My Hidden Lives // Prose

55. about your evening scent

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Breathing him in was like laying my head down on Grandmother’s sofa, waiting for tea. It created a barely perceivable pause in life – it was simple not to be acting out a part, not to be anything at all except a weight against another body. That I was closed like a seashell around his body, my face against his side, was enough. There was no hunger, no thirst. Sometimes the best we could do was simply hold each other for hours, still as a lake in the summer. We knew there were forces that could move us, but it was hard to think of harm being cocooned in an altogether different reality.

He smelled like old furniture, the essence of a home. I caught whiffs of it here and there, in smoky bars and winter evenings, but never as fully as when we were alone. This is the one thing we have no one will ever know about; I promised him as the sun went lazily down. I will keep your scent my secret.

In the morning, happiness made a liar out of me.

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