Picture taken by Michael Mouritz
Poison. 20/12/2019, 05:40.
‘It starts at half past seven and you called me here so early ?´
He made a point to be incredulous. His voice raised higher than the normal pitch.
´Yea. The line up starts an hour before.´ I shrug and look at the time.
He looks around and settles into the lounge chairs in a row. His tall lanky figure folding into a slouched position, like a tiger ready to pounce.
I sit down beside him.
‘So how have you been.´ I try to make light conversation. I didn’t mean to dismiss his messages last week. It’s just that I didn’t want to hurt him by saying I didn’t have time for him.
And that I was seeing Christopher.
´Did you have a good weekend?´
´No. It sucked.´
´How come? I remember you said it was fun.´
‘I was really really unhappy. There were a few days I decided to disappear from the world.’ He looks at me so intensely I feel shifty meeting his gaze. I look at my hands.
´You really want to know?´ He arches his eyebrows in a semi-mocking way. As if challenging me to dare say I care.
´Well my friend told me about his broken relationship. A girl had a crush on him but he wasn’t that interested. Then he just wanted to be nice to her. And somehow he felt like he’d started to fall for her. But she’s not really interested anymore.´ He pauses to wait for my reaction.
´So he told me I’m really lucky that a girl initiates conversations instead having to make me guess.´
I nod again.
‘Tell me, do girls have to do that? Make people guess what they’re thinking? Torture us to no end?’
I smile apologetically. ´Well, because we don’t know what we really want either.’
´Aha! And you just have to torture us and make us play your games !’ His voice is distorted and the level of agitation in his expression and voice sends a shiver up my spine.
‘Why don’t you make people guess?’
I shrug. ‘I just like being honest.´
At this moment he reaches over and pushes a loose strand of my hair behind my ear. I retreat just a little because it doesn’t feel comfortable and because I feel like there’s an even greater distance between us now.
´Someone told me I hurt them with my…uh… ‘analysis’.´ I tell him. I didn’t want to seem like I was on my high horse. Maybe we could share some common grounds of humanity. And I could tell him what was really happening to me now.
He turns to me abruptly. ‘Oh yea?’
Then a smile breaks on his face in excitement, and his eyes light up in knowing excellency.
I shudder without moving an inch.
He was suddenly dead serious. His eyes squint a little. ´How come you’re so nice to people but you always hurt them ?´ His words are like silk, purring, slurring into each other smoothly. Accusingly.
Ouch. I flinch slightly but force myself to move back into position. ´I don’t know. I think I just tell them what I see. I don’t mean to hurt anyone.´ I frown a bit and try to stop the rising fear up my throat.
´But you dig out the dark side and you’ve got to admit it’s no good for anyone.´ He presses on intently.
´I think it’s what we all have to live with for a lifetime. If it’s your past then it’s a part of you.´
´I was fine before. You made me think of a lot of bad memories.´
I could feel his dissatisfaction even without looking.
He pauses and searches my face for remorse or sympathy. He continues, ‘You and your trauma, doesn’t do you any good either. You’ve got to admit that.´ He states confidently at last.
I feel annoyed. The complaints were easier to brush away. But constant pestering was putting me on edge, and I could feel so much negativity radiating off of his whole essence, but I didn’t want to take the hint to be nurturing and caring.
And a growling bear builds up inside me.
Frowning, ‘I don’t think so’, I say.
‘It’s helped me a lot and allowed me to understand myself.´
´But you still hurt if people triggered your pain.´ He said pointedly. He was fast, sharp and acute, sparing no time to look for an angle that would draw blood.
His features no longer look exquisite and interesting. They seem cold and cruel. His height no longer seemed graceful, but crooked. His hands and those long fingers didn’t look admirable but powerful, like within a second they could go from a brush to a slap. He reeled venom and angst in his aura.
It wasn’t a question. I wouldn’t take the bait.
‘No. I don’t. I’ve healed myself now and I’d smile and walk away.’ And I walk away from the poison I’d been baited to drink so many times in the past. I turn away indicating the end of the conversation and the end of us.