This is the continuation of “I Love You”, “I Know”. It can be found on my blog with a bit of scrolling involved. (Edit: just click here) You don’t need the first part to enjoy this part as both can stand on their own. Your male character is Greg, a man child that can’t seem to find love, is constantly walking around with a rain cloud above him, and calls himself a writer though he’s never published or even shared a single story. He is pretty gloomy and I thoroughly enjoy writing him into absolutely everything lately. His attitude toward everything is pretty dismal but amusing. Anyway, enjoy and thank you for reading.
P.s. I’m roughly eight follows away from hitting my first hundred. Thank you all. That’s something special.
DIAMONDS ON THE SOLES OF HER SHOES
“What would you say one of your goals in life would be?”
On the internet it said she was simple but complex, talkative but better at listening, an intellectual, interesting and easily satisfied. It told me that she hated small talk but enjoyed a good conversation. It also mentioned that people described her as the smarter of her two sisters and if I had to guess, perhaps the most attractive. She had a soft, welcoming, warm face and it floats among long box dyed black hair. All around her like a dark shining nest, cradling her perfect brain holder. I searched the expansion of her face like a map, each major feature a landmark. Her narrow nose, her almond shaped eyes, her plump lips, spidery lashes. Waiting patiently, holding my breath as well as holding out hope, I craved an answer that wouldn’t make me wretch in response. I anticipated a flutter of her eyelashes as she thought but was instead delivered a twirl of her black locks around a thin, frail looking pale finger. Through her lips came vibrations that sounded like a gentle swarm of bees- I can’t decide if this is adorable or truly the most obnoxious thinking noise I’ve ever heard.
My ears begged silently to hear a smart, well rounded answer. Maybe something about traveling far away and living off the grid. Something about digging her hands into the dirt and learning about herself. Perhaps planting trees or crops. Or even something about a houseboat. If i were truly lucky, the answer that would leave her lips would be about becoming the face and brain of a down right rebellious feminist, activist, something or other. Anything, something more than graduating and becoming a prestigious something or other- all to satisfy and appease her stupid, bullheaded asshole father who wares those little diamonds in his ears like just because he’s the shape of a meatball, he can make shiny stones seem masculine. I can’t handle hearing another dumb, washed up, pathetic perfect girl in society’s world answer. Dying for a single refreshing word- I hang on.
Dropping the ringlet of hair from her finger, the noise ceasing on her full, perfectly lipsticked lips, the look in her eyes is flat. The noise that represented the last bit of her thoughts sounds like a loose, dry fart. I’m hoping like hell its not a representation of what’s going on in the pretty little head. I let it slide, don’t react, don’t laugh or crinkle my nose. I swallow my anticipation and hope it stops trying so hard to jump through my skin and up my throat. The world continues to go on around us and I’m so goddamn hopeful… I can’t seem to notice anything specifically moving about us. It all just blurs like water colors on a backdrop. A soft exhale slips from her mouth like a secret and I find myself wanting to fold it up in my napkin so I can listen to it later. Alone.
“Well,” her finger meets her hair again. The inside of my cheek slips between my upper and lower mandibles to squish it, omitting a soft shock that distracts me. Distracts me eyes from narrowing, distracts my lips from twitching into a frown, distracts my hand from raising to slap her own away. I swear the smallest things can set me off but if she doesn’t stop touching her hair as if it were an animal then I’m going to rip the entire cafe down in a childish fit of pure hatred and rage. Childish or not, it would be warranted in my mind and that’s always enough for me.
“I suppose I would like to own diamonds one day.” She allows the idiocy to slip from her lips with ease like ooze, slime, acid. Something gross and… Drippy. Uncooked pancake batter bullshit. The resonated sludge that leaks out of your glass pipe after smoking a very full bowl pack after dates like this. Comparable to the soup that sits in porter potties on hot days. I suppose I all but asked for this. I certainly had it coming after last weeks incident with the T-shirt thieving broad. What was even her name? My head wants to explode. What fucking luck.
