Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pretend me not.

"Could you at least pretend?" He stopped in mid conversation. Some discourse about the pairing of saffron with fish or was it paella. She had lost him some 10 minutes ago. Caught between the drone of his voice and the tinkle of Richard Clayderman's Ballade pour Adeline.

"Pretend what?" She asked automatically even though she knew the answer. Dragging the rocket leaves across herplate, watching the trails of dressing left in their wake. Blossoms of brown and yellow twisting, writhing into life on the white plate.  Now a face grimaced back at her.

"That you're interested in the damn conversation. Or am I such a bore?" The indignation,  frustration evident in his voice. And the implicit plea in the undercurrents beneath, the faint tremor barely discernible. 'But undercurrents are the most dangerous. So easily disregarded, overlooked. Till they overwhelm, drag you under and drown you.  And then it's too late. Too late for anything save to mourn.' The dispassionate part of her observed.

'But I have nothing to say.' The face on the plate now morphed into a torrid mess. Of nothing. Or what a baboon might splash on a canvas and others hail as art. The clatter of cutlery on plate. 

'Could you at least look at me?'

She looked up. Into the eyes of the man she'd shared her life with. Woke up to every morning. Stubble on the chin. Tousled hair now immaculately styled. The twinkle in his eyes when he grinned. His musky scent as they lay spent in embrace.

She saw the desire, confusion and the unspoken plea now written so plaintively on his face. She struggled for words to address his fears,  comfort her lover, her friend. But words failed her.

A flicker in his eyes. Like a passing shadow. Hurt, despair,  anger and resignation flashing past in quick,  silent progression. A silent movie on the face of the man she'd known and come to read like an open book. For his emotions unlike hers while equally intense, were open and undisguised.

Scrapping his chair back,  he rose. 'I can never tell what you're thinking. I'll get the bill. See you back at x at 7..'
 'Sit down!' The words unbidden, rang out like a gun shot. He stopped startled.  The forcefulness of her sudden ejaculation surprised her. Painfully aware of the curious glances from a couple of diners.  'Please.' she added. Not as an afterthought but one she really meant.

He settled back in his seat. A little warily she could tell, surprised by her sudden uncharacteristic outburst. With an apprehensive look that one would give a dog you can't decide whether to pat or risk having your hand bitten off.

Leaning forward, she grasped his hands. 'I love you dear.  But there are times I don't feel like talking.  And I never pretend when it comes to you. Why should I?  It's who I am.' He blinked, stunned by her unusual candidness no doubt she thought.

Then he smiled, the corners of his eyes crinkling in tandem with his impish grin and it was like a burst of sunshine on an overcast day. "I Love you just the way you are." Short, simple but all at once the mood lightened. The iceberg of tension and unspoken expectations shattered.  And all at once she knew they'd be making wild passionate love later.

Still smiling and holding her hand,  he called for the bill. Grinning like an idiot or a kid with his hands full of candy. She mused. But my idiot. And she smiled in spite of herself.


Kristen Saunders- Musings of a Growing Writer said...

Loved this piece. I like anime, and stopped mainly because I thought it might be a slash site. I'm always curious to see what pairings people come up with. I don't really create my own, I just sit back and observe. That aside, your piece was very nice. I hope to see more short fiction like this from you!

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