The night is replayed in her mind as disjointed flashbacks; the wait for it to come, the absolute feeling of trust that time, place, and people couldn’t be tweaked to be made more perfect. “More perfect” seems an atrocious, meaningless idea, in fact, only thought of by someone unfortunate enough to not have partaken in the moment. Her sight, hearing, and sense of smell were aligned with her heart – beating strong and happy - attuned to perceive the slightest change in her body. She wasn’t sure whence the change would first appear: would her toes tingle first? would her knees give out? would her chest burn in heat, her heart too fast to be contained? would she feel sick before she felt great? A slight worry emanating from her hardened, dark subconscious – the part of the brain bred for telling her how wrong and dumb she is – was flicked into nothing after a careful look into the eyes of her accomplices. They were with her in anticipation, holding on for the moment they’d thoroughly and carefully tried to predict so many nights before.
It came to her first. She may have been more spiritually open, a better listener of her own flesh, or maybe just physically weaker and succumbing. Whatever the reason, or combination thereof, it came to her first and she knew it right away. She saw dear faces, felt a pleasant if forgettable breeze that circulated the clear, starlit September skies. One blink later, and her arms were raised, her knees bent, her eyes shut. She bit her lower lip. The tingling feeling did come, but it stopped not at the toes, calves, hips, or abdomen. It was everywhere simultaneously, and there was nothing left for her to do than to part her lips into a beautiful, wide smile. Yes. Yes! Hahaaaaa, YES! She found her fingers on her neck, providing the caress she craved and now refused to deny herself. She wanted to touch her legs, her arms, her hands, her own face, lower back. She wanted to meet herself via these fingers so mindlessly used, so rarely appreciated. But before she embarked in this rediscovery, she looked to the others. I want you to feel this. I want you to have what I have. You deserve it. I love you.
Words repeatedly suppressed for fear of rejection, fear of misunderstanding, fear of embarrassment, fear of the silence… Fear now was not part of her vocabulary. She hugged them tightly, noticing her forearms and fingertips extend to touch as much of the loved one as the embrace physically could. What she didn’t reach by limb, she hoped to touch by spirit. Eventually they would all be with her, she knew it.
As she waited for them to join, she felt the necessity of turning to the sky, and opening her ears. Everything that should be there, was. The breeze was gentle on the skin of her face after a day’s hard sun. The melodies intertwined with the oxygen she breathed, and she felt them equally important to take in, equally vital for the maintenance of her system. Suddenly every part of her was alive, every action, however slight, sparkled like the millions of stars lighting the sky that night. She had complete trust in the love she felt inside, the hands of her partners, the smiles of strangers.
When they all came, she was ecstatic. She could feel their love, she watched as they moved closer, touched, gifted her with warm smiles, eyes overflowing with kindness. For the rest of the night they danced, talked, cared for one another, so aware of what they shared together.