[My dear friend La challenged me to write about songs ruined by the Ghosts of Relationships Past.]
TLC – Red Light Special: “…might be the last time you have a go ‘round…”
I didn’t know it was the last time. Naked in heels and cross-legged on my bed, I watched your eyes light up as you walked in my bedroom. When you started to undress, I stopped you. “Get your camera,” I commanded. Before you could touch me, I needed the lust in your eyes. I needed your hands to twitch with the desire to touch me. Even the song was intentional. “If you want me, let me know it. I’ll make time but you have to show it. If you need me, I want to see…” I begged you–with every arch of my back and bite of my lip as the shutter clicked–to see me as magical.
When I told you to strip, I still wasn’t satisfied. “Do you like what you see?” I asked, preventing your eager body from stretching atop mine. I kept a cool, steady glare even as my mind raced. “Yes,” you answered against my neck. “Tell me exactly what you liked,” I demanded. Only I didn’t hear you. Your words were drowned out by the questions clouding my mind and my body’s reaction to your touch. Despite my best effort, I’d lost. The last thing I heard before I surrendered was the opening instrumental of Rihanna’s “Skin” as you slid inside me for the last time.
Usher featuring JAY Z – Best Thing: ”When you left, you took the very besssssst thinnnnng…”
“That’s gonna be you,” I said, casting a side eye at him as I gripped the wheel of my Mitsubishi Lancer. We were somewhere between “on” and “off” in our on-and-off relationship, driving to Olive Garden for his birthday as I teased him about his wayward tendencies. “Keep playing around,” I poked. “You’re gonna end up at my door step, singing ‘Girl, I’m sorry that I ran the streets actin’ like a damn fool…’”
Five years later…
“You don’t get to do this,” I shouted. “I waited for you, for an entire year. You started a family with someone else. I moved on. I’m happy. And now you show up on my doorstep in the middle of the night and I’m supposed to run back because you’re ready?” He’d knocked on my door at 2:00 A.M. By 3:30 A.M., we’d accomplished nothing but edited replays of our twisted history. In his version, told through teary eyes and a cracked voice, I was The One. I should have known, no matter what happened, that we’d find our way back to each other. In my version, the girl he’d left three years prior was dead—replaced by a woman wary of commitment and its compromises. One who no longer loved him enough to rearrange her life at his whim.
Elle Varner – I Don’t Care: “I’m gonna lose this game. I’ve got no poker face. I’m not designed for this…”
I was in so much fucking trouble. Driving home from his place, a smile plastered across my mouth, loud singing Elle Varner. What the fuck was this? How many times had I tried and failed at avoiding the rapture of my infatuation? There’s no way you come out of this unharmed, Common Sense whispered. But I couldn’t stop seeing flashes of the night before. The feel of finger tips grazing my scalp. The electricity that shot through me when he moaned my praises. The possessive grip of his hands on my body as he kissed me goodbye that morning.
I put the song on repeat. “Gone and I’m goin’. Into the deep end. Far over my head…” I was in so much fucking trouble.