Pablo Michael’s Picture Choice: Both
Title: Mystic Melinda
All the young men succumbed to her alluring aura, at least the men I knew when I was eighteen. They couldn’t resist the beauty surrounding her. They needed to see what was behind the veil of her aloof and fickle moods brought about with each victim’s pursuit. I don’t know who bequeathed her with the name, Mystic Melinda, but I discovered the mystery of her existence no other man could comprehend. While they behaved like foolish boys smitten with the new girl in school, I stood my distance, observing the clumsiness of their amorous attempts at seducing a distant woman, who behaved like a wild animal, never to be tamed and caged. Each time a friend of mine prowled, like a stalker, he lavished her with a different approach in making love. I watched her run rapidly away, disappearing into the open arms of a new lover. Floundering in rejection after they showered her with their flattering ideals, they couldn’t comprehend why they had failed in conquering her seductive appeal and win her love. My roommate, Kevin, had fallen madly in love with her, his stomach still knotting in infatuation’s turmoil, a month after she had rejected him.
She had a beauty unmatched by most exceptionally attractive women. She didn’t have any outstanding features most men find attractive. She had an average feminine body, but all her proportions fit pleasingly in a t-shirt and blue jeans. It was the mysterious aura surrounding her, sucking men, blindly into her games of foreplay. Her milky, light blue eyes, and soft auburn eyebrows, curved slightly higher at the ends away from the narrow top of her small, aquiline nose. Those eyes trapped any man caught staring too long, encouraging him to delve into her mischief. Her long, sun-bleached hair bounced in waves when she tossed her head, avoiding any suspected intrusion to the private treasures in her heart. Those treasures and her ownership of them, all men lusted.
After all my friends had attempted to capture her and failed, if just for a second’s flash in time, like the fleeting blink of her eyes cast when she said yes and then good bye, I finally allowed my defenses to drop. I began a slow paced walk beside her but with a safe distance separating us. I was unclear whether I would eventually open my heart to her. We began a dance of our shared appreciation in nature.
My first step with her ocurred when a group of our friends agreed to go on a picnic to the beach. Mystic Melinda asked me if I wanted to go for a walk. Without pondering for a well thought plan, I agreed. We strolled along a high rocky cliff above the pounding crash of turbulent waves. The power of the ocean churned the turquoise water and green kelp into foaming white whirlpools. The lure of the sea fascinated both of us. We continued to walk in silence, inhaling the aromas of wildflowers growing abundantly, beside the narrow dirt trail. She stopped, bent over, and picked a white daisy. After caressing the petals, she gave me the flower. I felt I was building her trust. I picked a chain of blue lupine blossoms. We both inhaled its fresh fragrance. When I gave her the flower, we turned around, stopping once above a cove, where the waves violently slammed against the sheer cliff. She tossed the lupine flower down into the violent surf. We watched with fascination, until she gently took the daisy from me and allowed it to fall slowly into the turbulent waters, too.
When we returned for lunch with the others, a few of the men asked questions about my progress with her. The girls queried her in the same manner. We both smiled and simply answered, “We had a nice walk.” We actually did, even though not one word was spoken.
A week later, a powerful Pacific storm pounded the coast with near hurricane force winds and drenching rain. That night, Mystic Melinda and her roommate, Katie, knocked on our apartment door. When my roommate, Kevin, answered the door, Melinda was bubbling effervescent words of excitement. She wanted all of us to go climb the old volcanic peak, nearby. This mountain was an ancient volcano that had been drastically reduced in size by centuries of erosion. In spring, after the winter rains fell, wild oats, yellow mustard, and an array of wildflowers grew along its slopes along with green chaparral. The four of us, dressed with knit hats on our heads, scarfs around our necks, jackets, jeans, and tennis shoes, began scaling the gradual slope of the peak. At times, the gusts of wind howled with such great force that the heavy rain blew horizontally. Melinda and I climbed faster than Kevin and Katie. When we had nearly scaled the top, I stopped and turned around. I inhaled the vigor of the storm. Looking for the others, I saw Kevin a hundred feet downslope. I perused the darkness for Katie but couldn’t see her. Then, I looked back for Melinda above me, but couldn’t see her. Slowly, I climbed to the top. Glancing down the other side of the peak, I barely could see an image of Katie with her arms wrapped around Melinda. Katie’s long, black hair blew in circles around their pose in a dark shroud, while Melinda’s blond hair was flying around her head haphazardly with the force of the wind. When Kevin reached me at the top, Katie and Mystic Melinda had already joined me. Melinda and I literally ran down the mountain, screaming along with the roar of thunder after lightning lit the stormy night sky. With each rumble, we attempted to scream louder than the ground shaking sound, until we were back in the apartment.
Later that spring, Kevin and Melinda were locked into a longer affair, while she and I remained platonic lovers. Mystic Melinda appeared happier, smiling, and laughing more than the silence of the months before. I was content to enjoy the speechless moments we shared, as an agreement within our souls of how we survived within nature’s boundaries. Our mutual silence had melted the frozen, steel bars protecting our secret treasures, hidden in our vulnerable hearts.
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Pablo Michaels writes LGBT fiction and has published with Naughty Nights Press, http://naughtynightspress.blogspot.com You can follow him at @bell2mike