‹ Prequel: The More You Chase It
Status: active

Memories Are Wonderful

That Connection

When James was out of town we would text each other a lot. It was like being in the emotional part of a relationship without being so much in the physical part, and without labelling it to others.

After we bumped into Samantha that day she of course let it slip to Kate, who grilled me for a good hour on the phone. I felt bad that I hadn’t told her of all people because she was my closest friend besides James. But I had really been put in a weird spot.

“Do you ever feel bad for making people think that we didn’t know each other?” I asked, laying the length of the couch on my back.

The band Modern English was subtly playing in my small apartment and particles drifted in the rays of sun to the sound. My paper was finally finished so I was letting myself relax. I’d still have to go over it and edit it, but that was the easy part. In three weeks I’d have it submitted and I’d be done school. Then if I passed I’d have my second and final degree.

“You mean to Elizabeth?” He asked from his stance by the bookcase across from me. I watched his back, his finger slid lazily over the bindings as he read each title.

I shrugged, “Or anyone really.”

He paused his searching for a moment. ”Well the only other people that could include are your friends and I don’t know them very well.”

“But doesn’t it make you feel a bit bad?”

I was playing with the hem of my shirt, pulling the fabric between my fingers. I was thinking about Samantha’s face when she found out or Kate’s voice as she called me on the phone.

“I don’t like lying, but I also don’t see how that would affect them that much.”

“Maybe I’m over thinking it.”

He had moved to the pictures on the shelves, the ones from England in the various frames.

“So, you lived with Kate in England?” He asked looking at a picture of us in large garden.

“Yeah. That’s part of why it feels so weird. We lived together for 7 months and she didn’t even know you existed… well she knew you existed but she didn’t know I knew you.”

He nodded and finally turned away from the book case. “I’m sure she’d understand.”

I shrugged. “You’re probably right.”

“You worry too much.”

“Do not.”

His eyes opened in joking disbelief. The song Melt With You started up and he began to sing. His large expressive hands made gestures as he sang squinty-eyed, a look that tried to portray a mocking intensity of emotion in the words of the song. I couldn’t understand how with that little squinting of his eyes he managed to look so attractive and goofy at the same time.

The playful smirk that danced on his lips made me want to pull him to me and never stop holding him.

“Moving forward using all my breath
Making love to you was never second best
I saw the world thrashing all around your face
Never really knowing it was always mesh and lace”

“What are you doing?” I asked, trying to hold in the laughter. James was many things but he really wasn’t a singer.

His tone was joking, “Fucking wooing you, obviously. Putting on the Franco charm!”

The combination of his facial expression and his tone made the laughter impossible to hold in any longer. I tried to cover the burst of laughter with my hand but that didn’t seem to do much good.

He slinked over to the couch, the song continuing with him. His hands first touched my foot, which was on the arm rest of the couch. Then they slid up my leg as he crawled on top of me. The singing didn’t stop as his body hovered over mine and the last chorus coming up.

“I'll stop the world and melt with you
You've seen the difference and it's getting better all the time
There's nothing you and I won't do
I'll stop the world and melt with you”

As he finished the song I was still shaking with laughter under him, only sobering up once his face was mere inches above my own.

“How was that for charming?” his voice was so soft in the little space between us.

“I was having immense trouble containing myself.”

He smirked devilishly, “I could see that.”

The first kiss he planted on my lips was subtle and soft, like so many of the kisses we shared. But something came over the both of us in that moment. The kiss deepened as my arms found their way around his neck and his hands rested on the curve of my waist. The scruff on his face wasn’t rough as it tickled my skin. His kisses trailed my neck, my body craved being closer to him, my fingers achy in their attempts to pull him closer to me. They reached under his shirt and clutched at his warm skin. His body was a toned sculpture underneath the cloth, which he crossed his arms at the hem of and pulled over his head.

I had seen his chest before, I had touched it before. We had been here in the past but that felt like forever ago as my hands went to feel the contours of his chest and pull him back to me.

Short annoying pauses were filled with rushed breaths. The sun poured into the room and broke across his back, showering the both of us in its glow on the grey couch. The shape of his shoulders and back shifted in continuous motion as we kissed. His hands found their way to the skin just under the hem of my shirt but he didn’t throw it off like he had his own. The soft skin of his hand slowly ran up my side, his arms taking with them the fabric until my stomach was bare. But before he could pull it over my head the phone interrupted the perfection of the moment.

The shrill sound of it ringing repeatedly caused both of us to stop.

There was a sense of frustration as James sighed and rested his forehead on mine. His eyes closed for a moment and when he opened them I tried to give him a sympathetic smile.

Even when the phone stopped ringing, and we started kissing it was only a few short moments before my cell phone started ringing and we stopped again.

“It’s probably important.” I said softly, cursing the phone for its obnoxious intrusion.

James only nodded and let me up. My skin felt oddly bare—even with my shirt on—at the absence of his warmth. By the time I found my phone on the table James had already pulled his shirt back on over his head.


There was no answer at first and I was about to get really frustrated that we had been interrupted for nothing.

“Hello?” I said again into the phone.

“Daisy?” The voice was my sister’s and immediately in the sound of it I could tell something was wrong.

“Clara, what’s up?”

James could hear the concern in my voice but I saw him trying to occupy himself so he didn’t intrude on the conversation. He got up from the couch we were on to walk into the kitchen.

Her voice was barely audible, “Can you come over?”

