Ordinary Lives- 6.
She couldn’t stop giggling.
His exasperation grew. Her dimple deepened with every rush of ideas in her head.
He rolled his eyes.
She took a deep breath and paused to look at him. The smile wouldn’t go off her face.
His familiar frown, the brown of his eyes turning into caffeine. The Silver has just started growing, and years later she’d be tucked in a bed, his cheek in her hand, his nose against her neck, and she’d talk about this night. Not this moment- not this pause between his question and her answer.
His pout began to grow and his hands went into his pocket.
“This is uncomfortable.”
She looked at him harder.
“In what way?”
“I’ve asked you something. You start giggling. I need an answer.”
She bit her lower lip to stop bursting into another spurt of giggles.
“What will I do when you’re gone?”
“What you do at home even today.”
“Dad gives me pocket money.”
“I earn enough to give you that and run the house.”
“And if I forget the keys?”
“We’ll keep one at the neighbour’s.”
What was with her? He was opening the door he’d never known had existed within him, and all she was doing was staring through him.
“I know how to. You should learn too.”
“I don’t want to.”
“But I’ll be away.”
She’s saying a yes.
“Okay Ma said I had to learn any way.”
They looked around for the next question.
It’s a yes.
She started giggling again. This time, it was deliberate and slow. Like she was trying to say something.
“Don’t go away for too long.”
“I never want to.”
The curve of his lip choked her and she started coughing. He grabbed a glass of water and made her swallow it, rubbing her back, unable to believe his luck. His last straw had stayed rooted while he grabbed at it.
Her chin on his shoulder was the only reminder of anything else in the world existed apart from the light that flooded his eyes, and lit up his face.
He threw away the pills that night. She broke the news to her family.