Thursday, 19 May 2011

In Shadows

by Shan Ellis

Chilli Espresso

I stand in my dimly lit apartment staring out of the window at the expanse of concrete in front of me. Murky grey clouds behind tenement flats and an air of resigned complacency hits me in the chest.

There is a pair of eyes looking at me from across the way.

I’ve known for a while that he watches me here, from afar. Recently, he’s made less effort to hide the fact and stands in his window, gazing as I do at the tumultuous sky. He seems to be alone most of the time. I know this because I’ve started to watch him back. He’s either sitting with his book, or listening to his radio, arms behind his head, eyes closed as if in deep concentration. I’ve found myself day dreaming of what runs through his thoughts as the sun sets on our corner of the world.

He is rather beautiful, although not what you would call attractive, slender, tall, and maybe a little gawky. His hair is always a mess, dark and wavy falling at his jaw line he usually covers it up with a baseball cap when he’s not working. He seems to leave his flat for the city in the morning and returns long after I do. I wish I could pluck up the courage to talk to him, but this seems to be our meeting place, in front of our glass protectors, in an unspoken conversation.

I don’t know why he looks at me. I’m an ordinary girl, and very reserved. Looking at my reflection in the window, my hand playing with the tips of my auburn hair, eyes dark and dreaming and I’m chewing my bottom lip as I think. A habit my parents loath. My gaze drifts from my reflection, back to him. He has switched his lights on and is standing at his window, mirroring twiddling with his hair.

We lock gazes, and from this side of the window, a heat sears through me starting in my belly, working its way up to my chest, neck and finally cheeks. He seems to smile down there at the heat of my blush. And with that he takes off his t shirt and turns his back.

He has broad shoulders for one so slim, and I watch the shape of his muscles tense as he grabs for a towel on the bed. He turns his head as if to make sure my eyes are viewing him and with an affirmative grin he turns around, unbuttoning his jeans, letting them fall around his hips. Although I’m still in the half-light I’m sure he can see the crimson blush on my cheeks reflected. I hold my hand to the cold glass Paine as if to touch him through it. My fingers trace the lines and contours of his sides, and then he is gone.

Taking a few steps back I sit on my bed, deep in contemplation.

Does he know that he is driving me crazy? Huh, I know, he knows I exist.

I run a finger through my hair, down my neck as I think of him, and what I could be doing to him if only I had the courage. Every time I close my eyes I see his skin on mine, dark against my pale, his lips all over me, his tongue, exploring me.

Oh God, it’s time for decisive action. I want him.

I switch on my light.

He looks up as he’s drying his hair, his white towel pulled tightly around his waist. I swallow, here goes nothing.

I stretch pretending to yawn, and let my arms drift down behind my head, swaying slowly as if dancing to un-heard music. Then I lean forward and place my arms on the window shelf. My shirt heaves against the weight of my cleavage. Please God be noticing.

Pausing to steady myself and my thoughts, I slowly straighten and undo my buttons. One…two…three…until my navel is exposed and my shirt is hanging open either side of my breasts. I sway again to the rhythm of my beating heart, letting my shirt drop to my shoulders and slink down my arms.

All the time my eyes are closed.

Running my hands up my sides I imagine his large hands are drawing on my skin, cupping both my breasts over my bra, I dare to open my eyes.

He is standing in the same position as before.

My eyes drop lower, his towel has gone.

I lick my lips, feeling myself moisten. IS this the reaction I was hoping for? Oh yes.

I turn my back, and remove my trousers, propping myself up on the window ledge I brush my hair slowly, elongating my back and bearing my skin. My underwear is burgundy, classic against dark hair and porcelain. Slyly glancing over my shoulder he has moved to the window and is unashamedly close to the glass…this is all the prompt I need to undo my bra. Sliding it down my shoulders and holding it with the tips of my fingers, my arm elongated. Envisioning what he’s seeing now in this little dance, the curve of my boobs from the back. Rotund lines, of a real woman.

With that I hop off the ledge and switch off the light back into the shadows to play again.

Giggling to myself I run to the bathroom and put the lights on there, moving on my hands and knees back to the window peeking like a child at the downstairs apartments.

Before I ascertain where he is, my buzzer sounds.

“Hello?”

Bio:

Shan Ellis is a freelance writer form the foothills of Snowdonia, currently studying for a BA in creative writing and literature with the Open University. A published novellist and poet, you can find more of her work at www.repressedsoul.wordpress.com

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