1. "Not About Love" by Fiona Apple
"Mark, it's not about love!" I protest, hugging myself on the couch in an on-call room. Erica just snubbed me in the hallway, like I was dead to her.
"Of course it's about love! Even I know that. I've seen the way she looks at you. I've seen the way you look at her. This shit's been going on for almost a year. It's time to step up, Callie. Step up or leave her alone because it's not fair to her. Stop acting like you don't love her." Mark lectures me, standing over me with his hands on his hips.
"I'm not acting like that!"
"You're not? Explain your behavior lately. Of course she said she doesn't know you. I don't even know you anymore. Get up off the couch. Dry your eyes and go find her. She wants you to find her. Go after her. Win her back. Girls love that shit. Go sweep her off her feet. She deserves that." Mark coaches me, giving me a game plan.
"What if she won't talk to me?"
"She will. Trust me. You won't have to do much convincing. She loves you. Just show up for her. Go on." Mark pushes me out the door and playfully kicks my ass with his Nikes.
2. "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star
I seize Erica's head and crash my mouth into hers, tackling her onto the bed, my body tumbling on top of hers. We land with a soft thud. I pull back slightly to look at her at this moment, my favorite moment, right before I ravish her. Sex has never meant this much to me. Before it was always....? Recreation? Aerobics? Not this. Not with her. Sex is the only way I can convey to her all that I don't have language for, how much I love her. Saying the words "I love you" is not enough. Insufficient. It's beyond language, it's the stuff of our souls and what happens to my heart when I look at her. I devour her mouth, diving into her, fading into her, losing myself in Erica.
3. "Hold You In My Arms" by Ray LaMontagne
I nudge Callie, fast asleep on her side. "Callie?"
"Hmm....what?" She stirs momentarily. "What is it?"
"I can't sleep. Can you just hold me?"
"I thought I was," Callie mumbles, drowsy, squinting her eyes.
"No, I was holding you. I need you to hold me. I had a bad dream."
"C'mere, baby." She rolls over completely and holds her right arm open for me to crawl into her. "Turn over on your side."
I obey and curl into the empty space her body makes, matching her shape perfectly. Callie clamps her arm around my middle and nuzzles her face into my hair, sighing. "Go to sleep," she whispers, kissing my shoulder. "Love you."
"Love you." I lift her hand and kiss the top of it before I entwine our fingers. Now I can sleep.
4. "Black Satin" by the Ravonettes
I'm sitting on our couch, Callie's audience for this private lap dance, my gift for our anniversary. She asked me what I wanted and this was at the top of my wish list. Our eyes lock until she unzips her dress and tantalizingly peels it off her shoulders, one strap at a time. She lets the dress fall, pooling at her feet, before she kicks it away. Wearing only a black satin bra, matching panties, thigh-high stockings, and black heels, she stalks towards me and nudges my legs open. I lift my hands to touch her hips, but she swats my hands away. "No touching," she scolds me as she reaches behind her back with both hands to unclasp her bra. I stop breathing.
5. "Ice Cream" by Sarah McLachlan
"Here, taste this." Callie airplanes a heaping, melting spoonful of ice cream to my face.
I turn away. "You know I don't like strawberry. It's blasphemy. All ice cream should be chocolate ice cream."
"But it's delicious," Callie teases me in a singsong melody. She ratchets the teasing up a knotch by licking the spoon seductively, performing sex acts on a piece of silverware, sitting on our kitchen counter.
I'm unable to stiffle a raucous laugh. "Stop it! That's gross!"
"C'mere." She grabs me as I try to walk by and sticks her cold tongue in my mouth.
I kiss her back thoroughly. When we finally separate, I narrow my eyes at her. She awaits my verdict. "Still don't like it." I say over my shoulder as I saunter away. I hear her feet running behind me before she jumps on my back and tackles me onto the couch.
6. "Silent Sigh" by Badly Drawn Boy
"Do you want a boy or a girl?" Callie quizzes me as we walk to the car, coming out of the doctor's office.
"Doesn't matter. Either. Both. I don't care. Just as long as it's a baby. A healthy one."
'Me too! Although I've always wanted a girl, you know? A little girl?" She grasps my hands, lacing our fingers, and tugs me closer, our shoulders bumping.
"We should pick out names for girls and boys though, just in case."
