Recycled Souls #44
by Lynette Ferreira
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I walk up the stairs to the second floor and unlock my front door. Walking into the living area, I walk in on Jane and Kevin, wrapped in a passionate kiss on the couch. I apologize profusely and, feeling totally embarrassed, I go straight to my bedroom. I change into my pyjamas and as I cuddle in under my blankets, my phone rings.
After pressing the answer button, I hear Joshua’s pleasant voice. “Hi. Me again.”
“Hi, you again.” I smile.
“I couldn’t tell you to your face that you looked really nice tonight, and you have a beautiful laugh, you should do it more often.”
I laugh embarrassed. “I'll try.”
“Good night, Elizabeth. I hope you sleep well and get rid of those dark rings under your eyes.”
“Okay. Good night Joshua, and once again thanks for inviting me.”
I slip out from under the covers and get up out of bed. Quietly I walk down the hall toward my bathroom. I switch on the light and look in the mirror. Joshua is right. I had not noticed before but the rings under my eyes are very pronounced and my cheeks are sunken. I am certainly not very healthy looking.
Silently I walk back to my room, making sure I do not make any noises to disturb Jane and Kevin, and then I snuggle into bed again.
I wonder reluctantly where Jared could be. Has he moved on already? Maybe replaced me? I fall asleep with a faint smile on my face, while I recall how awesome it was being with Jared.
My mobile ring tone wakes me, and I quickly grab the phone from my bedside table. Is it crazy that I am still hoping when I answer the phone, it will be Jared’s voice greeting me? Keeping my head under the blankets, to hide away from the chill in the air, I say, “Hello.”
“Hey, Elizabeth,” Joshua says, “Tell me when I start making a nuisance of myself but I don’t know if you have looked out the window yet, but it’s a nice day and I was wondering if you wanted to go with me to the Green today.”
I know he means St. Stephen’s Green and while I say, “Let me see,” I get out of bed bravely and walk to the window. He is right. The blue of the sky is so high and clear I can almost see all the way to heaven. “Yes, it is a beautiful day; of course, I would like to go.”
“Thought you would. After the past few gloomy days the sun has appeared.”
“Yeah.” I sigh blissfully.
“I'll pick you up in an hour.”
“Okay, see you then.”
Quickly I have a hot shower and get dressed warmly.
Exactly an hour later the doorbell chimes. Jane and Kevin are still in her room, so I walk out through the front door and softly I lock the door behind me. I run down the stairs, strangely excited to meet up with Joshua.
He is waiting on the pavement outside my building, moving from one leg to the other. “Good morning.” His smile is infectious and my smile forms automatically on my lips.
“Are you warm enough?” He asks concerned.
I pull my scarf tighter around my neck. “Yeah, I am.”
Walking closely, without touching, even accidentally, we set out toward Baggot Street.
“Did you have a nice sleep?” He asks.
“I did. You?”
“Like a baby.”
We stop at a corner shop and he buys a loaf of sliced bread. I look at him amused and wonder what he is planning to do with the bread. When we arrive at the Green, and walking through the entrance gate, he directs me toward a gazebo by the pond’s edge. He hands me half the bread and I look at him frowning.
“For the ducks.” He laughs softly.
“Oh.” I smile self-consciously. “You know you’re not supposed to feed bread to ducks, don’t you?”
He shrugs. “These are Irish ducks, they’re hardy.”
It is still very early and wintry. A misty coldness is hanging in the air above the water. We are the only two people standing in the gazebo or on this side of the Green. We feed the ducks as they come swimming toward us from all directions. I shriek excitedly when they squawk at me, and I catch Joshua once again looking at me.
When our supplies of breadcrumbs are depleted, we walk through the park silently. The atmosphere is reverent, and I do not want to be the first one to break the mood. Besides, I did not really know what to say.
Once we reach a bench near the pond, we sit down. Joshua has his arms folded across his chest; his hands pushed in under his arms. I keep my hands in the pockets of my jacket. Together we stare at the ducks drifting lazily on the water.
The sudden sound of his voice next to me startles me. “So, tell me Elizabeth, what ails your heart?”
I look at him unsure. “Ails?”
He smiles embarrassed. “Give me credit, I told you I was a nerd.”
I ask hesitantly, “Are you sure you want to know what ails my heart?”
“I am sure.” He smiles at my emphasis of his odd usage of words.
“Are you really?” I insist.
He laughs. “Just tell me. Please.”
I look away from him, across the pond, and softly I say, “Okay, I am going to be brutally honest here.” Taking a deep breath, I glance at him before I continue, “I met someone once and it was as if I knew him from the first moment I saw him, and that I have always loved him. It was as if my life was on hold until I met him and now my life is on hold again.” I turn to look at him, but he is looking out across the water, a vacant look in his eyes, so I continue hesitantly, “I woke up after a seven-month coma and I told him I never wanted to see him again. The worst is that I never gave him a good enough reason, but still he never hesitated in walking away and now he is gone. I have not seen him since then and it’s been in the past for a while, but I still miss him.”