“Doesn’t that hurt?”
Amber is waving the tips of her fingers through the candle’s flame. She has beautiful hands with long fingers that end in nails bitten painfully short. Amber says it saves on nail polish, important on an educator’s wages. It is one of her desirable traits, a quick, dry sense of humour that is, not the bitten nails. See what I did then? Kind of lame though compared to Amber.
She jumps a little when I ask. We are both gloriously stoned and I spoke louder than I thought.
“No,” she answers. After what seems like a long time Amber adds,
“I keep them moving too quickly for it to hurt. I could do it all night,” she adds dreamily, her pink tongue licking lips dry from the day’s sun.
I almost point out her suggestive double entendre but I think how I might actually melt with desire instead. I don’t know how long since we came back from the party, eating take away souvalakis, giggling from the thick joint we smoked, and talking TV. On the walk home I am aroused by her perfume and how her short blonde bob reminds me of 1970s science fiction marionettes.
Once we stop when Amber is perfectly positioned by the light thrown by a shop and it’s window display. I ask her a stupid question about the clothes on display, just to make her stand there half in dark and in some weird tinted light but then it starts to get a little Suspira on me so we start walking again.
We get home, almost falling through the front door, tripping over dropped towels and beach bags. We talk more and get lost in some music I don’t know, dancing sitting down to the funky bass lines and soothing vocals. I gaze at Amber’s freckles, realize her hair is greasy, eat half her Chokito bar as well as mine and feel the sugar blitz my teeth like WW2 dive bombers. The high takes me away somewhere and when I come back, the ocean across the road, is suddenly stupidly loud. The sea breeze gusts and almost blows the candle out. I wish it would.
Then I would stand up and come around the table and kiss those dry lips and meet that pink tongue. The others will be home soon. So my party addled brain thinks, why not just blow the candle out yourself? Then I think, won’t that be too obvious and what if I give her a fright or I miss her lips in the dark and kiss her eye? Let’s face it, my coordination and depth perception is not at a peak right now. I am over analyzing again and I remonstrate angrily with myself.
And that is when Amber blows the candle out and comes around the table and kisses me for the first time with those dried lips and pink tongue. Her fingertips on my cheeks and neck are flame hot.