“DiamondS?” I express my slight confusion and exaggerate the s that makes everything so much worse. Not just one diamond. Multiple ones. How truly astounding. Truly, pathetically astounding. I can feel my feet moving to my invisible soap box and even though I know better… I really, really know better, they’re going in that direction pretty steadily regardless.
“About a dozen or so.” Her head bobs up and down in a nod that confirms her words so sturdily. Like concrete. Heavy and deliberate.
“Yanno, something impressive.”
Another curl of hair wrapping itself around her finger and it really… Really isn’t what my reeling mind needs. My eyes close dramatically, heavily and with hopefully some sort of attitude. I hold in the sigh that normally pairs itself with the action. I smile gently and open my eyes as pleasantly as possible. Waiting. Waiting patiently for her to laugh at her own sarcasm. She doesn’t offer me much of any relief. I swallow down a different lump in my throat this time. This lump I’m calling disappointment.
My hands pass the hem of my shirt through my fingers, the T-shirt hanging on my unimpressive torso. I can feel every stitch so deliberately placed along its route. I imagine hitching a ride on its travels and pray it takes me anywhere else. Distracting my hands from their desire to reach out and if nothing else, shake the poor ignorant young woman before me. Stop touching your stupid, trendy hair. I can’t handle it. Deep breaths, Greg. Try not to think about how many times i’ve put myself into the same situation
“What’s wrong?” When she asks I try my damnedest to not chuckle. Its times like these I wonder if I really am just as pretentious as I’ve been accused of being. What’s wrong? I’m hoping its not me. I’m honestly hoping she is what’s wrong. I have this sinking feeling that I am however. As I’m the only constant variable.
“What isn’t?” I’m fairly certain the noise I follow up my question with is defined as a guffaw or perhaps a scoff. Somewhere between the two and the feelings that accompany either word is where I’m currently residing. It isn’t comfortable, it isn’t satisfying, and it most certainly isn’t refreshing. My throat feels dry and so does my brain. A dried out fucking sponge.
“You’re aware that diamonds hold little to no purpose depending on how you define the word. Or… Or. Or fucking. Even an actual value? The only thing that makes them valuable is everyone’s disgusting, unhealthy desire to own something shiny that says ‘I have money!’ There’s absolutely no other reason for them. Not a good one, that’s for sure.”
There’s a long, awkward moment in which she slowly drops her gaze to the empty, waiting plate in front of her. Avoiding any chance of eye contact. For a single, awful, weighted moment I think she’s about to cry big, full crocodile tears. This is roughly the moment I start to notice everything coming back to life around us. People are coming and going, leaving the coffee shop with their morning elixirs, getting as far away from this alarming conversation. This is what I get for holding out hope on something I saw failing before it began. Refreshing? No. Exhausting.
As I continue to notice other people, they begin to notice me as well. Naturally not just me but the girl in front of me nearly breaking down as well. I want to be a gentleman and apologize for upsetting her but I don’t even know how to. I’m not sorry, I’m just sorry that she was hurt so easily. And sorry I hung around, if I’m being terribly honest with myself. At least today can’t get any worse.
“I’m not an idiot.” The smirk on her face delivers the punchline I had been waiting for. Her soft voice breaking the uncomfortable silence between our two bodies as if she were screaming. An audible sign of relief jumps from my chapped lips in the form of a chuckle. She was good, I had to give her that. She really had me going for a moment. My hands dropped from my shirt happily giving up on their fidgeting. Perfect. Brilliant.
“I want them for that reason. I want a blanket made of them on a guest bed no one ever uses if I’m honest or a chandelier over my kitchen table. Or a collar for my really loud, tiny dog named FeuxFeux.” Her finger twirls in her hair more dramatically this time, her words soaked in sarcasm. She grins. “Did I get you?”
“Oh. You’ve got me.” She didn’t catch the tricky contraction I used but I meant it. She has me now. Why is trickery so attractive? “My name is Greg and I think you are a wonderful actress.”
“My name is Natalie. I’ll call you Gregory.”