She was lying there on her flat tummy with her head turned away and, maybe, even her eyes closed. Her bare bony shoulder peeked from in between the sheets while her jet black hair was strewn carelessly on her back, maybe even hiding her face. The faint morning sun was fighting with the light-green drapes to get in and expose last night’s recklessness. He woke up to this scene with a frail recollection of reality and a reluctance to accept it. A broken smile.
She moved the minute his head made a rustle against the pillow. Light sleeper. Yes. And turned her head towards him while the hair still covered her face. Her slender fingers reached out from under the sheets to give her a clearer picture of him and parted her hair from her face. She saw the smile. Amused she asked, “What? Was I snoring?”
“Nope! Purring rather”, he replied as he approached to catch her waist and pulled her closer to himself. “Hey look!” she said softly, “Don’t get me wrong but, I need to leave now.” She slowly moved his hand away from her waist and pulled herself up and sat crouching on the bed like she was praying. The sheet was shrouding her slender figure and he could notice her breathing deeply. The smile slowly faded and reality started setting in. She carefully crawled out of the bed to get her clothes and started dressing up. Not once did she look him in the eye while he was lying there on the bed staring straight at her. Now on his back with his arms folded behind his head, he was carefully observing her while she got dressed. Not even a glance his way. There was no hurry in her demeanour and she took her time to wear her jeans and t-shirt that she usually slips into like a Russian magician quick-changes her dresses.
“So, what time’s your flight?” he asked, to force her to break that uneasy silence. “Hmmm? Oh it’s in the afternoon” she said, “But I need to get home and make sure that I have everything packed and ready.” “Do you need help?” he asked. He knew what the answer was going to be, but he was a sucker for a better reply. “Nope. I’m good!” and she finally looked at him and smiled. “You can enjoy the rest of your day. You don’t have to waste it around me. I can manage.” Somehow her words and her eyes just never spoke the same things. He had noticed this too many times before and how that smile was used to mask the dissonance. She reached for her bag, took a final look in the mirror and was probably going to say bye.
“Hey why don’t we go for a quick breakfast and then you can come back home. I’m famished. Care to give me company?” she said instead. The smile was back on his face beaming brighter than the sun. “Of course. I’m hungry too and I could kill for some pancakes” he said jumping up in his bed. “Our last breakfast together. Let's make you some breakfast.”
“Pancakes sound decent” she said with a smile that brought a sparkle to her eyes. He was out of bed even before she completed her sentence. He made the breakfast while she lent a hand with a few things that he let her help with. He hated people invading his cooking space but that was not important now. It was a perfect breakfast of pancakes, apples and some coffee with the regular banter on the side. Not once did last night appear in the conversation, though it was constantly on their minds. The regular nonsense was just to distract from last night. There was desperation to fill in the awkward silences. No one wanted to discuss last night or maybe that’s all that they wanted to talk about.
They finished their meals and washed the dishes together. Soon it was time for her to leave. "Could there be more reasons for her to stay?" both of them thought. The moment they reached the door, she turned and hugged him tight. “It was awesome” she whispered to him and he could almost hear her smile in his ear. “Yes, it was” he said. She looked at him and beamed... and slowly let go of him. She opened the door, gave him one final glance and said her final goodbye as she walked out on the pavement. When she turned back one last time, both waved at each other. He took his time to close the door behind her while she walked away. She trotted down the quiet lane, kicked a stone lying on the ground out of her way and continued walking to her house.