Umm, so I have a week off, and a backlog of stories settled up, so yes, you guessed it, I’m going to torture you guys with a story a day for the rest of this week, merely because this is my blog so I can, and also because I am not content with posting them up once a week. I promise not to subject anyone to this torture again, and I will resort to normal posting after this week has ended. Happy reading.
Scars is inspired by the song of the same name by Blackfield. You can listen to it here.
Yeah, I like the song better than the story too =/. Oh well.
She spotted that little outcropping of rocky dune when we were on a long, pointless, romantic drive. We parked, climbed up to the top and stood there. The full force of the wind whipped up the sand, stinging our eyes as we looked out together at the little town-city in the middle of the desert, glowing in the middle of the barrenness like a miracle in a jar. And her body pressed into mine as we stood on the hill and were pelted by the sandy wind.
She looked part of that landscape. Almost camouflaged. Salty brown skin, soft brown hair, even her almond eyes glowed with the golden light of sun on sand. Later he would joke about how if she hadn’t been wearing that turquoise dress he would never have noticed her in the bazaar.
It became the colour of luck for him, later on. He loved for her to wear the colour, he bought her turquoise jewellery, he filled their apartment with turquoise-encrusted things that they brought back from their visits. They looked exotic in the cold London sunlight filtering in from the windows. Exotic and vaguely cursed.
We ran down the rocky dune to the car at the bottom, drove like maniacs back to the town-city, outracing the wind, kicking up our own dust storms. Back to the small motel with the cranky little keeper, back to hours of lovemaking before we emerged in the cool of the night and the desert spotted lights and wandered for hours. Among the bazaars, the restaurants, the funny little theatres and shops. A blur of memories, the fixed moments running together as we ran, excited, thither and hither, together. Nothing clear except her. Her fresh lips, her almond eyes, her laugh surrounding me.
Days without end. I should’ve known it wouldn’t last.
It was the final time we made that journey. But there was something about the place, though it wasn’t her homeland and was utterly foreign to me, which tugged at both our heartstrings. The romance came back to a feeble sort of gasping life, like a drying out lizard revived by water.
He saw it flicker in her eyes. They’d been barely speaking for the past four months, wrapping themselves in their little lives and avoiding each other with a constancy only people living together full-time could affect. Yet when he asked her about the tickets she paid attention.
“Yes.” She said, and a small shadow of the smile that had enchanted him in the first place passed across her face. Her desert smile, her Arabian charm. “Yes, I think we should go.”
We visited the dune too, and looked out at the city in the haze of late afternoon. As we stood there she drew closer to me, entwining her arm with mine. And I felt as though my heart would break. Because the silence still held, cloying and heavy and lightened not the slightest by the angry wind threatening to tear us apart.
When we left at nights to wander among the bazaars, then too she would slip her arm through mine, and we would walk about soberly together, as modest and couply now as before we were outrageously in love. Where we had previously ran, laughing and loving, now we strolled. And the silence heaped upon our quiet reflickering of romance like sand on a flame.
I stand alone now. It has been a long journey, longer than I remembered. Perhaps I have grown old – perhaps it only seems that way without her. The turquoise city still twinkles in the distance. It heals my eyes to look at it glittering, the lone jewel in that expanse of sand. Yet my heart is uncomforted. It seems pointless to return, to there or to London. All I have left now are my scars.