Coils

Like the Prose: Challenge #11 – Write a first-person narrative where the narrator is not the hero.

Curly hair fragment as a texture background composition

I can’t help but stare at her hair. Chestnut coils cascading down from the top of her head nearly to the small of her back. I fantasize about running my fingers through it and letting them catch on the curls.

The weight of her tresses must bother her for she rolls her head back and forth from shoulder to shoulder as if working out tension. I can only imagine what it must feel like to carry that mass around with her on a daily basis.

I decide I must have it. Her hair. Her.

I learn her patterns. She works in an art gallery, wears black far too frequently. I understand that dark colors are less likely to detract from the art, but a deep green would set off her hair, and suit her pale coloring, so much more favorably.

I spend time gazing at the works she represents. I strike up a conversation about one of the better pieces. Most is contemporary, abstract, cold. The piece I gravitate to is all warmth and curves. The female form exploded.

“Do you like it?” she asks. “It’s one of my own.”

I invite her for a coffee.

She suggests wine and tapas instead.

I accept.

We see each other several times over the next few weeks, months, but never on a set day. “I’m in town for a day,” I lie. “Dinner?” This continues. Our acquaintanceship becomes a friendship, a romance, a casual relationship.

When we’re sitting side by side in a banquet seat at a restaurant, I tease her by playing with her hair. It’s soft, I realize, and smells faintly of peaches. When our lunches and dinners become bedroom trysts, I watch her hair curtain my nether parts from view as she kneels over me to give me pleasure. When, later, our positions are reversed, her hair is fanned around her on the pillow, and I’m nearly overcome by the sight.

“Sometimes,” she teases, when I’m playing with her hair as we sip wine and nibble artisan pizza in front of the television, “I think you only want me for my hair.”

She is more correct than she knows.

Relationships built on lies and half-truths never last. She begins to suspect that I’m not what I seem. I claim to travel for work, but never tell her what that work is. I never invite her to my place, only spend time at hers.

When the news begins to carry the story of a serial killer whose kills are on certain days of the week, she laughs and notices, “We never seem to meet on Thursdays.”

“I never got the hang of them,” I answer, quoting a cheesy science fiction novel with a line that is both funny and suitably cryptic.

She is not amused.

She tells me she’s not comfortable with our arrangement.

She wants answers, or an ending.

I give her the latter.

We were in bed, of course. I made sure she was satisfied before I wrapped my hands around her neck.

It doesn’t take that much strength to squeeze the life out of someone, but it takes patience. Perseverance, really.

Of course, I kept a memento of our time together. I’m sure I don’t need to specify, but I will, because where others will see one more box of hair, I see a treasure chest of chestnut coils.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Coils by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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