Just Breathe | Teen Ink

Just Breathe

July 14, 2011
By Gabriela_Ayala BRONZE, Houston, Texas
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Gabriela_Ayala BRONZE, Houston, Texas
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Favorite Quote:
Don't worry about the people in your past. There's a reason they didn't make it into your future.

Author's note: I had this one friends who had a past, and I helped him to get over it-sort of. He basically inspired me to write this story, along with another one titled "Broken."

The author's comments:
This is not the first chapter. It's almost near the end of the story, but I liked this scene and decided to end the story, then go back to the beginning. So please bear with me.

Michael laid down next to her, and her heart sped up. She swallowed, hyperactively aware of the fact that he was just inches away . He fidgeted, and she stiffened out of habit until he relaxed, but she couldn't. Oh God, she thought as she felt a sudden urge to stroke his face just once, so she balled up her hands. She tried hard not to look at him, knowing that if she did, she would lose the little self control she had. Oh Lord, help me, she prayed silently as she rolled over and heard him exhale sharply. Her breathing stopped, and it seemed like an eternity before she felt him turn around.

That simple act defeated her.

Swallowing the sudden lump in her throat, she prayed with all her might that Michael would say something to her, a whisper, anything. She sighed and turned back around.

Her heart stopped at what she saw.

He was looking at her. but it was more than that. He was starring into her eyes, and it felt as if he could read her very soul.

His eyes held hers long enough to get her pulse racing and her cheeks to burn, and a single thought crossed her mind.

Kiss me, Alyssa thought.

A sudden, crippling wave of desolation hit her at the realization of how much she had hurt him. It made her want to cry. She swallowed again as a single tear rolled down her temple.

His face crumpled in pain, and she saw a vein in his neck pulsing. Silently, he gently wiped the tear from her face, and brushed her hair back from her face. He left his hand resting lightly against her cheek, and caressed her neck, her eyelids, her brow, the bridge of her nose. Her face began growing warm under his palm, and her head began spinning rapidly at the sudden change in atmosphere,

He dropped his gaze for a moment, and it seemed like he was struggling with something. When he looked up at her, the look in his eyes made her stomach muscles tighten. He swallowed convulsively, before looking at her, but just barely. His eyes strayed to her mouth instead.

He gently ran the tip of his thumb across her bottom lip, sending warm shivers down her spine, and her breathing quickened again.

Minutes passed by, and they didn't speak or move again. The only sound that could be heard was the whisper of his hand as it stroked her cheek, and the sound of their breathe. She sighed, and rested her head against his palm. And for the first time in a long time, she was content.

The last the thing that she was conscience was the feel of his hand, and the gleam of his eyes before falling into the deepest sleep she had ever known....

She opened her eyes to the muted light of another day. She glanced at the dresser to check the time, when she remembered where she was.

She was in his apartment.

She tried to turn around, to find a clock, when she felt his arm around her. Her heart sped up when she felt his breathe on the back of her neck. Then she relaxed , suddenly aware of the fact that the air was very cold, and she was very warn underneath the blankets, and by him. She could feel his heart beating and smiled, getting drowsier by the second...

The sharp ringing of her phone brought her back to consciences and she groaned quietly, hoping it would shut up. When it didn’t, she got up hurriedly, yet carefully, so as not to wake him up.

"Hello?" she asked.

"Hey. Where are you? I called your apartment, but I got your answering machine." her sister said in an uncertain voice. Alyssa closed her eyes, exhaling. Elizabeth had to call, didn't she?

"You there?" she asked.

"Yeah," Alyssa said.

"So, where are you?" she asked again.

"With Michael." she said. All was suddenly quiet on the other end of the line.

"Oh," she said.

"Yeah," she said.

"What are doing there?" she demanded. Automatically, her guard was up.

"That's none of your business." she said

"Oh really?" Elizabeth challenged.

"Because considering how he acted yesterday, I don't like you being with hi-" she continued, but she cut her off.

"That wasn‘t his fault." Alyssa said, her anger flaring.

"Oh yeah? Then tell me who’s it is.” she said.

“Mine,” she snarled.

All was quiet at the other end of the line.

"What? You have nothing else to say now or what?" she demanded.

"I… what?" was all Elizabeth said.

" He was upset because of me. Because I was stupid enough to believe what you were telling me, and not him " she lied.

"That was not my fault. You knew what you were getting yourself into, yet you were still willing to be with him. And for the record-" she said.

"Am." she cut her off.

"What?" she said.

"Am still willing to be with him." she said, feeling a sudden gush of warmth as she spoke the words.

"You can't be serious," she said, and she could hear a smirk in her voice.

"Try me, " she snarled and snapped the phone shut without waiting for a response.

She turned around, and took a deep breath, trying to calm down. Trying not to let yesterday creep back into her thoughts. Trying not to think about the way he had looked at her. Or the way he had raised his hand at her, and how angry he looked. A violent shiver that had nothing to do with the cold rocked her.

Stop it, she ordered herself. There is no longer supposed to be fear. She took a deep breath, and entered the bedroom, but the bed was empty.

He was gone.

She whirled, looking for him, as if she missed him by accident. Then she noticed a light in the kitchen. And a really good smell wafting down the hall. She padded along barefoot to the other room.

"Good morning," Michael said when he saw her.

"Morning," she replied, and smiled. He smiled back, as he held out a chair for her.

"Thanks," she said.

He set a small bowl full of cut up strawberries beside her plate of pancakes, and poured her a glass of orange juice, remembering that she had told him it was her favorite.

As he set the glass in front of her, she couldn't help but smile. After sitting across from her, and another grin, she began to cut it into eighths. After eating a bite, she said, "This is really good."

