We walk along the street, he and I. Hand in hand because he insisted… I should feel delicate and protected when he walks me across the road and guides me away from the approaching traffic. I feel infantilized instead. Maybe the delivery of his chivalry is off or maybe I'm just not that kind of girl.
For me, the conversation is strained. My thoughts come out in short ineloquent bursts. Small talk is not my forte, you see and we have less than nothing in common. He doesn't seem to notice and I thank God for little mercies.
He's amused about how attentive I was during the movie we watched together. I want to say that there's no other way for me to watch, that anything less wouldn't be worth it. I know he won't understand so I hum under my breath instead. We talk about random things; simple enough things that I find impossible to sustain. What time he slept last night, what he'll have for supper… He listens to Tyrese and he doesn't get rock. I find that impossible to understand. I guess to each his own. In this labyrinth of shallow triviality, I crave depth. I want to say, "Let's talk about something we came up with all by ourselves. Something intangible and abstract; something unexplored.
Now we are walking along the street where you and I walked once, where our feet once clapped loudly against the tarmac on a silent night. I try to remember the conversation we had as we walked along here; our voices, whispering as if we were afraid to wake this sleeping town. I can't but I remember the warm ease of it; words fluid and easy, shyly at first like old lovers reunited then slowly gaining momentum. Finding their groove and flowing readily.
I reach my taxi finally and he goes out of his way to ensure the driver know his 'wife' is riding in the car. I'm sure that if I tried, I could find it all very endearing. Perhaps even a certain shade of romantic. Instead I'm glad when the last passenger settles in since I know I won't have to watch him linger outside anymore.
I'm exhausted when I get home but I remember to send him a text to let him know I got here safe; as per his instructions. I'd rather that than a long phone call. He calls anyway and I let the phone ring. That call is easily the twentieth today and I've run out of any indulgent patience. Then, in a moment of terror, I wonder if that is how you see me.