His hair is the colour of citrus spiced with flecks of almond. His eyes are piercing cyan. So blue they’re almost grey. He looks at me and gives me that smile. It is a cheeky smile but there is a certain sense of cynicism to it. A world weariness unknown to people like me.
“We are here”
His voice reflects the tones of a church organ. Sombre, deep. A great sense of thought put behind each word.
He stops the car and parks on a patch of flattened gravel. Whilst we wait we drink from a bottle of jack and he regales me with previous tales and adventures. I like it when he tells stories. It makes me feel so alive. He does more than simply recount an anecdote. He makes me feel as if I was actually there. Right there beside him as his life unfurled in colourful broad strokes. By the time we’ve finished the bottle it is getting dark. The moon is a silver pearl suspended from the sky. Every time he looks at me I tense my muscles trying to broaden my shoulders and push out my chest. He knows I’m doing it. And I know he knows I’m doing it. But I do it all the same. I want to impress him. I want him to love me like I love him. But it doesn’t happen. At one point I’m almost certain he’ll kiss me but he doesn’t. And I curse myself for wishful thinking. He notices my distress though and gives me a cheeky wink offering me more alcohol. This time it is Vodka. I don’t recognise the brand but I graciously accept it none the less. I am new to drinking. I am new to life.
I’ve had about three swigs of the new beverage when the alarm on his phone goes off. Californication by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. It doesn’t fit the environment. We are parked up in the Cotswolds. The night sky is purple like velvet and the air is clean. There is a mystical almost ethereal quality to it all. He stops the alarm much to my relief. I notice that as he looks up from his phone he is alert, vibrant. He scans the inside of the car slowly, looks at me then looks down at the clock on his phone.
“It has happened”
I nod trying to give him some form of reassurance.
“This time exactly. At this very spot… One year ago today”
I can see tears welling up in his eyes and seeing such a strong person become distressed hurts me.
“I never saw her again you know. After it happened. I never saw her again. It was the last time I saw her.”
I wince slightly at the mention of her.
“We were up here in this very same car. At this very same spot as you and I are now”
He articulates his point with his hand.He looks at me his beautiful eyes glazed with regret and whisky.
“Right up here you know. It was right up here when they took her. When they f*cking stole her”
I don’t like it when he swears.
“And there was nothing I could f*cking do. I tried to stop them. I tried to fight them off. But you can’t fight off something like that.”
He looks downwards and breathes deep. As if he’s trying to suck away at the very fabric of reality.
“It just kept on coming. And there was nothing we could do….nothing I...nothing I could do.”
I put my hand on his shoulder. I don’t like this story and I want it to stop. Whenever he speaks of her abduction he changes. He gets angry. He shrugs my hand off and glowers.
“You know I have nightmares about it now. I f*cking kid you not. It’s all clear as the day it happened. The dim lights on the horizon. How they pulsed, getting closer and closer. And how my stomach turned the closer they came. How I threw up as the light enveloped us. How I could do nothing but spew my f*cking guts up as they took her.”
“It wasn’t your fault…It really wasn’t. There was…there was nothing you could do”
“It was so bright. Oh so bright”
He repeats this for a few minutes or so. I don’t know what to do so I just listen to him. Occasionally in a raw moment of panic I take my eyes off him and look out the window. Looking for pulsing lights on the horizon. But I see nothing. Nothing but night sky and the sobs of a damaged man.
The vodka is finished in an uneasy silence. Once the last dregs are drained he turns the keys in the ignition and we drive off into the night.
Edited by orbitalraindrops, 13 March 2013 - 08:12 PM.