She is not black. She is chocolate that slides from Bournville to Dairy Milk and back again according to the light and the heat and the particular swell of skin she shows you. She is pink, sumptuous pink, with a tongue that teases and licks from behind pearl-white teeth she’s stolen from the poster at my dentist. She is blue, luminescent blue, shimmering in her hair as it cascades round her shoulders, down her back, across my face.
She is not asleep, although she may dream behind closed eyes. Her arm grows heavy across my chest and the urge to move cannot be resisted for long. We are of the moment, without past and with future uncertain. Tomorrow is agreed, tomorrow is our horizon, until there is no tomorrow. Then we’ll slip into each other’s pasts, vivid at first, for one of us vivid and raw too. For the other the colour will fade faster, a faint after-image on the retina, quickly overwritten by the brightness of a new day, the thrills of the new lover.
She will not be forgotten in a year. She will be a painful reminder of what might have been or she’ll bring a smile and a pause to recall a blissful affair. She will still be Rosemary, silky smooth, bright eyed, with a mane of black hair.
She will not be forgotten at thirty when I walk past the house and remember which bedroom we shared and the salt taste of her sweat. The thought will shock me and I’ll wince when I realise I have the wrong house, they all look the same and really it was the next road along. She’ll still be Rosie, the beautiful girl who imagined strange worlds, and I’ll wonder if she did drugs and I hadn’t realised.
She will not be forgotten when I’m forty or fifty and have children of my own. I’ll look at them slyly and see how they stand, see how they smile and wonder what they’d be like if Rosie had born them.
She’ll not be forgotten when I’m sixty and seventy. I’ll talk to a friend I haven’t met yet and we’ll share past glories with an amber swirl in our cut-glass tumblers. It’ll take a moment to remember, were we lovers? Of course we were lovers, and what lovers we were, but the taste of her skin will elude me. Was she Roxie or Roz? I’ll settle for Roxie, more exotic to fit into a story, and by then who’ll care if it’s right or wrong?
She’ll be almost forgotten when I dream my last dreams. I’ll call her to me one last time – if anyone should hear they’ll think it’s the drugs or a spasm of pain. I’ll long for the kiss, the touch of her hand, but I’ll struggle for a name, any name, to put to her face.
About the author: David Wiseman lived in the UK until 2011 but is now a resident of British Columbia, Canada. He writes long and short fiction, is an occasional blogger, and enjoys maps, photography, travel and reading.
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