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A Phoenix Fiction Writer Rising From The Ashes of Nonfiction



A  Touching  Moment 
by Michael T. Martin

As I approached her, I anticipated touching her cheek. It always brought her alive when I did. She especially liked me to slide my hand against her cheek with my fingers in her red hair. She knew then I was going to kiss her. She would look at me with her blue eyes and smile. But I knew touching her would be inappropriate here.

Still, I longed to embrace her now like so many times before. A wave of warmth raced throughout my body whenever I embraced her, something now in my coldness I wished almost painfully I could feel again. Embracing her made life itself meaningful, sending my heart beating rapidly, opening the heavens to rain joy about us.

Reaching out to place my hand against her cheek always triggered a magical moment of trembling anticipation. She too, often exuded her own joy, beaming in anticipation of my hand sliding against her cheek, sighing at my touch. In those circumstances, particularly in her bed, seeing her smile when I touched her, was to me, more than any other thing, what I lived life for: a prelude to a kiss, a prelude to romance, love, lust, emotions, sensations, exhilaration and finally two satiated people entangled in bliss.

That was how we were when her husband found us. He was angry. I left, quickly. I was in the wrong. I shouldn't have been there, with her, holding her, loving her. Maybe I should have stayed. There would have been a fight, in his house, in his bedroom, over his wife, but maybe if I had stayed he wouldn't have killed her.

Thoughts of what happened, after I left, torture me every minute of every day. Cold dark regret fills my hollow insides. Imagining the horror she must have felt at being left alone with him. Imagining her cowering in fear of his anger. Imagining her desperation as he strangled her.

The fragrance of flowers brought my attention back to her. Looking at her now through my tears, at her closed eyes, her textured lips together almost in a smile, I thought helplessly that maybe if I placed my hand against her cheek with my fingers in her hair she would smile again and look at me. I could tell her I was sorry I didn't stay, sorry that I had left her.

But my hand and arm hung quivering at my side, doing nothing, again. I realized I was holding up the viewing line, so I stepped away, and left her, again.


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