Currently Untitled

Currently Untitled

A Story by ScreamingSarcasm

I watched him quietly from my rooftop, my silence not so much from a tacit effort to be discreet, as it was a product of my wonderment. There was nothing spectacular about him. He was not unseen or profoundly unique thus-far to my knowledge, yet there was something sexy about his smile that I'd long ago deemed worthy of my legs carrying me a little more slowly past his house when I went for my daily run.

He'd served in the military; I was able to figure that much about him. He looked young, but old enough to have done his 4 years already. What he did for a living now, I wasn't sure, but he pulled his white pickup into the cactus-lined driveway backwards beside his house 5 days a week at around 9:30 at night. He wrestled an old, holy backpack from behind the seat before slamming the door. He'd walk up to the front steps and drop it to the side before he went in his house and heated up dinner. This ritual I'd watched him perform at least 10 times in the past 2 years. I would've guessed him to be 23 or 24, and though at that time I was only 16, I got a sort of strangely romantic flustering in my stomach just watching him. I'd been noticing little things about him from the time I was 14, even though I knew for anything to ever even resonate between us would be illegal, immoral, indecent, and, worst of all, impossible.

So for 2 years I'd sat on my roof some nights, watching him, knowing there was an ineffable gap between the sweetness and purity you might see of a romance in a children's movie, or hear about in a song of young love, and the strange yet undeniably enticing feelings that stirred within me.

By 10 he'd come wandering back out of his house with a beer in hand, and usually a tray of microwave dinner. He had a wooden rocking chair, and he sat in that, and he would look out across the street, or down at his lawn which swept often dry and unkempt, littered with potted cactus's that were the only well-cared-for part of his front-yard. When his gaze fell in my direction, my breath would catch in my throat, and the only movement in my chest would be a heavying beat, and that too seemed to slow to an almost unbearable rate. Had I moved, had I stretched, had I uttered a sigh, he would not have noticed, for I was wrapped in the same blanket of darkness that sent shivers up my arms, telling me it was time to go inside, that it was getting cold and late, and that one young heart shouldn't long for another's in this way.

            It was late June. He smoked, and I did too, but not because of him, rather than some perhaps sick satisfaction I got out of further degrading my own youthful innocence. I dreamt of a man 8 years older than myself, and rather than get some sleep, I began floating on the hot, spiced smoldering of cheaply sold substance which wafted into my nose and carried me through long hours of the night. Tonight, with smoke curling before my eyes, I was only half seeing the faint glow of his burning cigarette below me. My sight was set on a more mental vision that seemed not quite lucid, despite it having taken place only some hours ago. Saturday was meaningless as a day free of school worries, now that summer vacation had started, but it still meant that both my neighbor and I were off work; he was free to admire the developing tan on my legs and arms as I ran by him, just as free as I was to enjoy and reciprocate that smile of his which never ceased to tempt a shiver from my spine.

            That day it'd been hot. He was out on his front lawn, which was more like front dirt, for lack of living grass. His head must've been elsewhere, because it wasn't until I ran right past his back, sneakers slapping the hot pavement that he turned around, squeezing the handle of his hose attachment in surprise. The loose, breezy white muscle shirt that I'd been wearing for my run was instantly a soaked, see-through material, clinging desperately to every inch of my body hips and up. "Oh my God, I'm so sorry..." he said my name at the end of that, and that alone was almost enough to distract a smile from my lips at the way his own made a comical "O" of surprise. Almost. "I'll go get you an old spare t shirt or something" as he was turning to dash inside his house, I gave a laugh that made him turn back to face me. "I Live right down the street, it's fine. Anyway, I'm sure someone around here will enjoy the view." Even with that newfound sense of confidence I'd just derived from seeing him scrabbling in embarrassment, I hadn't intended to say something so outright ballsy. This time it was his turn to laugh. He didn't say anything, but he smiled and just laughed, and he gave me this nod of something between approval and appreciation. His eyes lingered a moment before I ran back to my house to change.

            2 years I'd been sitting on my roof, asking myself an eternity of questions, and after 2 years I wondered if I was willing to spend a lifetime on this roof, trying to find the answer to 1. Was he interested in me at all? I hadn't gotten much from him earlier today. I had gotten something, but not enough. Maybe I was young, or stupid, a little high off herbal smoke, or maybe all of the above and then some. I climbed down off my roof in a careful haste and brushed myself clean of bits of shingle grit sticking to my jeans, which had tears I'd ripped into the knees even as brand-new. It was well past 10, not that I, or anyone else cared. The glow of his cigarette became less and less faint, until it painted more distinction to his features in the dark. When the hand holding his cigarette fell to his side, I knew he'd seen me, and that it was too late to turn and run home. Any lingering sense of confidence from earlier that day had dissipated, but with bubbly anxiousness I forced myself to feign a convincing coolness as I sauntered up his front walk. He didn't say anything for a few long moments, but instead treated me to a somehow sweet yet devilish smile that just barely managed to tilt his lips. "Isn't it late?" This must've been some sort of test, because when I gave him a quick and easy "Nope", he moved his outstretched legs so that I could sit on the porch where his feet had just been. I dropped lightly and easily, and relaxed my own legs in front of me so that they nearly reached the top step.

            "It'll be a hot summer" I said. Bringing up the hose incident directly would let him know it was still on my mind, but vaguely eluding to it might possibly be seen as more subtle and sly.

