Gee thinks it’s a stupid word, “love”.
The whole concept is imbecilic in fact, when she thinks some more on it. I am in love with this short, slightly wild, slightly golden woman. The words may sound right, but they don’t hold a lot of weight in them. Not enough poetry.
She wants to weave a sentence with her feelings. Wants to use it as the thread, the needle, and the cloth. She wants to make it into ink and write it with the pen of her heart, spilled onto Jun’s paper. She wants her feelings to become not words but fact–unnecessary to be read or spoken, simply known without much thought. Like breath for living, like salt for a sea breeze, like… she twirls a finger around Jun’s navel as she muses.
“Like a knife for butter,” she says in a low rumble.
“Hmm?” Jun’s bronze gaze turns sleepily to her under a soft frown. “What?”
Gee simply sighs in response, even when the other whines and complains about communication being lifeblood to a relationship and some other nonsense her stupid self-help books have taught her.
“Shush,” Gee hushes her with a finger held between their lips. Like a bridge for the kiss she delivers, straight to Jun’s waiting door.
They’ve been in bed for a good part of the day. The afternoon is balmy and there is nothing to do, she reasons when her hands manoeuvre her between the other’s legs, when her fingers manoeuvre her inside, when her hips manoeuvre her to a different plane.
Sometimes Jun rolls around on the bed after they’re done, blushing and giggling. Sometimes she mutters odd things like should use more conditioner or have we run out of razors. Most times she hangs onto Gee’s neck for a while–her body still shaking and her voice still stuttering out of her throat. Most times she uses the word “love” and even though it generally births distaste in Gee’s mind. Even though she hates the very sight of it in books and movies. Hates “love”. Despite her distinctively unfavourable opinion on it, when it falls from Jun’s winded breath she scoops the pronunciation up with her lips, devours it whole while she still shudders and her exhales still whistle out of her nose.
“Love” comes from Jun like a work of art. Like a painting in a single color, or a sculpture chiselled in the toughest rock. “Love”, when Jun says it with her puffy lips and her square teeth… it’s not “love” anymore. No longer does it hold the form of its pronunciation, no longer does it retain its curved shapes. It is a different word, it has different meaning. It is heavier than expected, like the first time Gee broke a thermometer and the mercury fell on her burning bleeding palm. It is an animal, a beast: prowling and stalking, closer than Gee knows. It is a staggering mass, like a planet.
And Gee is jealous because why doesn’t “love” sound like that when she says it? Why, when she’s pressed up against the other’s chest, holding a hand under her head, poking her nose against the woman’s cheek. When she’s like that, and she’s gasping her own string of I fucking love yous… why is it that her “love” is like a boulder falling on her foot while Jun’s is like a wheel, rolling smoothly and with precision?
“I don’t like it…” she pouts when they’re sitting at the kitchen island for a lazily prepared dinner.
“Don’t like what? The ramyun?” Jun asks, pouting into her own bowl. “Come on, you can’t just stay in bed all day and then eat nothing,” she says as he feeds Gee.
And then she realises it in the bleaching light of the moon. Then she sees it.
When the rays dance on Jun’s tan skin, when her own pale fingers touch the thick arms and her own pink lips close over a sharp shoulder. When the woman who is her everything twists around and mumbles a “why are you like this today…?” and they giggle. She realises why “love” is so different between them.
The answer is in the way the short, slightly wild, slightly golden woman looks at her with unending warmth. The answer is in the way her chest bursts at the seams before steaming out in her kisses. The answer is between their bodies, lying like an invisible child made of nothing but love.