Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 167

and she fell halfway through Act II, he didn’t tell anyone she’d twisted her ankle and he didn’t blame the fall on a bad partner. When the curtain closed he handed her a bundle of fresh narcissuses wrapped in white-silver cellophane.

‘They look like snow on top of ice, don’t they?’ These were his only words. And he never spoke of that night again, not even this morning as she raged through his door.

A few words could change everything, one line in this case. It had taken him the better of five years to get it just right. It had to be perfect. She was right. It was the opportunity he’d been waiting for all of his life. The words really needed to connect. Mr. Big Wig said they didn’t.

But she was his truest critic. The question was too heavy. He had to let it go.

‘Did you get it?’

Two plates settled between them. Neither of them moved to touch a bite. Now she was fiddling with hairpins. He wondered how she could secure a perfect twist in the back of her head, completely blind. Again, he rarely questioned the how as much as the why.

‘Doesn’t seem there’s much to get. It’s pretty straightforward. You either get it or you don’t with something like that. The picture’s great. Like he said, it just didn’t –‘

He didn’t need to hear.

‘—resonate,’ he finished it for her.

He pushed the sugar packets before she felt the need to reach. He knew she’d rip one open without looking and that she would sprinkle the fine grains on the muffin, not in her tea. She liked the gritty pops on her tongue against the smooth salty butter. Little things