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Beneath The Skin(209)

By´╝ÜDaryl Banner

But there is another, another sound no one hears

It’s a song of silence

It’s a song of fears

And when I press my head to my lover’s chest

It’s the only song I hear

Yes, there’s another, another music no one knows

That song of silence

A song that grows

I wish I was lucky enough to hear that music

That only my lover knows

Maybe if I’m lucky enough to wake every day

Next to my lover

Then I’ll discover

The song of silence he’s come to embrace

I see my love for him

All over his face

Another light fades in, slowly mixing with the rest, until its color burns bright and sets it apart from the others. A spotlight now shines on a dark wall in the back of the room, a light that comes from that strange instrument I was observing earlier, the instrument with the peculiarly-shaped gobo installed within it.

The shape of the light against the back wall is a ring.

My eyes flash open at the realization. A ring …

Dessie continues her song:

And if I’m not just another, another woman in your life

Take this ring from me, baby

Let me be your lucky wife

And if you’ll have me forever, let me know

So you can light up my life

Every day. Every morning.

Every show.

Suddenly, there’s a slap on my back. Brant’s there and he’s guiding me out of my chair. He was in on this. They were all in on this. I can’t even seem to make my legs work on their own. Is this really happening? The chair falls back when I rise, but I pay it no mind. I see hands moving everywhere—Are they applauding?—and Brant guides me to the stage.

I draw closer and closer to Dessie, my love, my everything. I’m breathing so deeply. The world is going blurry. Fuck, am I crying?

“Baby …” she says and signs. “My love … Clayton.”

She pulls a silver ring out of her pocket that’s textured to look like a coil of rope. I’m paralyzed by the rugged beauty of it as it glimmers in the stage light between her fingers.

“Will you marry me?” she mouths.

And I read her lips.

I read her lips perfectly.

“Yes,” I tell her in one fleeting breath.

The corners of my eyes erupt in the visual noise of celebration, of bodies moving and hands applauding. Dessie slips the ring on my finger and meets my eyes.

“You’re so beautiful,” I tell her, overcome. “Every day, forever, always, you’re my favorite song.”

“And you’re my light,” she says, and I hear her words with every cell in my body.

I pull her close, our lips uniting, and embrace her in my arms. The room can celebrate with all its noise made by hundreds of other people’s happiness—and all the hands in the room that erupt in applause, clapping their excitement and approval. Hundreds of lips that shout their joy and their celebration.

But it’s only one person’s happiness I’ll ever need. Only one set of hands. Only one set of lips. Hers, hers, hers.
The End.