So close, yet so far-
His beauty leaves me breathless.
Alas! I teach him.
The early sun gives the classroom a misty sheen as the students drag in; some in clumps, laughing and jostling, some in pairs, lovers perhaps, and a few alone. The buzzing exuberance of youth, knowing everything; knowing nothing at all.
He is always alone. Today he has given up his usual black for a gray shirt shot with silver threads that catches the rays of light. He always wears long sleeved silk shirts, open at the cuff, slightly too long over his beautiful tapering fingers. He bites his fingernails. I noticed that the first time we talked.
Beautiful, expressive, somewhat frightened sea gray eyes always watching with careful control; lashes lying like spiders against pale cream cheeks as he peeps out from under to watch his world and choose whether to participate. At 22, everything is his choice.
He never speaks unless spoken to and never wastes his words. I've only heard his voice the count of the fingers on one hand; soft, giving the image of honey flowing slowly over a hot croissant. It has been enough to make me want to hear him whisper my name forever.
Seated, slouched, stretching long legs, slightly splayed, innocently making my body want him just by opening himself to the sunlight, his black jeans revealing more than they should, less than I wanted.
Tossing his head, the long blonde strands flipping back out of his eyes for three seconds, just to fall back down into those stormy gray green eyes, he settles, waiting for the class to begin, for me to speak, for me to teach him but the things I want to teach him aren't in the text, aren't in my notes..... the things I want to teach him, want him to teach me are in my heart, in my mind, in my fingertips. Teacher, quietly desiring; student, shyly considering. I know I can't want this. I understand that he looks at me as a mentor, a talented teacher. I doubt he has ever looked at me as a man.
Today is Wednesday. I wait from Wednesday to Wednesday, quietly holding my breath. He plays for me today. Class finally ends as I gather my things and walk toward the practice rooms. I can hear the scrree-scraw of various strings, no melody, but a melodious sound, the tuning of the instruments. I don't need to search for him. He always sits in the chair by the bay window that faces the sea, carefully placing a chair for me.
I sit stiffly, afraid to look; unable to look away. He has his cello out and is plucking at the strings, his bow propped against his right leg. As he caresses the long slender neck and settles the wooden curves against his inner left thigh, he seems to be embracing the cello as he would a lover. He rolls the cuff of his silver shirt up off his left hand and picks up his bow.
The sounds that come from his cello are low and earthy, a deep and tender moan of music. A few bars in, I recognize the piece he has chosen to play for me.
Do not! Must not! Can't
Tell you how much I love you -
Look into my eyes.
Eight weeks of watching him, so handsome and talented, so admired and everything I've ever wanted. He's so beyond my reach. Why would a man who can compose a piece of music for God look at a boy who is just learning how to live? I've practiced this piece that he wrote for the concert with all the feelings he brings into my heart.
His eyes stare out the window but I know he's listening. Is he listening to my performance? Critiquing me for my style and energy? Can he hear what I'm trying to say with his music?
I've never made love with a man. I've been too afraid. I know what my heart wishes. It wishes he would look at me and really see me. Not just a kid with a cello but a young man who wants him. He could teach me. I'd listen. I'd learn.
The bow, straining across the taut strings, sings. Tries to let him hear the quivering want, the swelling need. If I raise my eyes; if I let my eyes speak, he'll see. It's really better if I let my hair cover my eyes; keep my eyelashes down.
The last notes slowly fade and I realize I have to look at him. What will he see when he looks in my eyes?
I thought: "Don't go yet!"
Our eyes met, aching silence -
He spoke: "I love you!"
He raised those sea gray eyes and I saw behind the music.
He looked behind my lashes and saw my desire.
The silence was deafening, aching.........time hung like the last leaf then crashed back on us both.
I walked to the door, turning to look at him, the cello resting in between, those long long legs, his eyes, bold now, saying what I desperately wanted to hear.
"I would be the cello," I said quietly.
"I would play you," he answered.
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