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The German (excerpt)
Blind Man’s Bluff
Casual and Unobtrusive
Extra Strong
Cross
First time Bloomer
Hostage
Ideal Parties
A little Life
The Bowling Alley
The Other Woman
The Bird
Lost
No excuses
There were Two of them
The Signing
Philosophy of Silence
Precisely
Real Ugly Things
Situations
Small Town Diners
The In The Forest Thing
Underneath
Universe
The Shop Assistant
What it’s like being a man
Alternative Ending
The Incident
The secret Dialogues
Worded stimulation for the little urges inbetween

Philosophy of Silence

Uhm.

There it was again the second time in as many minutes that she had made this noise which could be comfortably described as a sigh. When he  looks up and over at her those piercing black eyes hit his before they pull closer together with disapproval. He returns to his paper, shrugging his shoulders at length. If she wants to play this way so be it, after all it wasn’t he who had done anything wrong, at least that was what he thought.

In Cathy’s head things looked entirely different and as far as she was concerned he could drop dead right here, she was certainly not going to talk to him for the foreseeable future be that an hour a day or a week or if required much longer than that. She noted his legs moving to the rhythm of the music and her furry black brows pulled even closer together almost touching one another before she decided to get up and turn the music off which for a moment gave her great pleasure. About five minutes later she regretted it when all she could hear was him breathing in and out and the occasional ruffle his newspaper made.

 

She decided to leave and stay with a friend, some friend, any friend as long as she wasn’t to sit in the chaos he called his order. I can’t even think in here she thought. Her ideal of a room was close to a prison cell as bare as possible anonymous distant. Nothing to get involved with just something that functioned as a space.

Abruptly she stands up her hands straightening the skirt she is wearing.

Tim looks at her over the edge of his paper which he found hard to concentrate on. What, he motions by pushing his chin forward and raising both eyebrows at once.

She looks at him with pity, her whole expression as cold as she can manage and yet, she starts to feel tears welling up inside. She shakes her head, silently irritated, her eyelids flickering before pushing past him towards the cupboard at the other side of the room.

The cupboard which he knew contained all she had arrived with which wasn’t all she had but by now she was more than glad she hadn’t brought more. Less is more, she thought at least I can take it all in one swift go.

He watched in silence as she pulled her bag from underneath, before opening the doors taking neatly bundled piles of clothes out, which quietly disappear in her bag. Tears are running from her eyes, down her cheeks as she clenches her jaws together, repressing any sobbing sound that may betray her cool. She can hear him get up now crossing the room and then the music comes on again, Tommy Guerrero ‘A little bit of something’ sweet and mellow it fills the room with an atmosphere which isn’t there. The noise makes her sob out loud before her jaws bite tighter together, her whole face contorts into a tight grimace as she tries to see through the rain of tears. Then the cupboard is empty, all that is left is in the bathroom where she flushes the toilet, blows her nose, wipes the tears away and puts some make up on to cover the water damage. She then takes the little green bag he had given her for her birthday not so long ago, which contains her toiletries, has a last look around before unlocking the door again. Outside she crosses through the hall back into the living room her face frozen in an emotionless mask. The little green bag is put into the larger grey one, then she zips it all up.

When she turns he has dropped the paper, looking at her with a worried expression which she answers by starring at him with wide open eyes her hands and shoulders jerking upward seemingly screaming ‘What?’. He looks at her for a moment longer his face started to look sad and old before looking down and she felt some malicious enjoyment creeping up inside.

She throws the keys on the table and picks up her bag, still looking down on him, looking so small in his chair his hands all screwed up with the knuckles turning white.

She starts to turn and move towards the door.

Tim’s head pulls up again and he can see her legs move as if in slow motion, everything seems to have slowed, and he can’t quite grasp the full impact of the situation. He watches her reaching the door, when he clears his throat, but the noise, hidden from her ears by the music, goes unnoticed and the door opens and the door closes.

© Marcus Bastel