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Steps

“You've been angry,” said Krystena appearing silently on bare footed steps from the kitchen and carrying a freshly brewed and over sized, steaming mug of tea.

It was not an accusation that she articulated – only the merest of observations. Nevertheless, her words shattered the vacuum bell-jar of self-imposed isolation which I had drawn around myself while sitting before a black laptop at my cluttered work table and, pounding at the keyboard, viciously battered innocent words into lines to form sentences and paragraphs.

Krystena's ghost-like, silent movement brought her to my side where she extended a hand and I felt the cool flesh of her palm on the back of my neck and shoulders.

“... and tense,” she added as an after thought. Her fingers explored the knotted mess of cords and muscles around the protruding bumps of my spine.

I saved the overly-wrought manuscript and closed the lid of the computer. It whirred softly for a moment and then went to sleep like a bird in a covered cage. I turned sideways in my severe, wooden chair to face her and, carefully taking the mug of tea, I placed it on the table beside the sleeping computer. Then I made her sit in my lap. I returned the mug of tea to her and, while she cautiously took a sip of the spice-laden, exotically perfumed infusion, my hands came to rest, the fingers interlocked, around her delicate waist, feeling the rhythmic movement of her belly against my forearm with her each intake of breath. She replaced the mug on the table and draped an arm around my neck, turning to regard me with those haunting eyes.

Her eyes were what had first attracted me to Krystena and the vivacity which showed there as contrasted to the odd immobility of her overall facial expression, as though she saw no need for redundancy when her eyes already expressed more than what was necessary. With the size of her eyes - set off in an overly-pallid visage - all one needed was the patience to understand her eyes and she emerged luminously as a intensely thoughtful, profoundly intelligent and passionate if, generally non-verbal, individual. There was revealed, however, when she did speak, a peaceful knowledge and deep, abiding compassion that reflected much inner understanding.

“It's my own dissatisfaction with things,” I answered her finally.

“IT speaks,” she quipped and I smiled at her. Her eyes smiled back at me.

“I don't mean for it to affect you,” I apologised and, freeing a hand, I slowly rubbed her back. “I know that's not right,” I assured her.

I knew, however, that, as perceptive and empathetic as she was, she could not help absorbing the conflict that resided in me. I gave her a gentle squeeze and her cheek came to pose against mine, bringing with its vicinity, the fresh scent of her body.

“Anger isn't productive,” she indicated to me once released from my tight grip and my hands, again, posed over the crest of her hip.

“I know that, Krys, but frustration leads to anger when dissatisfaction doesn't lead to effective change. It's a time parameter thing – I can't be where I am but I can't make a move until everything is ready and it's taking too bloody long. That's where I am now.” Her eyes acknowledged my argument and she blinked slowly.

Making a move of her own, Krystena stood and took my hand. She led me to the ample, tapestry patterned sofa where she made me lean back on plush, stacked cushions. She curled up beside me with her legs tucked under her and, leaning close, I could feel the pressure of her breasts against my side and the flutter of her heart within. She enfolded me in her arms and rested her head on my chest. I closed my eyes, savouring the nearness of her beauty and caring emotion.

“Any destination is only steps away,” she intoned softly and I perceived her by the vibrations of her voice transmitted through my body. I was lulled by her warmth.

“If the steps are made, then the destination will be achieved,” she continued. “Some journeys are longer and some are shorter but, as long as you stay to the path to which you strive, you will also arrive at its end.

I began to drift, imagining myself – and her – walking hand in hand and sharing a path that would lead to destinations which we both desired.

“Remember that all of these destinations are just weigh-stations along the path that is your life because there is but one ultimate destination which we must all share.”

I continued to revel in her tranquil monologue and felt the tension seeping noxiously from my body only to dissipate and vanish.

“So, be at peace with your journey and the steps you make upon it - the destinations will come – the very ones that you take the steps to achieve.”

I felt the last of the anger drift away and felt my body subsiding into relaxation with the thought, powerfully present in my head, of each step being a success for which to elate, rather than, berate myself.

I felt a sudden poke of a finger in my ribs.

“You fell asleep,” accused Krystena's eyes. Her face was very close to mine. “Did you hear a word I said?”

“Every one,” I said and wanted to repeat it but, by then, I was kissing her.

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