Awkward Silences

‘I am so tired of disappointing you.”

“Why do you think that?”

“The way you look at me, I can tell.” He jingled the change in his hand. Nervous habit.

She looked at him and laughed, a forced kind of laugh. “I didn’t know you were such an expert in body language.” Then she gave him the kind of look he feared.

He debated commenting on it, but he knew the results of such chatter never turned out in his favor so he focused instead on the nickels and dimes in his hand.

A long silence followed, made awkward by the worldly silence around them. The change became an uncomfortable distraction and he slipped the coins into his pocket. He wished he would have flipped on the television before he started this chat yet again.

“Awkward.” He tried to smirk when he said it. He failed.

“What do you want? I guess that’s what I want to know Sean, what do you want?”

“Normal. I just want normal.”

“I don’t know what that means.”

Neither did he. There was no way to explain things now. He flipped on the television to break the silence and heard her sigh. Loudly. Things were different once. He thought they were anyway. Now there was just this. Awkward silences broken only by annoyance and disappointment.

And sometimes that was worth hanging on to.

On the television was some show about repossession services. He tried to watch it and wondered if her eyes were on him. He wondered if it would be a good thing that she stared, wanting more conversation, or if she too would lose her thought in some random television show. It was a stupid game they played.

Their conversations often ended like this. Each wanting something but unable to say the words that made it clear. Instead, they just skirted around the conversations they did not know how to have.

The repo man on televison was arguing with a husband and wife over a four wheeler that he had loaded on to his trailer to take away. The husband passionately argued that there was a misunderstanding, the wife argued that they never needed it anyway. The repo man just kept saying he was doing his job, but the couple alternated their arguments with him and with each other.

His eyes left the tv for a moment and saw Sarah watching the show now too. He looked back at the show and wondered if the husband was going to fight the repo man like he threatened to; was a four wheeler worth fighting for?

He closed his eyes then and wondered if things were taken away from him, would he fight for them too? Would Sarah? And typical of the things they had been through, he didn’t know the answer. He tried to watch the rest of the show, but thoughts were racing. What was worth fighting for? And he hated that he had no answer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.