They sat with their bare backs to the cold glass that could be considered the external wall of the skyscraper they called their home. Her dark fringe reached her upper eyelids and her hair to the freckle near to her last pair of ribs. With her eyes tightly shut, her eyelashes careful not to let go of each other, her fingertips slowly caressed the cold hard marble under her. Her index finger first, then followed by the rest, they all felt the icy temperature of the reflecting material. The marble was pale beige, just a shade darker than her own skin. Her mind wandered off and her thoughts built a whole backstory to the blocks under her. The marble was skin, and the whole building an animal, perhaps a human, stuck in place (much like her right now) and it giggled with every fingertip tickling it. Her head, as heavy as lead, hit back against the now dirty glass again and again. Everything was happening at once and she had no idea what to do.
Forcing her lashes to part, her bright green irises lit up the room. The empty room before her, except for him, felt filled. The rays of light coming in from outside allowed her to observe every single particle of dust. Every time she finds a new particle she remembers a different time. The small straight one reminded her of the time she went to the beach and wore her favourite red dress. The longer one with a small curl at the ends got her remembering her old school and the way she played in the rain. Her fingertips stopped tickling the monster’s skin.
“I like the weather today.”
“It’s just cold enough for my skin to stay dry and warm enough for my nose to stay tanned,” he chuckled.
He talked to her about the weather when the walls of the room around them had dents and splatters of paint that meant so much more than how the weather made his skin look. She stretched her legs out in front of her to get her blood circulating in them again. Admiring her black skirt, she lifted her head off of the poor glass and lifted her thighs off of House’s skin to stand up. Her feet quietly moved around, her conscious of her every move and how much weight to put on each, as her eyes searched for her shirt in the corridor. That was her way of telling him to leave. He wanted to. He dreaded every second that he spent in this house and this room and especially this spot since the day that he told her, but there was no choice but to tell her the truth.
His muscles never felt weaker and his bones more sore. Trying to push himself up would only cause more agony, so he stopped trying. With his knees directly in front of him, he wrapped his arms around them and buried his face deep in between them. He still had no idea why he talked about the weather. Every time he would open his mouth to project an interesting, or so he thought, thought that occurred to him earlier, he would end up spitting out something completely idiotic. He sighed, then searched in his pocket for his lighter. His hands went up to his face, rinsing off the shame with their dryness, then through his already messy blond hair. They then proceeded to feel the area around the block he was sitting on to find his cigarettes, at least that would calm him down. Striking his thumb against the roller and pressing it onto the lighter’s button the first time didn’t work, neither did it the second time, but the third time did the job. His left hand searched this time to find the cigarettes, then picked one out to lift it up to his craving lips, his shaking lips, his purple lips.
“Please God let him be gone,” she thought, her steps getting heavier the closer she got to the empty room. He wasn’t.
Dianne had to figure out a way to get him to leave. She had to figure out a way to get him out of her life, at least for the next three months. Her tongue would tie itself up and swallow itself down every time she would think about him leaving. She never did really figure out if she wanted him gone or not. She no longer thought it was an obligation for her to hide away the obvious swellings or the dark blue and green bruises on her body. She no longer feared the ones to come, either. With her shirt on and her hands tying up her hair, her feet led her to the balcony door where she paused for a few seconds to finish up her hair, and then pushed at with all her might. The view in front of her eyes was absolutely mesmerising. All the inhabitants of the building always complained about the horrible view of the urbanised roads and polluting cars, but she thought it was the best thing she could ever see. Her eyes would never get tired of counting the red cars in the midst of the usual blacks, whites and greys. She passed time by watching the young hotel porter of the hotel across the street try to carry the bags that usually weighed three times how much he did onto his golden cart. She found it ironic how his cart was glittering as opposed to his physically exhausting job. There was no wind to blow through her hair, just the sun to burn holes into it.
He was not confused any more. He could never completely grasp what was going on from the first few minutes, but then he would go back to his natural state of acceptance. After burning out three cigarettes, he gathered enough calm nerves to go up and explain her brain to her all over again. Like he did the week before, and the week before that, and every single week for the past seven years. He did not mind, not one bit, not at all. He did not mind that he had to explain the way she thought to her, he never did. Actually, during the first four years, Laith enjoyed it. He had the honour of carefully unwrapping her covers to finally understand what she was about, but the covers never stopped coming. Oddly enough, each cover stretched out more than the one he finished deciphering, and he loved himself a good challenge. His thighs ached as he got up and his head spun around itself thirteen times. His vision was blurry and obstructed by these weird blotches of yellow and black accompanied with an eerie sensation behind his eyelids. Extending his arms out to balance the water in his ears, he finally got himself stable again. He laughed, half-heartedly, at how his feet looked like the only thing with a pigment in the room, other than the beautiful colours on the walls then stepped onto the balcony to begin his weekly talk with her.
“Dianne, would you listen to me at least? I know you don’t want to look at me, I know you think I caused these horrible bruises, but darling I promise you, I’m not like him. You aren’t covered in bruises, I swear. I swear, darling, just open up your eyes. You aren’t living with him any more,” he whispered into her right ear as she intently listened. She frantically searched for the bruises she saw a few minutes ago and turned around.
“How… They were he-“
“Yes, I know, honey. They were here, and here, and here, and here.” He said, pointing at the places she recalled to be bruised. Lifting her left hand up to eye-level he smiles and says, “and remember, you have a ring.”