The Last Time We Were Together
by Writer 3
She lit a fire for the cold and I remembered great uncle Harry lighting a fire to warm the house from which my grandfather would be buried.
Uncle Harry ratcheted up his body. He was a big man, dressed in stiff black, a tiny enamel green shamrock and red dragon on his lapel.
“Well,” he said. “All things pass.”
She came up from the fire all curves and hollows and wetness and reaching for me. The flames licked at the air as we lapped at each other, breaking down the barriers with our lips and tongues, our bodies patterned by firelight.
A single design encased us both.
Harry’s small, blue eyes were quick around the world. “God sees us for what we are.”
And at ten years old that was frightening and exciting.
Harry picked up his whisky in a Knights of Saint Columbia tumbler, bent his head to sip like a big, bible black bird.
We felt for each other in the belly of the night. Achingly familiar but always new, always the first time.
I came up dirty with her, reeking of her, beautiful with her.
“Do you love me?”
“Do you want me?”
“If God loves us,” I asked great uncle Harry. “How come we die?”
Harry’s thin lips twitched into a smile. “If no-one died how could good kids like you be born?”
“But . . .”
Harry shook his head, smearing a smile through degrees. “This isn’t the place for buts. This is where we give your grandfather a good send-off.”
The slender light hung on me like a girl. Night puddled out the day, covered me and her, the dark plastic with our wants.
Afterwards I lay, eyes closed, unsleeping and thought of our lives, mine and hers and long gone Uncle Harry and granddad, just one thing after another and it wasn’t as if I could join the dots and see a shape to any of it, perhaps only God could do that, look and see a meaning to our transitory beauty.
But I no longer believed, like my grandfather and great uncle Harry that was behind me.
End of The Last Time We Were Together by Writer 3