“You should probably go.”
She held the door open and motioned towards the gaping hole where it had just been with her free hand, hip c***ed and red lacquered nails clacking feverishly against the wood in a flimsy charade of indifference. The eyes of the dinner party held the scene in suspense, filling the stuffy dining room with the smog of awkward tension.
Slowly, slowly, I unwound my twisted muscles and bones, shoulder blades aching from the effort of maintaining a façade of languid relaxation – my body had been slowly curling in on itself with each passing offense of the night. Like an armadillo, I often find myself drawing in when faced with uncertainty, folding up into a smaller version of myself to hide my vulnerable parts.
But now I forced my muscles to unravel so I could stand, back forced straight, to stride quickly across the room from the table to the exit until I was almost next to her and I slowed down and – I stopped.
I stopped right in front of her and met her eyes with my own.
They were pretty, a greenish hazel ringed by a wall of tawny brown, set close together about the bridge of her freckled nose – just like I remember. Those eyes used to change in the summer, little gold shavings swimming into her irises as the sun bleached her hair. By the end of the season, she would be nearly completely golden from all of those long expeditions we took in the little wood behind her house. Gold hair, gold eyes, gold skin – the sun was kind to her in that way.
Fingernails stopped clacking as we stood there, alone in the smoggy gaze of the other guests.
And I walked out.