Was she happy? She thought – yes, reasonably so. Then again, what was happiness but the vast terrain between ecstasy and agony? Was this too small an ambition?
I feel like this is a horror story. That’s how scared I am right now.
“Don’t be scared.”
“That doesn’t help.
Not only were my nerves shot, but my body was a traitor. I didn’t want to melt against him. I didn’t want to enjoy the feeling of his lips sliding across my skin. I didn’t want to like the possessive way his fingers dug into my waist or the way his erection pressed against me.
Turns out I’m not so easily broken.
My hair was probably a disaster and my shirt was still damp, but I didn’t care. It was funny, I never cared about those things with Oliver. I didn’t worry about how I looked. All that mattered was how I felt.
My mouth went dry as I tried to remember all of Poppie’s tips for kissing over the years. She told me no guy wanted a girl with a mouth as wide as a guppy, who sucked his tongue with the force of a Dyson vacuum cleaner first time, or licked him to death like an overeager puppy. She’d told me to just purse my lips and let him lead and take control. Don’t slobber, don’t slobber, don’t slobber, I chanted to myself as he got closer and closer
Was happiness (which was perhaps achieved not by getting what you wanted, but rather, by obtaining what you didn’t know you wished for until it was in hand) a hologram that would continually change appearance with the slightest shift of perspective? Or maybe happiness by definition was a temporary state of being recognizable only in hindsight. It was impossible to catch what always managed to be overrun and end up in the rear view mirror.
Lucy: I don’t feel like talking about college. It increases my stress level.
James: And increased stress levels lead to hair loss.
Lucy: My head-hair volume is fine.
James: You say that like I should be concerned about leg-hair volume.
I’m sorry he won’t talk to you. And I’m sorry that he keeps hurting you. I really am. I don’t know how to fix things between you two, but I think a place to start would be for you to stop pointing out how flawed he is and start looking for the good in him.
Don’t be tricked by the verisimilitude into forgetting this is fiction!