Sweet Nothings (the products of some random writing exercises)

She strolled through the hallway, hair tied up tight in a bun, movements calculated and cold.  I shrunk into the book I had on my lap, but to no avail: she still spotted me.

“Hey,” she said.

I looked up as though I hadn’t seen her.  “Oh.  Hi,” I responded.

“I was looking for you,” she said as she put a hand on her hip, and gave some imitation of a smile.

“Really?  Why?” I raised my eyebrows innocently.

———————————————————————————

I sat down to the desk with my cheap gas station coffee.  Couldn’t afford the expensive stuff now.   I grimaced at it’s taste and my idiocy.  I pulled a pen from the jar, and opened my notebook to tear out a sheet of paper.

“Hey Jillian,” I began.

My heart skipped a beat and I couldn’t even imagine her face when she read the letter.

“How are you and Cera?  I have something to tell you…”

———————————————————————————

She heaves a cart behind her, stacked with disorderly disks.  I glance at her face and she turns away, focused on something not here and now.  It’s quiet in the library today.  She’s one of the only people here.

Her movements are measured, almost mechanical.   Soon her cart of media shrinks to something nonexistent, and she paces back to the room, emerging not a minute later.  Her eyelids flutter and her eyebrows crease as she turns to pick up one disk that she dropped.  She mutters under her breath and then goes back to shelving.  Putting back.  Setting right, and making order out of nonsense.

She drops another one, and I hear a half formed curse whispered in the near-silence.

I bend to pick up the DVD for her.  It’s not a weird thing to do because I’m sitting at a table a couple feet away.  “Here,” I say and hold it out to her.

She looks at the encased disk in my hand, uncomprehending for half a second before her surroundings bring her back to reality.  For just a moment when I look into her eyes,  I see the turmoil brewing inside her.   When her expression softens, it disappears.

“Thanks,” she says, and takes it back with a little smile.

———————————————————————————

 

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