It hurt, the sunrise. It burned neither his skin, nor his eyes. But it did hurt, the sunrise.
Not alone in his bed. The case to be expected. The company far too unexpected.
His tongue canvassed enamel. The surfaces felt crusted and stained. His taste buds stung with dryness.
The long since sharp and unaffected molars in the back of his jaw imagined pulverizing small chocolate candies. The kind with which his grandmother had filled glass bowls to the rim in the spirit of holidays.
He heard a moan from the body beside him. An exhale inspired by dream. He could smell her kisses on his breath. The odor was spoiled, chapped.
His shoulders ached. His knees rubbed raw. His belly and bladder competed for recognition as the squeakiest wheel. He searched his memory for his pants.
He felt her roll over in the bed, noticing gratefully that her eyes were closed. The tangible warmth of her body no longer a comfort. He considered leaping through the closed window.
"Do you want to take my clothes off," she had asked, hours earlier. Standing inches in front of him, the light glistened off her cheeks like a mannequin. His eyes descended along her figure. A reaction of cowardice, not seduction.
"Of course," he had responded. His eyes fixated on her hips. He wanted to grip the sides of her pelvis like a lunatic clenching his temples.
He watched as the brilliantly red silk dress began to fall from her shoulders. It had happened too fast. And he reacted, squeezing the thin fabric against her waist, feeling the inward curve of her figure fit like a puzzle into his palms.
His eyes ascended, slowly, following his hands as they lifted her garment above and over her soft stomach, her decipherable ribs, and her inviting breasts. He had an erection, but it was of no mind.
"But I would rather talk to you," he had proclaimed, laboring to maintain eye contact. It hurt, her round eyes. So pretty, provocative. But so predicting of guys that it did hurt, her round eyes. "Talk to you for real," he had clarified. "Talk to you forever," he had whispered, feigning composure.
Lying in bed at dawn, hours later, he massaged his brows. He breathed through his nose in hiccups. She looked so beautiful beside him. He felt so ugly.
"I'm going to marry him," she had declared, with an air of preaching the obvious. His only reaction was expressed through incessant blinks. "Either take me now, or take your leave now."
So cold. So emotionless. So aptly in tune with the tone of an ultimatum.
He remembered falling into the chair, hours earlier, praying that he had appeared reluctant, at least. He remembered the soundless crash of her dress on the carpet. He remembered her skillfully straddling her legs against the outskirts of his lap.
It hurt, the memory of her thighs. It had felt wonderful and arousing. The realization of a long-held, implausible vision. But it hurt, the superficial feeling of her thighs.
As her leg stretched across his groin in bed, hours later, pinching him still, his brain throbbed. "If only this were for real," he imagined. "Forever," he wished.
It was neither, he knew. It was, instead, time. Time for him to take his leave, from her.