“Oh man, really?” Said Chris, he and Scarlett had just arrived at JFK airport, and one of the USO Tour crew member had just told them that, because of the delayed flight, they had lost the last flight to LA.
“Yeah, I’m really sorry, but they’ve already booked hotel rooms for both of you and you’re on the first flight to LA tomorrow.”
“Which is?” Scarlett asked
“It leaves at 11am. It’s late, I know but it’s the first one, no plane will take off before that because of the fog, it’s hard this time of the year”
“Yeah, I figured. Oh well, thanks for taking care of it though”
They said goodbye to the rest of the crew and headed off to the hotel.
“I’m sorry you have to wait one more night to see Rose” Chris said, while he and Scarlett went up the elevator to their rooms.
“Oh, it’s okay, I would only see her tomorrow anyway, she’s with her dad”
“Oh, okay.” He felt the shakiness in her voice, but it didn’t feel right to ask
They’re rooms were one in front of the other.
“So, maybe you want to come in for a movie later” he asked, while they opened the doors
“Of, course. I wouldn’t want to break the tradition, would I?” she said, smiling
He laughed. “Of course, not”
“Alright, I’ll bring the candies from my minibar”
“Nice! See ya”
Later that night, the two were sitting on the couch of Chris’s room, watching The Great Outdoors, a movie that both enjoyed and knew would make them laugh and lighten the mood. Actually, it would make Chris laugh a lot more. At one point, Scarlett found herself just staring at him, it was nice to see him happy and laughing at the stupidest things.
“What?” he asked as he was just cleaning up a tear from the corner of his eye.
“Nothing” she shrugged “I was just watching you laugh” she said, smiling, turning her head to the TV again.
Chris’s heart raced, it wasn’t a very wide couch and only now he realized how close she was and how happy she looked. She usually was, whenever she was with him, and he was very proud he had the ability to make her feel that way and that she enjoyed his company as much as he enjoyed hers. But right at that moment he was just trying really hard not to lean in and kiss her.
“Alright, stop” she said, snapping him out of his thoughts and making him realize he was the one staring at her this time.
“What, you were doing the same thing!” he said in his own defense, in a playful way.
“Well, not like that.” She said, a little insecure, not looking at him
“Like what?” he asked, his face turned serious, he knew what his face probably looked like, the same one from ten years ago, but he just wanted to see if she would say it.
She looked at him and for a moment no one said anything, then she looked away again.
“You know what I meant” there was a tone of embarrassment in her voice, as well as a little bit of sadness.
“I know” he said, looking down at his hands. “I just don’t know if I can help it”
Scarlett looked at him. He looked back at her and smiled.
“I guess you’ll just have to get used to it” he said.
“I can’t do that” she smiled back. “And I’ve tried, trust me”
His eyes fell to her mouth and her felt her eyes falling to his. His heart raced and at the same time, both started to lean over to each other. ‘what the hell are you doing’ he thought to himself. He never wanted to runaway as much as he did at that moment, but he never wanted to kiss her more either.
He raised his hand towards her face. But just as he was about to touch her she moved his hand away and stood up.
“I have to go, I’m sorry”
“What?” he asked as she went towards the door
“I’m sorry, I’ll see you tomorrow okay”
“Wait no!” he followed her “Hey, this is exactly what we didn’t want to happen, remember?” he said, hoping it would stop her
“What?” and it did. She stopped and turned around to face him.
“Us… away from each other? It’s exactly what you’re doing”
“I know, I know” she said, shaking her head and taking a deep breath. “The truth is we should have never had that conversation, Chris. I don’t know what happened but, it’s just different now”
“Yeah, I can feel that, and I’m sorry. And you can go if you want, but honestly, I don’t think running away is the solution. In fact, I think it will just make it worse.”
“I don’t wanna go Chris. But… you felt what was about to happen right, I know you did”
“Yeah I did”
“This is bad Chris”
“I’m sorry, I just can’t see how us wanting to be with each other can be bad when the only possible alternative is saying ‘goodbye, see you tomorrow’ every time we feel that way”
Scarlett opened her mouth immediately to say something but seemed like nothing came to her. She stopped and looked down for a moment to think, then she looked back at him and laughed gently.
He didn’t understand her reaction “What?” he said, confused
“Nothing, is just…” She shook her head and her laugh turned into a sad smile. The she shrugged as if giving up on something “You’re right, that makes no sense”
He smiled, as she was finally agreeing with him on something “Right?” he said.
She took a deep breath and they remained in silence for a moment, just looking at each other.
“But Chris” she said, breaking the silence “You know what’s gonna happen right? If I stay.”
He nodded “I have a clue, yeah”
“And you still want me to stay?” she asked.
