Book excerpts

Read sample: Flawed

Read sample: Flawed
Short story by Julie Mornelli
© Julie Mornelli – All rights reserved.

“Love isn’t finding a perfect person. It’s seeing an imperfect person perfectly.” -Sam Keen

We met on a winter evening at a party that turned out to be incredibly dull. Things unfolded fast between the two of us. I had gone out of sheer boredom, because I didn’t want to just go home and be by myself. Because I didn’t have anything else, or anything better, to do. Because we can get acquainted with solitude all too easily, all too quickly, and when we’ve tamed it so well that it has become our companion, we just can’t get rid of it. Solitude clings to us like an old lover. That evening, I had resolved to be unfaithful.

Later, he told me that he, too, came because he was bored and was looking for an easy distraction, something as light and pleasant as a glass of cool Chardonnay on a summer evening.

We spotted each other from a distance, we liked each other at first sight, each standing at one end of a large room abuzz with people far lonelier and more aimless than we were, but who didn’t even know it.

We stared from afar for a long time. No furtive smile, no shy glances… No, we were gauging each other without blinking or looking away. No playing games between us: two people well-versed in the art of seduction, who knew how and when to bend or break the rules.

I didn’t move. I had no intention of moving. I told myself he would make the first step, and I was right. He came to me, with a nonchalant, self-assured, devil-may-care swagger. Did he have a shadow of a doubt? Unlikely. You only doubt when you’re afraid of failure. He had no such fears.

Without a word, he pulled me close. When we first kissed, I barely knew the sound of his voice, and didn’t know his name yet.

Up close, we liked each other even more. Glued to one another, we savored the moment, lost in the fleeting pleasure of a passing encounter, one more in our lives.

“Let’s go,” he said between two kisses, very matter-of-fact. It wasn’t an order. It was a given, something we both implicitly agreed to. I didn’t ask where we were going. What did it matter? Nor did I ask why, I knew the answer to that one. I simply followed him. A carefree, relaxed mood set in, soft and breezy like a dance step, the kind you’ve practiced for a long time, with eyes closed. We knew the song and the music by heart, but we listened and allowed ourselves to be carried away just the same, one more time, once again, for no other reason than we wanted to, and it felt good.

I softly felt with my lips and fingers, his oh-so-pale skin, soft and fine like a girl, while he watched me silently, his gaze hidden behind long, black lashes, a dark, somber gaze that noticed everything and revealed nothing. I liked this absence of words between us, as we lay wrapped in the intimacy of the cosy, indolent night. We didn’t care about tomorrow, about after, about all the things we wouldn’t need to say.

This was fine, just as it was: casual, free, and unique. It should have stopped right there and then. But, of course, we saw each other again.

* * *

How does it end?

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