Larry and Giselle


Giselle came home to a dark house. It was silent as well, with only the faint buzz of the refrigerator greeting her. Her silhouette framed the doorway as the door swung open and her movements were clamorous as she kicked off her heels. The tiles were cold. The windows were usually closed by the evening due to how cold the nights could get. One hand full of files and the other holding groceries, she forgoed* flipping the light-switch and had to step uncertainly after almost twisting her ankle on a misplaced object. She went towards the nearest couch and put her files down, dropping her tote bag beside them, then resting the groceries there as well. She paused for a moment to marvel at how loud the crinkling of the scandal bags sounded. 

    As she went to turn a light on, she wondered where her errant companion was. Larry was usually awake and comfortable at this time. Neither the television nor the radio was on and she couldn't smell anything cooking. She couldn't even hear his snoring.

    Her nail clicked against the plastic of the switch and the room brightened. Walking further inside, she saw him slumped over the dining table, his head turned towards her, eyes open. She enacted a silent version of a scream, eyebrows rising, hand moving to her chest. He blinked as she ran toward him hearing her say, "Larry! What are you doing?" He turned  his head to the other side, unknowingly placing his hair in drool. Giselle poked him in the stomach, attempting to rouse him from his stationary state. He pushed her hand away, mumbling that she should leave him alone. She did. She walked toward the couch to get the groceries and pack them out. She looked at Larry as she walked through the dining room to the kitchen. His eyes were red and marks were on his face from it being pressed against items on the table. She looked at him again as she walked back to pick up her bag and work files. He was still wearing his marina and pants from work. She craned her neck as he slipped from her field of vision. He was also wearing socks. She walked the long way around to her room, aiming to see his face since he was turned away from her. His skin was oily and his lips were dry. She came back from her room then went to the kitchen to pour a glass of water. She set it in front of him. 

    "Larry, what's wrong?" she asked. He didn't answer and she sighed. Her stomach rumbled, and she scowled as she realised she would have to deal with the food tonight. "If you want to mope and not talk to me, go somewhere else and do it," she said, crassly. She turned on the radio and went to  the fridge. She put some left over soup on the counter to thaw a bit while she went to change her clothes. Returning to the table with a file, she retrieved the manuscript and tried to ignore Larry.

     It was some story about a musician and his struggles from birth to death. She crossed her feet, bounced them, scratched her head, pinched her nose, and began to read. Some time passed. There were few errors so far, but the story wasn't interesting her. She was finding it hard to concentrate. 

    Larry farted. She peered over the papers in her hand and waited, then frowned. He usually said something silly after that. He didn't say anything. 

She went back to reading. No words were spoken for a while. They sat there, sitting, reading, ignoring. Larry refused the food when she brought it to him and his eyes didn't follow her movements as they did sometimes. The only sound was Giselle's flipping of the manuscript pages. The room's atmosphere was subdued and tense. It lightened as the evening wore on though, until Giselle's eyes were beginning to droop and Larry's limbs were shifting with restlessness.

Giselle pushed the papers together and sat up, fearing she would permanently damage her glasses if her head dropped to the table another time. She was cautious as she moved, taking a wide berth around Larry. During her multiple trips to and from various rooms in the house, the table was cleared, the cold soup was taken up and she noticed that Larry was asleep. As she walked past him the last time, she bumped him with her hip, then turned off the lights as she heard his stumbling. It was satisfying to hear him curse.      


As she came back from the bathroom. He was standing in her doorway. "I can't do this anymore." He said.

"Oh?" she said. "You're ready to talk now?."

"This thing." He ignored her statement.

"What thing?"she asked.

"You and me." he replied.

"You and I?" she corrected.

Larry tensed a bit, gritting his teeth, then swallowed and sighed. He nodded.

"Is that a yes?" Giselle asked.

"God dammit, Elle."

She looked at him. "Okay." She went inside her room and shut the door.

He stood leaning against the wall.

She re-opened the door marginally, not coming outside, and talked to him through the crack. "Why?"

 

 

*(Apparently the past tense of of forgo is forwent, but it just sounds wrong.)

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