All Nick wanted was to get home.
It had been a terrible flight from Manchester to KL; there was a delay, giving him only a 20 minute transit at Dubai, meaning he and a mob of Malaysians and tourists had to sprint, shout and shove their way to the plane bound for KLIA. His guitar case had come in handy, at least. It helped buffet a couple of dismayed passengers who had tried to push past him. Reaching Malaysia, he texted his parents.
“HERE! Fucked up flight. Tell you about it later. Grabbing baggage.” Sent.
A whole hour later, and his bag was still nowhere in sight. Turned out a huge group of passengers from Dubai had a whole load of holy water brought back with them to KL. For more than half an hour, there were no bags; just boxes and boxes of holy water. To make it even better, Nick’s phone had chosen the most fantastic time to run out of battery. His parents probably thought a bomb threat had been announced and he was stuck in immigration. He gritted his teeth and stared at the never-ending conveyer belt of sacred H2O. It’s a free country, thought Nick, it’s a free country. Tolerance is key. Tolerance is key.
At 11.00pm, Nick eventually got hold of his baggage, and a couple hugs and tears and bear hugs from dad later, he was in the back seat of his dad’s new car, waiting for the final part of his journey to end. He felt a hand tighten around his.
He looked up at Ellie beside him. She had insisted on coming to surprise him, when Nick had adamantly told everyone not to waste a 40-minute drive to come see him looking like he just went through an 18-hour flight (which he just did). She had hid behind Nick’s giant of a dad, and grabbed him right after his mom’s turn, giving him little space to breathe.
But he didn’t mind.
For 8 months, he had been waiting to see that cheekily beautiful face in the flesh, instead of a flat, 2-dimensional image on a computer screen. That first hug at the arrival hall was a burst of senses: Wrapping his arms around her petite frame; breathing in the scent of her hair he recognized on his sheets; seeing her pretty eyes tear up in front of him. There was so much physicality to catch up on.
He couldn’t wait to get home.
“What’re you staring at?” Realizing he had been creepily fixing his gaze on her for the whole inner monologue he just had, he blushed and hastily looked away. He could see her smirking teasingly out of the corner of his eyes. Don’t look, he warned himself. You’ll jump on her.
“Nothing. I dunno. You,” he said, leaning back and closing his eyes, letting a huge sigh out. He ran his thumb over each of her fingers. The feeling of their hands touching kept him comfortable and calm. Casting a glance at his parents, and then at Ellie, he mouthed the words ‘I missed you’ at her. She grinned and mouthed back, ‘Ditto’. Eventually, both their smiles faltered and they just looked at each other. There was a physical tension, a longing ache that had been growing ever since he had left for the departure hall back in September. Now he was here, inches away from her, the tension was highly strung like a piano wire. He let his thumb drift slowly up her wrist and forearm, feeling her shiver. Nick knew Ellie felt the ache, too. They wanted to be alone.
They didn’t say a word the entire journey back. Dropping his bags and lazily declaring he’d unpack when he’d finished hibernating, he dragged his legs up to his old room, Ellie following behind him.
He switched on a bedside lamp, bathing the place in a soft, warm light. Mom had obviously cleaned it out that day. Otherwise, everything was just as he had left it 8 months ago.
“This place hasn’t changed at all.” Nick turned around, a little disturbed and mostly impressed at her apparent ability to read his mind. Ellie had just shut the door behind her. They were alone. His lips were suddenly really, really dry.
“Yeah. It didn’t, huh?” said Nick stupidly. She took a few small steps closer.
“Have I changed much?” She was right in front of him now. He was a head taller than Ellie. She’d have to tiptoe to reach his height.
“No,” said Nick, “Well, you got taller.” She smiled playfully at that remark, then made a mock pouty face.
“So I haven’t gotten any prettier since then?” Nick almost laughed at how cute she looked; the effect was so much more amusing face-to-face. Speaking of face-to-face, they were really close now. Intimately close. It’s been 8 months. He was going to fuck this up with the worst kiss ever.
“You can’t improve perfection,” Nick said, not breathing. He felt his hands automatically wrap around her body. She sighed at the contact and reciprocated.
“You people pleaser, you,” she teased. She lightly brushed her lips against Nick’s.
“I haven’t showered,” he said hoarsely. Ellie grinned, her eyes dancing with life and cheek.
“That’ll have to do for now.” And just like that, the tension broke. He firmly pulled her into him and kissed her deeply. And into that intimate contact he tried to pour all of the emotions, the missed things, the longing, the insecurity he had felt 7000 miles away from home. He felt her lightly run her fingers through his hair, tugging softly, and he groaned. He missed all of this. He missed her.
