Thursday, May 10, 2012
Cigarette butts lay idly on the tray as smoke erupted from Michael’s lips trailing its way blindly into nothingness. He stared at the ceiling as he sat on the porch with his feet touching the floor.
“Do you love me?” he asked as he contorted his face to make a funny gesture. He was looking at Jane who was lying in the bed in a crouched position.
“Hmmf?” she was not listening.
“Do I make you happy?” he asked again in a more serious but less-troubled manner.
“You never fail to make me laugh, Mike. Always,” she said as she looked directly into his eyes, through and through. ”Do I make you happy?”
Michael smiled and closed his eyes. “I never thought of that. But now that you've asked,” he began. “I don’t think I could never be the happiest person on earth right now. Everytime. All the time.”
It was tempting to feel his eyes a little burning and wet, but he parried the dread. He opened his eyes and scanned her as the crowing of roosters erupted from the outside.
“I have to get dressed, Mike,” she said as she stood up and bent down to pick up her clothes. She started to dress herself up as quickly as she could. “The kids needed to be in school and my husband will surely freak out if he finds out I left early.”
“And what if he did? What will you tell him?
“Jogging,” she answered as she tie her hair into a more peaceful knot. “That always does the trick.”
“In stilettos?” he badgered. He couldn’t resist laughing.
“I can sort that one out. That shouldn’t be a problem.”
“Your husband is a fool,” he muttered.
She darted a look at him as she picked up her bag. “And you think you’re any different?”
“Well, yes,” he retorted. “I make you happy and he doesn—”
“I didn’t say that,” she cut off.
“I just asked you and you said—”
“—That you make me laugh,” she completed as she walked up to leave. “That’s different, Mike.”
“Wait,” he followed her and grabbed her on the elbow and turned her around. “Do you love me?”
Still bare and tugging nothing but desparation and sudden rejection, he looked into her eyes, through and through. The roosters crowed a little louder and now the sky is visible through the windowsill.
She looked into his eyes ever so dearly; apologetically and sympathetically. The crows talked and echoed, paired with passers-by chirping and some motorists honking the streets as the chill continued to embrace his bare muscular body.
She opened her mouth but words were dead and silent. She closed it as she took his hand off her elbow, turned her back at his and opened the door leaving him bare, broken, and undone. She walked towards the pavement as the musical of the crows belted the melodies of gloom and melancholy; turned left on the first alley, and then, she was gone.