I rose to the tips of my toes, feeling the touch of his shirt and the pleat of his pants, right against my bare skin. And I placed my hands on his shoulders, and felt his hands on my hips.
And so he held me there, a long, long time in the dark. And me, I got to touch his lips, and that crease up there, on his forehead, and we swayed back and forth: I clinging to him, he—to that one girl, the girl he used to know.
Then he moved away abruptly, saying that he was too old for me, and anyway, what was he doing, he had a child, a boy just a year older than me. So I took a step closer, like, to close the gap again. And feeling lost, like a stray kitten out in the cold, I said, “Just hold me, Lenny. Just hold me tight. I need you so bad.”
And the minute I said it, I knew he needed to hear these words, needed to know that he was really needed.
After a while I whispered, like, “Just say something to me. Anything.” And I thought, Any other word apart from love, ‘cause that word is diluted, and no one knows what it really means, anyway. Then he kissed me—even without the ice cream—and said my name, like, he tasted it in his mouth, and rolled it on his tongue, which made me awful happy. And we started our dance again:
I came as he backed away, and then in reverse, I backed away as he came, and we came and went, went and came this way for a long while until, all of a sudden, the front door opened and there was ma, standing there with a new boyfriend this time, a guy whose name I didn’t even know.
Anita in My Own Voice
★ Love reading? Treat yourself to a family saga ★
The complete series:
Volume I & II, woven together:
"So much more could be said... but that would be robbing the reader of the joy of discoveries that Poznanasky accomplishes in this profound novel."
~Grady Harp, HALL OF FAME reviewer