Slow Dancing In A Burning Room

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The familiar, powerful winds lifted my summer skirt right up as I stepped out of the O’Hare airport in Chicago. I fixed my skirt using both my arms, flustered but enjoying the cool wind touching my skin, a welcome change compared to the Texas heat. The windy city was playfully welcoming me back.A year ago, I was fighting back tears and boarding a flight to Austin, having ended my six-year-long relationship with Jim. Deep down, we knew it would eventually come to this. We wanted different things from life and were just delaying the impending by latching on. I wanted a marriage, a family, and a white picket fence, whereas Jim didn’t believe in marriages, having seen his parents separate at a young age.Inevitably, fighting began, quickly increasing in frequency and intensity. I secretly hoped that he would one day change his mind, but, no matter how long I waited, that day never came. Growing tired of the constant bickering, we mutually decided to end things. It broke my heart, and it was extremely hard to live in this city after that. Everywhere I went brought a crashing realization of how much I missed him. Soon after, I took a job in Austin and moved out of Chicago with a broken, heavy heart.Today, one year after that life-altering incident, both of us have moved on; at least we pretend that we have. A couple of months şişli escort back, a common friend hesitantly mentioned that Jim is dating a woman from work and things had started getting serious between them. Nodding casually, I pretended to be as disinterested as I could, but deep down it felt like my heart was broken all over again, and shards of glasses ripped my insides for the millionth time. It’s ridiculous to have felt this way; I should be happy for him. Isn’t that what we wanted for each other? More importantly, I was with this wonderful guy, who was more than willing to give me everything that Jim didn’t. I should be happy, but I still find myself crying at night thinking of what Jim and I could have been, only to wake up and don a brave face for the world.As I walk back into this city, the city that we once called home together, my bravado starts slipping again, flooding my insides with wretched longing, making my stomach twist, pushing a sharp pain into my chest. When Jim asked me for dinner over the phone, I thought catching up as old friends wouldn’t hurt. However, as I am getting dressed for dinner, I feel like I’m walking into something I’m not ready to handle. I look at myself in the mirror, blue jeans hugging my long slender legs and a yellow crop top, showing my tempting navel and slim, twenty-eight-inch mecidiyeköy escort waist. I wonder why am I dressed up like that, as memories of all the times Jim mercilessly tickled me, chasing me around the apartment, flood my vision, secretly hoping the outfit will make him think of the same.We picked a restaurant that was within walking distance from our apartment. Damn! No, It’s just Jim’s apartment, now. It’s agonizing, as I mentally correct myself. I watch him walk towards our dinner table, looking as handsome as ever.Dressed in a casual white t-shirt, dark leather jacket, and black jeans, he flashes his million-dollar smile and pulls me to him in a warm hug. I completely lose myself in the familiarity of his fragrance. His arms naturally fall on my waist as his fingers graze my bare skin, bringing a ripple to my insides. We take a heavy breath as we let each other go and take our seats.”It’s so good to see you, Annie,” Jim says, flashing that smile again.I just smile weakly in response, unable to form a sentence as another wave of sentiments takes over me.”Are you okay?” He asks in a sincere tone as he squeezes my hand gently.I nod convincingly, as I plaster a fake smile on my face, hoping he will buy into my facade. He hesitates, knowing there is something wrong but carries on with the dinner.Except for this little episode, we have a surprisingly great dinner. Conversation flows effortlessly with no awkwardness, whatsoever. We forget about the earth-shattering breakup, the people we are dating, and the commitments we made to them. I feel complete again, the aching in my heart is gone, replaced by a contentment that I’ve been longing for since I left Chicago.Out of habit, we exit the restaurant and start walking down the tiny, city street towards Jim’s apartment, hand in hand, enjoying the summer winds. We cross that ice-cream shop that we used to love, Kurimu.”Ice cream?” we both ask at the same time, laughing at how well we still know each other.Jim always used to tease me about my bizarre taste in ice cream flavors; I order the “purple yam,” making it too easy for him to pull my leg like old times. Silly giggles and comfort that only we can give each other make the evening so enjoyable. We exit the shop and continue to walk down the street.Reality hits hard, and we suddenly stop in front of the apartment gate. The dam keeping my emotions in check cracks open, almost knocking me over with a huge tide of agony. I put my face into my hands and burst into uncontrollable tears, balling in the middle of the street. Jim rushes to my side, holding me tightly, letting me cry a little in his arms. My face is buried in his chest, staining his white t-shirt with the mascara running down my face.”I am so sorry I am ruining your white t-shirt,” I murmur as I come out of the embrace.

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