Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Softening
I first met Sil at one AM in a dark house. Her stick figure silhouette stood beneath the arch of the dining room door, she was licking peanut butter from her fingertips. You're not supposed to be here. She told us sharply. Everything about her was sharp - her fingernails, her bony limbs, her angry gaze.

It was a cold October night, and my now husband and I had left campus and crept into his parent's house to watch a movie, alone. We hadn't expected Sil to be sitting cross-legged in front of the livingroom TV watching infomercials and sucking peanut butter from her fingertips.

And I hadn't expected such an abrupt and uncomfortable introduction to her. Our first impressions of one another were shadowy at best. I appeared as a shy girl, nuzzling my face in my husbands shoulder, avoiding her eyes and wishing she would disappear. She appeared hard and bitter. For the next year I remained shy around her and she was either sharp-tongued around me or ignored me all together.

But recently, something has changed in Sil.

She's happy.

She's sitting on the counter swinging her legs. Her black heels rhythmically click on the cabinets beneath her. Her fingernails tap the counter delicately. Her eyes are smiling. She is softer than I’ve ever seen her.

He told me he loves me. She says, smiling at me from across the room. She looks sweet and almost shy. Innocent. New. This is not the same woman who scolded a young couple in her parent's family room.

I'm sitting at table, elbows propped, picking at a piece of toast. It's hard and the edges crumble between my fingertips. Really? I push it aside. That’s wonderful!

She is different - either that, or this love is different. I've seen her live with a man for three years, waiting for a diamond, planning on an eternity - and never once be soft like this.

With him, she never talked about love. She never spoke about how it felt when he held her hand or about how she lost track of hours while tucked beneath his arm, pressed beside his warm body. When he wasn't around, she never spoke of him at all.

But now, she smiles without pretense. This new one touches her and her hard edges crumble away.

Finally.

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3 Comments:

Blogger LJ said...

Thanks for this one, Mella.
Thanks.

Blogger RougeRoots said...

I really like the way you right. I am not good with words, and really admire someone who can make them magical. Best of luck with your Fiction. I'm sure you'll shine.

Blogger Mercedes said...

What's up girl I love you! You are my hero what's your name again?

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