"Thanks," he said. She smiled at him again, and blushed when he winked at her.Her hear quickened,and it didn't really help that he had a smug little smile on his face, as if he knew how her body responded to him.

They ate in companionable silence for awhile, and when she finished her second glass of juice, she leaned across the table without thinking, and quickly kissed him.

They both froze.

"Sorry," she said, as she lowered her gaze. Her heart was suddenly pounding, and her palms felt sweaty. She stayed there, waiting to see if he would kiss her back.

She kept on waiting, but he didn't do anything and the only thought she had was to leave the room. She hurridly put her plate in the sink, and turned, but he grabbed her wrist.

Alyssa didn't turn to see his face. Instead, all she said was "Sorry. I um... I didn't mean to do that."

"Yeah you did." he said. She strained her ears to hear if there was any anger in his voice, or any resentment, but she couldn't hear anything. She glanced down, and saw his hand still on her wrist, but his fingers were slowly closing over hers. Her eyes widened.

"So are you gonna turn around so I can kiss you back, or you gonna keep on standing there?" he went on. She turned, hardly able to believe her ears. She met his eyes, searching in them for any trace that he was joking. There was humor deep in his eyes, but they were mostly serious.

She swallowed, as he took a step towards her. He glanced down for a second, like last night, and it seemed like he was struggling with something. And also like last night, he brushed his thumb across her bottom lip. Her breathe caught in her throat when he leaned down to her, his hand on her neck.

Alyssa closed her eyes as his lips pressed against hers, soft and warm. He placed a hand on her waist, keeping her there, as he parted her lips very slowly. She wrapped her arms around his neck, and he held her so tightly she found it hard to breathe until he pulled away slightly.

As she met his eyes, she saw a mixture of awe and gratitude. He grinned sheepishly, before bending down to kiss her again.

She could have blissfully stayed like that forever, but someone knocked at the door. His lips were suddenly hard on hers, more urgent than before. Her heart raced faster than ever, and her hands wound tight around his hair. There was another knock, but they still didn't move, and she doubted that they could. Impatient, the knocker began rapping at the door, fast and angry now.

Michael groaned, as he reluctantly pulled away from her.

"Why don't you go take a shower while I answer the door?" he asked, his voice husky.

She nodded, and he pressed his lips to hers once more before detangling himself and heading to the door.

She shook her head as if to clear it, and made her way to the bathroom. As she pushed the door open, she saw that a new bar of soap, a bathrobe, a pink sponge and pink sandals along with a toothbrush, and a hairbrush were all sitting on the counter. She smiled when she saw the bud of a summer flower and a note sitting on top of a towel.

"Hey. You can leave your clothes outside, and it'll be washed and dried by the time you leave."

Her smile widened, and she sighed. He was looking out for her.

As she began undressing, she glanced at herself in the mirror, and gave a start. She barely recognized herself. Her hair was a little wild, and her cheeks were flushed. Not to mention her eyes. They were bright, exited, but most of all, happy. Something she hadn't seen in a long time. She bit her lip, trying to control the little jitters that were blossoming in her stomach.

Alyssa stepped in the shower, and let the hot water spray all over her, relaxing her muscles, and calming her pulse. She rubbed some soap in her hair, and on her sponge, scrubbing her skin until it itched. Running her hands through her hair, she untangled it as best she could, and then leaned against the wall, letting the water wash all over her.

It wasn't until the hot water was running out and steam was rolling off of her, that she finally wrapped her head around the idea that they had kissed. It all seemed surreal, but as she remembered the feel of his mouth on hers, and his hair under her fingers... She smiled, the same glowing sensation in her chest.

As she stepped out of the shower, she jumped, and gave another start.

Michael was standing there, his back facing her, very subtly giving her privacy in spite of the fact that he was in the same room with her while she was wet and naked.

"Sorry," she said immediately. "Your sister brought this over. It's a change of clothes." he said, holding up a bag in his hand.

She took it from him, and wrapped herself in a towel, before running her hand over the flower. She placed her hand on his shoulder, and he turned, his eyes on hers.

"I probably should have waited," he said at last.

"No," she said, a small smile on her lips as she brushed a strand of hair from his face, wondering for the hundredth time how she could have doubted him. He caught her hand, and interlaced his fingers with hers.

"She wanted me to tell you something, but I don't know if you wanna hear it," he said. She waited patiently for the rest. He sighed, and continued.

"She says sorry, and that she doesn't mean it, but to keep in mind what she said anyways, because you never know." he said, forming the statement into a question.

She closed her eyes for a second in irritation, but opened them when he gently touched her face.

"Sorry," she apologized, "She just... she kind of tends to take things into extremes with certain stuff." she said, and he nodded in understanding. He lifted her chin with a finger, and smiled.

She smiled back automatically, and he sighed.

"I'm gonna let you change, alright?" he said, and Alyssa could tell that we was trying not look anymore down than necessary.

She nodded, and after he had left, sagged against the door. What did her sister mean by "you never know,"? She groaned in frustration, but made up her mind that her sister was not going to ruin her day anymore. She will not screw with my head, she told herself, as she pulled the brush through her hair, and rummaged through her bag.

She pulled out her flat iron, and her favorite skirt. In spite of what her sister did, she had to admit, she knew what she liked to wear. There was also a pair of black skinny jeans, and her favorite heels along with two tank tops, one black and one white.

She pulled her clothes on, and was working on fixing the mess that was her hair, when she caught sight of the flower on her bag again. She grinned foolishly, remembering how sheepish he looked as he walked out. And not once while she was doing her hair, did it fade.

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