Reconstruction

When a heart breaks, the cut is never clean. We can only hope the scars heal and love overcomes all eventually.

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1. The Coffee Shop

 

Noise. Endless noise fills the streets.  Streams of cars, motorbikes, lorries and people pulse through the veins of the breathing metropolis.  The discordant din of squealing breaks, workmen shouting and the stress of everyday life fills the atmosphere.  A solitary pigeon scavenges for food on the well-worn pavements and wrestles violently with an empty wrapper blown towards the fence of a newly forming construction site.  Its broken beak and ruffled feathers show evidence of a struggled past, and a short future, yet new life hopes to be created here as the city expands.  For now, however, just a lone cement mixer and a herd of high-visibility jackets lead the process.  Dust and dirt covers the ground while rubble from the street’s previous buildings still tarnishes the view.  The weary pigeon battles on.

 

Inside a nearby coffee shop, sits the absolute opposite: a face so perfect in its creation that the beautifully flowing blonde hair surrounding it frames it like a work of art.  Warm, welcoming blue eyes seem to balance an innate capability to excite and entice while making her admirer feel completely at home.  The only potential blemish on her soft, smooth skin is it’s olive glow: just enough to hint that she has experienced the world yet it has not damaged her as often it can.  She is symmetry. She is equilibrium.  Immaculate. This angelic stereotype is not made up.  Although, only the slight splash of hazel in the iris of her left eye seeks to prove to him she is, in fact, real.  This is not a flaw; this is the peak of intrigue; the sole fragment of attainability which gives him hope: hope that one day she will let him fall deeply back into that pool of colour and swim through her past and into her future. She is captivating: perfect.

 

She speaks.

 

Almost simultaneously, the concrete mixer starts its torturous whirling and spluttering, aggravating everything inside and turning its world inside out. 

 

“How have you been?” she enquires tentatively, her natural warmth now sickening and uncomfortable. 

He replies coldly whilst staring emotionlessly out at the churning cement mixer, forcing back an honest answer and yet another tear. “Good. I’ve been good.” 

His stomach sinks, his eyes fix and his hand trembles frailly as if all the energy he had previously mustered for this visit has immediately been drawn from him in her caring words.  In acute awareness of his inability to cover up this immediate loss of composure, he attempts to change the subject. “Do you want anything? I’m getting a coffee.”

 

Sensing the now awkward situation, she is able to take control with her effortless poise.  “I’ll get them, you never could get my order right!” she smirks with a glint in her eye.  As she floats off, a gentle waft of her perfume fills his nostrils with the scent of flowers, spring, happiness, their past, and now, her unavoidable pity.  He was not ready for this.

 

When she returns with their drinks, he has managed to regain some semblance of composure but not nearly enough to ready himself for the next bout in this agonising exchange.  Silence fills them both.  In a room full of people yet feeling so alone, he cannot bear to speak and it does not seem a bad choice to refrain from opening up his heart and allowing for the inevitable let down it would almost certainly invite - almost certainly.  He, instead, opts for the reticent option of remaining silent and observing her discreetly.  Before he had arrived, he had kidded himself that he wouldn’t fall straight back into love with every part of her: her slender wrists, her hourglass figure, the perfect lines drawn across her frame by her delicately protruding collar bones and, more than anything, the fact that she is so genuinely unaware of how attractive she is.  She avoids his gaze: coy and unassuming, which reinforces his belief that there were to be no reciprocated emotion forthcoming.  Yet she knows she is going to be the one to break the silence.

 

“I do miss you too, you know…?”

 

The nearby construction site, now filled with the excruciating sound of a pounding pneumatic drill pummeling and battering the earth below and disrupting the world above, does little to improve the mood.

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