He sat across the table from her wondering what thoughts kept her eyes distant and despondent and her soft pink lips slightly parted as if she were about to share what exactly it was that kept her in such a state.
Dissatisfied with her lack of response he took a long hard drag off his cigarette and held the vile smoke in, feeling it descend into his lungs until it shot out of his mouth like ash from a volcano poisoning the air they breathed.
She sighed quietly, bringing herself out of the little world she had drifted off to only to realize he had been watching her intently, which made her self- conscious. She licked her dry lips as she tucked a brown curl behind her ear and sat up straight in her stainless steel bistro chair and finally she looked at him.
Her nervous smile did nothing for him. He only blinked in response, if you would call it that, and took another drag before extinguishing the cancer stick, cramming the remains into the gray stained ash tray and cleared his throat as if to speak… only he didn’t. He seemed to be waiting for her to say something… anything.
She looked away from his piercing grey eyes, feeling the crushing scrutiny of his glare and looked around the bistro taking note of the two couples sitting nearby deep in their own conversations and wished her life was worth talking about but it really wasn’t… not to her at least.
He wanted to ask her, beg her to open up to him but she was terribly timid, beautiful in her own waif like way and intelligent when those rare moments he was able to glimpse inside her heart but Daddy had done his damage on this girl. Alcohol was a cruel weapon shutting down the girl when she did talk and constantly fed a steady diet of criticism and demoralization produced an insecure introvert but he loved her none-the-less.
He wondered if she would realize her true potential, wondered if his love for her was patient enough to see it happen. Was he up for the task? He wanted another cigarette but instead he leaned back in his chair, away from the soft pack, and dug both hands into his thick brown hair and sighed loudly.
“My father died today,” and as she said that it felt as if some unseen tether had broken away from her vocal chords allowing the words to flow freely.
“I love you,” she said most seriously.
“Are you coming home this time?”
Without a word he grabbed her hand, stood to his feet and kissed it. She stared straight into his grey eyes, stood to her feet and kissed him. She didn’t mind that he tasted like cigarettes or that his shirt smelled of smoke. It was who he was and in a twisted way it comforted her.