The Freckles in Your Eyes

She didn’t know how to answer his question in a graceful way. She was taught to emit grace, speak nicely, mind her manners and not hurt people’s feelings. Do not ruffle feathers, do not be aggressive, do not speak in a way that will cause conflict or retaliation. This question…this honest, raw, pleading question was going to be hard to answer because she was out of energy to abide by the rules. She didn’t have the energy it would take to think of a graceful, kind, considerate answer. She was tired of overt-thinking responses. She was tired of not saying exactly what she felt.

They are in her car drinking tea and staring out at the frozen lake. He is waiting for an answer. Ten seconds; ten long deafening seconds have passed and she still hasn’t spoken. She supposes it is hard for people unlike her to understand how hard it can be to speak once you have already shut down; how hard it is to bother saying words that you know won’t be received how you intend them to be, no matter how hard you try to formulate them. Perhaps it is faulty communication, perhaps it is disinterest – perhaps she is just utterly hopeless.

The lake shifts and the deep crack of ice brings her back to the moment. He is still waiting. Shit.

She shifts in her seat and shoves the zipper of her puffy down jacket away from her cheek. The fucking zipper is always scratching at her face! Fuck!

She sighs and watches the cloud of her breath spread out in front of her.

“I didn’t imagine this. Before I got to know you, before I loved you, I didn’t imagine this.”

“The freckles in your eyes…the golden flecks. They used to draw me in. I used to gaze into them while I felt the wisp of your breath against my cheek and imagine what it would be like to feel your hand on the back of my neck, pulling me in closer for the long, forbidden kiss that would change everything.”

“Your cheeks…your well defined, chiselled cheek bones. I used to imagine what it would be like to wake up beside you and run my fingers over those freckled cheek bones before I kissed you good morning and made you breakfast. Breakfast would be our favourite time of the day.”

“The silver threads in your hair…I used to imagine what stories were woven into your waves, before I actually ran my hands through them. What happened in your life during the years before we crossed paths? I imagined you were a little boy who loved to play in the woods and would come home at dusk with a filthy, smiling face. You would hold out your cupped hands to show your mother a slimy, muddy toad that you had jammed in your pocket earlier in the day and saved to show her. I imagined you always wanted to make her proud.”

“Your smile…your huge, joyous smile. I used to imagine it meant something about me. I used to imagine the feel of it growing against my cheek as we slow danced in my living room to the latest Norah Jones CD, or maybe even something ridiculously remarkable like James Moody’s, “Moody’s Mood For Love”. That song….the things it does to me. It makes me weightless – like your smile once did.”

“You…the you I imagined, the you that I wanted you to be, the you that you were in fleeting moments, did things to my heart and to my soul that make right now, this moment, unbearably suffocating. If I had the energy I would be smashing on the windows trying to break out of here and run as fast as I could away from this moment. I would run until I only had one ounce of breath left, and was forced to suck some fresh life into my lungs. Some air that didn’t sting! Some godforsaken air that didn’t feel like cement! But I don’t have the energy. It is exhausting for me to say even these few words.”

“What’s the matter?

Everything.

Nothing.

I don’t know.

You.

Me.

Us.”

“The things that I imagined are hurtful. The things that I remember are hurtful. The things you did and didn’t do, the things I did and didn’t do, the moments we shared and the ones we didn’t tear at my heart every day until I want to rip it out of my chest and throw it across the room.”

“What’s the matter?”

“Everything. I don’t know.”

He is staring at her, blankly. What is he thinking? Does he think she’s crazy? She knows she sounds crazy. She feels crazy.

She looks back at the lake.

The sun is going down and adding a glint to the crusted snow. It burns her eyes and they begin to tear.

There is a pink hue to the sky. Watermelon skies, as she likes to call them. Pink skies are her favorite. They make her body feel like it is springing back to life. They bring her childish joy. Like his smile used to.

She starts the car and backs away from the lake; the sound of the crusty snow beneath the tires deafening in relation to the silence in the front seat. He hasn’t said a word.

Wordless; the drive home is wordless.

She pulls into the driveway and turns off the ignition. They sit.

He turns and looks at her, “Are you coming in?”

“Give me a few minutes.”

She watches him go inside, as she leans her head back against the headrest. A tear escapes her right eye and freezes as it rolls down her cheek.

She reclines the seat, and pulls the scratchy jacket up against her face.

