Pulse by Emma Gotbaum

He smelled like comfort, clean laundry, and boy. The familiar tinge of cigarette smoke, Marlboro Reds, was missing. His heart was racing, a blue vein clearly throbbing in his neck. Her cheek was pressed against his chest, above his heart; its beat reciprocating through her. The sweat from his body created a seal between their two forms. His skin was soft, his breathing shallow. Muddled sensations gripped the two of them.

Her dark wavy hair spilled across his chest. One large hand tangled itself within it, smoothing it against him. The girl suddenly pushed herself off his chest and rolled onto her side to face him. Within the proximity the silence was eventually broken.

“Just in case I die, I just want you to know now that I love you a lot,” he said breathily.

The girl laughed. “You’re not going to die, silly,” acting to convince herself just as much as him. She grabbed his hands, lacing their fingers together, and pressed her lips against their tie.

“I know, but still,” he insisted. He kissed her hand back, and then the pale skin of her shoulder.

The two then slipped away, knowing they’d have to run the second heavy footsteps could be heard.

Inhale, exhale, thump, thump.


One Response to Pulse by Emma Gotbaum

  1. Kathy Fish says:

    Beautiful work, Emma. Perfect title and brilliant first and last sentences. This piece is loaded with such evocative sensory detail.

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