Thursday, October 7, 2010

Stranger In the Night


"We should dance," Brady smiled. Prom night.


I heard a voice. "Excuse me," someone said from behind.


"Sorry, sorry" Brady muttered.


Me, I couldn't speak. It was his eyes; they smoldered. I had never seen a guy with black eyes before. Taking one look at his face --pale, chiseled, eerily handsome-- I was totally, totally lost.


"Stephanie," he grinned. I parted my lips, but couldn't speak.


"Stephanie?" I couldn't hear Brady. I couldn't even tell he was still there. Everything was a big, buzzing blur; his hand at my waist, it wasn't even there. I swear it wasn't.


"Stephanie," the guy said again. Brady was gone. Where was Brady?


I looked at his lips, and gulped. He was so enthralling, so gorgeous it was frightening; I couldn't look at him for long. But I had to. I looked at his lips because I would have combusted if I looked at his eyes any longer. His lips were smooth, elegant, so different from his cold, dark eyes, and suddenly...


We were outside the school, outside with the wind. I hadn't remembered this calm June night having any wind. He pressed me tightly against the wall. I gasped.


"How do you know my name?" His chest pushed me tighter and tighter against that brick wall.


He brushed his lips gently against mine, gently like a spinning autumn leaf, and I shuddered, but complied.


Looking back on it now, he never answered my question. I didn't notice, then.


He grabbed my wrists with both hands and locked them into place. He fingered my corsage, the one Brady had given me that night, and I was so scared he would take it off, but he didn't. Brady seemed thousands of years away.


"What's your name?" I persisted, hardly breathing. I couldn't breathe at all. He was holding me too tightly.


"Hunter," he said. With that smooth, sly smile of his: "I'm Hunter."


Despite the chills that sent my senses screaming wherever his lips touched, I frowned, when they found my neck.


"Get off me," My screams fell silent. No one heard me, and neither did he.


Before I knew what was happening, one of his hands tautened around my neck, and the other slid up my hip, under my dress.


"Hunter," I pleaded, helplessly.


When his lips met mine again, I found myself kissing him back. What was I doing? Our lips locked fiercely; tongues touched, teeth clicked.


"Stephanie?" I choked for breath, and fell forward. My face hit the ground first. The sting was nothing compared to the burning of my wrists where Hunter's fingers had once been, the scalding of my neck where they had tightened, and the heaviness of my chest, where he once was. Once. Hunter had vanished.


People, Leila, Brady, others who I couldn't recognize in the blur of tears, rushed towards me. Leila grasped my face --"Oh my God. She's bleeding!"-- and her cool fingers flitted around my body, feeling the scrapes on my skin, the damage of my dress.


"Hunter," was the last thing I said that night.


"Hunter who? What are you doing? Why are you so pale?" Questions shot out in the air, all of them unanswered.


I realized none of them saw him. He had gotten away before they found me. We all breathed hard, eyes wide, but no one else's heart was pumping faster than mine. I looked around. Hunter was gone, leaving only a slight breeze. A single red petal plucked off a rose on my corsage. I watched as it drifted away, floating, softly floating, into the dark, lonely night.