i wrote this in january this year i think, then got pissed off with it and shelved it, and wrote 'something else' instead (which is how it got its name, me being frustrated and just typing "something else" to get me started). then yesterday i found it and it wasn't as bad as i thought, jsut needed some tweakin here and there. it is the silent argument between an unwitting triangle, eek, that sounds so cheesy, but it is a realistic situation and one that it is all too common and all too easy to find yourself in.
it prob needs a hell of a lot of polishing, but here it is for now.
How over is over
Anyone looking at them could see they had been lovers. It was in the way they held each other’s gaze a little longer than was necessary, a flick of the head, the notice of something deeper that was invisible to anyone else. A longer touch.
‘It’s over now,’ she would shrug when questioned. ‘It’s over now.’
But it was obvious to him that it wasn’t over. It wasn’t over now. He would watch them talking with a wry expression that aimed for somewhere between indulgence and something less tangible. He wanted to look that he was so confident that he didn’t mind her talking to someone who everyone must know, everyone must know, had once seen her in a state that was now reserved for him.
It was the helplessness that he felt; it was this that stung hardest. Because he knew it was over. Because he knew if he brought it up, all she could say was that it was over. But it wasn’t over enough. He hated that she wouldn’t see this. He hated that she hated that he wouldn’t see that she couldn’t make it any more over than it was.
‘What do you want from me?’ was all she could ask. ‘I’m not going to stop seeing him. He’s been around longer than you. It was over before you.’
It was an ugly thing, his jealousy. It would tug his toe, and grasp up his body in a shudder that he would excuse as ‘sorry, someone walked over my grave,’ and she would laughingly stroke his back that would execute the second shudder. This anger borne from the roots of his body as they clung to the ground, trying to avoid the cloud fantasy where his hate was realised. In his mind, he saw a goblin mocking him, shrivelled skin and wide smiling lips glinting in malicious fury. He would see him laughing in her eyes as he flinched from the sight of her in his other’s arms.
Was it that he, the other half of her, the other one, knew her in a time that had forgotten him? Or was is the more basic carnality, the thought of her clutching against the back that she now wrapped in her arms in a welcoming hug? Did he feel a fool knowing that the others in the room were imagining the same sight?
But he could never ask her.
She sensed his confusion, and would try to restrain her actions. She mentioned him less in conversation. Yet she worried this would make it worse. It would make it look like she had something to hide. It was all too late, she realised, the blueprint in her response had been formed. She could not no longer touch him, or not hold him in her gaze as she had not done before. Her reflexes had switched to that point and it was no longer part of her controlled response. But she couldn’t understand the jealousy. It made her stupid, it made her cheap. It hated parts of her that she treasured, her past that was part of her body. It was as if he looked at her and declared that he hated the sight of her left arm. Without her arm her body was incomplete. Without her past, her body would be disfigured. She hated that he didn’t see this. If she loved him, then why couldn’t he understand that every experience she had was etched on to the body he reputed to desire, and if she rubbed those out, she would lose her self.
‘You just love what you want to love,’ she would cry. ‘You want to erase me.’ But he never understood. And the frustration drove her in circles. How could he not understand that the love of the other had made her in to this shape?
‘It’s over now,’ she insisted. But she knew.