Isabella has just fallen asleep when she’s woken by the shrieking entrance door. It’s him. He’s home. A few moments later he carefully enters the living room, closing the door behind him. Isabella, who’s lying on the couch facing the wall, pretends to be asleep. She hears him put down his bag and jacket and then pull out the other couch, just centimetres from where she’s lying. He prepares his bed for the night and changes into his boxer shorts and a t-shirt. The room is small, barely large enough to host two sofas, two people, yet dozens of shared stories.
Isabella hopes for him to come over and gently kiss her, for him to ask her about her day. He has been distant recently, hasn’t hugged her in days. Nor has he crawled into her bed, well, her sofa. It had been her who initiated things after all.
Isabella turns around to get a better glimpse of him. She still pretends to be sleeping and opens her eyes just a tiny bit, enough to guess his silhouette. There he is, staring at his laptop screen once more, watching a movie with his earplugs on as he has done the previous nights.
Isabella knows he won’t come over to be with her. One morning, a few days earlier, he stepped out of the shower and put on a bathrobe in the living room, just as she was turning her bed back into a couch after the night. They’d both been in the room for a few minutes, silently doing their things when he finally stepped towards her and hugged her from behind. Isabella slowly turned and hugged him back. His moist body felt fresh on her t-shirt. He’d left his bathing robe half open. His hair was still wet at the tips and it looked darker than usual. Isabella leaned into his neck and took a deep breath. “You smell nice”, she said. He smiled, still holding her in his arms. “You really like my perfume, don’t you?” She nodded. Then, she looked him in the eyes. “Do you still fancy me?” It took him a moment to answer: “I do. But at the moment my head is full of so much other stuff. So many things I need to sort out. And you’re leaving soon, anyway.” ̶ “I am”, she said with a smile. Then they’d kissed before she finished off placing the couch and he got dressed.
Now, as she’s pretending to be asleep, determining his silhouette in the dark room, Isabella thinks back of that moment. He fancies her, she thinks to herself, but she isn’t worth getting attached to. Nor is he. She will be leaving soon, after all.
She knows she probably won’t see him the next day since he’ll get up well before her to work at that trade fair for a few days. Upon his return, she’ll already have left. If they were to say goodbye to each other, it would have to be here and now, in this very moment. Upon this thought, Isabella feels her eyes getting heavier and she finally falls asleep, for real.
When she opens them the next morning, the spring sun is shining through the curtains. Isabella sits up straight and looks around. The other couch is put back into its usual position, with the blanket and the pillow neatly piled on top of it. The jacket and bag are gone. The computer and earplugs are silently resting on the small table in the center of the room that had been occupied by the couch the previous night.
She spots a little bottle containing a caramelish liquid next to where she usually places her earrings and the other jewelry for the night. It hadn’t been there the previous days. September breeze it says on the bottle. Isabella opens it and takes a sniff. It’s his smell.
From → Random