Fishing in Beirut

April 7, 2010

Part 6: Things As They Are (scene 16)

Filed under: Character : Karen, Part 6: Things As They Are — fishinginbeirut @ 07:39

Karen wanted to call him. That old clichéd something stopped her each time. Perhaps it was his failure to call her.
The first week of December was drawing to a close, dragging the year along with it. Cold and rain had assumed its ownership. The streets were slick treacheries, her skin frozen and wet. It was like they’d made a pact to further her misery.
It was difficult not to dwell on things with conditions so inclement. Hard to not submit to mental strife. All she could do was juggle theories on his silence, and why she shouldn’t make the call instead. All she could do in effect was wait.
She spoke to Claire on her lunchbreak, looking for reassurance or guidance or a lie. They discussed it and their coffee grew cooler. Karen drew little rings on the table with her finger, making them bigger, smaller, on each lap. She bumped a little chip in the smoothened surface.
Claire was teasing out ways of possibly prompting him, but Karen wasn’t interested in that. It was going to have to take the course it took. They ordered more coffee with the time still on their side, and changed the subject.
“I’m not sure how long I’m going to stay here. This job, this city.”
Karen was surprised to hear such a thing.
Claire had seemed quite settled, longterm, but maybe something had happened, or she’d simply had enough. Of offices, or France. Karen asked why, what is it, but Claire fell suddenly silent, the energy changing. The topic had retreated as it had come.
It was quiet too as they returned to work, Karen unsure of Claire’s mood, or how to engage with it. She heard familiar sounds of kids and motorbikes. They took the same turn where before there had been a protest, but today continued onward, unobstructed. A breeze announced itself and brushed their hair.
Back in the office Karen felt Claire slip away, not really saying anything, just departing. Karen walked to her own desk, and sat down. She knew Claire was across the room, settling back again also, taking off her coat and preparing to work the phone. There was chatter and the buzzing of machines.

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