Fly Me to the Moon

by Panos Tsapanidis

We fly. Its that fraction of a moment where everything comes to a halt. Time. Gravity. Heartbeats. My eyes fill with its vastness. Our eyes sparkle under its light. The moon is full tonight. As it was the night I met her.

Best night of my life.

I need a light.

I need a life. I said without looking at her. I dont know how that happened. It came out instantly. Automatically. As if these words had a will of their own.

You are breathing, aint you?

I turned my head to where the voice was coming from and l looked at her. She was beautiful. She was sexy. She was fire. The woman youre obsessed with. The woman you see in the movies and then in your daydreams. Those daydreams where you conveniently accidentally bump to each other, and you say all the right things, and have all the right answers and then after seconds youre married and live happily ever after. But this wasnt a movie nor a daydream.

Who got you into this? One of my stupid friends?

Into what? Smoking?

I dont pay for sex.

Me neither. Her words came out with a pinch of a smile and a large dose of confidence. The cigarette still between her fingers waiting to be set on fire.

I dont smoke either.

Bummer. But I guess that proves no one put me up to this, right?

What do you mean?

If one of your...stupid friends had put me up to this, wouldnt he know that you dont smoke and you dont carry a lighter? He would tell me to ask you for something else instead, right?

Believe me, you could ask for a million different things. Not one I could give you.

You dont like sharing or you dont have anything to share?

The second. Definitely, the second.

Wow, I caught you in a really shitty moment, havent I? She paused. I think everyone has something to offer. And theres always someone whos looking for it.

You maybe right. But the shit hits the fan when you dont have what that specific someone wants. You might have hundreds of things to offer but not that one thing shes looking for.

Like that lighter Im looking for?

Like that lighter youre looking for.

You could offer me a seat. Id take it.

I could, but this bench isnt mine. I cant offer you something that isnt mine, can I?

Yes, you can. Its called bullshitting.

And how does that work exactly?

Scoot. Her tone is not commanding at all as she says it. Its covered with playfulness and with that kind of innocence that wakes the protector in me; the brave knight that will allow no harm to come upon her.

As I move to the side my heart skips a beat.

Are you playing the hero-with-the-broken-heart part?

Im playing the hero-with-no-heart part.

And what does that mean?

It means I dont feel. Anything. At all. I refuse to feel love, I refuse to feel hate.

You still feel though. What youre describing is a feeling. Its called...Denial. She whispers the last word and widens her eyes to accentuate its sarcastic purpose.


My favorite type of humor. A thought is born out of thin air and starts ricocheting in my mind. Could she be her? The one Ive been looking for all this time? The one Ive been wishing to meet? That one? The one?

Did I offend you? she asked cautiously.


You went quiet so...I thought I offended you. Ive been told that my sense of humor is a bit...edgy.

No, no, I just...spaced out.

See? Thats it. She points at my face as she says it. As if the cat is out of the bag.

Thats what?


Guilty. I say admittedly unable to stop that smile from appearing across my face. It takes one to know one, I guess.

Sir, are you calling me a liar? she asks with a fake surprise on her face while putting her hands on her waist. Shes good. No, shes more than good. Shes amazing.

Im just calling em how I see em.

She takes a deep breath. I cant help but notice her breasts as her chest rises to suck up all that air. She exhales producing a sigh. Its that kind of sigh that makes her seem hurt. Almost broken. I am here. I will fix you. I will pick up your pieces. I think instantly. The knight-complex in all its glory.

Men. Youre all the same.

Makes you wanna stop feeling, right? Shut yourself off this world and

No. It makes me wanna light up a cigarette and suck the life out of it.

Okay, okay. I got it. You need your nicotine. That smile again. It creeps its way on my lips becoming a laugh. She made me laugh. She definitely is that one. Ive only known her for a few minutes, but Im feeling it down to my core. This is the one. My car has a lighter.

Wheres your car?

There. I turn and point at the shiny, silver, 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder thats parked behind us.

She looks amazing. I can see the moonlight gliding on her porcelain skin; her curves forming the definition of the word lust.

And Im not talking about my car.


Shes walking down the stairs taking her time. She knows Ill wait. She knows I like watching her walking down those stairs. She knows me. No, Im not opening the passengers door for her. I do it occasionally, but never always. She wants a man not a servant. I know her.

So, where are we going? she asks clapping her hands once.

Its a surprise.

You know I dont like surprises.

I know. But youll like this one.

Is there gonna be food cause I havent eaten anything. Work was crazy today. she says and takes her cigarette case out of her bag.

I dont satisfy your appetite?

You do baby... she says and gently brushes her finger on my cheek. E-le-ctri-ci-ty. ...But not like a bloody 10-ounce Porterhouse. She finishes her sentence with a kiss on my cheek, shutting her eyes as she does it and inhales the air around me through her nose. If the cars top wasnt open, Id be out of air.

Her lips part slowly away from my skin. My skin is blessed now.

I step on the gas trying to end the anticipation as quick as I can. I just cant wait for us to get there. We pass by a glass building, and I see our reflection. We look amazing. She looks amazing. Im still shocked by how beautiful she is.

The road that leads there is also known as Snake Road because of its many twists and turns, but theyre no match for the Porsche. Ive installed new brakes that bring this baby to a halt in nanoseconds. Even that famous hairpin turn that sends every drivers pulse through the roof poses no challenge. Well, not if youre wise enough to slow the hell down, cause otherwise youll be off the road and in a vertical fall to your death.

Were here.

Here? But theres no restaurant here.

No theres not. But there is a bench.

Yeah, not your bench.

No, not my bench. I say smiling. She remembers. Of course she remembers. Shes perfect. How could she forget?

