16 November 2008

Sunday Morning Fiction

The statement rocked him, metaphorically and literally. He physically rocked back on his heels. She cringed, regretting the delivery as much as the words. She continued as quickly as she could. “We got into a fight, we were splitting up. He got angry, left in his truck in a tantrum. He hit a power pole a few miles from the house, died instantly.”

“I’m sorry I was so abrupt. You didn’t deserve that.” She continued. “I’m still a little angry about it. And you, appearing out of the mist like a ghost…”

“I’m sorry” He interrupted her stream of explanation and apology. “I am sorry for a million things: big and little.”

She just couldn’t take the caring tone in his voice. She’d made it through his disappearing, she made it through Steve, she made it through the past six months. She didn’t think, however, that she could make it through the concerned tone of his voice and the compassionate expression on his face.

Kelleigh stepped around him, determined to make it the last twenty feet to the door. The library held her salvation. It always had. It will again.

Andrew wasn’t to be stopped or avoided that easily. He touched her again, his hand on her shoulder and this time she didn’t resist. He gently turned her around, his hand sliding up to her chin. He tipped her head up. “Stop it. Just stop. Answer me.”

The tears welling in her eyes undid him. It undid her. She hadn’t cried in six months. Before that, she hadn’t cried in nearly twenty years.

One single tear rolled down her cheek before she turned her head away and swiped at it impatiently with her hand. “Answer you what? You didn’t ask a question.”

Andrew paled for a minute and she watched the muscle in his jaw move. She watched his internal fight for control and knew exactly how he was feeling. “Look, I have to go to work. People are expecting me. How about we get together later today?”

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