The Kiss

I saw her for the first and last time at the train station.

She was sitting at the terminal with one leg crossed over the other, looking down at the enclosed hands in her lap as if she was absorbed in thought. Her fingers were bare save for the lightest pink nail polish that had begun to chip. No ring, meaning she was not married. Or, that she chose not to wear her ring. Her hair fell in her face in soft waves that seemed just a little too perfect to be natural. Could that be her natural hair? The now-setting sun shone on her face, highlighting the dark spots forming under her eyes. Maybe she hadn’t been sleeping well. Her skirt was pushed up to her knee and rustled in the breeze as a passing train roared by. Her green pea coat was unbuttoned at the top, like she was a conservative woman who wanted the tiniest bit of risk in her life. In that moment, I wanted to be that risk.

She did not look up as others passed, eyes focused solely on her hands. I felt like I could stare at her for an eternity, and she would never know—I was just another pair of scuffed loafers. I took comfort in the fact that I could take her in without being noticed. I liked people watching. The human form is truly beautiful when it is entirely unguarded, isn’t it? Do you ever stop to admire the true magnificence that is the mortal body? It can do such wonderful and mysterious things. The inner mechanisms and parts driven by the quality of the flesh on the outside. The air and blood circulating through the system in a delicious cycle of revitalization. Truly fascinating.

I was standing there, stunned that no one else seemed to notice her pure and unadulterated beauty. She could have easily blended into the crowd of people bustling around, but no… No, she would not intermingle with this filth. Her sharp features were too alluring to permit me to look anywhere else. I knew that she was the one.

I unbuttoned my coat, straightening out my shirt before approaching. I needed to be at my finest when the moment arrived. I quickly closed the distance between us, pausing when I was directly in front of her. “Is anyone sitting here?” I gestured to the spot beside her, waiting for our eyes to meet. The time had come, and I was awaiting her positive reaction.

To my immense displeasure, she did not make eye contact. She shrugged and shifted over to make room for me. I needed her to see me. I would never truly be seen again if it weren’t by the gaze of her eyes and her eyes only.

I waited some time before proceeding, so as not to alarm her. She was so close that I could smell her sweet perfume in the air. Her presence was driving me mad. I needed her right now. I reached across and put my hand on top of hers, her skin cool to the touch, causing her to jerk away violently. She let out a throaty sort of moan, slowly raising her eyes to meet mine. When she lifted her chin, her green eyes flickered and fizzled out, leaving two black sockets that seemed to embody the meaning of life itself.

I closed the distance that was separating our faces, pressing my lips hard against hers. The air quickly rushed out of my lungs, my body becoming lighter and thinner and more emaciated by the second. Though my body was deteriorating, my mind was still bright for a moment longer. I was ready to leave this realm. I remember my last thought being of the perpetual quest for the kiss of death. I had found my angel—I had found my demon.

That was the last time I saw her.

 

By Lauren Stock

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