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A "Ray" of Emotion
My pulse was racing. I had to do something. I couldn’t stop thinking about him. He was so fresh in my mind. I just wanted him to touch me again. That was it I had to do something. I took a cold shower trying to calm myself down. The ice water made my skin redden until I couldn’t take it anymore so I got out. I dried off. I ran my hands through my damp hair thinking. What could I do? Then I knew my answer: I was going to find him.
Hurriedly I got dressed in an old pair of jeans and a plain t-shirt. I threw on my coat and headed out the door. Ever since I had met Tony DeNardo he had never done what I had wanted him to. It was especially frustrating because I knew as soon as our eyes met, I had fallen hard. He was so off and on.
I figured he’d be at his normal hang out. So I jumped in my car and drove over to Ray’s diner. Ray’s was your typical diner. It had your sticky vinyl seats, washed about a million times counters, and waitresses you could tell smoked about twenty times a day. The good thing about Ray’s was its music and food. Ray’s didn’t have an old jukebox where anybody could just pick any old song; they had music playing over the intercom. I don’t know who picked out the music but they did a hell of a job. The next thing is the food. They had the best coffee on this side of town and the pies were ungodly good. They were made fresh daily and I swear they had crack or cocaine in them.
As I pulled up to the flickering fluorescent sign that proudly boasted the establishment’s name. I could see Tony’s car outside in its normal spot. I got out of my car after applying some lip gloss. I shook out my hair and squared my shoulders, and I was ready to dance. I swung the door open, and I saw Tony in the back, half-way through the slice of the day, apple pie.
“Hey Nardo” I said sliding into the booth across from him. I smiled because I knew he hated it when I didn’t get his name right.
“Hey Ace I thought I smelt trouble walk in the room” he said without even looking up. He knew it was me.
“Very funny,” I said nodding at the waitress thanking her for filling up the empty cup sitting next to me. God only knew I lived on coffee.
Tony finished off his pie and slid the plate away from him. “Now don’t tell me you came all the way out here to see little ol’ me.”
“Nah came to see good ol’ Hank,” I said gesturing to the hobo that never seemed to leave Ray’s. As a joke one day someone named him Hank the Stank, well I guess you fill in the blanks. But the name stuck, and he became the infamous Hank.
“Uh huh,” he said dubiously. He looked at me hard for a second. I kept my face emotionless, giving nothing away. “Let’s take a walk,” he said nodding his head toward the door. I let him lead, hiding my sly smile; I got what I wanted.
Ray’s was close to the beach, that’s another good thing about it. You could come back from a hard day of swimming, surfing, or fun and hit up Ray’s. That sounded like a perfect day for me. But hey I was a girl of simple needs.
I caught up with Tony a few seconds later, after I walked out the door. I knew better than to talk. Tony was a man of very few words. I knew things could go very differently than what I wanted them to if I disturbed the silence. Although he was much more fun when he was p***ed off but I was in too good a mood to test him. We walked under the big pier. It was even quieter and darker than it was outside.
Surprisingly he took me by the hand and led me towards one of the poles stabilizing the deck above. I leaned up against it, cool and somewhat still damp from high tide. He was so close now. His lips were close to mine teasing me. I wanted him to kiss me. He knew that. His heat and smell were driving me crazy. He leaned in. Instead of kissing me his lips went to my ear sending shivers down my spine.
“What are we doing here Ace?” he whispered.
I was taken up short. I didn’t know. I frankly didn’t care. I just wanted him. “Honestly Nardo, all I want is you.”
He backed away. I knew why. First I’d called him Nardo. Secondly, what I’d meant by “all I want is you” is that I wanted to kiss him, no strings attached. Finally, but most importantly, I’d broken a request he asked me the first day I’d met him. Look I know I give out a lot of bulls***, that’s just me. But when I get real, don’t give me bulls*** or I’ll walk away. So just be real with me. I know that’d I do the same for you.
I had agreed, thinking it was a reasonable request at that time, especially knowing he’d do it for me. I hadn’t broken it, until now.
“Dammit Tess,” he said through his teeth. That was the only the second time he’d called me Tess. I took in a breath. “You said… that first day…”
“I know,” I said quietly. I reached up to touch his shoulder but her jerked away. “Tony I’m sorry,” I said. He still wouldn’t look at me. “I said Tony DeNardo I’m sorry,” I said a little louder. This time I got his attention. He turned around still keeping distance between us. I took a step forward but he mirrored me by taking a step back.
“What are we doing here Ace?” he asked again.
This time I took my time answering. I bit my lip. What were we doing? But I knew I’d known since day one. At least what I was doing.
“Tony, you gotta here me out on this one, so just hold up until I’m done okay?” He nodded in agreement. “I can’t speak for you, but I know what I’m doing here...” I paused letting him soak it up a little bit.
Then I just spilled the beans, “Tony, I think I love you. I know its rash and totally against my character, but it’s true. Ever since I met you I knew. I’ve never met anyone like you, or that can make me feel so crazy. And yeah I’ve been acting like all I want is sex. But that’s because I suck at emotional stuff. I mean look at me now I’m just rambling on… but at least now you know what this is, is aactuallyme falling for you. It may be wrong and maybe I’m going to get my heart broken majorly here, but at least I’ve said it now.”
He looked at me eyes wide. I was scared shitless. For the first time in my life I didn’t know what was coming and I was scared. I couldn’t breathe I couldn’t think. It felt like years before he said anything. “Ace…” I took a step back assuming the worst, but unexpectedly he mirrored me this time. He didn’t stop there he kept walking towards me. He slid one hand on my hip and the other on the side of my face.
“Ace… I love you too.”
I leaned up again the wood to support my first ever wobbly knees. He kissed me right there under the pier. The world spun around me. Time stopped and I felt dizzy.
He looked me up and down and then hugged me so fiercely I thought I’d never be separated from him. He intertwined his fingers with mine and said, “Come on I’ll buy you a slice.” Then we walked back up the beach holding hands and walking into the abyss.