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Her body stood erect and her posture absurdly perfect with her palms facing the expanse of wall behind her. She raised her chin and stared at him with eyes that betrayed no emotion.
But he could see it. He could feel her nervous energy, tense and buzzing, like a poised arrow ready to cut through the now solid air. All he had to do was say a word, a simple choice: to lift a finger and let the arrow fly straight into his own neck.
He smiled.
"I'm glad to see you," he said.
She knew what he had not said, why he had not acted. A slight weariness passed over her face.
"I'm glad to hear it." Both mouths twitched with suppressed smiles. She knew he enjoyed her laughter and that this refusal to allow the tones to play for him was the smallest kind of torture she could bestow.
He wanted it. He wanted to watch her fighting it, fighting the instinct to smile and place her fingertips on his lips until what drove her was merely a thought and a reason.
She spoke again, crossing her legs in a barely discernible movement and leaning against the wall which served as a striking backdrop to the alignment of her body.
"I apologize for any inconvenience. I don't wish for my presence to be one of intrusion."
"Don't apologize to me."
Her eyes met his after seeing the impatience in his mouth.
She said nothing more. He said nothing. Neither of the two moved, standing as though they had always been there and never been in the place before, as though there was no difference between her absence from his day and her arrival into it. They looked at each other, aware that what they saw belonged precisely to their own self.
She was near trembling in her effort to keep from touching him. She knew she could not.
She stepped forward.
"Goodbye."
"Goodbye."
He watched the form of her body walk away from him. He sat, whispered her name to himself only once and closed his eyes.




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