Deep Surrenderings, Episode 5

By: Chelsea M. Cameron

“Hold on, just a second. Let me get my screen right,” I said, adjusting my laptop so it got a better angle on my face. “There, that’s better. Hi.” I gazed at the screen and wished that science had perfected the art of teleportation.

“Hello, Marisol,” Fin said, his blue eyes blazing and making my stomach flutter, even across the thousands of miles that stood between us.

He’d been gone for exactly one week and it had been the longest week of my life. Sure, we hadn’t been together long, but we’d covered a lot of ground already. Fin had impacted my life and I knew I’d never be the same.

“Hey,” I said, even though I’d already greeted him. “I miss you.” Way to state the obvious.

“I miss you. It hurts,” he said, giving me a grim smile. “How’s school and the candle business?” Boring. I didn’t want to talk about me, I wanted to talk about him. I wanted to touch him, kiss him, put my arms around him. But I couldn’t.

“Same. How are you? How’s work?” His mouth, which had been turned upward into a smile made a straight line.

“I don’t want to talk about work.” If we were talking face to face, I might not be as forward as I could be when we were far apart. But we were, so I was much bolder.

“What’s wrong?” I said.

He shook his head and looked away from the webcam.

“Hey, talk to me,” I said, making my voice soft. His jaw clenched, and I could sense he was trying to hold himself together. “Fin. You don’t have to put on a face with me. Just talk to me.”

He looked back at the web cam, and his face softened.

“I’m sorry, Mari Cherry. It’s a habit. It’s nothing, really. Just missing you.” The last words wrenched my already-sore heart, tearing it open just a little bit more. Fin leaving had given me a wound I wasn’t sure was going to heal anytime soon.

Two months left. Well, seven weeks. I tried not to count down the days, but that was impossible. My head had become consumed with math. How many days he’d been gone. How many days until he came back.

“I miss you. I went to your apartment today,” I said with a smile. One of Fin’s parting gifts had been the key to his lavish place, and I’d went there at least every two days since he’d been gone. It made me both happier and sadder to be in those rooms, surrounded by his things and his scent. The last was the most important. Sometimes I’d crawl into his bed and wrap myself in his sheets, imagining him in the bed with me. Touching my skin. I’d turn off all the lights except for the enchanted chandelier, and I’d just lay there and miss him.

But it wasn’t all bad. I had my friends and school and work, so I filled my days with everything I could to dampen the sting of him being gone.

“And how does it look?” he asked.

“I may or may not have rearranged some things,” I said with a sly smile.

“Oh really?” He raised one eyebrow, and I could tell that wound him up a little. Fin liked control, and the fact that he’d even given me a key at all just showed how much he cared for me.

“Just kidding. I’ve left everything as it is. Well, I might have put a few of my clothes in your closet,” I said.

“Do whatever you want. I love the idea of you in my place. Your fingerprints everywhere. Your things mixing with my things.” That made my heart flutter.

“I’ll mix with your things,” I said, making him chuckle. I loved mixing with his things. That was the worst part about being long-distance. Not that I couldn’t have sex with him, but because I couldn’t just reach out and touch him.

“I wish I didn’t have to go, but I do,” he said. He was currently in France, which was six hours ahead. It was early for me, but he was nearly finished with his workday. Hopefully, he’d have time tonight (today for me) to talk again. We usually got our time in little sips, with longer gulps reserved for mornings or evenings.

“I’ll talk to you later, Mari Cherry,” he said. I blew him a kiss, and he smiled before the video cut out.

I sighed and closed my laptop. Chloe, my normal sounding board, was at work, as well as my other friends. That was the bummer of being in school when all your friends had grown-up jobs. Still, if I showed up at one of their workplaces, I was sure they’d make time for me. My friends were pretty spectacular.

I needed to get out. Do something. My morning class had been cancelled, and I found myself with a few unscheduled hours to burn.

First things first, I definitely had to put clothes on. I’d only gotten halfway dressed on top and made myself up to look nice for Fin. I looked down at my pajama bottoms and my lavender-painted toenails.

Time to get myself together. If I could.

“You look miserable,” Chloe said that night as we had drinks at one of the small bars near my apartment. She’d texted me saying she had a bad day and needed a drink, and I definitely needed one.

“Really? I thought I was hiding it so well.” I cringed at the tone in my voice. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to say it like that.” She gave me a sympathetic look and then rubbed my arm.

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