kissed again softly and we let our hands go. We got to that point. I went all gangster on him. “Dude!” I hit his shoulder and he eyed me strangely. “Buddy.” I hit him again and he rubbed his shoulder. “Pal!” I laughed harder at that. Someone said to me that pal was just another word for a secret lover. Pal meaning “hiding your affections because you are friends”.
He moaned. “This feels so weird. I want to hold your hand.”
I loved that. When we held hands it was right and when we didn’t it was wrong. This was truly something else. I crossed my arms over my chest without thinking. If you analysed that I’d have to say that it was because I was protecting myself. And maybe I was.
We were in our own eternal space when we were together and now it had to momentarily end. I was never good with endings or goodbyes. The men outside who was watching us walk around and kiss and laugh all night must have thought we had a fight or something. It was strange. We had to go back into the real world. I scoffed at that in my head. This was reality, right here with him.
“Hi Dad.” I spoke as I got into the car.
“Yeah. Hi Dad.” Jason smirked.
I loved how he called my parents mom and dad without even realising it. When we first met he already called my mom, mother. It made me smile. Again. Gosh! This was ridiculous. It was…wow. We drove home…I mean to his house. Not our house. Whatever. The house. And daddy was having a great conversation with him about his family. Our families kind of knew each other. I felt so at peace. It felt so right. Ha! I said that a lot. We dropped him off and he said when I got home he would speak to me.
“You not finished talking yet?” My dad teased.
“No.” We said together.
“Night.” I smiled. He stared at me for a long time, just staring and I wondered what he was thinking. As I drove home I really couldn’t believe what had happened. My sister woke me up the next morning with a tell-me-everything look. But then she held a mischievous grin. “You know it was just a dream right?”
I smiled at her. Not denying my feelings anymore. I knew with all my being that that couldn’t have been a dream. It was too real.
✏ | if you liked this then read the edited novel version on Wattpad.com
The Unlucky Number of Heartbreak