Feb. 13th, 2015

spacewhistler: (personal)
“A love like that was a serious illness, an illness from which you never entirely recover.”
- Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers At Last.


i.

A girl like that is once in a lifetime.

She has been bedridden for quite a while now. He met her when he broke his leg and he was aimlessly searching for the nurse in the corridors of the eerily quiet hospital. She was peeking at him from a distance. Their eyes met and she smiled, her cheeks colored.

He didn’t smile back.

She called him once with a sneaky “psst” when he passed by her room on the day he was discharged. She motioned for him to come inside and sit on the lone chair beside her bed. Her cheeks were pink, her eyes were sparkling with amusement and she had a sly grin on her face.

He didn’t smile back.

She was still there when his mother was hospitalized when the old lady accidentally slipped on the ladder to their little home’s attic. He was frustrated because he still hadn’t found a permanent job. He paced back and forth in front of the door to his mother’s room, running his hands through his hair in exasperation. When his eyes strayed to the door in front of his mother’s, a familiar pair of eyes welcomed his sight. She was in the middle of her meal and she was smiling yet again. She waved and smiled.

He didn’t smile back.

She looked tired that night when he just got back from the convenience store to buy some snacks. She was clutching the blanket like it was her lifeline and she was silently crying. She mustn’t have noticed him by the door because her cries grew louder until it was the only thing he could hear. There was no smile for him.

So he didn’t smile back.

It was months after their first encounter and he climbed up to her hospital window to sneak inside way past visiting hours. Her mother was sleeping on the maroon couch on one corner of the room while she opened the window with her hands. He sat on the bed beside her and told her stories, some about his experiences and some made up on the spot for her entertainment. He came back every night, she would be there waiting. The payment for his services was a charming smile.

He didn’t smile back.

She wasn’t smiling but her face was relaxed, as if she was content. She might be somewhere in paradise. She must have tried to smile. He looked down at her and wondered, maybe she smiled…or maybe she didn’t. If she did, then he was truly sorry…

…he didn’t smile back.

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