“So you believe in it, don’t you? This whole stupid idea of romance, flowers and candlelight dinners and even the ridiculous ‘happily-ever-afters’, you have an unflinching faith in it, admit it! Damn! How did I ever miss it when I looked into your eyes for the first time? Perhaps my vision was clouded too…by this demeanour of yours.” And she pulled her hair back, dextrously letting the rubber band slip from her slim wrist on to her hair held tight in the fist. He felt a sharp pang as he realised its happening now. Something that he has dreaded, rehearsed, dreamt and anticipated for weeks now.
But that was it.
She nodded once more before she got up and left. He felt ridiculous, staring blankly at the crumbs of the orange cake that wrapped themselves around the tines of the fork like desperate rings clinging to thin fingers for the fear of slipping off.
He had least expected this would end in a noisy cafe, so abruptly and callously. She could have timed it better, closed it nicely. He saw it coming in her withdrawals, her reluctant kisses, her drifting eyes and twitching fingers but the last thing love performs is a reality check.
He shifted his gaze to the swing door still waving her a goodbye on his behalf. It creaked open and he saw her re-appear. His heart skipped a beat. He dismissed it, he must be hallucinating. Then he though it must be the gin and tonic or an aching heart playing cruel tricks on him.
Then he felt her hand touch his face, it was actually her. She ran her fingers over every feature, his nose, eyes, lips and the firm chin. He had his eyes closed all the while, only inhaling her perfume and recalling the texture of the skin of her hand.
He opened his eyes and she had her eyes closed too. He saw the fine lines of strain corrupting her perfect facial skin.
She withdrew her hand with a sudden jerk and opened her eyes wide. He felt the brilliance of her intense eyes and the smile that rippled upon the placid surface of her pursed lips.
“Sorry!” she said.
He smiled, “ It’s all right. I’m glad you came back…”
But she had placed her finger upon his lips and he found himself kissing it clumsily.
She spoke, “ Get lost! Just needed to register all details of your face. My sculpting project is bloody half-complete. Can’t afford to start over mid-semester with a new model.” She blew him a kiss as she reached the door.
The crumbs had fallen off the fork, the swing door was creaking again…he felt it had ended just right…before she returned.
The swing-door creaked once more, he turned to look in the other direction…