tagRomanceHigher Power

Higher Power

bySean Renaud©

Three hundred and sixty five days in a year and there is only one that is universally dreaded by single people. Valentines Day, the holiday that everybody knows Hallmark collaborated with the flower vendors to create an extra revenue stream. On Valentine's Day it's almost literally illegal to be single and the pain of being alone is so much sharper when the world is a saccharine saturated mess.

Somehow or another Chris's original plans for Valentine's Day had fallen through. Considering it was just a night at home playing video games with Jim, Jack and Jose it shouldn't have been possible to fall through. The thing was by the time he got home Jim was already in his roommate, Mike's loving embrace. Chris had killed Jack the night before catching up on the Simpsons and Family Guy and well Jose's not a lot of fun by himself. Every time Chris and Jose spent quality time alone together Chris spent most of the next day wondering why Jose hated him so much.

It would have been easier and faster just to shoot out to Von's and pick the boys up but for no reason that Chris could understand he drove the extra ten minutes to Callahan's. It was probably the first time he'd been to the bar in nearly three years. For some reason he'd expected that it would either be empty or flooded with couples but it wasn't. Just a quick scan made it obvious that everybody in the bar was just like him, single on Valentine's Day.

It was like there was something tangible in the air. Instead of the energy that normally packed Callahan's to the point where it seemed like the bricks were thrumming with energy there was a sludge locking every one in place. The light rock and RnB mix was pathetic without the happy chatter the happy music absurdly made the place even more depressing.

"What'll you have?" The bartender was a guy named Mike. He'd been in a few classes with Chris in high school and a few more as they'd fumbled around college for a few years.

"A zombie. Kinda fitting right?" Chris tried to force a smile but his mouth wouldn't agree to such an egregious lie. It compromised by twisting upward at one corner but the expression was sardonic and mirthless.

"Real funny." Mike made the same attempt to chuckle but he couldn't fake it either. He managed a snort that wouldn't have been unusual for a charging bull. "Look I started the night out with two rules for the night. Nobody commits suicide and please try not to get so drunk you puke. Looking around at this group of morose motherfuckers I'm cutting the second rule in the hopes of preserving the first." This time Mike didn't have to fake the smile. It was a sad but genuine smirk that crept across his features. "Truth is puke usually just sits on top of the carpet. Don't even need to steam clean it. Blood, that shit stains like you wouldn't believe.

There was no way for Chris to know if or how much he was joking by. It was more than enough to create the desired effect though. He raised his glass. "Amen to that." Even though Mike didn't have anything to cheer with Chris knocked glasses with a ghost and downed his drink. "Just keep it full." Chris twisted slightly so he could stare at might through the ice filled glass. "I don't really care what it is as long as you keep 'em coming. That cool?"

"Of course. Like I said I've got one rule for the night. No suicides. Not joking either. The last two years someone has died either on or near the premises on V Day. I'm tired of filling out police reports that say the same damned thing. Being single on V Day drives people crazy and shit happens." Mike managed to force a grin then returned to his job dispensing drinks as fast as his patrons could drink them.

For twenty long minutes Chris remained at the bar. He should have been working on getting drunk but he was really nursing his Zombie. On a normal night he would have finished his first drink in minutes and been well into his second but Chris was too depressed even to drink so he just faked it and watched the crowd descend into inebriation. If he'd been writing a paper on the effects of isolation on during the holidays instead of suffering from them he would have been ready to accept his Pulitzer six months later. Since he was a fellow sufferer it was difficult to watch as the men and women around him continued to search the bottom of a glass for answers they knew weren't there.

If someone had asked Chris fifteen minutes earlier if he believed in God, fate, things happening for a reason or love at first sight he would have broken into hysterics. The idea that there was something guiding him through his life was as silly as it was depressing. Obviously if there was a guiding force it absolutely hated him and enjoyed doing whatever it could to torment him and watch him suffer. It certainly wasn't a benevolent old man resting on a cloud trying to make good things happen. That idea was absurd.

Then the world changed and he was a believer. Tiffany was an all out assault on the senses that could best be described with the military term shock and awe. It started with the clicking of her heels on the hard wood floor announcing both her presence and her proximity. The attack continued when the scent of honey and cinnamon singed its way into Chris's memory and forced him to turn towards her.