“God, I’ve missed you, Ellie,” muttered Nick, pulling away and guiding her towards his bed. He sat down on the edge, and Ellie proceeded to sit on his lap, cradling his face gently.
“You said that just now.”
“I didn’t actually. Mom and dad were there.”
“Same difference,” she laughed.
“No.” Nick looked at her seriously. “It’s not the same. Like how we talked over Skype. And now.” His gaze softened, and he nuzzled his head into her chest.
“I’ve missed you.” Smiling slightly, Ellie stroked the back of his head, then tilted it up, making eye contact.
“I miss you more.” He saw her eyes glaze over with love and want and everything else, and they kissed again, hard. Nick slowly slipped his hands under her top and lightly caressed her bare sides and back, the smooth skin he had longed for so much, pulling her close against his torso. He heard her moan gently into his mouth from the sensation of his rough, callused fingers on her soft body, and he laid her down on the bed.
Hours later into the night, they just laid together, basking in the physicality of the moment, and the presence of each other’s warm, living bodies, skin on skin. He held her hand, and she was snuggled close to his, her head against his chest. He had remembered the first time of each different contact. They had first held hands when they crossed a road, and Nick had grabbed her hand without thinking about it to lead her to safety. He had wanted to pull away after, but stuck with it. It had been a clumsy grip, and his palms were sweaty with nerves.
The next was at the movies. It was both of their first times at the Platinum cinemas at the Pavilion Shopping Complex. The tickets had cost a bomb, and they were provided with two huge, retractable seats that could morph into beds at the push of a button. The down side was that there was so much space between the seats. But one was big enough to fit both of them, so they squeezed into one in the end, wasting a ticket. Halfway through the movie, she had gently laid her head on his chest, making him go stiff with shock and euphoria. He had awkwardly patted her head, and proceeded to stroke her hair for the rest of the movie.
Two years later, her hand was naturally resting in his, and he had his hand on her head, lightly stroking her hair and teasing her ears. They were huddled comfortable together. It was a perfect fit. And he couldn’t have been happier to have her back beside him.
He took a moment to look at her. Her eyes were closed, and she was breathing deeply. Her soft, brown hair felt amazing under his fingers. She was petite and fit overall, but she had these slightly chubby cheeks she was always insecure about, and he found them to be the cutest things ever. She was so pretty.
His smile dropped as he thought of how much time was left before he had to fly off again. He only had under three months with her. Time would fly so fast… too fast. And they’d have to repeat the painful cycle of a long-distance relationship again. The thought filled him with dread, and he shook his head gently, trying to clear that thought.
“Nick?” She was looking up at him, concern etched on her face. She studied Nick for a moment, then reached out and stroked his head in return.
“Nick, we’ve got a lot of time.” He stared at her. She did it again. How does she do it?
“I know, I know. But, it’s going to go so quickly. Summer’ll be over before we both know it, and I’ll-”
“You’re not looking into perspective, baby.”
“I am, Ellie. Three months here and nine long months there-” She put a finger to Nick’s lips and shook her head slightly.
“Nope, not like that. The next eight months will be your last in England. We’ve got all the time ’til forever after that, Nick.” She smiled sadly. “Eight months away from me compared to the rest of what comes after with me. You could wait those eight months out, couldn’t you?”
Nick looked at her, surprised. She had never said it that way. They had both agreed, long ago, that it’d be awhile before they talked about marriage, and kids, and being old seriously. She finally chose to bring it up. And it filled Nick with the warmest affection for this woman laying beside him. He smiled back and kissed her forehead.
“Yeah. I could wait, Ellie.” She smiled that beautiful smile, the one that struck him down in love for her all over again everytime.
“Good.” She snuggled back on his chest, sighing heavily.
“I love you, Nick.” At that moment Nick stopped fretting, and chose to fully utilize every day he had left with her before their summer ended. To appreciate every single thing about this holiday. Starting with this first night with her: his woman, his life, his future.
“I love you too.” With that, he drifted to sleep with one last thought flowing through his head, that he would forget the next morning, and probably for the rest of summer.
We’re a perfect fit after all, aren’t we?
Thanks for reading. A friend of mine approached me, and asked me to write a post based on the title “The Perfect Fit”. There’re three of us in this gig, and we’re posting our respective posts consecutively. I decided to go with a love story, because I haven’t written fiction in awhile, and my right brain has lost its six-pack abs. Hope you enjoyed it!