She Loves Me

Entry by: jaguar

27th February 2015
Home and away

Carla spends most of her days in her rented room thinking about Greg. She pulls the curtains to block out the sunlight's tickle and lies prone on the double bed, enveloped in dark. If she concentrates she can bring him back to her. Remember how his hip jigsaw pieced in above hers when they walked together. His smell like just boiled water steaming on sun-warmed floorboards. The explosion of his laughter. His impression of Donald Duck quacking as he got in the shower. Each memory is a slow puncture of her soul.

Her thoughts tumble in her mind, jostling each other for impact. Greg's punctuation pomposity. The way he tutted and said ‘no fair’ the few times Carla had been firm with him. How sexy it was when he narrowed his eyes at her. Greg's hippo impressions in the pool that painfully brief weekend in France. Smacking his lips in appreciation of her cooking. Saying ‘bella, bella, bella’ as they made love. Making Carla believe it wasn't something he'd always said but meant for her alone. Even when 'Becky' got smuggled in there like something mildewy, leftover from the previous washing load.

Older embarrassing memories. Before she even met Greg she stalked his answer phone. Calling out of hours to hear his rich voice. Later her whole day shone when Greg bent over her desk smiling. When he focused on her. At first it was a few seconds, a butterfly landing on her hand. Later it was hours of a wounded eagle, brooding and making himself the prey he picked at.

When Greg and his girlfriend, Becky, finally split up Carla felt like she'd won the jackpot in Las Vegas. She was sorry for Greg's pain but drew it out and him in through it like threading a needle to stitch a wound. She kept listening until his focus changed. Until he saw her right in front of him where she'd always waited.

Six short months they were together. Six months that, for Carla, were like returning from a long exile to her own country. Occasionally she’d catch an expression on Greg's face as if he was on a great holiday but really missed home. He tried to hide it from her but it kept coming back. Then Greg couldn't shift his expression, the lightbulb had gone out and Carla knew.

He missed Becky and he couldn’t mirror Carla's love. However broad the pull of her attachment it was a shallow wave up a too steep beach. She pulled at the grains of him sucking him towards her as his cliffs retreated. Carla shook her head free of the images of tides. 'I love you,' she whispered but Greg was already beyond hearing.

So now she sits alone and thinks about her childhood playground. How her brother always ran ahead of her into the long, summer days, into their separate lives. How she never quite caught up. One child on a seesaw shot down to earth by her heavy needs. She sees Greg leap free, so light, so happy now. Free of Carla's earth dumping love, cured of his not quite right desire for her.

The only way Carla can stop herself from begging him to try her back on for size is to be three and a half thousand miles from what used to be home. Someone else has the keys now, she can never go back in. She can only add Greg's loss to the weight of her baggage and return, heavy-heartedly, to her hopeless quest.