Asleep beside me. Her breathing soft as moonlight. She smelled of almonds.
The celestial camera zoomed out and took in the squalid room. The neon sign outside flickered stripes across our bodies. The smoke from my cigarette coiled upwards and was lost in the gloom of the dark ceiling. She stirred and whimpered words from a lost subterranean nightmare.
I stroked her hair soft and fair. She sighed and opened black wide eyes. She smiled an angel’s smile and took my cigarette. She inhaled deeply and blew the smoke through her exquisite nostrils, licked a flake off her redolent lips, and raising herself onto her elbow, peered at me with a tender fear. Throwing her long hair back, the habitual anger resurfaced. She returned the cigarette and sat up on the side of the bed.
She got up, found her clothes, and started to dress. I feigned the usual indifference and hid my pain. She moved into and out of the light, a specter already gone. Not looking at each other, we each nursed the scars of other celestial nights of empty dreams and furtive longing. Intimate strangers. Seeking refuge in lonely dives. A shot at forgetting and a chance of bliss.
She opened the door, hesitated, almost gave me a glance, shut the door softly a reproach, and was gone.
I walked to the window and watched her walk across the wet road into a death-like fog holding her arms to her body. She didn’t look back.