A Character Study.
Andrew slid her glass across the table and took her hand. They had been like this for weeks, afternoons of pregnant pauses and long looks that made Alice sick, she had never looked for movies in her life, so she was angered when she saw parts of their relationship bordering the scripted. Andrew had come to life when her relationship with James became a series of non-events, struggling for warmth against the great weight of apparent expectation. The cracks had become large and deep, and although she sensed this doubt was temporary, it was still doubt all the same. So she let another life overlap the one she had with James, and learnt to lie quickly and convincingly. Andrew had become the root of her understanding to what emptiness felt like, and when he had begun to introduce himself to her she was overwhelmed.
When he smiled, his head leaned slightly to the left, and dipped into his chest in a shy swoop. The transformation of his smile, from post-orgasm to post-sleep, had become one of the cementing memories that shadowed any true thought of what he had become to her. The intimacy of the traffic outside her window, left open to air their smoke from the room, became so telling of the times that would no longer exist that a dull ache had formed within her, beating away laboriously under the weight of her own chest.
His glasses had steamed up from the heat of the room. For a moment she couldn’t see his eyes and wondered where he was looking. She had the terrible feeling he was looking at the floor, because looking at anything else offered the promise of an answer that she wasn’t prepared to give. To look at her hands, her bare shoulder, or the tips of her hair was unbearable.
‘I can’t do this.’ She said.
‘I know. I was beginning to wonder when you would say that, I was close to saying it myself.’ He knotted him fingers firmly into hers. ‘I didn’t want to say it though.’
‘You don’t have to because I am.’ She tightened her grip. ‘It was always for me to say.’
‘So what do we do?’
Her phone rang, and rang. Alice didn’t reach for her pocket. She didn’t know what to say if she’d answered.