"It's long gone, that carry on from DecemberIt is no matter, if you rememberMulled paper bag wineAnd too much bedside whiskeyI will roll my heart upI will roll my heart up in my sleeve"
A Sail (2010) by Lisa Hannigan
He was on the wrong side of 6:00 AM, loathing every step he was taking to work. In his ears were a pair of noise-cancelling earphones which he treasured for the portable isolation it offers. A Sail came on, leading in with the reverb of its rumbling bass line layered with the melancholic Irish monotone of Lisa Hannigan. He subconsciously tried to match his steps to its beat - um, two, um, two-three, um, two, um, two-three - but desisted the moment he realised how unnaturally he was pacing.
He saw her coming towards him from the other end of the building's compound. Eye contact. Smiles. He pinched one of his earbuds out of his ear and dropped it, letting it dangle from one shoulder in anticipation of the inevitable exchange of workplace pleasantries as both of them arrived at the elevators in unison. "Hey," he said to her, and she to him. Silence. He restored the errant earpiece to his ear as they waited for the numbers to count down to G. Noticing that he had one hand in his pocket, he wondered: Why does that feel awkward? Should I take my hand out? Why is this suddenly bothering me?
He stole a glance at her. She caught him. Smiles again. Her lips parted and met mutely. What are you listening to, he read.
Picking one earbud out of his ear, he offered it to her wordlessly and she accepted, placing it in turn into hers before the warmth had leached out of it. The elevator interrupted and they stepped on in tandem, lockstepped awkwardly by a single black strand of wire, listening to the Irishwoman singing by their sides,
"It's long gone that I carry on from the winterI asked you upstairsUntil we tangled in my hair"
Hair, her hair - he was too close enough to smell it. It was a clean fragrance mixed with that summery scent that some women's hair naturally exudes. He could count her lashes, see every distinct ray of her patterned irides, and lose himself in the infinite midnight of her pupils. Suddenly, his noticed his heart pummeling against his chest from the inside, so hard and so loud that he was sure she could hear it. It was fifteen seconds of eternity before he - before she - realised that they had not picked a floor, any floor. Both the tiny room and the tiny moment they occupy was suspended, as if waiting for time to remember where it was going. The only proof that time had not actually stopped was the song.
And he went for it in an instant of reckless abandon. He lifted one hand and held her delicate chin lightly between his thumb and finger, and closed the space between their lips down to a fraction of a desirous inch. He felt the chill of a sharp, nervous gasp for air of a girl drowning in unexpectation. Oh my god, what am I doing? screamed a tiny, pathetic, and incredibly faraway part of his brain. Her bosom lay against his, and he could feel her heart beat in time with his, just as hard and just as loudly. Then, her surrender reflex kicked in place and uncoiled every tenseness in her body, and she breathed warmly on his mouth. Her eyelids wavered and finally fell. He instinctively understood, as every lover who ever lived and loved in all of time understood. They kissed lightly, and all pretensions of boundaries and individuality were obliterated in a single simple meeting of the flesh.
The bridge of the song they shared swelled majestically to the plucked strings of a banjo - a quaint, jesterly instrument that Ms Hannigan somehow managed to wrung victory and a brand new hope out of, banishing evenings and strangling winters in fourteen notes.
"I will roll my heart upI will roll my heart upI will roll my heart upI will roll my heart up"
A believer in love at first kiss,
k0k s3n w4i