(first chapter of a Novel)
Soft Regrets, Harsh Reforms
With dejected abandon, a dark figure of a man yielded to a simple falter of feet upon uneven ground and fell harshly onto freezing, gravely ground. Fists clenched, knees bent, chest heaving. Then, those dirty, slightly aged hands fanned out, and rested upon the dirty terrain. He did not notice each little harsh piece of stone dig through his trousers creating tiny pinpricks through his skin and shy droplets of blood seeping through the fabric.
Though the pain was profound, it only mingled into the aching, stretching pain within his chest. The hulking man’s motions were manic and agitated; he moved quickly, sharply- always. Standing roughly, he began to pace toward unknown destinations, and traced over some last moments shared with a particular person. Starting with the pin-prick moment on the time map, following his detached imagining of a picture that will forever stay; the beginning of a renting end.
Thick paper files slumped upon smooth wooden flooring, then slid inches away from little feet encased in creamy laced up heeled shoes. The feet shifted slightly, while the owner’s hands regained natural position, instead of a lax holding position for where the files had been moments before. The little figures eyes just skimmed over the book selves before her, wide startled eyes fixed mirroring shocked eyes, yards and yards away, standing paralysed just inside those automatic doors, causing them to stay open, letting in the cruel, heavy November rain.
Each shocked souls mind worked frantically, making decisions; with similar results. They acknowledged each other, a greeting could not be avoided… but the greeting they had both hoped for could not be achieved, both hoping for a smooth encounter in which either one could create good impressions. This was now impossible. This once easy going, handsome man with the easy humour and enchanting smile is torn down to a shy, shaking wreck by the presence of a certain soul, and easy laugh. A woman who posses an exuberant air, welcoming eyes, simple confidence, melts and quivers with the eye contact received by one, certain, particular male.
Robert watched the little significant figure drop down out of sight; he almost laughed. He took stiff steps away from the doors (vague recognition of an authority telling him to go or stay). He smiled- a stiff, numb smile- as trembling hands grappled at fallen papers, all those feet away; her hands, hands he once knew so well, hands he missed so, so dearly. The little clumsy movements told him she was not avoiding him, and so Roberts long legs walked what seemed like a stretching mile. Step by step he took, the long carpeted stretch of air between them seemed to create a tunnel, a long, ever moving, stretching, tunnel whose air became increasingly stuffy, the deeper his legs moved him. This tunnel, a heavy bane, weighing upon him had an end, not an end with wonderment and amazing Light, but a tunnel whose entrance or escape was obscured by murky fog… light and freedom out there, a promise of euphoric brightness out of reach. Its end was not answers, but a little crouched figure struggling to pick up the fat files she had dropped.
His feet slowly stepped, foot by foot, beside her hands, which stopped stirring. Rose stared at those familiar boots, then- they both registered the cliché nature of such a moment of motions- as his knees bent slowly down, her eyes followed up his body to find similar searching eyes.
As warm retreats in the dead months of winter are, when the rain falls harshly upon innocent ground, beautiful solaces become places of rowdy and restless atmospheres. Hot and stuffy, brimming with those seeking refuge, a place, the home to oceans of thought, deeply mysterious and the source of some great pieces… Become a throbbing heart of thick air. Weighing pressure sifted heavily down over their heads, entangled with the jolting pains in their hearts, the shortness of breath and tightness inside their throats, each blank mind somehow rapidly working to capture coherence, decision, and audible dialogue.
He considered his words slowly, carefully- cautiously- then asked; “When do you finish here?”
“Erm,” Rose began, mind whirring to figure out Robert’s purpose here- and to retrieve her working hours from inside her rumbled head, on this lonely Thursday afternoon. “Six” she said, almost sceptically, though stammering, eyes faltering and hands shakily moving here fringe unnecessarily upwards.
The pair straightened up, averting their eyes, each uncertain and thrown by each other’s uncharacteristic assertion. Robert nodded, jaw set, hands re-shoved inside his coat pockets- then turned abruptly and squelched back into the deepening gloom of rain.
Those next two hours swept away in a confused, angry, shocked, nervous blur- on both their parts. So uncertain of what the other would do, what they themselves planned to do. The earth seemed to focus down to this location, all other importance gone, all other people places, problems; the entire earth now consisted of this city, this library, one person working inside it, the other stalking the surrounding area. Pacing, contemplating, walking away, then returning to it. Over and Over. Just this building, nothing but a structure of bricks, a structure without importance; only how it holds two people together in terrified uncertainly.
It would be wonderful to say this pair held pretences of deep love for each other, but they did not. Perhaps each of them wished such deep feelings towards one another, as that would be the favourable solution; neither could lie… neither could stretch to even wish the other felt such things. Though they know down on paper a future of perfection and happiness would or should be all too possible, such compatibility hindered them, obscured them, brought them into a simple place of love that neither could appreciate fully. Neither were satisfied. This may be a feeble reason for an incredibly potent and intense brake up, but here lies a prime example of ridiculous human nature.
This strange couple, couple of what is unknown, have not yet decided where they are to go, physically at this point in the tale, and how to approach the situation. Resolve appears to be on their minds… repairs not only wanted as an obligation, but as a strong desire.