*sssss* “And that my dear is how you put out a flame” he said as a cunning smile etched on the corner of his mouth. He angled his face so half of it was shadowed, but the other half drew light from the cracked stain-glass window. Oh how the sunlight gingerly highlighted his masculine scruffy face, his prominent cheek bones, and his one dimple on his left cheek. It only appeared when he smiled that smile – the devious charming “I’m-up-to-no-good” one. He showed me his fingers, the tips of them calloused and warm from the flame. He kissed them and put them to my lips, an odd yet somehow alluring sensation. “Try it” he whispered coaxingly into my ear, letting his hands trail across my shoulder then down my spine. I shivered. I bit my bottom lip uncertainly and gave him a side-ways glance. He sat there smiling, chin low, head cocked slightly to the right examining what I’d do next. I stared at him anxiously, my heart beating like a racehorse’s canter. What is it about you that I can’t help but feel…bewitched? Cast under this spell of hopeless and unending dreaming of which my mind is not under my own control? His eyes, deep brown like a springtime mud, just gazing at me. He tilted his head to the left, blinking twice, and raised his eyebrows, …well? then nodded toward the candle.
When you are so deeply infatuated with someone,
when, or more importantly
do you draw the line between
right and wrong?
We sat there for a while in the empty pew as if waiting for a sign, maybe even a miracle of some sort. The roof creaked above our heads, and the colony of bats retreated to their dark corners when the sun came out of hiding from behind the clouds, shining so brightly that even a blind individual could have seen the light. I closed my eyes to absorb the sunlight, and for a moment I could have sworn I heard the distant sound of the organ playing in the angel’s choir. Slowly opening my eyes, I noticed he was staring at the cross. No, he was surveying the man on the cross. “I know him” I said, a little louder than I expected as it echoed throughout the large space. He nodded his head one too many times then turned back toward me holding a candle. “Here, I’ll light it for you.” I looked up at him disdainfully and he chuckled under his breath. He held out the candle, the flame flickering in front of my eyes, like a beautiful lady dancing back and forth growing tall, then languishing into a bulb of light that still glowed in the eyes of those who looked at it.
I looked at him, then back at the flame. His eyes illuminated by the brightness, mesmerizing those dark eyes of his. I licked my fingers then graced them over the flame, pinching them over the wick like he had said to do. In that moment it was an infinite feeling between rebellion, unpredictability, recklessness, not to mention heat. Its intensity blazed my eyes, my skin, my soul. Its incandescence devouring my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions. Everything and anything I felt in that instant, from ambivalence to curiosity, translated into a sharp shooting pain that blistered my fingers and left me unsuccessful in extinguishing the accord. “Ouchie!” I cried, quickly pulling my fingers away as I glared at the perpetual flame. Instinctively, I put my fingers in my mouth to ease the pain, a salty tear rising to my eye.
He put out the flame with such ease.
The man on the cross sighed.
I turned around squeezing my fingers to distract me from the throbbing pulsation and uncomfortable blistering in my fingertips.
“Where…Where’d you go?”
*A far off snickering in the background*
“Wait…Where am I?” But it became instant déjà vu. I’ve been here before…I’ve been burned before, no? I examine my fingertips again to see the newly formed blisters, but instead of finding what I had expected, I felt a twinge in my heart and tears spontaneously began rolling down my already flushed cheeks.
Shards of glass shattered everywhere. I looked down at my feet and saw my candle laying there, broken into microscopic pieces, the wick burnt out, and the last of the flare smoking out till nothing was left.
My little red candle…
I bent down to carefully pick up the pieces, placing them as gently in my palm as I could. It appeared as though even some of these broken pieces had been reassembled at an earlier time, seemingly facing the same routinely fate of being glued back together with time standing in as Death, determining once again when they would splinter.
“And in the end, we were all just humans…drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.”