You Were Never Lovelier

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
You have fallen in love with her. If you are lucky, she will keep you.

Submitted: March 10, 2014

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Submitted: March 10, 2014

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YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER

You were never lovelier, you rehearse to yourself as you climb the steps to her front door. You have not yet met her, except in brief and loving messages made of bold typeface on a computer screen. You believe, from those short messages made up of patterns of light, that you are in love. You have just enough time to straighten your tie before she opens the door.

You were never lovelier, you immediately blurt out. Even as you stand there waiting and feeling stupid, you see its true. She is lovelier than you’d hoped, lovelier than the picture she’d sent you. The picture wasn’t real, couldn’t move - yet here she is, real and breathing and alive. She is tall and whole, and her muscles are strong beneath her skin. She is dressed simply, in black, and she carries the small black bag you knew she would have. And she smiles, though the smile is clouded, and reaches for your arm.

You were never lovelier, you say again as you pin the corsage to her dress, the limousine purring softly underneath you, and she looks at you with doubtful eyes, and then laughs. It is not that she doesn’t believe you - it is just that the world has changed. Your heart beats faster. Perhaps the corsage and the limo weren’t enough for her, perhaps all the money and all the hopes you have now lost are gone. And you turn and face the front again, sweating, because you meant it, and because she really is lovely, glittering and tall. And you can’t bear to think she doesn’t like you. It might mean you would be alone forever. It might mean that maybe you as a person are worthless. It would be a judgment on your soul.

You were never lovelier, you think, watching her in the restaurant. She smiles at you, briefly, and turns to watch the floor show, lovely vibrant colors of flickering light, a world that isn’t real the way she is real. The room is crowded with others, all silent, all watching, some eating as they watch. Many people are bored by the illusions, as it is as old to them as breathing air. But her eyes are glowing, and you know what she wants to do someday, what she wants to be - a part of that show in the middle of the floor, of the colors and the light and the sound and the world. She is different; she wants something. And you tell her so, after, walking to the limo. And she looks at you with surprise, and then she really grins, a grin you have not seen on her before. She puts her arm around you, the black bag she’s been carrying knocking against your shoulder, and you ache inside with wanting her.

You were never lovelier, she says on the way home, and she says it to you. She is trying to make you smile. It works

well. She puts down the black bag. She comes closer to you, and touches your face, and you take her hand. It smells like the Queen Anne’s lace that grew outside your window when you were little. If there was a way to keep the smell in your head, to drink it and stay drunk forever, you wonder if you have now found it.

You were never lovelier, you say. You both sit on her bed now, at her house, which was where she wanted to take you after. You’d agreed in the limo, melting inside, drunk on Queen Anne’s lace, drunk on her glittering eyes. She smiles at you, knowing, knowing you. She takes out the black bag, takes out the vial. It does not frighten you, that flat black bag with the drug in it, white liquid power. You’ve seen it many times. It’s the drug they take now, the drug they all take now, the women. It is a part of life. When she uses the needle in her arm, not even flinching, punching it in below the well-defined muscle, you flinch a little. If you’d taken it, there would’ve been pain. If you’d taken it, it would’ve hurt. You took it once, and there was more pain than you ever want to have again. It wasn’t made for the men. It is a drug for the women, the strong ones.

You were never lovelier, she says later, in the near dark. She whispers it harshly, as if she feels the need to say it, to say something. She pulls you close to her, breathing on the back of your neck, and with her other hand you can feel her pull the black bag close. You remember how your parents talked to you once, about a time when things were different, when it was the men who chose the women, when it was the men who commanded the world. You think it must have been a very strange place.

You were never lovelier. The line dances through your head like music. Her room is lit from outside by the moon. She lies with her arm around you, holding you close to her, and your eyes are unable to close. You know the truth: you both are lovely in that room, and that you are lovely together, and lucky too. You are lucky she likes you, and she might even love you. Maybe, eventually and if you’re careful, she’ll keep you instead of someone else. By the light of the moon, falling asleep now in her arms, you wonder if it’s true. And you begin to dream of a lovely wedding, of bells and white satin and dark fabric and lace. You begin to write your vows in your head, what you will tell her. You’ll tell her the things you couldn’t tell her now, and the things you’re just beginning to tell her. Maybe the vows even contain things you have yet to discover yourself. And they always begin, no matter how many times you write and rewrite them, with the same sentence:

You were never lovelier.


© Copyright 2020 Christen Kimbell. All rights reserved.

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