Wednesday, April 25, 2012
What isn't said
'A few pints. A few friggin' pints...and on my birthday weekend. Jesus Christ!' He shook his head, affronted, as a child who is the target of a teacher's constant reprimands. His hands. which were aggressively held out as if to show what was perfectly obvious, dropped lifelessly between his legs, set widely apart on the small park bench. He sighed heavily and slumped further into the bench. She looked away, breathing deeply through her nostrils. She was angry. The anger was just under the surface, and there it would remain.
An old couple passed slowly by huddled tightly together, she linking his left arm. Apart from that the park was isolated.
She noticed his knee start to bounce up and down, an involuntary spasmic-like motion that usually suggests his anxiety over something. She recognises things like this. She ignored it, continuing to look away.
'I think you're being unfair, Clau. I mean...am I not allowed to have friends?'
She edged further away, leaning slightly over the arm of the bench.
'I know you're stressed out lately...what can I do to help?' He turned to face her.
She blinked slowly, wondering how she was back here again. Was it her? Was she being too harsh?
How could he help? Did she need to be helped? Could her feelings be solved? Did he see her as one of his engines that could be fixed quickly and easily?
She didn't answer. She sensed his impatience, and knew she had to respond soon.
He shook his head again, and got up, as if to leave, but after a short pause, he sat back down again. He took her hand in his. Quickly, she pulled away.
'Come on Clau. I don't get what I did wrong! Please tell me what I'm supposed to have done wrong.' He was facing her again.
'I...I...nothing. You did nothing wrong.' She continued to look away as she said it, not trusting herself to face him. Tears were smarting her eyes. She would not let them fall this time.
She could feel his gaze, waiting for her to go on. She felt paralyzed: she couldn't move and she couldn't talk. She could do what she always does and flow along the river, letting herself be gently pushed by the current, even if the course is wrong for her.
This was one of those crossroad moments. She could feel it but she did not trust her strength. Could she stand her ground?
He reached out again and took her hand. Warm, familiar. This time she did not pull away. Her heart felt heavy.
'I guess I have been stressed lately'.