Sunday, 29 September 2013

Relinquish

She sat up in bed and got up and got dressed.

A voice called after her from behind the door left ajar. It was left ajar out of consideration, because he didn’t want her to feel alone; but to her it was inconsideration for not giving her any privacy.

“Gwyn are you up?” The call again.

Pulling the faded blue suitcase off the chest of drawers, she creaks the lid open and blows away the dust. How long had she been there, and how much stuff had she accumulated? The last she remembers was unpacking her plays and novellas out of this beaten-up well-loved case, and settling in. An aeon ago.

The door gently opens and he stands there just looking at her. 

She’s doing a lot when before she’d been doing not very much. And while it was a waste he had got used to her not doing very much because Leon’s girlfriend was a depressant. Or he thought so, because why else would she lie in bed half-dressed for days on end smoking cigarettes, half-way, stubbing them out, and then starting a new one? Why would a sane person do that?

“Why are you packing your clothes?”

“Because I’m leaving.”

Pause

Eyebrows slightly raised; simultaneously raising the chipped cup of tea up to chapped lips he asks,

“Why are you leaving?”

“Because I’m sad.”

Pause

“Why are you sad? Leaving won’t help. Do I make you sad?”

“No. Unhappy. Alright? Leave me alone for a while will you.”

Instead of doing that Leon stands and watches her as he sees her filled with feist and life like the days they first met. She flings her sheer blouses hung up in the wardrobe across the room, where they crumple and fall onto the bed, the open mouth of the old blue suitcase agape. Gasping for air it looks like. He used to like her then, but he still likes her now, but not in the same way.

“How have I made you unhappy?”

She swings around on her little ballet feet and pulls down scarves off  the lamps and shelves she’s draped them over. She tries to answer,

“A person can’t make another person unhappy. It’s the situation that’s making them unhappy. You’re fine. I’m unhappy.”

“Will you stop packing your things, please.”

She folds some socks and walks closer to him, in relation to the room that is, and places the yellow socks in her suitcase.

“Where did we meet Leon?”

“In a club.”

It was the truth, they had met in a bar-sort-of-club where one of their respective friends was having a birthday. Neither of them could remember whose friend it was that was turning twenty-five, or was it twenty-six, because now they only had shared friends.

“It’s so gross don’t you think?” Gwyn replied, “we met in a club. What sort of thing is that?”

“I don’t know. Lots of people meet in clubs. That’s one of the ways people meet people in a city.”

“But I don’t want to meet you in a club. I’d like to have met you somewhere better.

“Like where?”

“On a yacht. At a dinner party.  At a festival. At some social occasion that I can look fondly back on.”

Leon let’s out a sigh and leans back on the wall and puts some of his weight on a radiator.

“And then where did we go for our first date?”

Swilling some of the left over tea in his chipped cup he says,

“In a cafe.”

“Exactly. A cafe.”

Gwyn is now opening a window and patting the curtains down to get rid of the dust, except the room is now filling with dust particles. He thinks, maybe she is doing it on purpose to bring on his hayfever so he would leave her alone to let her have her tantrum, but strangely he doesn’t want to sneeze, he wants to cry a little.

“What’s wrong with that? A cafe. That’s perfectly normal for a first date - what would you have wanted?”

“A zoo. Somewhere less predictable.”

More than half her things are now gone, out of sight. So fast. How did that happen?

“I make you unhappy because of things I did in the past? Gwyn you’re being unreasonable, how can I change those things, they’ve already happened.”

“That’s what I’m saying. It’s not you it’s the whole situation! I’m tired of it and the way it panned out and the way it started and so I’m unhappy. I can’t change the past but I can the future, so I’m leaving. I want to do it again but this time with flourish so I don’t end up curled up in bed dreaming of another world. I need to go.”

“But -” He’s angry now, angry like a kid who’s been told off for something he doesn’t understand, “- they’re our memories.”

“Fuck the memories. Fuck the sentiment.”

She pulls her bulging suitcase to; off the bed it slides and her bare feet now have plimsoles on. Mucky things. Her hair is soft and unkempt and she looks like a nymph. He looks like a strained hero. There’s not much left to say. He gives an apologetic cough and she walks past him through the doorway and doesn’t glance up as she drags the case down the stairs. Slam. Gone.