Fishing in Beirut

May 19, 2010

Part 8: Te Quiero (scene 22)

Filed under: Character : Aria, Character : Frank, Part 8 : Te Quiero — fishinginbeirut @ 07:42

Frank and Aria spent the afternoon at Allee des Synges, sitting on a bench, watching the water. Before leaving they wandered down to the Statue of Liberty, and stood staring out at the calmness of the Seine. Frank told her it was his favourite view in the city.
They held hands lightly, fingers gently kneading. An easy breeze played and danced with their hair. A tourist cruiser rounded the jutting walkway they stood on, returning towards the Eiffel Tower and the place it would berth. A pretty little girl waved her hand and they both waved back.
Aria pushed a piece of gravel over the jetty’s edge and smiled at the plop. She looked down at the dirty, clouded ooze. There was all manner of contaminated rubbish probably buried there, bottles, cans, condoms and long disintegrated bread. The water made a lapping sound against the stone.
Frank was going to look at her but stayed looking at the water. Their hands were barely touching, so light that they tickled. In another second maybe she would gently pull away from him. He felt electricity in his fingertips and down along the sides.
The sun shone strongly on their faces, and she squinted. It was Bastille Day, the 14th of July. The evening would bring fireworks, drinking, a celebratory disruption of routine. Austere parts of the city held hostage by noise.
Aria walked over to the statue, and sat underneath. She was half in sunlight and half shaded. Her hair fell across her face and she seemed to Frank a stranger. For a split second he had no idea who she was.
Her left eye was hidden, her lip curling upward. It was an angle, an expression, completely new, transforming and surreal. He stared and she noticed him, and then she broke the spell by smiling.
He walked to her, sat alongside. He knew she didn’t want to touch him, not in that moment, and that was fine. He scratched the back of his neck where he thought maybe he’d been bitten.
The sun pierced through a cloud, unsettling, stabbing. He felt suddenly afraid, utterly alone. He turned to look at Aria, and she was looking at the ground, her hair falling down, her hands placed neatly on her knees. He became aware of his breathing, and was crushed in deep sorrow.
Would this ever fully go? Could it always return to unnerve him on a whim beyond control? Awareness, negative focusing, impeding the ability to just sit, stand, walk. Perhaps it could only be accepted, his reality when it came.
She threw her arms around him. She just slid over and embraced him, holding him tight. He started crying, and laughing, his body reaching for hers. She caressed his face, sweet water from his eyes on her wrist.
His arms were around her waist, her back, Frank desperately trying to communicate more than he could. To hold, squeeze into life what words couldn’t say. In the sunshine, in the summer, at the foot of a statue in Paris in 2004. He wanted some gesture or motion that said nothing but love.

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