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The Touch Of Flames
By Demeter


We talk about work. We talk about relationships. Dreams. Her gaze is on me, warm and attentive, her deep focus almost unnerving. She doesn't know she's terrifying me, because she makes me long for a world I didn't know existed.

She's oblivious though, I think, which is probably a good thing, because there is no room for these ideas in the real life, hers or mine.

It seems almost ironic, to be here with her, the restaurant near empty, candlelight. The smell of fire is in the air from the huge fireplace across the room, on my lips the taste of the deep red wine we had for dinner and then liked so much we ordered another quarter each.

It seems wrong somehow, this ambience, and yet – so right. It's dangerous when your dreams get so close you can almost touch them.

"What would you like to do?" she asks, probably meaning if we should go have a drink somewhere else maybe, go for a walk, go our separate ways. I consider her question, wonder what I would like to do, and the images make the blood rush to my face, my heart beating faster.

No wonder scientists and artists alike have compared this feeling to insanity.

On the table, I cover her hand with mine, tentatively, waiting for her to pull back. She doesn't. Her eyes widen just a little bit, a hint of pleasant surprise.

She knows. Her fingers tighten around mine, and there's another question in her eyes.

The dream can't be undreamed, just as much as we can't change who we are or the lives we have created for ourselves. Tomorrow, it's going to make us lonely in the respective worlds we chose. The longing will remain.

I smile at her, and I realize that I'm no longer scared.

The End

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