Apricots – by: Jake

I had a lot of studying I needed to do with a huge biology test looming. I put my head back on my pillow and looked through my open window at the branches of the flowering apricot tree. It was like a cruel joke. Odette used lotion on her skin that smelled exactly like the damn tree outside of my window. It was hard to concentrate on amino acids when my brain kept drifting to her…replaying peeling off her layers on my bed, right here where I was lying. Each layer was more forbidden than the last and now as the evening breeze blew past the blossoms and through the screen, I could literally breathe her in.

It hurt my stomach to think of her, but then I couldn’t help but let myself remember what it felt like to move my hand up her shirt, knowing she was conflicted but just couldn’t seem to help herself. God, I wanted that again. I ran my hands through my hair and gripped it. But the main reason it was so exciting to be with her was because I wasn’t supposed to be. Now that she was officially ‘separated’ I told myself it would just get boring anyway. But then I thought about her lips. I thought about eating a glob of lip-gloss as a kid, because it smelled like fruit. I was so disappointed when it tasted like wax. But Odette didn’t disappoint. Her lip-stuff looked and tasted like strawberries. I rubbed my finger across my bottom lip, wistfully thinking of kissing her…everywhere. I smiled, drunk with the memory. Then realization set in hard and I kicked a book off the edge of my bed so it hit the wall and slammed to the floor…pages crumpling.

I opened the bedside table-fridge, fished out and cracked open a beer.  I put my hand behind my head and I relaxed on my pillow again, lifting my head periodically to take sips. Maybe I would call Melissa. She was hot and could probably get my mind off Odette. I had about 3 pictures of her under my bed that I had drawn. She liked to model naked for me. I made her look good, left out the flaws which seemed to get her in the mood when I showed her the finished product. I smirked to myself. That was my only motivation for drawing.

And I guess it was a little bit mean (but more funny) when I gave Odette a naked picture of Melissa, telling her this was the model in my art class. She didn’t question me for a second and even admired my work. I wished now that I would have asked if I could draw her then. How deluxe it would be to have that picture now, and the option of scanning and emailing it to her husband. I grinned at the thought of Chris’s face. That would be awesome.

The branches moved and I watched flowers separate from them into the Fall evening air. I was suddenly angry at myself for wasting that opportunity…for not drawing Odette while she might have let me. Granted though, she had always been in a hurry to get the hell out of here. I wondered if there was a way I could still get her to do it. But when it hit me again that any reconciliation with her was out of the question, it hurt my stomach worse than anything. Damn,  I had fucked things up so badly that I was completely out of options with her. I gulped at my beer. I can’t stick a flower back on a branch. But I’m a smart guy, I can figure something out with Odette…

My mind drifted to possibilities again. Maybe if I went over there to her house and saw her… No, she would just kick me out, get really mad. The only way I could get her to care about me was if she was worried about me for some reason. She had that whole nurturing thing going on that was pretty easy to manipulate. I figured I would think about it for a few days, so that if I did decide to nudge her back into my favor, my plan would be smooth and flawless. This was good. The pending option relaxed me enough so that I could put my beer down, open up my text book and study again…even breathe in the apricot blossoms without my brain constantly drifting to her body against mine. I blinked away the image of her naked and read out loud, “Proteins are polymer chains made of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds.”

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