Its been seven months since the night that we were here. That night we met each other for the first time. I take a seat at the bench and greedily inhale the smell of the grass in the air thats surrounding the small park.

She takes a sit next to me. Her eyes on me. Observing me. Trying to decipher me.

Why are we here? she asks, with the tone of a movie detective.

Were here because here is my favorite place in the whole world, and I want to ask you..., I pause and dig into my suits inner pocket. Im nervous, but I try not to show it. My heart is pumping so fast its gonna blow out of my chest. ...Will you marry me?

I can see her face gradually glowing. Her eyes widen and her mouth transforms into the most perfect smile Ive ever seen.


There. She said it. I feel like Im bathing in happiness.

Yes-yes-yes! she shouts with her hands in the air.

Bliss...times three.

She sits on my lap with the excitement of a child and wraps her arm around my neck. After kissing me passionately, she extends her other hand with its fingers spread, waiting for me to do my part. I put the ring on her finger and look into her beautiful eyes.

Do you like it?

Its perfect. she pauses. I cant stop looking at it.

I cant stop looking at you.

Do you think its a bit early? I mean...Weve been together for just seven months.

I dont check a timer when I fall in love.

She kisses me again taking her time while at it.

Make me happy. she whispers to me while holding me tight. Pressing her body to mine.

Baby, Ill fly you to the moon. I whisper back to her and kiss her like theres no tomorrow.


The minute I step into the house my body tightens, my fists clench. What am I up against this evening, I wonder? Another fight? Another ping pong match of swearing and cursing? I feel the air here pressuring me. I feel my soul being gnawed away slowly, bit-by-bit. I take a look around. Emptiness. Darkness. She must be upstairs. I feel relieved that I dont see her, and thats the worst feeling a man can have about his wife.

Its seven in the evening. Of course, I didnt expect a warm dinner waiting for me. Usually, when I come back from work I take the Porsche and go for a drive. Along the way, I stop by a drive-in and mechanically fill the void in my stomach. If only I could fill the void between us.

Im not taking the drive alone tonight though. Because tonight is different. Tonight is special. Its our seventh anniversary. Seven years. Is this the duration of happiness? Does the dream end after seven years and a nightmare begins? I dont know, but Im trying to deny it. Im going to put up a fight. Tonight, instead of making a mental list of ways to break her heart, Im gonna try to bring this relationship to life. Tonight I have a plan.

I go up the stairs forcing my legs to take me to the bedroom. I clench my fists...again. I have to stop doing that. How can you hold hands if your hands are fists? I gently push the door open. Shes sleeping...again. She looks tired, although Im sure shes been doing nothing the whole day. Her hair is messy, dull. Where is the woman I met seven years ago? When did Xanax and Ambien became her lover and her friend?

I take a deep breath and carefully put my hands under her body. I lift her up taking her away from that dreaded bed Ive grown to hate. I cant believe how little she weighs. Ive never noticed how much weight she lost the last couple of years. How could I let this happen?

I carry her down the stairs keeping one eye on my way down and the other on her, in case she wakes up. But she doesnt. Shes just lying in my arms, numb. Not peaceful, numb. She chose this way to escape, but all she managed to do is cage herself in this dark, lonely bedroom.

The moment I step near the car the motion sensor activates the light. Her white, silken nightgown has some black smudges on it and her knees seem to be scratched, with grass stains on them. I know she would never go out of the house looking like this, but Im sure she wont mind just this time. Either way, there wont be anyone where were going at this time of night.

I put her in the car carefully and put her seatbelt on. She mumbles incoherent words and instinctively adjusts her body into a semi-fetal position on the leather seat. Its not too late. We can make it. I think on the inside and turn the key on the ignition. The spark plugs ignite the Porsche, and with it, a fiery excitement in my stomach.

As were driving, I cant stop questioning myself and what Im about to do. Am I a fool for thinking that taking her back to the place we first met is going to bring us back together? Am I hopelessly romantic? Or plain hopeless?

What...Where...Where are you taking me? she manages to say with her eyes nearly shut.

Were going for a drive, baby.

I dont want to...Take me home. She speaks slowly and in the end her words break into a whisper. She hasnt come to her full senses yet.

I need to get there fast but the Snake Road is not going to make it easy for me. Still, our marriage has reached its limits, so I think its time for the Porsche to do the same.

I floor the gas.

We are now at the infamous hairpin turn. After that, were out of the Snake Road and less than two miles away from the park. I dont know what Im going to say to her once were there. But Im going to do something that I havent done in years. Ill listen. Ill listen to everything shes going to say. Ill listen to her every fear, to her every concern and complaint. Im sure therell be a lot of em. I hit the breaks and grab the steering wheel tight. Were almost past it.


The car refuses to stop, I release and push the pedal again and again. No response. The breaks are not working. How could this happen? My mind flashes through those tiny moments when I sensed something wrong while I was driving, but didnt pay much attention. My mind was elsewhere; on us, on her. I try the handbrake. Nothing. Thats impossible. How could this happen? Its like somebody sabotaged the car.

I keep shifting into low gears, but I can feel its too late. I had too much speed. Were going towards the barrier, and if we pass through, everythings over. Well be taking a plunge down the cliff. I automatically press my right hand on her body trying to protect her, although I know I cant. We hit the barrier and pass through it like a bullet. The crash wakes her up. Its the first time I wish shed stay asleep. Numb and unaware of what is about to happen.

We are now in mid-air. Breathings stop. Heartbeats stop. The full moon fills our view and shines its light upon us revealing our scratches and dents. The grass stains on her knees which she could only get if she had kneel down the grass area where the Porsche is parked, and the black smudges on her nightgown which look a lot like the ones I get on my hands and clothes when I work on the Porsches engine.

I hold her hand tight and say, I love you.

Were the moon.


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