2.11.2014 Journal Prompt

Image from Night on Earth
Image from Night on Earth

February 11, 2014: You could see it in her eyes.

One Reply to “2.11.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. You could see it in her eyes. They say that, don’t they? Windows to the soul or some such shit. Like the eyes can never lie. She said it was nothing and no one, but I could see different in her eyes. She was all lit up and smiling and her blue eyes bright as new silver. She looked like that for me, once.

    I don’t know why I’m here, sleeping as near to her as is allowed but not in her bed. I should’ve been long gone. There’s a job waiting for me up Brooker’s, about twenty miles away, and the money’s good enough, and there’s a place to stay if I want it – the sister of a guy I know. She’s pretty and I reckon she has a thing for me and she says all I go to do is whistle. But I’m here.

    Stacey makes me coffee and she asks me if I slept ok on the old sofa. I shrug and make no reply. Maybe I’m a bit on the surly side, seeing her all bushy tailed and dancing and not on account of me. I spoon sugar into my cup and I don’t stir it.

    I say she should sit at the table with me. Like old times. Like we are friends at least. She doesn’t argue or laugh. She turns the radio on and sits, and if I close my eyes, listening to the house warming up, well it’s like before.

    ‘Do you hear?’ I say to her.

    She thinks I’m talking about the radio and the song that is playing, which is something I recognise but it ain’t that. Her face pinches as though she is trying to solve a puzzle.

    ‘Not the radio. The house. Do you hear it whispering in clicks and clacks? And the water shifting in the pipes and the appliances all humming?’

    She doesn’t really get it. I can see that in her eyes, too. And that just eats at me. Like she’s doing it deliberate. Like she just won’t see the poetry in what I’m saying, refuses to see it.

    His name’s Feld, the guy she’s thinking on and smiling at the thought of, and that look she has is for him. She’s been seeing him for a month, just for a beer after work or ice-cream, like they’re teenagers again. He’s a year or two younger than her and I heard he’s nice enough. I saw them in town once, all close and touching and not minding that the world was around them.

    ‘I miss you sometimes,’ I tell her.

    Stacey looks at me over her cup.

    ‘I do,’ I say, ‘so shoot me,’ and I throw my arms wide and I play the innocent, like I’m just talking straight.

    ‘Don’t,’ she says and the look in her eyes then is hard as hammers.

    We’ve been here before and I know how this plays out and she’s right, I shouldn’t. It’s not fair on her. I blow air out of my cheeks and I look down at my coffee growing a milky skin on its surface. The clock on the wall snaps its fingers in regular time and I let the moment pass.

    ‘Fuck, Eddie! Why’d you do that? Why’d you always try to spoil things?’ She kicks back her chair and she drops her cup into the sink. It makes a noise like breaking.

    And that there is why I do it. In her eyes, fleeting but there, something to give a guy hope. ‘Cos if I was nothing to her, why’d she let me stay over, and why would anything I said be enough to spoil her singing and dancing day? Windows to the soul and all that.

    I push my coffee away from me and I get up and go without saying a thing more.

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