The Lady at the bar (4)

November 27 – December 1, 2014

(a shared writing effort with Lars Epperson)

372 le matin 3

Arms outstretched towards the sky, he had quickened his pace and was almost running now towards the house as if he meant to embrace it. Something seemed to have changed in his mood and she wondered how one could shift from such a sense of grief to such a sense of glee without a transition.

Suddenly he stopped in his tracks and turned towards her. He did not seem to see her but was not looking right through her either. It was more as if he was lost in his thoughts and she was a substitute to the person who seemed to occupy them. He smiled at her, a smile that was all at once innocent, roguish and so disarmingly charming before speaking.

“Do you remember the old house? It was Sunday dinners; a tradition he wanted to keep: fried chicken mashed potatoes and gravy too much cooked to eat, worried him still, never quite able to carry it on.

Kids always seemed to busy the house where you pulled open your blouse.

– Do you like these?

– Uh, yes, think so, but never seen them outside playboy magazine

– Kiss them

Swimming in the creek, headlights shining on your nakedness…”

She listened to him as he alternated mimicking his role and that of the woman he had loved apparently, completely lost in his memories.

“Damn! Hated you/loved you; give me one more chance to nibble on your neck, down lower to your full breasts… I really need to make love to you, one last time”

She listened, not sure he was referring to his past love or to her as he seemed to be describing the love-hate relationship he had with her. Did he nibble on all his girlfriends’ necks? she wondered. She thought quietly about her own love habits and how it seemed that all human beings seemed to have their favourite likes and dislikes that did not really depend upon their partner’s likes and dislikes although they often had to make an effort to blend their favourites with their partner’s favourites.

What an intricate thing, she thought, this lovemaking where everyone was so different yet so similar. How was it that people even related to each other and were able to carry on feeling the same passion year after year if the things they did were so similar from one year to another, from one partner to another?

She was stopped from her daydreaming as she felt his gaze intensify on her and she lifted her eyes which caught his that seemed dark, brooding.

He looked at her, watched the wind play upon the tall grass blowing it first this way then that and wanted to tell her something but instead thought to himself “so many things I forgot to tell you.  Did I forget to tell you I love you?”

He gazed at her, saw her eyes widening and felt her searching him as he was searching her.

Again he wanted to say all those words to her but they just ran around in his chest as he talked to the image of her in his mind “Looking into your eyes, see the reflection, another time maybe someone new… shadows passing. I feel it fade. Yesterday, you would have wanted me to make love to you”.

She could feel that he meant to say something and she desperately wanted him to say it aloud but he seemed to be all at once lost in his own world and trying so hard to reach out to her and share with her his feelings.

He watched her expressions as her face changed from troubled to hopeful to pained to bewildered and he wanted to kiss her, to reassure her that everything was alright, that it had been a fleeting moment and that he was there for her like he had been for so long, like he would always be but the words failed him again.

He knew somehow that it wasn’t true and that this relationship between them that wavered between love and hate was bound to tear them apart and he realised that all the words in the world would do nothing to change that.

He smiled again at her, sadly, with the knowledge that the sense of heartbreak he felt was probably the one her eyes were conveying too as deep pools stirred in them with the downpour approaching. He thought softly to himself as he opened his arms to her and she ran on the backdrop of grass blowing in the wind “I know you won’t be here long; goodbyes, gotten good at them but hate that wait. Is it you, or me that goes first?”.

He held her tightly and felt again that mixture of bliss and pain as her curves melted into his body and he was submerged by her warmth and softness while at the same time realising that not too long after that they would be separated again. For now though, he whispered to himself as they clung on to each other and her tears spilled all over his shoulders “it is not over yet, it is not goodbye”.

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