He laughed gently “I’m sorry but… I would be the most hypocrite person in the world if I said I didn’t”
She smiled and looked down “Yeah, me too” then she looked back at him and he could feel her breathing starting to accelerate. And his heart started doing the same.
She shook her head in disbelief. “oh, shit” she reached for the remote at the side table and turned the TV off. He just watched her as he walked towards him, his heart pounding faster than ever.
She stopped, inches from him. He held her face with his hands, it’s been so long since she was this close to him, he wanted to memorize every detail. His fingers ran through her hair, gently caressing her cheeks and down to her neck. After a few moments, she made the final move and pressed her lips against his. Shivers went down his whole body as he moved one hand to her waist and brought her closer to him. Her hands went down his arm and through his hair. The kiss went on, slow and passionate, until they finally had to separate and catch their breaths.
“Oh God, I just realized” Chris said, still breathing hard
“What?” She asked, looking slightly concerned
He raised his hand, moving a lock of hair away from her face “I miss you…so much more than I thought I did.”
She smiled and nodded before initiating another kiss, a more intense one this time. Her hands slid under his shirt, feeling his back muscles as he moves the kisses to her neck. They were in no rush at all, it was like they didn’t want that moment to end so they would make it last as long as possible. At one point he picked her up and she wrapped her legs around his waist while he carried her to the bed.
Gradually, each piece of clothing fell to the floor as they ran their hands down every inch of each other.
Throughout the night they allowed themselves to turn ten years back in time, block the world outside that hotel room and just focus on feeling every sensation on their bodies. No words were necessary for they moved as two pieces crafted perfectly for each other. And actually there were no words to describe what they felt since none of them had felt anything like that before.
Chris had woken up a few minutes ago but he still couldn’t move. He still couldn’t believe that she was right there, wrapped in his arms. Her beauty, her skin, her smell, it all felt like a dream. He had never felt more relaxed.
Trying to make as less movement as possible, he reached for his phone at the side of the bed. 8:30 am. Soon they would have to leave and catch their flight. Then he noticed, there was also a text from his manager saying he had booked an appearance for him right there at NY on the next day, so it would be easier for him to just stay there. Chris texted him back saying he would do it and asking him to move his flight. He was sad that now he would have to say goodbye to her a little bit sooner, ‘but maybe it’s better this way’ he thought. His heart ache at the thought of saying goodbye to her. Despite everything that had happened, he knew that nothing would be different, they would go back to their lives and he would be left with the memories of the previous night, wondering when he would see her again.
Since she would have to wake up soon, he reached for the hotel phone and called to order their breakfast, pancakes, he knew it was her favorite. After he finished the call he felt her shift beside him. He wrapped his arms around her once again and began placing kisses on her shoulder, going up to her neck. She raised her hand and gripped his hair, gently.
“Hey” she said, with a slight hoarse voice.
“Good morning” he whispered against her neck.
“What time is it?” she asked, turning around to face him
“Half passed eight” he answered.
She kissed him gently, but he felt it just as the first one.
“We gotta get going soon.” She said
“Actually, YOU gotta get going soon”
“What do you mean?”
“Well my manager just texted me saying he booked something for me in the city tomorrow so I gotta stay”
Before she could say anything related to saying goodbye, he kissed her again.
“Oh, I have to put my pants on… I’ve ordered pancakes for us! They should be here at any minute”
“Oh man, pancakes?” she said as he got off the bed “I was planning on a light breakfast today”
“It will be okay. I think you’ve burned enough calories last nigh” he said, putting on his sweatpants. She laughed.
“Hey, that must be it” Chris said and started to walk towards the door.
“I’ll be right there okay, I’m going to take a quick shower” she said
Chris had just finished setting up the table when he had the most beautiful sight. He was glad to have sat down. She walked out the bedroom door wearing nothing but his hoodie, that blue one she had borrowed a few nights before.
“What?” she asked, laughing gently. Only then he noticed how big was the smile he had on his own face. He got rid of it shaking his head.
“Nothing” he said “I just had the most beautiful déjà vu”
They ate the pancakes, talking and laughing about random things that had nothing to do with the previous events. It lightened the mood, made them feel relieved to see that nothing had changed.
Soon after that, it was time to say goodbye. She was standing at the door, wearing the same clothes from last night and his hoodie on her hand, she would definitely keep it this time. For a few moments they just stood there, looking at each other, both thinking about the same things, afraid of the same things. But she smiled, and he couldn’t help but do the same. He gave her one last kiss and a tight hug.
And she left.
Chris had never felt so many things at the same time. The happiness was still there, along with her smell and the feeling of her skin against his. She had just left but he couldn’t help thinking about when he would see her again. Afraid of that next encounter, ‘what if it gets awkward the next time we see each other?’. But above it all, he felt a huge sense of emptiness that he knew for sure wouldn’t be gone until he saw her again.