I turned to look at James riffling through the fridge, his shirt resting on the back of his shoulders just so. The idea of leaving him was hard to swallow but even worse was the idea of abandoning my big sister when it sounded like he needed me.


“Thanks.” She hung up without another word which only increased the worry I already felt.

“James!” I called into the kitchen while I gathered up my things from the coffee table. Keys, phone, money, and shoved them in my jean pockets.


When I turned to look at him, he was holding a bottle of water, taking large gulps before placing it nearly empty on the counter. My hands had made a mess of his hair and the sight of him made me want to retreat into the moment we had been having before the phone rang. But I could not turn back time and my sister needed me.

“I have to go. Something is wrong with Clara.” James’s face fell. I assumed it was a combination of disappointment and worry.

“Okay, I’ll just grab my things”

He went around and picked up his stuff, sliding his jacket around his arms.

James dropped me off at her place before driving home. He asked me to tell him if everything was ok when I knew. I could tell a part of him was disappointed that we hadn’t gotten further before being interrupted but that part was dominated by what I could tell was genuine concern. I told him I’d text him when I got home and then I made my way to Clara.

I used my key to get into her apartment, where I found her curled up in an arm chair with a plaid throw.

“Clara, what’s going on?”

Her look was blank when her eyes looked over to me. There was a hint of shock hidden in the green of them. No where could I hear Andrew about, making it clear he was not there.

“He left.”

The words actually failed to process. It was as if they didn’t really make sense.


I walked closer to her but she didn’t look at me. “We got in a fight over the wedding and he left.”

She explained that they were fighting over the details of the wedding and how Andrew didn’t want to make it out to be a big deal but it meant to world to her. The argument culminated with Andrew confessing that he had been having doubts and that he didn’t want to get married anymore. And when Clara said he left she didn’t mean that he had just stepped out. He was gone. The wedding was allegedly off, and her ring finger was bare. The news hit me aggressively. I tried my best to comfort her but I couldn’t stop wondering how anyone was supposed to stay together if she and Andrew couldn’t. It was hard to imagine the laid back man getting so rash.

The whole situation really upset me. I hated how upset my sister seemed to be over it, and rightly so. The wedding was in a few months and they had been together for years. It must have felt as if her whole world was caving in. I knew, even for me, the heartbreak of it was enough to make me want to tear up. But I stayed strong for Clara and told her everything was going to be alright, and prayed that it would.

It was nearly midnight when I left. I asked Clara if she wanted me to stay but she said she really needed to be alone. In my apartment I finally let a tear slide freely down my cheek. I texted James and told him Andrew had called off the wedding before tossing my phone on the couch and heading to my room.

I didn’t answer any texts after that, just retreated into the comfort of my large duvet. Even that didn’t feel right.

After a while of lying there thinking about everything someone buzzed up to my apartment. When I answered it I heard James’s voice and I let him up, leaving the door unlocked before retreating back to my room. I wasn’t really in the mood for adhering to social protocol.

When he entered my apartment it didn’t take long for him to find me, curled up in the blanket of my bed.

“Are you okay Daize?” he asked as he walked closer.

I let out a deep breath, “yeah, I’m just in shock, I mean how could he do that to her? You should have seen her.”

James wore a sympathetic look as he got on the bed beside me and pulled my duvet surround figure to him in a warm embrace. I didn’t want to relive it through explaining it to him, and luckily he didn’t ask any questions. He just comforted me by stroking my hair and leaving little soft kisses in it.

The embrace was much more comforting than my blanket had been. It was a better remedy in the silence. He didn’t fidget or seem uncomfortable. He stayed with me for a long time, seemingly unbothered by helping me.

“You know Andrew. Can you believe he just did that?” I asked when I finally broke the silence. I was ready to talk now.

“No. He probably just got overwhelmed. I’m sure he’ll change his mind.”

His hand rubbed my arm affectionately.

“Do you think that people can really spend their lives together? I mean they were the perfect couple and 50% of marriages end in divorce now. After time you’re bound to change, how are you ever supposed to find someone who is going to change with you?”

“My parents have been together since college and they’re still happy together. People only change in meaningless ways. If you love someone truly and would do anything for them, that’s not going to change. People just mistake other feelings for that connection. Andrew loves your sister. He’ll be back.”

James’s words were reassuring. Enough so that all the released emotion became a feeling of exhaustion in his warmth and I found myself wanting to go to sleep but not wanting him to go. I tried to hold in a yawn with no success.

“You should sleep.” He said and I was worried he was going to leave.

“No, I’m okay.”

His mouth said softly in my ear, “really, get some rest. I’ll stay with you while you fall asleep.”

“Will you be here in the morning?” my voice was already getting sleepy, my eyelids already closing.

“No, I have to leave tomorrow morning to fly to my other school. But I promise you, I won’t leave until I know you are fully asleep.”

As his words reached me I finally gave over to my fatigue and felt myself drift off to sleep. I could feel his arms around me until I woke up the next morning. He had kept his word and stayed with me until I would stay awake no longer. That was the first time I remember thinking that he really truly cared for me, that I wasn’t just some person he was having fun with. This was something different. Something more meaningful. As I got ready for work I was reminded of what he had said about marriages the night before and I wondered if this was that same love had been talking about and furthermore, if he felt that it was.
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Wrote this really quickly this morning and I'm about to fall asleep at my computer so I don't know how it turned out. Hope you like :)
And thanks for all the lovely comments!