And I thanked him. But not with words.
And in the mangled remains of her garden, she could only laugh.
"No. I don't believe you." But she did. He knew more about these things than she did. "Everything needs love to survive. I don't think I like reptiles anymore."
"Well, if it makes you feel better, Alligators are the exception. They love their offspring very much." He hastened to say as storm clouds grew in her eyes.
"Now I know why I've always loved alligators."
"What? How can you say that? Didn't I treat to dinner tonight?" She was incredulous. "Haven't I offered to give you anything of mine you've ever admired?"
"All material things." He shrugged. "You're greedy with your time. Why do you hoard it so?"
"No one else complains..."
"They like the material. They only want the surface." He cocked his head. "I want deeper."
"Um... I gotta go... maybe next time... see you!" She fled, the truth of his words chasing her like hounds a rabbit.
"No… yes… it's wrong, but yes, I do." He whispered back, his guilt making him wince.
"Don't you wish it was me you were fucking?"
"I love my wife… but yes… I do." He said in his normal voice. There was a moment's silence.
"Oh my god, I'm so sorry… I dialed the wrong number." She hung up, leaving him wildly relieved he had confessed to a complete stranger instead of her.
"Well, then, why are you trying to come up with something mushy to say?" I looked at her from my position on the floor, stretched out, ankles crossed, headphones halfway on.
"Well, I want him to know how much I love him. And I can only think of mushy clichés." She sighed as she flopped herself down on the beanbag chair.
"Then tell him that." I slipped the headphones back over my ears.
"You make me think in clichés. Yeah... that will work."
"Wow! I've never seen anything like it! It's beautiful..." She stared in amazement and wonder.
"I know." He said, staring at her and thinking the same thing.
"You're funny. You'll find beauty in anything." He shook his head as he looked around the tattered and torn city neighborhood.
"Growing up here, I had to." She shrugged. "Look at all the empty, bitter people… I didn't want to be like them."
"Yeah." He could tell by her forlorn expression she was thinking of her parents and their squalid existence. "Wow! That cloud looks just like a horse."
She looked up and smiled. "Hey! That one looks like a dog!"
They found her two hours later, her long brown hair a tangled mess, dirt smeared across her face, her legs and arms covered in long red welts, and her brown eyes bright and feral. And they knew she was someone they would never know again.
She froze, but only for a moment. As soon as he prodded the area around where the glass had sunk onto her palm, she started to twist and pull away. Teeth bared, she hissed at him. Twenty long minutes later, the glass was out and she sat sulking in the corner, glaring at him with baleful eyes.
And he wondered why he felt like apologizing.
"Ah… probably. But like the darkest coffee, or the strongest whiskey, I am irresistible to the right kind of people." She studied him, trying to figure out if he was such a person.
"Hmm… I could see that. You're better taken straight. Diluted with cream or cut with water, you wouldn't be half as interesting. Oh, I think I could acquire a taste for you." His grin was wicked.
"Then maybe I'll let you taste me. But I warn you, I'm more potent than you think"
"You bastard! You didn't put plastic on the ceiling!" She screamed.
"It's not as easy as that." He smiled at her dramatics when she heaved a big sigh. "Besides, they're your friends, or at least they want to be, so why don't you visit with them?"
"I don't need anymore friends. They're too much work." They hurt too much, she thought but didn't say. "I have you and Mi'ico, isn't that enough?"
"Darling, I don't think your cat counts." He kissed her on the forehead.
"Hmmph... she's a better person than most people are!"
I bet he wishes he could organize me into such neat little segments.