The hope of a lifetime written on a slip of paper. (Co-win 'Write From The Heart)
He turned around to apologize. The ski lodge was packed. It was impossible not to bump into people. “It’s you.”
Those two words escaped before he could stop them. The woman looked like Celia but wasn’t quite her. Matthew tried swallowing his heart back down his throat. She was pressed up close and getting pushed closer by the crowd. “Who?” She said.
"You look just like her.” Every thought of his wounded feelings shown in his eyes. Seeing someone so like his lost love was tearing him up. This lovely clone was so close he could hardly breathe without feeling her heartbeat against his own.
“Care to dance? I’m Angel.” Angel’s blond hair framed perfect blue eyes. Ruby red lips pouted, ready to be kissed. “Ouch. Cell phone just stuck me."
Matt felt her jump. Her hands slid up his body, caressing their way to his vest, teasing his Iphone into a less pressing position. “My you’re a tall one. I’m five eight. You must be six feet.” She studied his curly black hair and even darker eyes. “Do you come here often?”
A push from behind forced air from his lungs. Matt took a deep breath. She smelled like cinnamon. “I think I have a crush on you.”
“If that’s a come on, pun’s are the worst form of humor. They make me groan and not with desire.” Angel nipped her lower lip rubbing with her tongue to keep from laughing. “Who did you mean just now?”
“My fiancee. She looks like you.” Matt stammered out the truth. He was obviously hypnotized by her.
“Oh. Then you’re taken. All the best ones are.” She slid her arms down from between them and turned to face away. Once more they were jammed together by the living tide.
“She’s here somewhere. I came looking for her.” Matt explained, unconsciously putting one hand on her shoulder making her turn her head around to look at him. “She’s with another man. Some guy named Tony she left me for. I came to knock his block off and tell her she’d broken my heart.”
“Oh, God. I don’t do group therapy.” Angel blew a wisp of fine, almost white hair from her face. I get emotionally involved just watching soap operas on TV.”
She’d wrestled her way back to face him. Her eyes blinked back the same feeling mirrored in his. “And I don’t do emotional cripples… since I’m one myself. I just left a bad relationship.”
The ski loft blared Christmas music into what air was left in the room. It drowned any thought of speech for a moment before the sound was adjusted. Laughter escaped, flying towards the chandeliers in the ceiling. “It’s getting hot in here. We must be close to the fireplace. Sorry.” Angel talked a little faster. She always did when she got nervous.
Another shift of the skiers brushed their lips together. “Hmm, raspberry lip balm. My favorite.” She laughed, drawing an inch apart.
His heart was jumping out of his chest. His eyes closed and his arms were gently wrapped around her never wanting to let her go. "I can't believe this is happening."
“Hey. Hey now.” She whispered. Her lips caressed his cheek.
Whoever was scrunched up against the loft doors finally popped loose. Others tumbled out like logs loosened in a logjam. He was still holding her as space grew around them. She had to push to make him let her go. Matt stood frozen in place looking at her. “You’re not her. You feel different.”
It broke the tension between them. First Angel broke into laughter then Matt. “Oops.” Angel caught a case of the hiccups that made her laugh harder. She swung her arms around like wings. Trying to get some control back.
“I know just the cure.” Matt pulled her into his arms again, kissing her for herself this time, slowly enough to memorize her.
“Hey now.” Angel hiccupped once. Stopped. Smiled up at him. “It works.”
“Is that you Matthew?” A twin of Angel waved from the bar where a dark, curly headed stud stood by her side. “What are you doing up here and who is she?”
Neither Matt nor Angel heard a word. They stood holding hands a moment before Angel’s purse slipped from her shoulder. She opened it, drew out a pink pen with a red heart on the tip and wrote down some numbers. “My phone number. Let's take it in a less pressing way. Then we’ll see. O.K.?”