"Right! Any ideas?" Callie asks, swinging our entwined hands.
"Yeah, some." I look over at her, meeting her gleeful, dancing eyes. My heart glows knowing this beautiful girl is carrying our baby. I want to jump up and down in the parking lot. My heart is literally on fire for this girl and what our lives have in store for us in nine months. Instead of cartwheels, I settle for squeezing her hand as tight as I possibly can and kiss her temple.
She reads my mind, as she always does, and stops abruptly to cup my cheek and kiss me tenderly in the parking lot.
We come up for air and Callie joyously announces, "So about girls names....I was thinking about..."
7. "Untitled" by the Cure
"Let me just tell you all the things I never got to say. I was too terrified to admit that you were the one. But what if the one you've been waiting for your whole life happens to be a girl? That wasn't the plan for my life. I didn't know how to handle that. I didn't want to fall for you, but I did. You just happened to me. You happened and I couldn't handle it. I wasn't ready then, but I'm ready now. I'm ready for us."
"It's too late, Cal. I'm done." Erica tries to shut the door.
I stick my foot in the doorway. "No! No, you can't be done! I'm not giving up on us. I will sit out here. I will sleep out here. I'll do anything. I'm not letting you give up. I know you don't want to give up. I love you and I will do whatever it takes to win you back, make it up to you. Please, Erica. Please let me try."
She opens the door a little more and rests her forehead against it, considering. "Fine. You can come in and we'll talk. Just talk. I'm not promising anything."
"That's all I want."
She opens the door fully and lets me walk in.
8. "Baby, You're My Light" by Richard Hawley
"My ring looks nice on you." We admire my engagement ring on her creamy hand as we lay in bed, trying to catch our breathe after a celebratory romp.
She holds her hand in the air and watches the gem twinkle, catching some stray moonlight streaming through the window. "I love it."
"I love you," I whisper and kiss the top of her head. "You did say yes, right?"
"Yes!" She swats my hip under the sheets. "You knew I'd say yes!"
"I know. Just making sure I wasn't dreaming." I smile down at her upturned face. She rolls on top of me and kisses me deeply enough to ensure I wasn't dreaming.
9. "This House Is Not For Sale" by Ryan Adams
We're eating on the floor of the kitchen in our new house. Nothing is unpacked so we ordered pizza and are having an indoor picnic.
"Pizza's good," I comment between mouthfuls, munching happily, looking around at the cavernous, empty house.
Erica takes another slice. "Yeah...Oh! Where are we going to sleep? The bed didn't get delivered. Those assholes never showed-"
"We'll sleep on the floor. I have a sleeping bag. We'll camp indoors. It'll be fun!"
"Yeah, but we only have one sleeping bag. How's that gonna work?" Erica takes a bite of her pizza, chewing adorably, cross-legged on the floor.
"Right, I know. One sleeping bag?" I wink wickedly at her and smile, taking a huge bite of pizza.
Erica throws her pizza crust at me.
"What?! We'll be all warm and toasty, all cuddled up." I crawl over to her on my hands and knees. I climb into her lap and push her on her back to hover over her face. I run my hand up her side and cup her breast before I lower my mouth to her ear, "Our first fuck in our new house."
10. "Yellow" by Coldplay
I never noticed before how her eyes have silver flecks that sparkle when passing headlights flash by. I study her profile, how she bites her lip when she drives. "I love you," I gush as I lift her hand off the steering wheel and kiss her palm.
She smiles, eyes still on the road. "I love you too."
I lean over and chew on her ear lobe.
"Baby, I'm driving." Erica yanks her head away from me, trying to concentrate on the road. "You're gonna kill us."
"Just drive." I slide my hand up her skirt, running my nails up the inside of her thigh.
She tries to close her legs as much as she can, with one leg still on the accelerator, the car hurtling forward at 55 miles per hour. "Callie! Stop!"
"Pull over," I purr into her ear before I kiss the sweet spot just behind it.
"We're almost home-"
"Just pull over!" I'm already undoing the belt to her skirt.
She abruptly pulls over, kicking up dust and squealing the tires. She quickly turns the key off in the ignition before I attack her, violently turning her face to smash my mouth into hers. I awkwardly but hurriedly hike my skirt up and crawl into her lap. I'm facing her when the red flashing lights catch my eye.
"Baby, the police are here..."