Chapter Seventeen, Part Two: Gymnopédie IIMature

“I see the cart you’re talking about; I’ll go. And hide my face. I’ll keep my back turned, chat up the vendor- will that be good enough, Sweetheart?” 

Her hands are on his cheeks now, plastered there as if she’s holding them on. And now he’s shivering. One moment she is there, the next, she is turning… in a haze of filmy blue wrap and jeans, and a soft corset top of smoky burgundy so dark it’s nearly black. Her hair is up, a delicious, glistening sticky bun of golden curls stuck to the back of her head. She’s dripping bits of cinnamon and honey. 

Absently, he hopes she’s warm enough. For the baby. 

But it’s a sunny day. 


The light is bearing down on him. 

Beads of sweat. 

A drop. 

It’s clinging to the tip of a lock of his hair, cast between his temples like a lopsided bindi. 

The round bottom of the droplet beckons, like another universe. Inside the jewel-shape, he can see Eternity. 

His eyes squirm in their sockets, resetting. Adjusting. His irises squeeze atoms together till they’re half a soul wide, displaying the world in miniscope. Like windows. 

Disassociate now, floating awkwardly like a child learning how to swim in the same awkward moment, over and over, awkwardly, awkwardly, he attends the little droplet at the end of his forelock. 

It speaks Creation’s name to him with blind lips his hindbrain only vaguely remembers kissing. 

A shadow falls, full of little points. Full of stars. 

Then the droplet leaves him, edging along the tip of that particularly rabbit-hearted lock of his own brownish hair to cascade neatly away onto the pavers of the park walk. Inside, he’s flapping and flailing in space. 

“It’s you.”

The End

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