There was a moment of silence before I grasped his chin.
I could feel his stubble close beneath the skin. His face was open, his eyes were trusting but a bit scared as they flickered to the closed classroom door. He licked his lips.
“Close your eyes.” I said quietly.
At the first stroke, he inhaled sharply, but kept his eyes closed. I brushed the wand against the tips of his lashes. His lips were parted and full, his breath was warm on my face. I leaned towards him, inches away, close enough to steal a kiss if I wanted to. But I didn’t. Instead, I slotted my knee in between his and concentrated on the task.
He placed a hand on my arm as if to steady himself. I smiled nervously. Brushing the wand in an arc, so slow and steady handed, and gentle like I was calming a foal.
I moved to the other side and began anew. He brushed his thumb against my wrist, and his eyes moved beneath his eyelids as I worked. The silence was deafening.
I put on a second coat for good measure, then blew lightly to dry it. Then I sat back.
He spent a moment with his eyes still closed before opening them to gaze at me.
“Can I see?” He asked, in a whisper so low I could barely hear it.
I handed him my compact and he looked at himself, tilting the mirror this way and that.
“You’re beautiful.” I said.
When I was 14 I had a teacher who I was very close to.
He was brash and creative and theatrical. Not terribly beautiful, but sharp eyed and he had the kind of dark slicked back hair you only see in mobster films.
We came together over a love of history, stories and epics.
I don’t know how many times I stayed after class talking to him in front of his desk. Admiring the way he stuck his hands into his black silk pants pockets, the hair on his broad forearms, the devastatingly European way he crossed his legs. The tilt of his head and his angular jaw.
One day, we were talking about art and I asked him if I could draw his eyes.
He consented, with a grin, and I pulled out a pencil and paper. He sat across from me, unblinking. Just looking at me deeply as I sketched. His eyelashes were so dark, and he looked kind of sleepy, as if he was in a trance. I finished sketching and showed him my work. He laughed and asked if he could keep it.
“You made my eyelashes very long.” He said.
“Yeah, I guess. But I just drew what I saw.” I replied.
“My girlfriend was trying to get me to try on mascara. Does it hurt to put on?” He asked, in a surprising change of subject.
I laughed. “No. of course not! it just gets in your eyes sometimes if you’re not careful.”
“Do you have any with you?”
“I always bring my makeup with me…. Why? Do you want to try some on?”
He lowered his gaze and blushed prettily. It was astonishingly demure.
My heart leapt in my chest.
“I’ll go get it.”
You’ve all seen Zach, and you’ve all seen me.
I’m not a thin woman. Actually, I’m quite lumpy and stretch marky, and unashamedly overweight. But I think, of all then men I’ve been with, he made me feel the sexiest.
He used to gaze at my face with something akin to wonder, and stroke the sharpness of my cheekbones. The first time he saw me naked, he looked at me like someone would look at a goddess, and just said. “Wow. You…. wow.”
Once while we were riding the train during rush hour, he told me my eyes were incredible. He said that they were how he imagined Cleopatra’s to look: dark and hooded and …. guarded. A woman behind him raised an eyebrow at us, and I just smiled back.
Zach was no flatterer though, he always said everything very matter of factly, like he was commenting on the weather.
Zach twined himself around me like a vine in public places, daring anyone to comment with his stare.
He was just… magnificent looking. His body was kind of like a swimmer’s. All lean lines and symmetry. He was just so compact and graceful and flexible. His feet and hands were so perfect, like they’d been carved from marble by a master sculptor.
He kissed with playful enthusiasm,and snuck his hands places
like he thought he wouldn’t be allowed. I was a precious object to him. Lord, knows why.
Zach was like a selfish little prince. Demanding, and lofty, beautiful and gifted.
He had a habit of making me paper cranes when his heart was too full, and presenting them to me like tokens of his favor.
I accepted them and kissed every one.