“Oh! You should look at this” she says as she waves her newfound book in her arms.
He looks up at her distractedly, himself engrossed in something very deep and meaningful. For him, at least.
“Don’t you like this?” she asks enthusiastically.
No, no. He couldn’t be bothered right now. He was already under a lot of pressure. No, he couldn’t look up to enjoy the small things that life has to offer. Everything else was insignificant compared to what he was facing.
She looks disappointed at his lukewarm response, but she doesn’t say anything. She understood. She had to be understanding.
“So, would you like to go to the Beer Fest this evening?” she tries once more.
Beat of silence. It stretches. It gets uncomfortable. She tries to not look crestfallen, but tears were welling up in her eyes.
“Well, wouldn’t you at least tell me something? I’d like to know.” Finally summoning the courage to confront him.
“Look..” he says, without being able to make eye contact with her, “I just need some time. Please don’t ask me these questions.”
“Alright,” she approaches cautiously, “I don’t want to be prying, but..I’d just like to know. That’s all.”
He gets up from the park bench and walks away into the sunset. She watches him as he walks away and disappears into the evening. With every step of his hunched demeanour, she could see her life slipping away. Of what life she thought might be with him. She could see it all falling apart, but really couldn’t do anything about it. She waits till the disappointment settles down in her heart. The sun sets into the evening, gradually. Until it gets quite dark and she suddenly takes note of her surroundings.
My god, it is quite late, she thinks to herself. With a sigh, she picks herself up and prepares to leave for the life that does await her. To the welcoming arms of daily routine. At least, these things need me, she thinks to herself as she walks away into the twinkling night of the city.