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Fiction #533
(published April 7, 2011)
by Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz
The sky is darkening and full of clouds. It was like this, the night I took my astronomy mid-term. I was prepared to dazzle my instructor with my knowledge of the constellations, the major stars in each, but the weather had not permitted a view.

"If the sky was clear," I remember telling him, "You could see. . ."

I stare at the sky now and think on what exists beyond those clouds.

Chris and I have escaped to the mountains. The top is down on the convertible. I sit in the passenger seat, which is pushed completely back; my one leg hitched over the door, the other braced against the console. My foot rests near the stick shift and for a moment, I imagine the headlines should my foot slip and the car roll over the edge. I laugh.

Chris, on the floor, head between my legs, looks up and says, "Not the sound I was hoping you'd make."

I grin down the length of my body at him. "I was thinking of something silly."

"And silly is not what I want you to be thinking right now." He pulls himself up and stretches across me. He offers me his lips and I run my tongue across them. We grin at each other.

"Sweet, sweet, sweet, " he murmurs as he settles his body into mine. "And your silly thought?"

"Oh, let's talk about the dirty ones," I say, kissing his shoulder. "Especially since we've got time to work through them."

"A lifetime," he whispers in my ear.

His words lift my hand and I eye the stone he has placed on my finger. Carbon in its beginnings but with pressure, it becomes something of value. That I learned in geology, the other lesser evil I took for an elective in order to graduate.

That is what we are celebrating tonight. Our respective graduations from college; I have a degree in journalism and Chris, political science, though he is on his way to the Air Force. And we are celebrating our engagement, though all I've ever wanted from him was sex.

His head is burrowed in my neck and I feel the warmth of his breath against my skin.

"Commencement," I whisper in his ear. "You were beginning something there, weren't you?" I have been waiting for the feel of him inside me, though I was the one who held off for so long. When I asked him what he wanted for graduation, he said, "You. I want to finally fuck you."

At the time, I said nothing in response. But earlier when we were talking while we waited outside the auditorium to line up and march, I partially unzipped the front of the gown and revealed nothing but brown skin underneath.

Chris smiled. "You like tempting me, don't you?"

I grinned in return. Citing my need to concentrate on my studies, I hadn't let him touch me in weeks. "And frustrating you—I like that, equally as well."

He laughed, then he gripped my gown in his fist and yanked me against him. "I will sit easily through this ceremony," he whispered, "knowing you are wearing nothing underneath, because when it's all over, that beautiful black ass is mine." He stepped back. "Commencement," he said with a lift of his brow and then he disappeared into the crowd.

"It's gonna rain," I tell him, as I stare up at the sky while stroking the back of his neck.

"I like you wet," he says.

I smile and tighten my arms and legs about him. I am already missing his desire.

In just hours he will be on a plane headed to his parents for a visit before he leaves for basic training. I will not see him for months, and in that time, I will most likely find myself in the bed of another man. Unlike my mother, the wife of a military man, I will not bear my loneliness through quiet tears.

Chris nibbles at my bottom lip, his hands tremble across my body. "Nobody else," he murmurs.

For me, or him? I wonder. I feel for his sweetness, his stubbornness as well.

He has tried so hard to be the one. I think he genuinely believes that with enough pressure and time, I can be transformed, a lump to a jewel.

So perhaps, he is getting what he has bargained for. I have warned him—I simply have no heart to give—but he is a stubborn villager, ignorant to the rumbles, the threats of eruption. If he won't run, then isn't destruction by lava and ash, his due?

The rain begins to come down, and we start to laugh because we are young and in lust and have been told we have the whole world before us.

I accept the warmth of his tongue in my mouth, and I move against his searching palms. Tonight, I will give myself fully to him. And I will allow him this—

His belief that we will fit together like stars in the sky, as he lays with me, stroking my breasts till they glisten in the rain like obsidian.

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz writes from New Mexico. This work was first published in Fiction Warehouse, a now-defunct ezine.

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