She watched him before speaking, watched him quite a while in fact, stared at his head resting on his left hand, pen clutched in right, posed over the nearly blank page of his Moleskin journal, thinking, thinking, thinking.
“Just write,” she said.
He didn’t hear her or chose not to.
“Quit thinking and write,” she said again and leaned over the narrow table so he couldn’t miss her insistent voice or imperious green eyes.
His chin lifted slightly at the second interruption, and his lips formed the word, what, but he didn’t speak.
“You’re killing yourself with thought,” she said. “Just write. It doesn’t matter what.”
“Your eyes,” he said.
“Contacts,” she said, “Emerald green contacts to get the attention of guys like you, over-thinkers, men who get stuck between could and should, god-damn perfectionists."
“I know. Another attention getter.” She stood up. “I’m going,” she said. “Write.”
He waited for her the next day and the next, sat at the same table, black Moleskin, Bic pen, nothing to say, nothing to write about but the green-eyed vixen with the imperious voice and lips like . . . like what?"
Watermelon? Too soft.
Ripe cantaloupe? His writing teacher said to go for the odd phrase, the unexpected.
Blood orange lips? That’s it! Dripping blood orange lips, lips you wanted to press against, eyes that speared your heart, then injected a serum into your very bloodstream, that melted cartilage, burned the fiber of your being until all you could do was write, write, write in the hopes that she . . .
“Well, praise Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, will you look at that? He’s writing.”
He finished the sentence before looking up, afraid it was some other shrew, not his green-eyed vixen. He wrote to the very end of the page.
“Writing crap, are you?”
He paused then, met her emerald gaze, nodded. “Yes. Only crap.”
“Good,” she said, and touched her fingers to her apricot lips.
The dripping invitation of watermelon lips.
The rosy hue of a ripe peach.
No, not peach—and cherries were too cliché. He was back to the dripping invitation of watermelon lips, when she said, “Oh, for god’s sake. I’m waiting, and you’re still writing. You can’t get anything right.”
He knew she was gone by the scrape of her chair and momentarily regretted her departure, but she was wrong—he could get it right. Her lips were an invitation of moist watermelon, or pomegranate red rimmed with a hint of plum, ripe as a Georgia peach.
Ripe as a dangling peach.
Too much movement. Her lips were an invitation of moist watermelon, bright as a pomegranate, and soft as a slowly decaying Georgia peach.
© 2012 Kathleen Coskran