The Seashell

1148 Words5 Pages
A seashell lies embedded upon the shore, curling inside itself. It cuts into my foot as I stumble upon it, its sharp coil slicing through the leathery skin of my sole. The pain tantalizes, quickening my heartbeat, grinding my teeth, rattling my spine. The sand bristles into my open wound as I walk on; it is a different kind of pain than the seashell’s, one more familiar and less enticing. I swallow hard and ignore it. I can see him in the distance, a silhouette hazed into the dull blue of the dying sky. The hushed rumble of the waves expands into my ears, louder and louder, as I walk toward him, closer and closer. At last I stand beside him. He does not look at me. I smile at him but he does nothing. I touch his shoulder but he does nothing. I lean into him but he does nothing. He is nothing. Or am I nothing? I murmur his name into the bone of his shoulder, and his neck tilts, almost imperceptibly. He still feels it. I know it. Denial can only imprison the desire so long. The sea’s briny breath slaps against us in gusts, slapping my face, slapping his. I retreat it from it slightly, but he does not move. His eyes are open--unafraid. His spine is stiff--unrelenting. He endures so much, for too long. An unnecessary duration of self-inflicted punishment. My arms wrap around him in a possessive embrace. Selfish. But I have some right to this. Often he rails against my touch. Yet when he thrusts himself forward to escape, he inevitably falls back into me, limp and exhausted, closer than he was before. He stiffens somewhat within me, yet he also melts. It is as though a battle rages beneath his stony features, an elemental war between control and submission, between education and instinct. Regardless, he never pulls away fr... ... middle of paper ... ...den burst of self-awareness. Now I feel him behind me, his breath brushing against my neck like a razor, his mouth a graceful pounce upon my skin. His hands roam. His voice is brittle as he murmurs my name again and again, like a chant. The sight of the seashore blanches and blurs. Now I see nothing in the glass but the reflection of myself and him behind me, his arms around my chest, his head resting against mine. A faint image, distorted yet appealing. As though we are two creatures melded into one. Inseparable. Now I submit to him, like he first submitted to me. An array of sensations tumbles onto me, overtaking me. Time slips through my fingers like water into the earth, irretrievable. There is still comfort in nights of doubt. Even if all this deserts me one day, I shall always have the memory of him, of this pain and of this love. Of the seashell.
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