Wednesday, 17 December 2014

In the Grey

The harbour is empty in the grey of missing you.

Where are you Therese, I scream at the gulls, circling above me, above the cob. Last time I stood here, I stood with you. And we kissed. And we kissed the kiss of forever. Where are you? The birds, moving with a purpose on the wind, cry and caw in response. They consume my feelings, the wind takes my tears.

Changed futures, chanced futures. I had a chance of something new, something better. I don't want this future, I shout in silence, I'd give up all my possessions, my hopes, all I've promised others, my freedom for another moment. For another moment with you and the peace of mind....
'Your drink, Madam!' The waiter, dances it, chances it around my table, plonking the glass down and interrupting my lament. A leopard does not change its spots. The cliche leaks through my tired brain, as I look into his smarmy expression. 'Merci,' I reply, thinking I'd give him a piece of my mind though it might be murderous.

I don't. Instead, I search the faces of the passers-by. Search them for you. Nothing. Search them as I have done for days, hands to work, hearts to God, furiously searching and asking. Nothing. As one day has cheerfully undone the work of the last, I have uncovered...nothing. I have acquired a shadow. Plain dark suit but local gendarmie, no doubt. He sits a few tables away. He follows me discreetly. He has not said hello yet. It is a matter of time I suppose, perhaps he will give me another day before the police haul me in.

It is day three here trying to find you, to discover any sign of what has happened. Day thirty three since you did not return to Paris when you said you would. At night, alone in the room we shared, curled up tight on the bed, my dreams are addled by unfulfilled desire and wanton fear. I bumble around like a drunk staggering through painted bar doors, attempting to slake her thirst. Is she behind this blue one? No. Perhaps the red door? No!

Last night, I prayed to all the Gods before sleep. 'I promise to be good, to be better, next birthday, next funeral, next wedding, if only you'd give me a sign' repeating the prayer as long as the cold floorboards would allow. I woke with the watery dawn, no sign and my mouth dry. Chance would be a fine thing.

Now, at the quayside, the prayer haunts me. Wedding! I am playing constantly with the ring. Your ring Therese. Working a groove into my finger. Into my soul. Wedding?, I whisper to the cold sky, already running from the low sun. This change has undone me. A fairy child is inking malevolence around my heart. You were my one chance to stay the darkness. Without you Therese, I know it will overcome me.

The waiter brings me cold coffee, with added disdain. I lap it up.

In my pocket, chafing, a small box, circular imprint in empty velvet.

Copyright 2014 Gabrielle Goldsmith

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