Did someone say montage?
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I blinked the sleep out of my eyes and stared across the counter at a hyperactive barista who had just rattled through way too many options way too fast. “Uh…cappuccino? An extra shot of espresso. Mmm…make that two shots,” I managed. As I dumped just a little extra sugar into the rich brown bliss, the aroma of coffee triggered memories of Vivian’s lipstick and her soft, genially predatory smile.
“So in a population approximating a normal distribution, which is our go to assumption for all randomly selected sample populations, some individuals will have an acute response while others may have no apparent response. Now, you can’t assume that…” I flexed my fingers and tried to focus. I loved this stuff but the professor was making it hopelessly dry and dull. Why do some people have voices that just kind of fail at captivating the human brain? Now, Viv’s voice, well I could listen to that for hours.
I tensed and arched my hips up off of my bed. One hand sliding slickly between my legs, the other busily toying with my left breast. I didn’t even try to be quiet. Sweat shimmered across my skin and my bangs clung to my forehead. My breath came quick and ragged as I felt my body build to the climax I needed. With an inarticulate scream that might have been a curse of pleasure, my orgasm took me, wrenching and wonderful. I collapsed back exhausted and laughing. Shaking my head that what had pushed me over the edge were thoughts of her.
Jacques smiled as they held a clove cigarillo between lips painted a dark, vibrant green and triumphantly put their last domino down on the rickety table. “Boom. I win.” They preened and blew a smoke ring up towards the awning protecting us from drizzle. “I- uh…hey, Zoe? You look a little distracted. Wait…did you let me win?” Their eyes narrowed in melodramatic suspicion. I just smiled, shook my head, and asked: “Hey, do you know whether Vivian has plans for Saturday?”
I carefully clipped my nails, trimmed away dead cuticle, filed, and lotioned. The cold clammy feeling of a mask from some beauty company or other pervaded my face and I silently prayed to the fickle goddesses of beauty shop freebies that this thing was actually good for my complexion. A little later I painted my finger and toenails. And a little after that I went back and fixed all the mistakes I’d made the first time. I needed to look my best.
I listened to the sound of light rain and stared into the full-length mirror. This was the third outfit I had tried on and I still wasn’t completely happy with it. Traffic had been bad coming back from class, and the clock was ticking down. This wasn’t the time to be indecisive. But no matter how much I thought that I couldn’t help it. I wanted to wow her.
Look, what I’m saying is: I had a crush.