Damn it, he saw me. I’ve been avoiding his gaze for at least 2 weeks now…and I think he knows it. He somehow senses that my absence from his evening cigarette reveries… is not by accident. He invites me over and I decline and he does not push it, like he usually would. My conversation is less revealing and my body language steers me towards my own front door…instead of his. There has been a change and he wants to say something…to justify it…to correct it, but he has not done anything wrong to begin with. And I know this…and he knows this. He will not be able to bring me back to a state of openness, late night laughter, and secret whispers…and this permanence slightly dents my heart.
There are things he wants to tell me but there are questions that I refuse to ask…so for the first time in our short acquaintance, there is that awkward silence. My eyes gaze into his and I choke on my own thoughts of wondering who she was. All it took was a glance, to see that the skinny, pale, blond girl, was everything I am not…and that secretly makes me glad. As she shakes my hand, I glance down at her barely there breasts and I wonder if she knows how his eyes water and mouth begs for a glimpse of mine. I see how her pale skin has not been kissed by the sun and I wonder if she knows how he marvels at my golden tone, whether it’s under the night sky…by candlelight…or being lit by television sitcom rays. And her hair…her thin, stringy, blonde hair…it will never do, for he likes to entwine his hands in my thick, dark locks and bury his face in its scent until it lulls him to sleep.
I haven’t seen her again…but I know she will be one of many. Just like he has seen male visitors, though they are few and far between, and noted that their skin was darker than his, their girth twice his size, and their voice missing that country twang that distinguishes his. Sometimes the line between what we want right now and what we usually prefer, is as different as night and day.
He misses me, I can tell because his words give him away. He notices my early mornings, my late nights, my flowers blooming and even my wind chime, that does not chime. Its silence reflects my heart when I decided that we can no longer cross that thin line between mine and his. No more sunburn ointments, no more stormy night reassurances, no more grocery bag favors, no more bottle opener borrowings…no more going that extra mile for no other reason except for the pleasure of seeing the other pleased. The fact that I have reduced us to two pleasant strangers passing within an arm’s length away…saddens me. But this is how it must be.
Tonight, he asked if I had any more groceries and if I needed help carrying them up. Some lies have a purpose, so I lied and said no. He somehow senses that my absence from his evening cigarette reveries… is not by accident…and I just confirmed it.