Her eyes glowed, burning brighter with every blink. Soft wisps of hair caressed her cheek, gently stroking the blushing skin. Heads dipped but eyes remain locked, struggling against blinking for fear of missing a precious second.
"What is communication?" A dark-haired woman, the lecturer, posed the question. Within a circle of thirty occupied chairs, five individuals formed another circle in the center.
The scent was thick. Fear. Excitement. Uncertainty.
"Communication is easy. All you need to do is listen." She pointed to her eyes.
She stared. Intense. Tear prickled the sharp edges of eyelashes. Hands fidgeted, trembling and resting upon equally shivering laps.
"Listen." The soft voice drifted in and out.
Every member of the small group felt like they were surrounded by sharks, or at least the eyes of sharks as they penetrated from every angle. Catching the flaws and beauty of their bodies, dozens of eyes, in every possible color, stared ahead.
Tara continued her silent appraisal of the redhead across from her. Damp palms rubbed against the rough material of her jeans, a contrast to the softness of Willow's touch. The world outside of green eyes fell away and nothing existed but the beauty before her. Heart pounding, the blonde focused on the parted mouth and visualized the touch of slow breath calming her body. Claiming her body.
"Some of them are nervous, maybe even a bit frightened."
Bored. Interested. Avoiding. Smiling.
"And some of them are thrilled to be at the center of attention."
Willow held Tara's unflinching gaze. Pure and shining. Her hands itched, yearning to reach out and touch those of the blonde's. The surrounding eyes melted away until she saw herself reflected in familiar blue. Bare. Soul. Beautiful. A family of butterflies swarmed in her stomach, fluttering as they struggled to free themselves through words. Swallowing, repeatedly, the redhead felt her body numb, though not from anxiety.
"There is often more meaning in a moment of silence, than words in an hour of conversation."
Willow nor Tara was sure they knew themselves. Never had they been so open in front of strangers before, but the rawness in their emotions was too hard to hide. Not ashamed to open their hearts, their ears tingled from the new sensation.
"What are they saying?"
I want to kiss you.
Can I kiss you?
Balanced, both girls smiled in silent acceptance as if they could read each others mind. Some of the surrounding onlookers became uncomfortable and looked away with the feeling of intrusion, but others peered closer. Listening with envy.
Tara watched the emotions flicker behind Willow's irises. So lovely, and yet so painful. Loneliness ached, planted deep from the endless nights when tears accompanied sleep. The blonde forced a dry swallow, her throat burning with understanding.
"What are they thinking?"
Don't leave me.
Will this last?
Willow felt a thin layer of water form at the base of her eyes. She smiled, feeling free and relaxed. Just sitting across from Tara was amazing, mind blowing, exciting and every other phrase, which could make goose bumps appear on her skin. Immersed within blue, the redhead caught a hint of sadness in Tara's gaze as tiny spots of color echoed into words, longing to be heard.
"What do they want?"
Foreign mixed with the familiar as gazes continued holding, searching. By now, the three remaining members of the group were staring at their hands, knowing the extent of their invisibleness. The lecturer stood, silently, outside of the circle with her eyes turned toward the floor. She refused to look up, fearing her envy of their connection as the two mesmerized young women spoke.
"Thanks for coming." The once soft voice was squeaky and slightly broken as it dismissed the group. Hurriedly, but quietly, the seminar ended, leaving two figures in the center of the room. Listening.