Her love caressed with the softness of a mother’s lips. Passion gripped me for this beautiful Catalan woman whose green eyes pierced and tugged at my soul with the gravity of a thousand suns. My heart wrenched when we parted and exploded when we came together. Life had just begun.
My mind emptied when her arms enfolded me, enveloped by her breath, her fragrance, her warmth, my face pressed hard to the translucent white of her neck as I pushed and clutched and struggled to become her. Her searing flame boiled my blood and swelled my desire as we thrust together into regions of unexplored emotion. Peak upon peak we ascended ‘til at last we reached the climax of energy, breath catching in our throats, lips pressed together in a wild frenzy of lust and desire and heat.
Together we sought to live and smile and laugh and love for the few short months ahead, for I would leave Spain soon and a year would pass before our lips could touch again. The thought saddened us and we pushed it away, yet it lingered there, a dark foreboding on the horizon, an unwelcome intruder that brought an edge of sadness to our joy.
Summer passed and with it warm days spent walking on Mediterranean beaches and nights cooled by breezes from the sea as we explored the narrow cobblestoned streets of Barcelona. We danced in discotheques and sipped sangria in bodegas, we shared cones of fried rice and shrimp bought from street vendors, we sat in chapels and listened to the chanting of monks for we both loved beautiful music. My hand always pressed to the small of Susanna’s back; a mere wisp of a woman, I feared she would fly away on the tail of a wind. Our hands rarely unclasped and her head rested in my shoulder. I had never known such joy.
Autumn arrived and cooler nights, and rain brought a danger I had not known existed. A car accident and my dear love lying in a hospital bed. Her frail body erupted with joy when her beautiful eyes glimpsed me in the doorway. Pain forgotten as she leaped from bed and threw herself into my arms; my tears washed her hair, her happiness melted my heart.
Oh, how I loved you Susanna.
I stood over the coffin and gazed at my lifeless love. Lungs unable to cope had given way to release from pain-wracked breath. Her white skin whiter, parchment, black hair still a starless, moonless night. Her green eyes held shut by death’s tight grip, I could only hold them in my memory. Her tiny body lay in the small coffin, her long thin fingers interlaced across her breast. The lips so warm and soft and passionate in life pressed thin and cold and tight in death. I touched her cheeks. I kissed her forehead. I begged her to wake.