59: Lazy Day (drabble)
She woke up with yesterday night’s stars in her eyes, dried tear stains on her face and her breath caught in her throat. Her tousled, light brown hair lay limp on her pillow, making swirling patterns across her face and neck; it had been unkempt for a few days.
From this state of self-pity and melancholia she released herself, letting go of her painful balloons in her head. She watched the nothingness of her empty thoughts raise themselves to the ceiling and then dissipate like steam. She had no more tears, no more cries, no more sobs left.
Somehow, she picked herself up from the couch and walked out the door. The memory of her aching heels seemed to contain itself within her boots, but she didn’t give it more thought. Briefly, the thought of going back inside to brush her hair crossed her mind.
The gate stopped her in her path. Lazily she glanced down at the latch, which was coated in slightly unnerving rust. How long had it been since she had left the house? He had always given her excuses to stay at home and observe the beauty of the external natural world from the balcony, and she had been so in love that she was blinded by his real intentions to keep her at home. She had subconsciously learned to love her cage, even though she didn’t realise that her own home had become a cage for herself.
He’d taken away her pens and notebooks of memories, and left only pencils and sheets of paper. He knew she was a terrible artist, and did not enjoy writing in pencil. She did not know why he had taken them away. Had he been angry at her? Had he read something in her notebooks which had provoked him? She exhaled lightly, her eyes re-focusing on the peeling paint of the gate.
The sheets of paper had been her only solace. Once he left her at home for a whole week alone. No notebooks and pens for her to reminisce and create new entries. She had to write on the unlined paper in pencil. She wasn’t very good at writing straight without provided lines. She remembered studying her poor handwriting afterwards. The pencil had smudged, a few spots of tears scattered across the page, where her tears had fallen while she had scrawled out painful words. It was only when she had skimmed across the words that she realised she was ranting about him, cursing him, saying things which would undoubtedly make him mad. She had scrunched up the papers. She wasn’t faring very well without her notebooks. Why had he taken them away?
The jarring memories were pushed aside as she unbolted the latch and stepped outside the boundaries of her home, his property. A sense of freedom and divinity soaked her like sudden rain. She felt the dried paths of tears on her face crack slightly as the radiant smile overcame her features. By her side, the fingers of her right hand twitched.
“Radiance, a sense of renewed beauty,” she wanted to write. She closed her eyes; she could see her slanted scrawl across the page of one of her lined notebooks. The sight was absolutely refreshing, tinged with nostalgia and hidden pining.
Across town she trudged. It seemed as if she had never left her house in months. Her favourite florist closed down and the book store had relocated to next to the grocer instead. Some new person in the council was mayor now. The children in the local public school all seemed like overgrown little tots. Perhaps the biggest change was in the park. There were new benches, new pole lights, a new playground set. Where had the money come from?
The changes were positive. She sat down on a wooden bench and leaned her back against it. Nearby, facing her was a pair of lovers, who appeared to have been there for quite some time. Quietly, and as subtly as she could, she observed them. The man had one arm curled around her shoulders, and she seemed to be smiling into her scarf. The man whispered something into her ear. Obviously from where she was sitting, she could not hear it, but she guessed that he had something sweet or humorous, because the woman laughed and gently slapped his stomach. Then, both of them were laughing.
Their laughs were melodious, almost in harmony. It brought tears to her eyes, tears she didn’t know were really still there after all this time. She felt them fall into her lap as the couple’s laughter calmly faded into the faint wind. She watched as her hand slithered stealthily into his. It seemed to her a perfect fit. She watched as his other hand cupped the side of her cheek. She could not see the woman’s eyes, but she could see his, a milky chocolate, filled with admiration, love and respect for the woman who was virtually in his arms. A breathtaking smile stretched his lips, and she watched as they exchanged an intense gaze with each other. She watched as the man’s lips began to move. She did not hear the words; rather, she saw them as they were translated from his mouth into sound.
“You are beautiful, and I am so lucky to have you.”
Perhaps if she were within earshot, she would have heard his voice go a tone lower with huskiness. She turned her head away at the last second as the man brought his lips to his lover’s, and she launched herself off the bench, hiding her face behind her dismal hair. She kept walking as she openly sobbed to herself, her tears blurring her vision, her thoughts, her heart. Raindrops began to pelt down all around her.
“If you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain…” she had written once, in the first notebook of memories. She remembered writing that phrase, and she supposed it applied now.
The rain made her stop in her tracks. Slowly, she turned around and unsurprisingly, the pair of lovers were no longer there. It almost seemed to her as if they had simply been a figment of her imagination.
She sighed and shoved her hands roughly into the pockets of her zipper jacket. With a slight hesitation, she cast her eyes down to her body. Her unzipped zipper jacket was hanging completely off one shoulder, exposing the bare and simple t-shirt she had on underneath. She could barely see her own jean shorts underneath the long t-shirt. Her choice of outfit was accompanied by an awkward heeled pair of black combat boots. To someone else, she must have looked rugged and unfit for contribution to society.
“She’s probably having a lazy day if she’s not dressed to be working,” she could hear someone say within her head.
Perhaps if I had seen that you had not truly loved me like I had expected you to, I would have left a long time ago.
She didn’t return to his property that night. She had vanished like the steam of her balloons.