Something borrowed — short story

He had finally kissed her for the first time that night. 

Her lips were soft and puffy — like cotton candy, if you please — and oh god, how it melted on him. A part of him kept calling out for more… more… more… because that was what he was supposed to do because he was in love. The world was tilting and spinning and exploding, and he couldn’t stop for fuck’s sake because he was madly in love and in love and in love. But a small part of him — that teeny-tiny good part which always reminded him to wear a condom, for instance — prevented him from overdoing it. So he pulled away slowly, having kissed no more than the tip of her lips, and turned his thoughts to strawberries, because that was how she tasted and how he would remember her for the rest of his life, for god knows how long how long how long how long —

Her eyes slowly opened and looked into his, but he could never decipher her because she wasn’t his. Not for a twitch of an eye, or a split of a second, or nanosecond, or never and ever because she wasn’t his, she wasn’t his, she wasn’t his. So he cupped her delicate face with one of his large hands (perhaps a bit too large for comfort) and used his over-sized thumb to trace the smoothness of her pink skin, feeling for her warmth. Remembering it. 

There were no tears to trace, or feelings to be told, or love to be made because why should there be? It was just a moment. A moment to be remembered and the moment was short, the moment was long, the moment was eternal, the moment was fleeting, the moment was nothing, the moment was everything. Why couldn’t things be both nothing and everything, and why did they have to be so black and white and black and white and black and white and black and white and black and white and black and —

“Will you remember me?” he whispered.

But she never answered and he never asked again. Somewhere the clock struck 12 and the music halted. Something borrowed must be returned on its due date.

Eric Leung is a second-year english literature major, as well as a reader, writer, and born-storyteller. He writes horror, romance, literature and just about everything else!