Thursday June 26th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about something that was: left unsaid.

We can thank Greg for this one, in a roundabout sort of way. His comment on yesterday's post inspired me to share my piece from another point of view, and this was the prompt that came out of that.

My parents arrived safe and sound this afternoon. It took Max about two hours to get fully comfortable with them, and then the performance began in earnest. By the end of the night he was bossing them around and laughing like a maniac, which was just lovely to see.


I can still remember the smell of his coffee. Though I rented the second floor of a cramped house I could always tell when he walked past as he made his way to the river, even if I wasn't sitting by my kitchen window in the morning. Which I often was.

Okay, almost always.

I suppose you could say I was waiting for him. Not that I ever meant to. It just sort of seemed to happen that I would be near that window every morning around the same time. And he would come along like clockwork at 7:15; he could have been my alarm, if he'd only have knocked at my door instead of continuing on.

Instead I would grab my purse and follow after him. On those mornings that spare change jangled in my coat pocket I bought my own coffee, but all too often there was not a forint leftover after rent and meals had been accounted for. Times were tight back then.

So I drank from his cup. He never seemed to mind, though I wondered if he only did it out of pity for my poverty. I never asked because I feared his answer.

So much was left unsaid between us. So much I wish I could have told him, confessed to him. But one word I never spoke haunts me most of all. Just one simple word.

I could not have seen my arrest coming, but if I had and there was time for but one single thing to be done before I was locked in that miserable cell... I would have said goodbye.


Linda Ann Nickerson said...

Used your prompt here: Advice on ice

Thanks for the idea.

Greg said...

It sounds like both Max and your parents are having fun then! That's always a relief when you have house-guests :) And I'm rather pleased to see the other side of the coin today, though I wasn't expecting the arrest! That's quite dramatic and adds a little more light to this story. I think you should definitely consider carrying it on once the harvest is over and you have a little more time again :)

Left unsaid
Some things are better left unsaid, she mused, turning over the pages of the newspaper. Around her the café wasn't quite busy; there were people sat at fewer than five of the tables, and the girl behind the counter was taking advantage of the lull to finish her physics homework. Of course, there were also things that would have been better said at the time. Like where the key to bleed the radiators was kept, or how to turn the oven off in some other way than flipping the switch in the fuse-box for the entire kitchen. Or that her mother wasn't actually her mother. Her fingers clenched reflexively and she tore the page from the newspaper. She forced her hand to relax and looked around; no-one seemed to have noticed.
"You're still upset, aren't you?" The voice echoed slightly, and she tensed, not looking up. "You can ignore me all you like, but I know you can hear me."
She looked up, her eyes conveying murderous rage, at the empty seat opposite it. Appearing dimly there as though drawn in by clever use of shadow, was the ghost of the woman who had been pretending to be her mother all these years.
"I hate you," she subvocalised, the small sounds she made hidden in the natural noise of the café.
"Of course you do," said the ghost. It appeared to rearrange itself in the chair slightly as though getting more comfortable, and the girl behind the counter looked up in puzzlement as the cakes in the display case frosted over. "That's been part of the aim all along. Treasure that hate, you're going to need it."

Marc said...

Linda - glad you were able to make use of it :)

That's a fun poem you've written, I quite enjoyed reading it! I hope you find time and inspiration to share more of your writing with us.

Greg - now that I've re-read these two posts, I just might have to delve into this world again.

That's an intriguing scene you've shared with us, with an ending that leaves me wanting to know what comes next. Very nicely done.