11.30.2013 Journal Prompt

Photo by Vincenzo Balocchi
Photo by Vincenzo Balocchi

November 30, 2013: When he first saw her…

One Reply to “11.30.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. He remembers things, now they are apart. He remembers first things, like holding Abbie’s hand on a walk back from somewhere and nothing was said and he just took her hand in his, braver than he’d ever thought he could be. And they seemed to fit then, like two pieces in a puzzle, and that was the start of something.

    And he remembers the first kiss – because he wrote about it in the pages of a book he was reading. It was meant to be one thing and then it was another. He meant to kiss her cheek, a grown-up farewell at the end of an evening, and she turned her face, a little and enough, and their lips met; briefly, but certainly a kiss and their first. And Abbie did not pull away so a second kiss followed the first and that kiss was something more than briefly.

    ‘So, is this a thing?’ his brother had said. ‘Is this a something?’

    And Thomas recalls saying in words that it was. The first that he admitted it was. And he then immediately wasn’t sure, but could not take the words back. ‘She’s different,’ Thomas told his brother. ‘It’s different. With her it is. And I don’t know what it is. Not really.’

    Then the first time, and it was all so rushed that he does not have the details in his hands, but a blurred memory is all. A cottage in the middle of nowhere and they were there with friends and one room and one bed for the two of them. Well, they were a couple by then. And the air was cold enough they could see their every breath and they undressed in a hurry and quickly under the covers. And then all a blur. He does not recall the touch or the smell or even the taste; recalls only that it happened and that was the first. And afterwards, they talked in the dark and he remembers that, and the promises they made and the plans and their whole lives mapped out that cold under the covers night.

    But roadmaps rarely describe the journey. Nor do they show the obstacles in the way or the alterations that the traveller must make to get to his destination. Thomas remembers the first time Abbie’s words were spit and spite against him and his against her. And he remembers the second time, too, and the third. And the day Abbie slammed the front door and was gone for days and he forgets why that was.

    ‘That’s normal,’ Thomas’ brother had said. ‘Every marriage has its ups and its downs.’ But it was more than that. He was sure it was.

    And then seeing Abbie with another man, and it was over by then, well and truly, and they were living apart, and seeing her with him it shouldn’t have hurt, but it did. Like the first time ever he saw her and he remembers that clearest of all. She was with someone else then, too, and she looked so beautifully sad. That’s what he thought. Like a child that has made the wrong choice of toy and outside the shop the child doesn’t know what to do or what to say. And looking at her then, Thomas thought he understood her and he asked around till he had hold of her name and also a little about who she was and how he might see her again.

    ‘Hello, Abbie,’ he said, and that was the first they had spoken in a year and it was like the very first words spoken back at the start and yet it was different, too, so that they neither of them really knew what it was.

    ‘Thomas,’ she said, and there was a question in her saying it and he did not know how to reply.

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