for you i was a flame

With her hair wet from the shower, she steps into her kitchen and sits before the dinning table. It's already five in the afternoon and the room is covered in shadows. She collects her hair and ties them in a bun. She could still feel the summer heat coming in and wondered if the night would be as hot as yesterday. She takes out a stick from her pack and puts it on her lips. She reaches for her lighter and flicks it. A small flame illuminates her face as she bends down to light her cigarette. She could hear the tight little leaves burn as she took her first sip. From the living room she now hears the record she has put on earlier. The drum sticks fall briskly and suddenly a beat arises. The guitar was barely introduced when the singer, her life evident in her coarse, lovelorn voice, began singing.

"For you I was a flame... love is a losing game..."

She stares into the deepening darkness and immediately gets lost in her own groove.

The music continues, traveling across the building like a thin smoke. A young man hears it and ponders at the lyrics. "Fire-story fire as you came," he mutters to himself. "Love is a losing game? What does that mean?" Another man enters the room.

"What?" he asks him. "You were talking to me?"

"No, I was just thinking aloud."

His face was already red from all the beer they have drunk that afternoon. The other man sidles next to him and suddenly he feels his heart beat faster.

"Are you ok?" the man asks him.

"Just a little drunk."

The man smiles and climbs further into the bed. He takes his shirt off and takes out his cigarettes.

"Why don't you come near me?" the man instructs him.

He takes off his shoes and sits beside him. He could feel sweat breaking all over his body.

"I was just thinking," he tells him. "I was just thinking..."

"What were you thinking?"

"Well, it's already five and I was wondering if she has already picked up the kids from school."

The man looks at him disappointingly and lights another stick.

"You want one?"

He doesn't smoke and wonders if he will ever pick up the habit. He accepts anyway and leans back, sucking in the smoke for the very first time. The nicotine goes straight into his head and suddenly he feels even woozier. The man looks straight into his eyes and smiles again.

"Why don't you take off your shirt," the man tells him. He shouldn't really be doing this. He really shouldn't be in this room, in this situation but there he was, touching the man's hand as he helps him with his shirt.

"I should be at home with the wife and kids," he tells the man. "I should be at the table, waiting for dinner..."

"Tell them you went out with your buddy," says the man as he touches the fringes of his skin.

"I shouldn't be doing this," he tells him. "I shouldn't be with you..."

The man traces the outlines of his shoulder and moves his fingers to his chest. He could feel every nerve in his body come alive.

"I really shouldn't be here..."

"Let's just say we're experimenting, finding out what will happen if I do this..."

Suddenly, the man's lips were on his neck. Despite himself, he leans back and lets him have it.

He could now hear the song again. "Why do I wish I have never played," the woman sings. "O what a mess we have made..."

His entire body begins to open up, letting the man step further and further into him.

"You like this don't you," he tells him. But before he could answer, he has kissed him full on the lips. He was already losing control.

"We'll meet again, will we?" he asks the man.

"Of course, we will."

The man grabs his pants and jerks it down.

"When will we meet again?"

"We can do this as often as you like."

He takes off the man's pants.

"But aren't you moving away?"

"Let's just enjoy this."

"But you can't just leave me like this."

The man kisses him on the lips again, effectively shutting him up. He grabs him closer and bites him all over his body. He has never been this hungry before, never been as voracious.

The man stops him for a moment. For the very first time since they began making love, he looks at him straight in the eye. Memories of the wife and kids linger briefly in his mind. The man dives into his chest and he finds himself giggling. The man travels deeper down his body. He lay with his eyes firmly shut and with his hands touching the man's wet hair.

"Played out by the band..." sings a gigly teenager from a floor below.

"Is she playing that song again?" answers her friend.

"She never gets tired of it!" she barks into the phone. "I swear."

"I kind of like Amy Winehouse."

"Aimee Whinehouse you mean?"

The girl at the other end laughs.

