The Language of Little Things

Rachael Warecki

Rachael Warecki

John pulls me across the gearshift and kisses me, hard, and I think about yanking my head out of his hands, sidewinding out of the car, because I feel like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind—that scene where Rhett digs his fingers into her temples while she squirms and the lights flicker, or maybe they don’t flicker; I never get my movie references right—but I can’t open the door because it’s storming outside, pissing rain, and I don’t like to get wet unless it’s on my own terms: the shower, yes; the swimming pool, sometimes; but not this kind of rain, which machine-guns downward in a relentless rhythm while my mind cues up “Tara’s Theme,” because even though I don’t remember (and don’t give a damn) if it rained on Scarlett’s plantation, this kiss in this car in this storm recalls that epic crescendo of violins—

—and that’s John’s fault, too, I realize, as I twist my head to escape his fingers tangled in my hair, his methane breath invading my mouth: that everything’s a grand romantic gesture, like the hundred long-stemmed roses he gave me for my birthday, which died a languid death in my dorm room, or the chocolates and petals he spread across his bed for our first Valentine’s Day, barely a week after we started dating, or the fact that even now he’s fumbled the radio dial to some cheesy eighties power ballad station; he doesn’t speak the language of little things—if he did, I could explain about last night, with Michael: the way he recited “‘Why do I love’ You, Sir,” the way his tongue navigated all those lovely em-dashes as we huddled shoulder-to-shoulder in my bed, no need for grander, more definitive punctuation—but John can’t move beyond the architecture of simple sentences and sweeping Southern staircases, and so when I tell him (as he withdraws to the driver’s seat and the rain traces patterns on the window behind him), I say that when Michael kissed me last night, the Dickinson collection spread-eagled against my thigh to save our place, I felt as if I would never go hungry again.

8 Comments

  1. Love this piece so much.

  2. This is so beautiful Rachel.

  3. YES. This is what FLASH is all about! the g-force alone is worth the ride. Kuddos, Rachael!

  4. THIS is what flash is all about. The g-force alone is worth the ride!

  5. so good!

  6. Now that is a scene! Great story!

  7. Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate the love!

  8. Great writing Rachael!!

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