“Your surface,” he said, “it’s so hard.”
We were sitting at the kitchen table, him and I. A Sunday morning, midst of summer, one of those mornings where the sun was timid and had not yet fully awoken, grass laying damp, still wrapped of the night’s rainfall. I looked up from my coffee cup, which I had been staring at for an uncountable passing of time. I remember catching a glimpse of myself in the rugged bay window. Unwashed, quite tangled, blond hair, which with the sun’s rays had become even lighter. Freckles bloomed from the tip of my nose to the heights of my cheekbones. His blue-white striped cotton shirt, loosely fit on my body, buttoned just enough to cover the sun-kissed skin. Idyllic at glance. Yet I asked myself how we had ended up here.
He met my stare and saw how I shrugged my shoulders as if there was nothing new in his words. He knew I would not address his statement, not today, as I hadn’t yesterday, the previous day, or the countless days before that. A sealed bud, I was not willing to bloom on his asking. Some days the hurt in his eyes was apparent yet he did his best to conceal it. Other days frustration flickered and possessed his entire body, impossible to miss. He could not be blamed for trying, as so many had before him, and his efforts would not go unnoticed. Yet respond to his words, I could not.