Afterwards she is almost unsure if it was reality or a dream; in the aftermath she has so many.
“And what does it mean?” A pause. “To you, I mean. It’s mathematical meaning is ubiquitous through the considerable amount of history that separates us.”
Myka shrugged. “I’m not sure.”
“Infinitas,” she murmured. “Unbounded. Was it for a lover?”
There was a quiet laugh, an elbow thrown over her face to hide her expression. She was inexplicably embarrassed at Helena paying so much attention to old detail. It was a remnant of a former self that she no longer felt truly connected with. Even at the time it had been impulsively out of character, something she had done to rebel against herself. In truth, it seemed childish and in front of a woman who had for all intents and purposes lived for over a century, she was worried it would be perceived as such.
She shook her head, curls dragging against the sheets. “No. It was for me. ”
The rise of her chest with the sigh eclipsed most of Helena’s expression from view when she glanced down to watch the impact of her words. “I guess it was meant to remind me of the possibilities. It was senior year. I wanted to remember that I was and always could be on the verge of something, change, love, I don’t know.” Myka paused to chew on her lip. “It’s silly.”
Helena bent her head to kiss it again, ran her hands up Myka’s shins leading with her fingers. They hovered mid-thigh but continued to be distracting in the barest and smallest touches.
“Alternate universes.” Myka smiled at her. “Science fiction and quantum physics have added to that thinking in your absence.”
“Quantum physics. Yes, I do believe I’ll have to add that to the one hundred years of reading I have to do.” Helena shifted until her hands were folded low on Myka’s stomach, chin resting where they steepled. She was smirking, but there was a seriousness undermining the mischief of her tone and her lips were soft, reverent against her skin.
(After, she will wonder if it was her or the end of the world that made Helena thoughtful.)
“You are quite the captivating puzzle Myka Bering.” She moved again and her mouth and breath was suddenly hot against Myka’s thigh. “And I do think I will enjoy figuring you out.”
It was still new and Helena’s tongue was still exploratory, searching out responses which Myka catalogued: teeth in lip, breathy moan, rising hips, and travelling fingers. The journey was as follows: over her own tensing stomach, along the hard crest of her hip to Helena’s hair, thumb over hairline, nails against scalp. And back to her own chest, her palms flat and then pinching.
The heat was unbearable but they were tangled in a mess of sheets. In her attempt to escape, she twisted onto her side, off balance until Helena braced her knee. The sun was brighter at the edge of the curtains, spilling across the bed in a shifting arc. It played over Helena’s face when Myka smiled at her, and she smiled back. It was pure happiness until it turned wicked. The motion drew a surprised gasp which became a groan as she settled, leg hooked over Helena’s shoulder, gravity pressing her clit harder against Helena’s tongue.
It was love and she was beginning to know that it was, love that let the pressure flood out and dance on her skin and wrack her thighs and she was mouthing nonsense into the sheets against a wet patch made by her keening mouth as her fingers twisted into the sheets.
They collapsed against the mattress and Helena’s laugh trembled between her legs and had her curling forward again in an unexpected echo of pleasure. Helena moved up her body until their legs were entwined and they were face-to-face.
Myka closed her eyes, anticipated the kiss but it didn’t come. Helena was looking at her, and she couldn’t tell if it was wonder or sadness or surprise. She felt full to bursting with words and they were too much and too soon and so to stop them, she pressed her mouth blinding against Helena’s, eclipsing the corner of her mouth until her tongue was busy in silent pursuits.
It would have been between the kisses which were lazy, that tasted of sex, that didn’t seem to begin or end. Breathing felt like kissing felt like breathing.
She would have said it quietly, hoping to be heard and not to be heard in equal measure.
Most of the time she doesn’t think beyond the words, but sometimes, she tortures herself: with the quiet smile that they might’ve elicited, the kiss that would have followed, or the opposite, the awkward pause or the gentle dismissal. She doesn’t know which thought is worse, that they loved each other like she thinks they did or that they didn’t, that she loved a woman who was good and bad, only she was blinded to the latter by one-sided feelings.
She wonders if it would have changed things, if Egypt and Yosemite and the months of self-imposed exile in Colorado Springs could have been avoided.
(She wonders if somewhere, in an alternate universe, it was.)
The moment was too overwhelming for those other words anyway.
The light is old, older than her, even older than Helena, but it winks down at her until all she can see is the space between the stars. It seems empty, limitless and she worries that oblivion and infinity are the same.
(She hopes that in one of the infinite possibilities, they are together.)