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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Apologia Glimmers

"...You have little lines here," he said softly, stroking beside her eye, where it was just a little moist. He kissed the shadow puddle. She raised her right hand slowly, smoothing out an imaginary frown on the side of his cheek, with a small sigh. Such a serious face. Such a caring face. Such a dear face....she simply left her hand there, laying gently against his cheek, so he could feel the strangled pulse there.

"...all those thoughts, trapped in this tiny map.." he said, quietly.

"I have painted places where I felt you," she finally said, softly...."painted, in different ways."

"I know", he said, softly, too. "I think I went somewhere like those places, for a while, sometimes."

"There was nowhere else," she said, simply.

"Say you're not angry. I came back again, didn't I? I had to go somewhere...and still be here, for everything." She hung her head, suddenly. "So weak.....I was... so weak." She closed her eyes, and sighed. "I couldn't let you slip away, even though I was almost gone, you know. It was the oddest thing, helping you. I just couldn't allow it to happen....I..."

"Shhh", he said, softly. "It's okay. I understand. It's...very odd....but..." he smiled...."you're a little eccentric, aren't you? It happens when you have to handle enormous pressure, I know."

"Plus", she said, opening her eyes and looking at him, "It helped when I had to direct the fire trucks, during orange alerts. I used to play this crazy Bjork song, from the Selma soundtrack, with all these whirring machines....before I went out on patrol, in the snow, in my parka, with the radio, walking along the railroad tracks, at three in the morning." He looked at her, quizzically. She sighed.

"Never mind", she said. "It's very complicated. One time one of our team members had to go out near the chemical bed to find half a nose." He looked at her, his eyes wide.

"Wha....?"...she kissed beside his lip, quickly.

"Only half", she said, flatly. "There was an accident. Aside from all the blood, he was still holding the rest on. A nasty day. They found it, though...half a nose, lying there..." She breathed.

"They sewed it back on, though, so it made up for all the other yeses." She looked up at him, smiling wickedly."The bastards." Air escaped him, in an almost laugh.

"One day I'll see that free coffee face again, though, sweet." Her mouth closed in a line, suddenly, pained.

"And you'll call me, so I can ..." he paused, looked at her, as he said it, in reply, and stroked the side of her face with both hands.

"I can't believe I told you," she said, looking into his face."You're the only one. I couldn't talk for weeks." She looked up at him again. "I just cleaned myself up, went to work, washed him down in the chair every afternoon, when I came home from my shift, and didn't speak. Every day I hoped he would come through the gate, so I could kill him.......... I never saw him again. I knew exactly what had happened....."

He rubbed her shoulders, softly, trying to control his own rage. She looked at him again, through a glimmer across her eyes. Just a little brighter than normal, otherwise he would not have thought there were tears there.

"I took a book of free coupon coupons into the police station, for Christmas. I think I was still in shock. I ..."her voice trailed off..."I didn't have time to have a nervous breakdown." Her mouth shut suddenly. She was not smiling.

"I think they thought I was a hooker, or something. I was trying to be nice, you know; not be angry, but be supportive, in this strange, removed way..."she stopped speaking, and took a breath. She started speaking again.

"I....there is this coffee connection"...her voice broke..."it's very, my....inlaws....and I was trying to care, again....he was sitting there, with an I.V. bag in him, and I was working 15 hour shifts, and going home....and...Christ, Charlie. I wished I was dead. I thought they would try to kill me again."

He kissed beside her eye, tucking a piece of hair beside her ear.

"I will always remember his face", she said, quietly, at last, in a voice so low it was almost a whisper.

"Always. I wanted to tack it on to a tree, for the druids to absorb, and make clean again. Is that violent and evil of me, do you think? Will I burn?"

He looked at her, quietly.

"I couldn't forgive myself, Charlie." She looked into his face. "And I knew no one else would, except you."

"Only with me, in my bed. And I promise it won't hurt a bit." Her lips were an odd mix of the firmest caramel, and the softest petal, and he made certain he got a real taste, at last.

"We'll be there a while, I think", he said, softly, kissing her nose, before covering her mouth again. God, it was nice to kiss a woman who kissed you back, without apology. Finally.

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