Play Nice

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Patricia

Briefly

[This is where the summary would go if I'd bothered to write one.]

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Belongings

“Take me away,” she says.

He looks at her, seeing only the top of her head. She stares at the floor. Were she to raise her head, he knows he’d see the slight discoloring around her eye. The tinge of yellow and muted black that infuriates him but that she seems resigned to. Instead he merely places his arm around her small shoulders and draws her close. “I’ll take you anywhere you want to go.”

“Anywhere?”

“Yes.”

“That’s nice.”

“Where do you want to go?”

“I don’t know. Far away. The farthest place we can think of.”

“Done.”

He leans in and kisses the top of her head, feeling her body tense. She takes a deep breath and forces herself to relax. His own body feels like a coiled spring, ready to strike but he doesn’t voice his anger or frustration because she won’t understand that it isn’t aimed at her.

“So, should we leave tonight,” he asks, half hoping she’ll say yes. He’s got approximately $300 in the bank but to take her away he’d rob a damn bank for more.

“I have to go back,” she whispers.

“You don’t. You don’t have to anything,” he replies, the words bullets out of his mouth.

She pulls away from him and stands up. Facing him at last she pushes her hair away from her face and coils it into a bun. Her thin hands combs through it to capture the stubborn fly-aways. “No, I do. That’s my house and I refuse to leave it.”

“You understand, don’t you?” she asks as she leans toward him. This time he stares at the floor. He takes a deep breath and says no.

“Then I can’t explain it. Or I could try but it would never be enough. I just have to. I don’t go back for him. I stopped thinking about him years ago. But my things are there and I know I shouldn’t give them that much importance but they mean something to me and I won’t let him have them.”

“So he gets to have you?” he asks, raising his head.

She takes a step back, her hands coming to rest in front of her stomach, putting distance between their bodies. “Not in the way it matters. Not anymore,” she replies.

Published 11/28/05 in Writing • | Views: 2163 times | Print

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