Saturday, September 29, 2007

YOU DON'T HAVE TO CALL ME DARLIN', DARLIN'

"Damn. You’re leaving?"

"Yeah, I’ve got a few more stops to make before I go back."

"You’re in New York now?"

"Yeah," she sighs, as if New York were a bad thing in her mind.

"How’s that going?"

"Same as when I was here, really. There’s work, I’m just not getting any of it."

"Well, Jesus. You look fantastic." This is legitimate. Not some kind of buffer compliment. It might’ve been the first time I’ve ever meant it when I’ve said it to her.

"Thanks. So do you." I honestly think she means it, too.

There’s an awkward moment where we kind of stare at each other. I don’t know what goes through her mind, but I’m noticing the things about her that weren’t there before. Things that contrast the way I remember her before her move east. The odd tan she has on her face, the invisible, yet completely visible corrective braces. She’s more fit somehow. Her hair is pushed back and not as carefully sculpted as I remember. Everything gives off an air of not caring. It really suits her.

She checks her watch. If this is for real or simply a way to get out of there, I’ll never know.

"Shit, I should go."

"That’s cool. Yeah."

We hug in a way that’s not as forced as it used to be. And this next part is where she really knocks me for a loop.

"Take care."

That’s the thing she always said, "Take care." Only this time it wasn’t just that thing she said. There is a sadness behind it. Stemming from what, who knows. She was always a sad person, but those two words are said with such melancholy that I almost break down as she walks away.

I want to stop her and hold her for a minute. I want to be that person who can assure her that she’s got some sort of worth in this beat-down world. But I can’t bring myself to do it.

I let her go.




-SLL

1 Comments:

Blogger Adam said...

word

October 3, 2007 at 6:29 PM  

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