This is a fictional work as part of the “Sonata Knights” short story series.
My hearts slows to a calm as I stood wondering what was next with peeled knuckles and a bloody mouth.
It will hurt to talk for a few days and I have to watch my knees, but with the girl sitting safely next to me none of that really matters. She has been crying, but that doesn’t surprise me. Her hair is brown and it bounces as she sobs with her forehead resting on her arms. I tell her it’s ok. She responds with a sniff and composes herself. I felt my cue to leave approaching.
Then she looks at me with eyes sparkling with fear, hope and something that should break my heart. Something that saw me as the knight that I wasn’t. At least not the type to fall in love with the damsel he rescued.
Not me. I am the knight that obliges the damsel while pining for the evil queen. To melt the cold heart of despair, and return light to eyes that had believed one too many times in a rescue that never came. If fates were indeed cruel, it is my destiny to pursue not the damsel but the distress. For forever? I wonder, as the girl steals a look as curious as a cat among new people.
In the air between us there is a tension of something that squeezes my heart. It feels warm and melting and she is beautiful–so when she looks into my eyes there’s no reason to not look back. To be the knight that I wasn’t, if only for the night.
On the drive home, her scent on my skin hits me like a punch to the solar plexus and my head buzzes like a beehive. The need in her eyes, transmitted with hard and desperate kisses, melts something inside of me that is cold, sober, and ever on guard. Her skin soft, glistening and writhing with anxiety on a bed made for fleeting love, haunting me as I pull into my garage.
In the backyard with a half of a joint rising to join the clouds above me as a stream of smoke, I float towards the stars hoping this time I won’t come down. For a moment, it feels the way love does when it blossoms out of nowhere like a flower emerging from within the crevice of rock. For a moment, it is still a world for knights–a world divided between good and evil, ruled by the ancient machinations of destiny, fortune, and love.
As I sit, I recieve a text saying “goodnight”. Tomorrow we will meet for lunch, we will discuss hopes and dreams. In the evening we’ll drink, laugh and fall once again into bed. In the morning we will stand before an altar with me in black and her, in white. I will wake one day to find her in a warm shower stroking her swollen belly with a smile as I crouch down to feel the kicking of our baby. Many years later, I will think of the moment we lay with our newborn daughter, as I die in her arms.
But I’m not that kind of knight. When the feeling fades with the pain and solitude of desires that could only be longed for, I know it’s time for bed.
Beneath the comforter, I lay awake irritable from the pain running from my knee to jaw. I close my eyes and wait for my mind to think itself to sleep.