            "Yeah, well it won't be as bad as Virginia."

            "Virginia?"

            "Yeah, I grew up there. Beautiful state, even if it used to get hotter than hell all summer. You could fry and egg on the sidewalk."

            "Ah, well I've been in California pretty much my whole life. I spent the better part of a year in New Mexico though, and 2 or 3 solid in Oklahoma."

            "Oklahoma's a nice state, just too flat. I can't say I've been over to New Mexico."

            "Oklahoma's definitely flat. They have an old joke about how you can stand on one edge of the state and see clear-across to the other edge."

            I didn't have a watch to check time, but it felt like we'd spent 10 minutes talking about everything under the moon. If I'd had a thousand questions about him before, I'd gotten 501 of them answered, just sitting on his porch. "It's getting late." He said in a brief moment of silence. He stood up, and I saw from a digital clock in his living room through the front screen door that it was well past midnight. I thought he was going to take two steps and bid me goodnight before heading inside, but in a swift motion he answered question one of a thousand, or one of a million; I couldn't care which. He leaned down and wrapped one arm around my waist and hooked the other under the crook of my legs which had been bent at the knees side by side, and at the same time he sat back in his rocking chair, he scooped me into his lap. He didn't start mauling me like an animal, or try to do anything at all right then. He slid back in his chair and got comfortable, so that I was snuggled against his thighs, the entire rear of my body aligned perfectly yet effortlessly with the front of him, the top of my head not quite reaching beneath his chin this way. I could feel the gentle rise and fall of his chest against my upper back, and I would've wondered if he'd somehow drifted off to sleep, had it not been for the slightest feeling of one of his fingers tracing the outline of a hole in the knee of my jeans. A small, pleasant shiver ran from the top of my spine, down to my hips, as if someone had just trickled electricity down the back of my shirt. I became aware of his chest pressing a little more firmly against my back, and the warmth of his arms slipped around either side of my waist to form a liberating lock. In the same moment his chest pressed deeper into me as he took in a breath of my strawberry shampoo, and I felt the soft heat of his breath as he let it out on my neck, whispering in my ear "this is better than the roof."

 

© 2012 ScreamingSarcasm


Author's Note

ScreamingSarcasm
I would greatly appreciate any perspective anyone can give me, mechanically and/or creatively, on any aspect of this story as a whole or in part(s). I'll include a few specific questions I'd like addressed, if anyone's up to answering any of them for me.

1. The first and the second parts of this piece were supposed to mix and match to some degree, but do you feel like they disagree too much, or that one side grossly outweighs the other?

2. Do you feel like I ended the story too abruptly? Is there any reason you didn't like the ending?

3. Does the dialogue seem to stick out badly? Or are there any parts that you yourself noticed as seeming out of place, or misfit for the piece somehow?

4. Are there any parts of this story that stuck out or stuck with you, or carried a heavier weight than the rest of it? Words, sentences, scenes, imagery, or anything that comes to mind, and why?

5. What rubbed off on you about reading this? When you finished, what ran through your head? Any emotions, or connotations?

6. Of course, the traditional, what didn't you like and why? What did you like and why? What would you change? What would you keep the same?

Any guidance or constructive criticism, or expression of approval for that matter is definitely welcomed. Thanks so much in advance, I just hope I haven't scared off half the site.


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Featured Review

I'm not sure I understand your first question?

I liked how you ended the story, but it would like there to be more! :) I enjoyed it, you described everything really well, in a way that it became easy to visualize. You also did a good job at applying detail, not to much that it got excessive and boring, just enough.

dialogue is good :)

i enjoyed the imagery, and I feel like you built the story really well, you set up a good platform before you got the the actually events

what rubbed off on me? it was personally relatable, it have very similar feelings to the girl in this story, though mine aren't so much 'sexual' impulses, desire and attraction of coarse but, without going off on a tangent about my feelings, i was able to go along and understand the girls feelings and desires for this man

criticism... only that there isn't more :) well done.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I'm not sure I understand your first question?

I liked how you ended the story, but it would like there to be more! :) I enjoyed it, you described everything really well, in a way that it became easy to visualize. You also did a good job at applying detail, not to much that it got excessive and boring, just enough.

dialogue is good :)

i enjoyed the imagery, and I feel like you built the story really well, you set up a good platform before you got the the actually events

what rubbed off on me? it was personally relatable, it have very similar feelings to the girl in this story, though mine aren't so much 'sexual' impulses, desire and attraction of coarse but, without going off on a tangent about my feelings, i was able to go along and understand the girls feelings and desires for this man

criticism... only that there isn't more :) well done.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Without expectation I read this story, carried along by your descriptive environment and by the implied sexual tension of a young woman exploring her own feelings. It's a pretty nice premise for your story.

The ending of this chapter caught me a bit by surprise because I could easily imagine the entire book being her explorations entirely in her head. Your vivid writing of her thoughts and feelings at that vulnerable age are very interesting and to me something is lost when those thoughts cross a membrane into action.

However you must consider that I have never studied writing especially the art of narrative fiction and my critique is strictly from the perspective of what I would have wanted to read. It is an elegant piece of writing and I will look for the other part you mention. Maybe you actually address my comment there.

Thank you for sharing this.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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388 Views
2 Reviews
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Added on April 17, 2012
Last Updated on April 17, 2012
Tags: Romance, Seduction, Prose, Short story, Narrative, Young adult