Fishing in Beirut

April 26, 2010

Part 8: Te Quiero (scene 1)

Filed under: Character : Aria, Character : Frank, Part 8 : Te Quiero — fishinginbeirut @ 07:45

It was February 6th 2004. Aria was twenty years old. Frank, Laura, and Marie watched the candles, one staying lit and requiring a second blow. The icing held some wax they’d need to cut from it.
The cake was a bakery concoction. Sugary creamy layers – pink, white, frosted. Aria kissed her companions and picked up the knife.
“Moi, je ne veux pas beaucoup,” said Marie.
“Too late,” said Aria, laughing.
Frank rotated his ankle, and watched this sweet girl cut her cake. His darling who was shining with joy.
“I think we gotta sit down for this,” said Laura. Maybe she’d noticed Frank’s pain. They gathered around the table, the cake brought over on a plate. The room was warm and exciting.
“Make a wish when you cut it as well.”
“But I already made one when I blew it.”
“Doesn’t matter. Go again.”
Dancing crumbs hit the plates, rolling and clinging to forks and teeth. Frank felt foolish but it didn’t concern him. Eating cake was a vulnerable action, a childlike embarrassment from sugar and cream. It was you with your guard down, gorging.
They drank some champagne after, bubbles on their tongue, laughter. Marie looked so happy and Frank was in a dream or a play. Soft company, easily kept, with no edge to it.
“So where are we going tonight?” asked Laura. “You gotta pick somewhere, somewhere nice.”
Aria said she didn’t know, and it really didn’t matter.
Frank glanced out the window, catching movement in the flat opposite, a girl hanging out a pillowcase and singing a song. She saw him for a second and then re-directed her gaze and left.
Marie had been here for a few months now. When Aria returned, it was decided she stood stay. The three of them ventured out to buy a mattress. She slept below Laura’s loft, in the other room, a curtain giving privacy and heat. The rent was easier, and she was safe.
When they did go out it was to Montmartre. The girls danced, and Frank rolled his ankle and wished he could. Who was he kidding – he probably wouldn’t have anyway. Aria was beautiful in the neon light, her smile dazzling. To know he was with her surprised him when it entered his head. He scratched his beer bottle; sexual frustration they say, but that couldn’t be true. Other girls circled, but what did he care about that.
Aria came to him, and they kissed in the darkness. Her body fell against him, a little drunk. He held her tight, her familiar smell and aura. She laughed tucked into his neck, and he felt her breath.
“If your leg is sore we can go.”
“No, it’s not. I can’t feel it.”
They danced slowly, not dancing, just swaying as one. Whatever the music was, Frank couldn’t hear it. Her hair was tickling his cheek, and her skin was soft through her top. Some guy tried to muscle in rudely but Frank pushed him off.
“I love you,” he said quietly, and she didn’t respond.
“I love you,” he said again.
“I love you too.”

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