Dot DeLuitzo

We-- he and I-- are in front of the bathroom sink.

I inhale sharply as I feel his large, warm hands slide up my thighs and underneath my nightshirt; exhaling only when he rests his hands on my sides, hooking his thumbs in and around the straps of my panties. The mirror's length conveniently disguises his flirtations from whomever may be watching us from the opposite side. I lean against him and compare his grizzled and unkempt visage to my own. He is nearly nine years older than my fresh and innocent twenty, and in a divine stroke of comedy, five years were seemingly subtracted from my appearance and added to his. Our skin tones clash glaringly under the fluorescent light; his appearing pale green, and mine, a yellow-cinnamon. I unconsciously arch my back to stretch and end up pressing my ass into his upper thigh. The slight moan and the phallic twitch I receive in return are by now familiar to me.

But I cannot take my eyes from their reflected counterparts. I trace and follow every red line on my gray and poorly-rested eyeballs, each time landing a fraction of an inch away from my pupil. He does not look up to play the same game. Right now, he is far more interested in strumming my navel with his thumb. But I am engrossed in my own eyes, carefully noting that, no doubt due to some dumb hangup of mine, few have experienced such a delight. He hadn't for years. And now, almost in a role reversal, I find myself staring at his reflection and privately wishing for him to open his eyes as he nuzzles his nose into the top of my head.

We are still he and I; not you and I. I still don't know why you and I didn't happen. Or maybe the answer is far more obvious than I'd hope to admit The one was confused by the other's enthusiasm; learning it was love and choosing to will it out of existence. The other was confused by the one's enthusiasm, as well; learning it was only "like" and choosing to mold it into something more palatable. We were a train wreck; two childminds wordlessly colliding after a tumultuous venture in, oddly enough, the same direction: up.