Forgery

“Hold my hand.”

I look at him as if he’s crazy. “What?”

“Hold. My hand.”

And he really is holding out his hand, expecting me to grab it as if it were nothing; as if distance were something that could be broken with a simple touch.

“Whatever.” But I do it anyway, not because it’s “nothing”, but because I want to prove him wrong.

His hand is different from what I expected. It’s like looking at a copied painting through the eyes of the original artist – it’s the same, yet there’s something different about it that I can’t pinpoint. The hand is the same as any other guy’s hand, but the way we hold? It’s absolutely different.

It’s not the hold of a parent to a child; one that grasps firmly in fierce protectiveness. It’s not one of desperation, where the holder squeezes so tight that the heart can’t breathe because the holder can’t stand the thought of loss. It’s not a sweaty hold that comes from the anxiety and the nervousness that comes from a first date or big interview, where the warmth and wet gathers like a baby’s drool.

It’s one where one hand tucks into the other (or the other way round), where no one can tell were one finger starts and whose belongs to whom, and suddenly the world is safe because you don’t need to see further than the present. And the feeling runs up the veins in my arm and neck and starts a fire in my ears, similar to the way wine tastes but at the same time completely different – like a forgery.

The stars in the dark are spinning circles in his eyes, and the breath in my throat is dizzy even though I’m standing still, and for once, it doesn’t matter that I’m wrong.

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