Whisper the Words
They stand looking west, towards the approaching dusk. He reaches out for her hand; fingers slipping, lacing, through hers. Donna is suddenly reminded of a childhood saying; was he building a chapel, the steeple, were they the people gathered inside? Why? Measuring his heart, she asks herself, will there be a sunrise. A soft breeze kisses her neck and she hears a distant voice calling to her. “Whisper the words to a love song; whisper. Let the soft message silently move across the space between you.”
Earlier, when the first rays of morning sun glanced upon the window…when the first song of sweet bird singing weaved its way to her ear…sleep so faintly drifted from eyes of teal. The warmth from his body reminded her of the calling, “Whisper the words to a love song; whisper.” He says she reads his tears like an angel, kissing them away. In the morning stillness, holding her in his arms, she pressed love against his chest. To him, in life there is nothing more; all is in the touch of her lips to his. But what of her needs. “Whisper the words.” She now responds only to his touch in shared need. It had not always been this way.
He remembers how they met; it was the wedding of her cousin. The video, he keeps in secret, is a constant reminder; a friend sent it to him a few weeks after the wedding. There was a shot of the ushers and bridesmaids, Rich and Nancy, and the ceremony. With the ceremony a wrap, the scene shifts to the guests waiting outside the church for the official first appearance of husband and wife. Donna has her back to the camera. Someone is approaching her from the rear and she turns to see who it is. An elderly man, her uncle. Their voices continue to hunt him.
“So talk to him.”
“Don’t play games with me Donnita. The boy you have been staring at all morning.”
“Oh, him,” putting her arm around her uncle’s waste, and in a voice that spoke of poorly hidden, simmering desire, “I don’t think the family would want another local getting involved with one of their princesses.”
“Sad but true; then, since when have you worried about their opinions, or, for that matter considered yourself a princess? And, may I add, he likes you.”
“What?” unmistakable happiness.
“I noticed that he is better than you are at sneaking looks.”
“He’s, ummm, I don’t know what it is about him.” Her desire was there, but it was far more; love.
“Not handsome enough?”
“Funny,” laying her head on her uncle’s shoulder, “Don’t know, I just do not know.”
“Will you take some advice from your old uncle?”
“Even if I said no you would tell me, but you know I value your advice.”
“Donnita is Monet. She wishes people would see the importance of her total character, not just the overwhelming beauty of the flowers. She does not like Monet, and stands in front of an abstract Picasso, where no one part is more important than the whole. That young man over there is abstract Picasso, which he hates; thus stands in front of the Monet, wishing people would see each of his important qualities, and not a single judgment.”
“That was deep.”
“Meant to be.”
“So how do opposites reconcile?”
“When you worked for me at the art gallery what did I say made one gallery shine above the others?”
“Balance of styles.”
“You were always so damn smart. How do you obtain balance?”
“You place the two styles next to each other, step back, and let them talk to you.” She looked at her uncle and smiled; the look of determination forming.
“So go stand next to him Donnita. And don’t worry about me, the elder family is going back to the hotel to spend some time catching up on things.” Donna gave her uncle a hug and kissed him goodbye, and as she watched him walk away you could see the unrelenting determination.
She continued to look at him, would talked to him, would go out with him, say she loved him, would have sex with him, and he has always tried to not mislead her, while reminding himself that she is a beautiful Monet.
This day they had walked four miles; not always fast, then, not always slow. Somewhere, maybe halfway, they stopped to watch a clutch of ducks. Mothers, fathers, unwed ones; no babies. She guessed they walked too slow to watch them grow. He had looked but missed the meaning. “Whisper the words and they will speak the truth.”
Just when the change took place she is not sure. What she is sure of is change. Maybe it was the fewer conversations. Or the way he stopped calling her at odd hours to say how much he loved her, needed her in his life. Little nuances…connect the dots…slight indifference of his kiss. The slow reality of recognition, held at a distance by self protectiveness, soon becomes too in-your-face to disregard.
They stand looking west. Donna pulls his hand to her hip. He senses something had changed between them. She holds his hand against her body for what seems like an eternity. She glances at him out of the corner of her eye, trying to gage his thoughts; he hoping she would not suddenly release her hold.
In a quiet voice she asks, “Do you know the difference between need and want?” A slight movement of his head, no words, just listening eyes that ask her to tell him what is on her mind. “Need is when you reach out in the middle of the night to touch the woman lying next to you; the need to reassure yourself she is still there. Want…it’s desperately wanting to be there next to her; to be the only man she reaches out for.”
They stand looking west, towards the approaching twilight. Her fingers slipping from his.
(Whisper the Words is a work of fiction, Copyright 2009, Steven S. Walsky, all rights reserved is adapted from Through A Stranger’s Eyes copyright 2005, Steven S. Walsky, all rights reserved.)