She sauntered out of the house and onto the grass. He stood at the window and stared at her. She tugged at the branch of the birch tree at the end of the lawn. The sky was clear.
Her brows were furrowed. He couldn’t see this because she was facing the street.
She didn’t want to turn around. Part of her wanted to freeze in that position until an elevator materialised out of nowhere and took her up to another place. Another reality. A parallel reality. Or even if the elevator could take her into the future about one hour. That would be perfect. She’d be in her car, probably pulling into Burger King’s drive-thru and trying to forget what just happened. BK is her 3’o’clock ritual.
Not the healthiest choice but they do have salads.
She looked up from the grass.
In the window. Behind her. She couldn’t see him but she could feel his pupils burning into her back.
His fingers touched the window gently, pushing his fingerprints into the glass.
What did he say last week, again? “I don’t want you. It’s beyond that. I need you”.
And that is pretty much the precise moment her heart started freezing over.
But why? She couldn’t explain it at first. The day after he said that to her was a blur.
He needs me.
Want. Desire. Crave. Think about. Like. Adore. Love would be too much. But need? Need?
Why would he choose that word? You need air. You need your heart to beat. You need food and water. But “I need you” is a lyric from a top forty pop song. It’s not something you can apply to reality without alienating and scaring off potential love interests such as herself.
“I need you”
It’s sweet in a weird, stalkerish way, but… no she told herself
Last night she had a dream she was walking around the city. Normally she’d walk alone. She enjoyed evening walks along the riverbank. It gave her a chance to think. But this time he was there. He was behind her with his arms wrapped around her. In certain circles that might be considered romantic and cozy, but not now. Not in this dream. She couldn’t walk and felt like she was being strangled. He hung off of her much like a two year old child dangling off of mommy’s neck. He was an albatross. He was a heavy weight on her back. He’s an ex-wrestler. He is not a small man.
But, she thought, upon wakening, He is a needy man…
“… and you have to end things” her sister had said to her over lunch. “You’ve only been dating for one month” she smiled. “You’ll manage”.
“He’s a nice guy, but let’s face it. He’s gotta go”
“He’s needy. Exactly”
She’d taken the Greek salad to go and hugged her sister.
And now, two hours later, she stood on his lawn, procrastinating the inevitable while he stood at the window, blissfully unaware of the tornado that was about to hit.
Her stomach was in knots.
Maybe he’s not needy, she tried convincing herself. I mean, he hasn’t even come outside to ask me –
He asked in a light voice, lingering near the front door, right hand on his hip. His face was bunched-up in confusion.
“Nothing” she said. Her eyes fell onto a distant cloud