The opening stages of the assault had been auditory and olfactory in nature. The visual was the heavy artillery. Bright red open toed heels strapped to slender ankles irresistibly drew attention to her long coltish legs. The matching dress ended just low enough on her thighs to be decent and short enough to be a distraction. Until she twisted enough to notice the smooth contours of her back through the diamond patterned straps. Her thick tresses of curly brown hair did a better job of concealing her flesh than the dress did.

The kill shot was her turning to face him. She had the face of angel which was appropriate since her assault could be fatal for a man. It was fitting that the first thing Chris saw in heaven had full red lips pulled into an eternal pout. Her bright green eyes seemed genuinely divine and seemed as good a place as any to spend eternity. When she smiled it was like the air had gone out of the room.

Chris knew before she uttered a single sound that he was smitten. It was utterly impossible but that was precisely what happened. It was like the laws of physics had suddenly been rewritten and for no obvious reason the world was revolving around him. In a world where reality had just discarded all sanity it still felt impossible that he could see the sparkle in her eyes. He could see her cheeks brightening with a blush. She felt the same way. It seemed equally probable that there were dinosaurs outside fighting ninja pirate hybrids.

The world that had fallen away came screaming back when her lips parted and a voice like a symphony uttered a single word. "Hi." Chris had never suffered from stage fright before, not like this. His heart stopped in his chest and he couldn't move. The only thing moving was the murder of crows squawking around angrily in his intestines. Apparently they were fresh out of butterflies and the feathers were drying his mouth out to the point where he couldn't speak.

Despite Chris's distorted sense of currents of Chronos it was likely much less than an hour before he was able to reply, "hi," and get his reward in the form of a dazzling smile. A similar amount of time most likely passed before the next time he spoke and this time it had more than a single word. "Would you like a drink?" Time was still skipping at random intervals, it seemed like was nodding when he was still on his second word. "What should I get you?"

"Strawberry Margarita if they have them." Tiffany's voice was trembling but obviously she was handling the situation better than Chris. She was already using words of more than one syllable, which was a good thing because her name had three. "I'm Tiffany by the way and you are?"

Fortunately for Chris he still only needed the one syllable that his misfiring brain cells could string together. "Chris." He took her hand. It was so soft but he didn't really remember what to do with it. His first instinct was to hold it until she took it away. Then he wanted to kiss it, more to the point he wanted to kiss her. Any part of her would do. Chris wanted to taste her. Four of his five senses were drowning and it felt wrong that he was denied the last.

It wasn't the sort of thing Chris would normally have done. He wasn't sure at all how to ask permission for such a bold act. In the end it wasn't his shoulder angel's advice he followed. The man in the red with the pitchfork told him that it was better to beg forgiveness than ask permission and so he brought her hand up and gently pressed his lips to it before releasing her. The moment his lips touched her flesh he felt something pass through him. Tiffany didn't pull away, she laughed musically.

The misfires of his confused mind were starting to sync up long enough to get the motor going. He knew her name, he knew she was into him. There was one thing he didn't know. "Why are you here?" It didn't make sense that a gorgeous woman with no obvious defects would be single at all, let alone on Valentine's Day. There wasn't a man alive who'd turn Tiffany down.

"Just didn't have anyplace else to be." Tiffany smiled. "It was a good thing too. If I had been anywhere else I wouldn't have met you."

Mike must have been listening closer to the pair than he normally did. Chris certainly didn't remember ordering the margarita. He remembered her telling him what he could order for her but he didn't think he'd gotten past that step. It must have happened during one of the moments when time leapt forward without him. Apparently he'd ordered it with two straws. Whatever intelligence was actively designing this evening had found away around Chris's verbal short comings by eliminating that part of the equation. Now he just leaned forward and so did she. She took his hand interlaced their fingers and stared into his eyes while they drank.

There are thousands of ways that human beings communicate without words. Some of the conscious like the light squeeze Tiffany gave his hand or Chris scooting his stool close enough to brush his thigh against hers. Others unconscious like the way Tiffany's face was slightly flushed and her breathing sped up. When her eyes, intentionally flicked towards the entrance the meaning was instantly clear and Chris nodded. Whatever words he might have been working on stringing together were gone again.

He still didn't need them. Walking beneath a curtain of black velvet with a full white moon and a complete entourage of stars often communicates more than hundred, thousand or a hundred thousand words. Callahan's was only a block from the city park; Chris hadn't been thinking about that when he started walking. He'd just been walking but something put his feet on a path and they knew where they were headed.

