28 September 2013

Short Story number 9

Short Story number 9: Inspired by the song «Low Rising» by The Swell Season from the album Strict Joy.

To any casual observer, they seemed to be two strangers with no other connection, except the fact, that the laws of physics determined that they shared the same space and time and accidentally crossed each other’s path. They were sitting side by side, but apart from sharing the same table, nothing else revealed the real bond between those two souls. The loud noise of the crowded restaurant did not appear to bother the couple having dinner. They both executed the movements with pristine precision, as if they were actors in a play, and everything had to be according to the script, leaving no margin for improvisation. In a place, where socializing was the keystone, and everyone, at one point or another, engaged in random conversations, they were clearly swimming against the current, as they were not talking to each other. They were both staring into the void and it was perceptible that each was lost in their own thoughts, rambling around the outskirts of their own private world.
Though they appeared to be mere strangers, they were, in fact, connected by years of close intimacy.
When they both finally finished their meal, their eyes met, in a silent attempt to predict the next move. After muttering something, she left the table to go freshen up and his eyes followed her.
Throughout the years they have been together he cultivated the habit of observing her moves and reactions, particularly when she was not aware of being the focus of his attention. He believed that one’s true self easily emerges when in complete solitude or at a safe distance from the possibility of being scrutinized by others. Therefore, taking the time to pay close attention to the small details of someone’s actions, generally leads to a better understanding of the person as a whole, bringing us one step closer to capture their true essence. Nevertheless, it has been a long time since he last engaged in the conscious action of taking charge of his senses and command them to get rid of all the filters that gradually undermine every attempt to grasp objectivity, distorting the reality, preventing us from fully apprehend what is right in front of us, and focus solely on her.
That self-imposed clarity of thought allowed him to recognize that she still kept the same graciosity that first fascinated him. She moved with the elegance of a queen, yet her eyes reflected an earnest and straightforward simplicity.
While returning from the restroom, she caught a glimpse of his face amongst the faceless crowd. She could see that he was clearly staring at her. And, by the time she reached the dinner table, she already knew that something had changed in the way he used to look at her. It almost seemed as if he was looking at her for the first time. The perplexity of that moment, caught her off guard and immediately touched a chord inside her, waking her up from the emotional lethargy she had been in. It was one of those unpredictable moments, when a simple gesture or an unexpected attitude from someone we know, or we think we know, can suddenly change, in a few seconds, years of pre-defined opinions or even feelings that we used to experience about that person.
He stood up from the chair. As he went on to pay the dinner’s bill, her eyes followed him. She still admired his confident manners and the strength of his stare. He always had this ability to read her soul and disarm her insecurities. It was inexplicable to her how the distance between them could have grown to the point of almost transforming them into two strangers.
He returned to the dinner table and they prepared themselves to leave the restaurant. As they stood before the entrance door, they simultaneously reached for the door knob. The synchronization and spontaneity of that gesture brought back to both unsuspicious feelings that had been laying beneath years of misunderstandings, regrets and deceptions. Their eyes met, and for the first time in years they were actually not indifferent to each other’s presence. At that precise moment, although without any kind of formal and rational recognition from the parts involved, a silent pact was made. That night, they chose to stop the motion that had been pushing them further away from each other and commit themselves to slowly restore the bond they still shared but did not seem to remember anymore.

                                                                                                        By Raquel R.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.