Posted on October 17, 2017 by Patricia Ann McNairNarrative Nudge ~ October 17, 2017 Image from Rita 10.17.2017: Where she went. Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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She sucks on a cigarette, sucks deep and holds the inhaled smoke inside, holds it before letting it out again. She’s sitting in the bathroom with the window open so when she’s finished no one will know. The door is locked and she has these moments to herself. The shower is running so Liddy won’t be disturbed.
Something is not right, she thinks. About him, about Jamie. It wasn’t obvious at first. He was just different is what Liddy thought and she liked the way he was. His always looking for her across a busy room and touching her all the time as though to check she was real and kissing her when she wasn’t expecting it. All of that was good at first.
And sorting her hair so that it looked right, like her mom used to do when Liddy was a child in church; and adjusting the folds in her skirt when she was sitting beside him, or lifting a hushed eyelash from her cheek, lifting it with the slow tip of a finger and holding it up for her to blow away, urging her to make a wish.
She secretly wished sometimes he didn’t. Wished he was a little more far off and not always looking. ‘Jeez, don’t be such a mom,’ she said to him once and he was mad then and all his words sharp as stones or sticks, and he disappeared for a day after, or maybe two. And Liddy breathed deep and was herself and by herself; she danced with few clothes on, from room to room, and drank wine out of a dirty glass, and ordered food in, and played music so loud the neighbours came round to ask her to turn it down a little.
But in the end, with the music a little quieter, her hung head heavy and sore from the wine and the room tilting under each dance step, she was a little lonely without him.
Now he was back and it’d been like staring over at first, and she enjoyed again his hand on her arm and being always kissed and Jamie sorting her hair or her skirt. And all his words dovecalls again. Weeks he’d been back, and she was careful this time to play along. But then today she had to escape – just to draw breath – this time to the bathroom for a cigarette and just to be.
‘They’ll kill you, you know that? Cigarettes. Every one of ’em taking minutes from you so that you’ll one day die before your time. Just like your grandmother and your dad.’
A voice in her head that could be Jamie or her mom – saying the same thing over and over, the words like stones or sticks against her. And Liddy knows all that, about her gran and her dad, and she understands, really she gets it. But still she does it – shut away in the bathroom with the window open, one cigarette followed by a second. And it’s like breathing and being wholly herself and not being a part of her mom or a part of Jamie. And she needs this – sometimes she does, and that’s when she thinks there’s something not right.