Wednesday, June 23, 2004
There was nothing for her here. She knew this. What she couldn’t figure out was why she’d come regardless of knowing it. It was as if the knowledge was one thing but the truly knowing - the comprehending of it was quite another. And so she sat, awkward on the paisley-patterned couch, trying not to move as each subtle shift and adjustment caused a squeak of protest in the thick plastic protection the owned had seen fit to protect the horrid fabric with.
There was the sound of voices drifting in from the other room. She could make out the two voices, each separate and distinct. But she couldn’t make out the words being said, perhaps because she didn’t want to. Rather than focus on the meaning, she found it relaxing to merely let the conversation swell and break over her, as if she were a rock in the stream of noise. They were higher now, angry. Now they were pitched lower, as if the speakers had suddenly remembered a presence in the outer room. She rather wished they’d forget about her entirely and leave her on the couch simply to exist the rest of her life away.
The grandfather clock in the corner kept a steady beat, and in a more paranoid moment she felt certain that it was measuring her somehow. Sizing her up with the measuring tape of minutes and seconds and finding her sorely lacking. Then as soon as it had come, the moment had passed and the feeling was gone.
The hem of her skirt was itchy and it slowly crept into her consciousness, the tickling burn right above her knee from where her mother had stitched on the lace only days ago. She could remember still falling in love with the lace, with the little hearts and swirls in the stiff white fabric and begging her mother to add it to her dress. She’d hated this dress. It was too plain. There was nothing to it but sleeves and a waist and a skirt at the bottom and then the rest of the material that made up a proper dress. It simply was, and there was no denying. So for that reason alone, she had felt certain that it absolutely needed the lace along the hem. Looking down at it now, she couldn’t quite remember why.
The couch let out a low sound of protest as she reached down to scratch the spot, leaving long white marks in her tanned skin. The voices changed had changed pitch again, while she had been worrying about her dress; now they were worried, frantic, words spilling out against one another in a rush to be free.
A plate of chocolate cookies sat on the table in front of her. The chocolate coating shined in the sunlight that came in from the window behind. They looked good and she longed for one, but felt it wrong to upset the couch again. It was so temperamental, after all, and she’d only just calmed it back into submission.
Quite the picture she must have looked when the lady finally came out for her. She’d had warning - the voices had rushed to a halt and there had been a heavy silence and then the sound of creaking floorboards. But she’d become so wrapped up in wondering as to whether everything in the house complained as the couch and floor that she felt caught unprepared when finally happened upon. It took a moment to find herself, to withdraw from her thoughts, and the lady gave her a puzzled glance obviously noticing that her smile was delayed and faltered in finally coming. For that, she felt self-conscious and not a little bit stupid.
“Are you all right, dear?” the lady asked, hand coming up to clutch at a non-existent strand of pearls around her neck. Unable to find her voice quickly enough to answer, she just gave a small nod, trying to will her smile into a more reassuring form.
The lady seemed placated, at any rate, or didn’t want to inquire further, for she just nodded towards the now open door. “He’ll see you now.”
For that, the lady got a more sincere smile, although it was still tempered by a heavy bout of self-consciousness. Surely, the lady must have been wondering why she’d come here and sat waiting for so long. The girl suddenly decided that she should have taken a cookie, since they were offered, and now mentally kicked herself for not. She pondered a moment whether it would be the right thing to take one now, but then decided against it and finally got to her feet.
The pause caused the lady another look of concern but it disappeared as the girl finally rose. With the manila envelope in her hand, the lady waved her into the office and then quietly shut the door behind her.
He was there.
- posted by Deborah @ 10:47 PM
Copyright 2003 - debbo