In part inspired by the blustery horrible weather we’ve been having!
Clouds hang in the murky air like soiled sheets on a line. The slow thrum of traffic reverberates around his skull. He raises his head; sight is blurred by the sleet arcing its way horizontally over the hard ground. A pause to wipe the grit from his left eye, pink and sore from exposure to the harsh elements.
His thoughts revolve endlessly around the stilted speech. His face mirrors the shift from anxious hope to pained despair. He will knock on the door. She will see him. It will be different. It will be awful. He will reach for her hands. The contact will be reassuring. She will remember. The hands.
He had always found the hands to be the most erotic organ. Their dexterity and sensitivity with threadlike veins mapping out the delicate and vulnerable wrists. A finger traced over the palm caused shivers to shockwave to the delicious core of the body. She had let him sleep with her, he had known that at the time. His drawn out and tentative courtship had lacked reciprocation. A house warming where he accompanied a friend, stumbling intoxication and fumbling fingers had finally allowed him to revel in the glory of her nakedness. She had even let him linger in the morning. Allowed him to trace his fingers over the bones of her hips, the pleasant bulge of the tummy.
A soft voice cuts through the biting wind. Her hair is plastered to her pale cheeks, the red hue of her rain jacket matching the bright raw nubs of her knuckles as she begins to intertwine her fingers anxiously.
“Why are you here?”
The question hangs between them.
“Willow, great to see you!” His voice verges on desperate.
His eyes crease effortlessly, accepting the smile her presence brings.
As he reaches for her hands she angles the line of her body away from him. The hands.
He regurgitates the words. In his head they sounded convincing and heartfelt. Now they seem trite and feeble. His eyes are fixed on her fingers. They wind around each other, lingering over a garish pink plastic ring. They stop. His words fumble and fall to the ground. He meets her gaze. There is pity.
Later in the pub he will tell his friends that he is happy that at least he tried. The lie will stick in his throat.