Further proof that that the moment was created by a higher being was the park was nearly empty. It should have been packed, picnickers drinking wine around the lake. Kids barely old enough or more probably not quite old enough packing the parking lot but the place was deserted. So deserted that the birds were singing their midnight serenades over a choir of crickets.

They still hadn't spoken, not a single word. Words weren't necessary yet. The sparkle in her eyes was more than enough to get Chris to lean closer to her. As soon as he was close enough she wrapped her arms around his neck and half pulled him down half leapt up into their first kiss. For Chris it was like magic. He saw fireworks when their lips met for the first time.

When Chris asked Tiffany about that moment she told him that it had been the same for her. She was lying. When Tiffany first felt his lips against her she wanted to die. She knew her life would never be any better than it was right then. This moment, his lips on hers, his arms wrapped around her. This was the entire reason she'd been born. She'd been placed on the earth to get to this moment and there was nothing left for her. This single moment was the point of her entire life and there couldn't possibly be a reason for tomorrow.

That was the fact that drove her to drag him down into the cool wet grass and continue kissing him. She knew that she'd be leaving Earth as soon as the moment ended. She was the one who decided to stretch the moment as long as humanly possible by slipping her hand into Chris's trousers. As much of a gentleman as he was trying to be his body knew what it was interested in. It didn't surprise Tiffany at all when she found his cock already hard when her fingers wrapped snuggly around it.

The world that less than an hour ago had decided to begin revolving around Chris was spinning wildly out of axis. There really wasn't much he could do. It was the gravity of its close orbit that yanked his clothing away. The exhilaration of flesh on flesh wasn't part of any plan or conscious decision he'd made. Like two stars orbiting each other Chris and Tiffany tumbled back and forth in the grass each one shedding a little more of their mass until they were just two cores grinding together.

Tiffany was still possessed by the idea that this was her final eve. She didn't have a regret in the world she just wanted to enjoy these final hours to their fullest. She had achieved her goal and done everything she wanted and now she wanted just one last thing. She wanted to enjoy him. That was what she was doing. The cool grass against her back was a sharp contrast to the sizzling heat emanating from his flesh against hers. It was even more distinct when compared to the heat of his flesh inside her. There were moments when she was certain he was going to burn his mark into her and make her flesh his forever. It was a mark she'd proudly wear for as long as she had left.

The world wasn't altogether functioning for Tiffany. She was simultaneously aware of two things when she was rolling back and forth beneath the canopy of stars. The first was that she was nude in a public place with a man. She needed to be quiet so she wouldn't attract attention. The other was that she was crying out at the top of her lungs. She couldn't help if it she wanted to but she didn't. Tiffany wanted to be seen with him, wanted people to know who she was and who she had been. She wasn't at all ashamed of what she was doing. There wasn't a battle in her mind, she wanted to be seen, but both thoughts were equally present when she wasn't focused entirely on him.

The experience was like nothing Chris had ever had before. It was literally magical and felt like nothing he could describe. At the moment he would have said that it felt like being high on something. Nothing was real, she was a fiery angel singing his flesh and cooling him with the flapping of her wings. Ten years into their marriage he would have told her it felt like being in love. It wasn't the ordinary love that most people or couples experience daily. It was the euphoric atmospheric high of a wedding day or a first child. The kind of feeling that can never be recreated no matter how hard you try. It can only be captured when it arrives and enjoyed to the fullest.

It was Chris first who noticed that they were both getting hotter and hotter. For a moment he was certain the grass around them would burst into flames. It wasn't a troubling though; the two of them right then would have burnt a fire bad enough to make it leap into the lake just to escape their inferno. The temperature continued to rise along with the tempo and the volume until the two went supernova.

The explosion was blinding and debilitating. Neither of them could do more than breathe for the first few minutes after it happened. The detonation left both of them sensitive, even the slightest touch from the other threatened to set off another. So they both lay as still as they could letting the cool grass bring them back down to a safe temperature.

"I love you." They both uttered. It would be a phrase the two would share for years. Luckily for Chris who never regained his full vocabulary it only used monosyllabic words.

It was the first time in his life that Chris believed in a higher power.

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bySean Renaud© 2 comments/ 21009 views/ 6 favorites

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