Event 1

January 11, 2008
By Alison Ehrenreich, Bethesda, MD

I couldn’t sleep. With every turn of my head or attempt to get comfortable, I would realize that I was too distracted. Too much of the day was still in my head and I couldn’t concentrate on mere breath. I decided to get out of bed. It was no use to keep up the charade of sleep. I would only fail in the end. I might as well give into insomnia. I went outside to the pool. There was a full moon out. It overshadowed the stars due to its sheer luminance. Algae had infected the chlorine and turned the crisp water to thick and brown muck. The smell had deceased but the “grease pit” had now resorted to slight gurgling sounds and pops. I sat down by the “grease pit” and looked at the moon. Luca, Italy was so different at night. Daylight showed it as a pure haven but the moon cast an ominous glare to my happily ever after land. Instead of a strong scent of oranges I smelled only the cold air and pinecones coming from the forest behind the villa. I didn’t feel comfortable there anymore but rather alone and diminutive. The lethargic trees hung against the pool whilst the owls stalked from one tree to another. The crisp tan walls of the house were darkened by the royal blue sky. It was another version of my haven. At night Luca became the anti-fairytale land. Luca at night was the witch’s nest that little children ran away from. It baffled me to think of Luca as a two-sided coin. By day it was a soft heated bed but then by night it was the land of terrors.

“Can’t sleep either?” I heard a dark voice say. I jumped and turned to find Daniel at the other end of the pool. At that point the fire sparks struck in my stomach. They would start in my stomach but then work their way to my throat in a dancing frenzy. By that time I started to shake, I started to drown in my nerves and desires. I had only known Daniel for two days, yet every time I saw him there was this immediate reaction of fear and curiosity. Memories of first seeing him outside my window that first day I arrived in Italy flashed through my head. His boyish figure meandering out of his car; Cadillac man I called him. I had Luca stretched out in front of me in a perfect view and all I could focus on was him; a 19 year old masquerading as a frivolous Don Wuan. Aunt Katherine told me he was only a boy. He was nothing harmless, but I didn’t see it that way. She called him a boy when I clearly thought of him as a man. Someone who had it all together; someone who wasn’t plain or awkward. He was rather a character that suddenly sparked my interest. Of coarse those sexual thoughts had crossed my mind but I was interested in him as a detective to an intriguing case. I had to learn more. He had this cool confidence that subsided arrogance and became sexy. To be around him was intoxicating yet I enjoyed it.

“It’s really hot in my room,” I stuttered out.

“Don’t I know it,” Daniel replied. He walked over next to me and sat down. It had been the closest I had ever been to him. My skin was on needles.

“I find that every time there’s a full moon I can’t sleep. I don’t know maybe there is too much light in my eyes or something,” he said in a melancholy tone. He then looked at me and I saw his eyes. Two black pools that stared back at me; I couldn’t read them at all. Is that what made me so nervous? Was it the fact that I couldn’t figure him out?

“Well my room over looks the pool and the algae gurgles on many occasions,” I laughed but then cursed myself in my head at my own awkwardness.

He gave a little laugh at that: “You can be so cute,” Daniel said and he started to sweep his hand along my back, “You just need to relax.” His touch was so light. With every sweep I felt a surreal tingle. It’s funny how a single pat could feel so erotic.

“What are you doing?” I asked him in a shaking voice.

He looked me in the eyes, which made me tremble even more: “I’m making you relax,” he simply said.

At that he grabbed my waist and pulled me in closer to him. His lips traced down my ear to my neck like some hunter slowly finding its prey. During his whole dance I felt my breath go heavier and my skin felt as if it were lifting off my body. He then slowly came back to face me and kissed my lips. I forgot where I was. I forgot everything that had just happened. With every movement we made I tried to think or comprehend what was in occurrence. But my mind was blank. I had lost all control over everything and I never wanted it to end. Was I floating into the air on a pretty cloud because it was such a pretty situation? I wouldn’t call it floating because I was heavy as a brick. As if all the lust was piling into the bottom of my stomach. Maybe I would fall before he let go?

As the kiss ended I took a sharp intake of breath. I came back to earth and once again Daniel had a sly smile. His stare weakened me even more now.

“You okay?” he asked.

I took a while answering him. Nothing came. What were the right words to say? “I…I’m not sure,” I said. Everything in me was beaming and withering as I spoke to him. I could feel his eyes on me like he was waiting for me to send him a response from my shoulders or hands: “I’m…I’m a little confused,” I said, “This…it just… happened…”

“And what?” Daniel said smiling. He then put his hand under my chin and said, “Were just having some fun,” He then got up and started to walk away.

“Wait,” I said. He turned around. I couldn’t remember what I wanted to say. With one look from Daniel my mind went blank, again. He looked at me with that same sly smile of his.

“Goodnight,” he said. He then walked back into the house. I was left sitting next to the algae infested pool completely befuddled. I wanted nothing from Daniel. I didn’t want a relationship or a possible love affair. That was a complete lie. Of course I want something from him. The attraction that was there overshadowed everything. It grew deep and I couldn’t ignore it. It was lust that had overcome me along with Daniel’s eyes’ and sly smile. Those features could kill me with their harsh yet soft tones. Being in lust with someone is a lot easier than being in love. Then again so is getting hurt.

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