write about a fragile connection.
Solitude perplexed and intrigued Marcy. Not the kind of solitude most people partake in, but rather, the kind of solitude that certain monks seek out. A complete, thorough, severance from socieity, technology, and in some cases, human kind in it's entirety. Marcy sometimes wondered what it would be like to pack a bag and leave, to vanish into the night like a shadow into the forest. To run away to some far off, unpopulated land and forage and rest and ruminate. Some days this seemed more of a challenge than others. She would miss her father and the elderly man she passed by every morning before work who offered her a nearly toothless grin without any shame. She would long for the two steaming cups of cappuccino she purchased, for herself and the elderly man, that soothed her every jittery nerve.
Beside her, sitting on the toilet tissue dispenser, her cellular phone vibrated angrily for the third time. Marcy stood from her seat and pulled up her pants, zipping and buttoning them in one swift, fluid motion. She flushed and washed her hands. "What is it?" She barked into the small speaker.
"Where are you?" Even though there were two restroom facilities on her floor, Marcy favored the peace and emptiness of the top floor. No one except her seemed to be aware of the restroom there, and she preferred it that way.
"I was taking a shit, thanks for interrupting," she glanced at her reflection in the mirror and righted a few rebellious strands of hair. Her motions were jerky, irritated, and the sharp twist to her lips contorted the face looking back at her. "What do you want, Natalie?"
"You have a visitor. He says it's urgent," Natalie's voice was staticy in Marcy's ear. She wasn't certain why, but the diminutive shrill irked her.
"Who is it?"
"I don't know," Natalie sounded as if she could sense the oncoming storm through the phone. "I'm sorry, Marcy, but he refuses to leave a name."
"I'll be there in a moment," Marcy grumbled, hanging up the phone and tugging on the hem of her dress coat. In the pit of her stomach, something curdled. She left the bathroom and took the elevator down five floors, reading the warnings above the buttons to distract herself from the foreboding feeling that seemed to vibrate from her bones.
She shoved open the wide glass doors, [with their modest decals,] and marched into the bright cotton-candy pink office. Her heels, in time with her heartbeat, made harsh clacking sounds on the marble floor. Halfway to Natalie's desk, Marcy's step faltered. There he was, his back to her, tall and looming and staring calmly out of the bay windows. His hands clasped behind his back, he looked prestigious and assured; the image of a man who had his entire world together, cupped in his hands and not spilling a drop.
"Frank," her staccato tone broke the tense silence, she could practically feel it splinter in the air.
Without turning around, he said, "You used to love me, once. Do you remember?"
Marcy could practically feel her heart twisting inside of her ribcage. "Leave, Natalie," she commanded. It was unusual for Natalie, typically curious and inclined to prying, to jump and flee the room when a juicy conversation clearly hung in the air, but she did. Marcy waited to hear the elevator doors close before she spoke again. "That was a long time ago, and we were different people then."
"It was not so long ago, Marcy." Frank said. She scowled at the back of his head. Of course he has to be argumentative about it, she thought to herself, he never could just let things go.
"Ten years is a long time, Frank. Long enough for both of us to have moved on." Inwardly, she continued; Which you seemed to have accomplished, or is your tall blonde boning the pool boy, again?
"An entire lifetime would not be long enough, and you know that."
"I don't know what it is that gave you the impression you knew anything about me, Frank, but clearly you are misguided." She was beginning to realize that she was entirely uncomfortable standing in the middle of her office, with the honey light of sunset spilling through the window and his silhouette filling her mind. Frank was a handsome man, careful and diligent, and aristocratic from his soft leather shoes to his fine tailored suit. Steadfast in everything he did.
Unyielding, was another word.
"I am not a fool, Marcy. I know it's you who has been calling."
"Excuse me? Calling who, Frank?"
"Calling me. Usually at three or four in the morning, from a payphone at the corner. I can hear your stilted breathing, I can hear the traffic in the background and the clamour of the city." For the first time since she walked into the office, he turned and his stark, aggressive beauty left her speechless. She counted her stuttering heartbeats until she found her voice.
"I don't know what you're talking about, Frank. I'm in bed by eleven unless I'm working late, and even then, I'm deeply unconscious by three or four in the morning." He never asked why she kept saying his name; maybe it was because he knew she had to keep reminding herself of who he was then, who she was now, in order to keep him firmly at a distance. He never corrected her, never questioned. She both hated and loved him for it.
"In bed alone, I presume? Why is it, Marcy, that you've never remarried?" He let his eyes move slowly from the floor tiles, up over the smooth lines of her figure, to meet hers.
"Marriage is not for everyone, Frank. Besides," she caught her breath quickly, careful to slow down her speech to keep the lie from her voice, "my marriage to you left a bad taste in my mouth."
With half of his face shrouded in angular shadows and the other half warmly lit by the sunset, Marcy could have wept at his expression. So gentle, forgiving; quietly patient and sure of what he was accusing her of. Capable of waiting. "You cannot lie to me, Marcy, but I understand why you do." Two long strides, and he was a mere arms length away from her. Her fingers twitched by her side. An abysmal ache in her chest shook her, shrieked and wailed inside of her mind, pleading, or rather, demanding her to tend to it. "There have never been a two such as us, and I have spent the last ten years searching for someone to fill your place at my side only to find myself standing outside of this building every time I fail."
She cast her eyes to the floor, unable to look at him and smother her internal war simultaneously. "I can't do it again, Frank," she said, barely able to force the words through her teeth. His index finger grazed her chin and she instinctively glanced up, despite herself.
He said, "Then I will wait. For another ten years, if I must."
“We’ll see, Frank. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have business to attend to.” Shifting gears, she flicked on her business girl smile and added as she walked into her private office, “Some of us have to work for a living. Have a nice night, and do tell Natalie she should return to her desk and stop flirting with the doorman.”