All of the words, each carefully planned sentence, she breathed back into her soul. She took a gulp of air as she heard the doorknob turn. Frozen for an instant, but forced back into her rhythm. Her mind instantly emptied, but spinning off track; in the same moment. She felt her heart miss a beat, like it may have fallen into the bottom of her stomach, or maybe lower, into her abdomen. The pounding in her chest caused her entire body to develop a slight stutter. Her feet felt heavy and yet conscious, as if they had a mind of their own. They took each step lightly and mindfully.
She took a silent vow, tonight WILL be different. She made a promise. Though her eyes had surely told a different story, she smiled. To do so had nearly caused physical pain, her body in protest of the action. Every fiber of her being screamed at her, turn around and walk away, far away. But, she carefully stepped forward and turned the corner.
She saw his shoulders first. Rounded and low. His arms hung by his sides, hands seemingly unsure what to do with themselves. His head lifted slowly, and their eyes had met. She noticed the tears that seemed to be welling up within his. She felt the heaviness in the air, it almost suffocated her.
Then, she felt the cold. Frigid air consumed her, and she felt frozen again. But this time, all of the thoughts she hadn’t completed came rushing at her. She felt them, she heard them, they echoed loudly in her mind. From the corner of her eye, she had seen him slowly lift his arms, offering himself to her. As if she hadn’t noticed, she held her head high and walked right by.
THE BEST KIND OF NEIGHBOR
12 hours ago