Shes closes her eyes.

She is too tired to move.

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72 thoughts on “The Freckles in Your Eyes

  1. Great post. I have been on those silent rides home and I’ve experienced the wait, the confusions of these discussions, the ones that are difficult because you don’t want to hurt the other person, but you’ll hurt the relationship more if you don’t so silence becomes the easier options. Thanks for this! So heartfelt and well-written.

  2. ‘I’ve got miles to go, before I sleep’ caught my attention because it’s a line in a Nick Barker and the Reptiles song that I used to love… a long time ago. I’m glad it did catch my eye because your text is awesome. I’d read that book! Congrats on being FP!

  3. That’s rough. You think you know someone, but sometimes you really don’t, and all the time poured into that relationship feels like a waste or worse.

    Also, I’ve pretty well learned not to ask “What’s the matter?” and expect a response other than “Nothing.”

  4. Is this fiction? It’s not tagged as so but it reads as it, a very convincing, dreamy narration.

    It a compelling read, I loved it.

    “I didn’t imagine this. Before I got to know you, before I loved you, I didn’t imagine this.
    *that line is missing a quotation mark but otherwise so no errors, great writing!

  5. This was awesome. Some of my favorite parts;

    “The silver threads in your hair…I used to imagine what stories were woven into your waves, before I actually ran my hands through them. What happened in your life during the years before we crossed paths? I imagined you were a little boy who loved to play in the woods and would come home at dusk with a filthy, smiling face. You would hold out your cupped hands to show your mother a slimy, muddy toad that you had jammed in your pocket earlier in the day and saved to show her. I imagined you always wanted to make her proud.”

    “The things that I imagined are hurtful. The things that I remember are hurtful. The things you did and didn’t do, the things I did and didn’t do, the moments we shared and the ones we didn’t tear at my heart every day until I want to rip it out of my chest and throw it across the room.”

  6. Reblogged this on I am Super Istar and commented:
    “I used to imagine the feel of it growing against my cheek as we slow danced in my living room to the latest Norah Jones CD” – some things are just meant to be… lovely writing by the way.

    • Hi there. This post is a fictional story that I was working on, but thank you for being interested! At one point I did have a a person in my life I had to leave though. I think we all do at one point. It’s a very hard decision.

  7. This is just incredible. I am speechless after reading this. Other than to say, you took the words right out of my soul. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed, you are most definitely deserving.

  8. I love this SO MUCH! I was not going to say anything because I felt like it would just get lost in the million other comments that you are getting, but I could not stop myself. Absolutely beautiful.

  9. I just wanted you to know that I held my breath throughout the entire post. I was so enthralled with what was happening I was afraid to breath in case if I spoiled the way I absorbed your words. Really great, thanks.

  10. Pingback: The Freckles in Your Eyes « Wole ademola

  11. there is an unnerving brilliance to this post. I find that it is uncomfortably true, it is a situation that you can envisage, if not in reality then figuratively. For whether it be in car, on a train, on the bus, the emotions that you have painted are what matters.

  12. Amazing piece – I loved the way you built the tension up – what was he asking – what could you say – the weight of words spoken and unspoken. I just couldn’t stop reading. Thank you.

  13. After spending years cultivating understanding and compassion for myself it has become easier to understand others. To create better understanding many find the mindfulness skills of deep listening and loving speech most helpful. Deep listening to hear what is not being said. Also useful is the intention to bring clarity and transparency to dialog. Without clarity I’m coming to realize that understanding is lacking and suffering is inescapable.

  14. Wow! this is simply awesome..I mean wow..first you start as if its about love then the way you change the topic into confusion..I love it…wow!

  15. Silence is such a treasure — in it, one hears the world and her demands, hopes, prayers, pleas … Silence has, in itself a beauty of the Supreme.

  16. “A tear escapes my right eye and freezes as it rolls down my cheek.” Delicate, deeply moving piece of writing. It’s lovely; sad, but lovely. The editor in me has to ask: did you intend to change from “she” to “I” between the beginning and the end?

    • Thank you. I started writing it from ‘I’ then went through and switched everything to ‘she’. I must have missed a few. Thank you for the head up I will make the correction.

      • LOL easy mistake to make! I can’t help myself when it comes to pointing these things out – can you tell I’m an editor? It’s a terrible affliction at times.

  17. Pingback: It is not hard to imagine what the future holds | ITSOGS

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