Scarlet smoke

She sat on our living room sofa draped in the most exquisite red dress I had ever seen in my life. It’s the kind of red that makes everything else turn dark, tasteless, colourless, pointless. And the brilliance of the red, matched the colour of her lips and the sparkle in her eyes. I stepped closer without really intending to walk. We slow danced for what seemed like an eternity. Talked about life, about our kids, about everything we had and didn’t have. Shared a few good laughs and drank till the rivers turned dry. She was the perfect woman and she was mine. And she loved me. After a long night, we retired and had the time of our lives.


I woke up at 3 AM. It had become a habit. A reminder from a different time. I looked to the side and saw her lying there next to me. I brushed aside her hair and took a good look at her. Beautiful. Perfection. The perfect woman. A complete woman.


I walked to the patio and lit up a cigarette. She had no idea I smoke and I wanted to keep it that way. A filthy habit I had picked up. I had quit for several years but I had a strong craving one day and I couldn’t stop myself ever since. I craved to get a taste of her lips right after she had smoked a cigarette. I hadn’t thought about her for a long time but she returned like a cancer. Killing me softly with each breath. But with each drag returned a similar taste, satisfying my thirst. A reminder of what she felt like close, breathing into me. A faint whiff of cigarette smoke in her breath with her arms wrapped around my neck. A moment relived over and over each night, every night.


I went back inside to see her still sleeping. Oh how I wish she was you. I never wanted perfection. I never wanted stability. I never wanted peace and quiet. I want you. With all your flaws I want you.


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