Aren't you glad
Mon Oct 15, 2018 09:53

Personal space was a sacred concept to Claudia. She disliked being touched by most people, and was distinctly uncomfortable when strangers moved too close. There were few with whom she was prepared to exchange physical contact, including her parents, and, more reluctantly, her grandparents and select other relations. She had become accustomed to Marley’s hugs, and she did not mind dancing with a partner when the occasion called for it. Out of everyone she knew, Claudia had always been most at ease with Connor. He understood and respected her boundaries, and perhaps even had realized they did not strictly apply to him. Since her encounter with Dade, Claudia had permitted herself to be vulnerable with her closest friend: she depended on Connor emotionally (and sometimes physically, too), but even before that she had taken pleasure in holding his hand. She perhaps should not have encouraged such intimacy between them, should not have her hand upon his even now, but it was far too late to make amends to redirect her current course. Besides, she would not wish to.

Connor kissed her, and Claudia felt her chest swell with giddy pleasure. Her upbringing dictated it was wrong, unseemly: prohibited, even, in its strictest interpretation. Yet in that moment it didn’t feel wrong at all. Claudia was certain her cheeks were flushed to an unappealing shade but she couldn’t bring herself to care. Then she was smiling, and Connor was smiling, and if Claudia could keep that moment forever it would be her most treasured possession. She thought Connor echoed similar sentiments, but her senses were dampened by the exhilaration of her experience so she could not be certain.

Too soon, harsh reality returned. Connor declared her proposal of pretense to be the correct course of action. Though she remained on the couch where she had been seated all the while, Claudia felt as though she were sinking. Yes, of course that was what they needed to do now: pretend this had never happened. She swallowed, finding the action laborious, and her lightheadedness returned, bringing none of its earlier enjoyment. Connor reassured her that he did not object to the moment they had just shared, and Claudia nodded, silenced by the realization that she was going to cry.

Not here; she would not ruin this. Claudia gave Connor’s hand a final squeeze and withdrew her own, acutely aware of the emptiness in her palm. “No. No objections,” she tried to convey that she agreed with his sentiment, but her voice was quiet and breathless. “Good evening,” Claudia managed as she stood, her legs feeling suddenly stiff for no discernible reason. She turned from the seat and moved as briskly as she was able towards the staircase, not even reaching the first step before tears began to roll down both cheeks.

  • I certainly do now - Connor, Wed Oct 10 18:56
    It was common knowledge that the way to cast a Patronus Charm was to focus very hard on the happiest memory you had. Connor had absolutely no intention of getting into an argument with a dementor in... more
    • Aren't you glad - Claudia, Mon Oct 15 09:53
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