It was her shoulders that did it.
Shoulders? you ask.
Yes. Her shoulders. They were perfect.
Yes. I know it doesn’t make sense, but they were flawless and they drew me to her.
When I first walked into the restaurant, I barely noticed her. At a table with a group of women. Lots of empty champagne glasses evidencing enjoyment of the bottomless mimosas. At first glance, none of the women seemed remarkable or noteworthy.
I accepted the table the hostess sat me at right next to this talking, laughing, smiling group and waited for my lunch companion. Checked the menu, ordered a drink. Waited.
And looked over. Right there, mere feet away. Smooth skin, flawlessly formed, bearing a light tan of early spring. Shoulders that were created just for me. To touch. That’s all I wanted to do. Touch her shoulders. To caress with my palm. Run a finger along them to see goose bumps sprout.
Shoulders. Do you think she would have been offended if I had leaned over. “You have the most incredible shoulders I have ever seen. May I touch one?” Maybe she’s waiting for that. For somebody to touch her.
Do things like that ever happen? In a flash of lightning, a momentary gasp, the oddball question that might seem freaky actually works.
Maybe, just maybe, she’s got the same script as me. The one that says that something as simple as the sight of her shoulders drew me to her and I took a chance and said something more likely to cause her to pull back and me to run in shame. But the script reads differently than that.
The script says it was her shoulders and that I asked. And she blinked once or twice, turned to her friends who wore various expressions of … disgust, amazement, envy … before looking back at me. She smiled and barely nodded.
As though in a spotlight, my hand reached across the divide and I did it. I caressed her shoulder with my palm. Her eyes closed and she went somewhere into herself, smiling slightly as I ran my finger barely touching her smooth skin and saw the thousands of bumps pop up along her arm.
That’s all there was. My fingers on her skin. Touching.
When I pulled back, she remained still for a few seconds longer. I looked at her and saw that her shoulders were not the only beautiful thing about her. She leaned to me. “Thank you.”
What happened next?
Yes. Nothing. My lunch companion came. Her party ended and she left. But, I touched her shoulder.