It starts with a look.
So brief and subtle that at first you'd miss it if not paying close enough attention.
But she knows you're paying attention.
You catch it and experience split second paralysis. The definite but immeasurable moment of utter bewilderment that occurs just before you realize you've missed a step.
And just as you're about to panic, it disappears. The eyes you find yourself staring into like a baboon are now innocently questioning what you saw. Doubt sets in.
You don't know it, but more than anything you want that look to be real. You can't acknowledge it because you're not man enough to bear the possible disappointment.
Just as you tuck it safely out of consciousness, it returns. More familiar now, but just as mistakable. This time its giggling.
And thus begins the game.
You know from the start that you are outmatched. This one already has more experience than you'll ever know. This game is little more than cat and captured mouse. But you can't not play. That's part of the game too. Only the dead refuse to play.
She keeps you alive with her touch. Soft. Inviting. Exhilarating. Playful. Innocent. Not so innocent. She knows how to keep you moving.
And you move. You move in ways you didn't know you could move. You move desperately, impulsively, maintaining only enough reserve to amuse her. But it doesn't matter, just so long as you feel that touch.
It doesn't matter that you know. That the territory you're exploring has been mapped out by countless others. That the course you are on is one of unending pain and ruin. That the game has been rigged.
The touch means too much. It's worth it.
That's what you keep telling yourself. It might not be true, but you have to make it bearable somehow. You didn't really have a choice. Only the dead can say no to the touch.