"Hey, did Chase show up at the fair?"

"Where did you find him?"

"He's cute, isn't he?"

The girl didn't answer back.

"I actually met him online."

"Ah, where? what site?"

"In a chat room. It was like one in the morning and I was happily chatting away with some guy from UP and then he macked me."

"This isn't one of your sexcapades is it?"

"How I wish. I really like him."

"Do you really like him as in really, really like him?"

"Well, I don't know. It depends."

"It depends on what?"

"I don't know."

"I have something to tell you."

"What?"

"Remember when you introduced him to us last Saturday? At Dencios? Remember?"

"Of course, I remember. That was just five days ago. Why? Did something happen?"

"Well..."

"Well what?"

"I'm telling you this because we're really good friends."

"Yes?"

"Well..."

"Well what?"

"I know you're going to hate me for this."

Silence.

"Are you still there?"

"Yes, I'm still here. I'm just waiting for what you are going to say. The suspense is killing me, ok!"

"He was with us right?"

"Yes, I know that he was with us. What did he do? Does this even concern me?"

"Well..."

"Well what? Just blurt it out. I can handle it. We've been friends for like five years. Did he hook up with someone?"

"Well... he tried."

Silence.

"Are you still there?"

"Yes, I'm still here. I just need to sort out the cord. The music is getting on my nerves."

"You know what, I really shouldn't be telling you this..."

"Well, you have already told me something so you might as well tell me everything."

The music continues to echo. "Memories mar my mind," the woman sings. "Love is faith resigned..."

"She is really getting on my nerves!"

"Just ignore her ok."

"I'm trying ok. I'm really, really trying."

"So now you are upset. I can't tell you now or else you are going to be pissed off."

"Don't be stupid. I'm not going to be pissed off."

"Well, you already are."

"Just tell me goddammit!"

"Ok. Ok. I'm going to tell you already!"

"What is it then?"

"Well, he sent a text to me."

"So?"

"He's asking me out."

"What?"

"I said I thought he was with you. Well, are you?"

Silence.

"Still there?"

"Yes, I'm still here."

"Well, I asked him how he got my number and he said he got it from you. Did you give it to him?"

"No. He didn't ask for it."

Silence.

"He was playing with my phone. Maybe that's when he got your number."

"Oh."

"Over futile hours," she sings. "And laugh at by the gods..."

"This music is killing me. It's really getting on my nerves. I think I'm going down to talk to that stupid lady."

"Wait. I wasn't planning on meeting him anyway."

"Yeah, yeah I know."

"You know that he's a good for nothing jerk."

"Ok. Ok. I got to go ok."

"Wait, you're not mad at ---"

Click.

The music echoes through the building.

"For you I was a flame," the woman sings. "Love is a losing game."

The CD is on loop. She stares at the ashtray shaped like a fish. Upon its mouth there is a dent where a fresh cigarette sits smoldering in the darkness. She licks her dry lips and tries to sing along with the music. But for some reason she couldn't. "Self-professed profound," she sings, trying to follow the beat that continuously evades her. She sings anyway. "Till the chips are down," she whispers, "... And now the final frame, love is a losing game." Her voice trails off in the dark, smoky kitchen while the music ends and starts over again.

Comments

fuchsiaboy said…
sigh...it's a joy reading your fictions.
bwisit! said…
hey fuchsiaboy! uy salamat! salamat!
its a break from the monotony of other bloggers' so called fiction...
kudos!
bwisit! said…
uy salamat salamat wanderingcommuter. i was obsessed with amy at that time hahaha!
Maxwell5587 said…
amy's just friends and love is a losing game were playing in my head as i read this.

i wish amy would come up with new material soon.

nice post. :)
bwisit! said…
hey maxwell, thanks for dropping by. oo nga, i love her music. too bad naging joke na lang siya sa US press...
Ice said…
Wish I could write like you. Your stuff takes me places...

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