Going back to Croatia stirred so many memories, memories that had lay buried for so long. It wasn't even that they were bad memories, but, it's hard enough for Abby knowing that I still love Danijela. When we first dated she accused me of being in love with a ghost, and I suppose it's true, that it'll always be true. Danijela was my first love, she was the woman I lost my virginity to, she was the mother of my first two children, and had the three of them not been stolen from me we'd still be together today. I can't change how I feel about her, but, for the longest time the only way I could get through the day was by not thinking about her and our children.
Going back to Croatia changed all that, and when I wasn't looking after my father I found it easy to call up those same memories I had avoided for close to ten years. I didn't realize how ready I was to face them, and it took so little, a walk down a certain street, a familiar smell, and the sun setting over the water. I hesitated returning to Vukovar, I wasn't sure that I wanted to revisit the memories that lay buried there. It's funny, how one memory can change everything...
It was late, my father had gone to bed hours earlier and I was sitting on the terrace with working on my fourth or fifth beer with nothing but a couple of candles for lighting. I suppose it was inevitable that my thoughts would wander, I just never expected them to go where they did, especially after so long. It started with the flicker of the candle flames, I just remember staring at them, and not being able to pull my eyes away. After a while, things seemed to fade away around me and the only thing I saw were those flames, but, there were more then I remembered lighting, and that confused me at first, until I heard her voice...
"See, that's much better, now come back to bed." Danijela patted the empty space beside her as she spoke, then followed the action with a smile as her husband rejoined her.
"We should save the candles, who knows when we'll be able to get more." As he took a seat on the side of the bed Luka leaned over to give her a kiss.
"Aren't you worried that we'll wake the children?" He kept his voice low as he glanced first to the mattress where Jasna slept, and then to the crib that held Marko."
"You worry too much." Danijela lifted a hand to the side of his face, coaxing his gaze back her before sealing it with another kiss.
"It seems like forever since we've had any time together." She whispered the words in his ear, her lips so close that he would swear he could feel the tickle of them as she spoke.
"I know, between studying and my shifts, and the queues..." His excuse was stopped before he could finish as she captured his lips with hers.
"I don't want to talk or hear about anything out there, let's just pretend nothing exists but us." She gave him another quick kiss before sliding her hands under the tail of his shirt.
"I think you should take this off..." Abandoning the tail she turned her attention to the buttons down the shirt's front, releasing first one then the next from it's hole until it was open and she could push it off his shoulders.
"And what about you?" His question followed a soft laugh as her fingers tickled his skin.
"What about me?" Bracing her hands behind her, Danijela leaned back, as a smile slowly spread teasingly across her face.
"I think that what is good for me, must be just as good for you too." After reassuring himself that both children were still asleep he slid his hands under the hem of the cotton top she wore.
"Oh, you do, do you?" Danijela laughed softly, and while offering no resistance neither did she help him undress her save for lifting her arms so he could free her of her blouse.
"You are so beautiful." Luka leaned over his wife as he eased her back down on the bed, then, almost as an afterthought, he leaned over to blow out the candles, plunging the room into darkness.
So many memories...