A J Thompson | Andrew Thompson, Rockhampton Australia

Mist, a short story by Andrew Thompson

©1999 Andrew Thompson

She visits me sometimes. It's always when it's dark. We like the night, and perhaps this eve she'll stay with me and watch the sunrise. I light some candles and recline in my favourite chair, while she sits across the room and watches me with tender eyes. And as always she whispers from afar.

"The mist isn't real my love. I am real and you are real, but not the mist between us".

I look away, for I can see the spiralling fingers of cloud coiling towards the ceiling, tiny serpents dancing in the candle glow. And I feel the mist. Cool droplets on my arms, tiny dots of vapour hanging from the hair tips, then surrendering themselves to become one with the cascade.

Yet she cannot see as I see. Or perhaps it is the other way around. I watch the droplet fall through a child's eyes. Everything is larger here. And lonely. So terribly, terribly lonely.

I see her smile again through the mist. It's the same smile as the one she gave the very first time we met. And the very first time that we kissed. But the world is in her eyes. They always betray her feelings, and I can see her eyes so clearly now.

I return the smile, a little sadder than I'd planned. I didn't even convince myself let alone her, the one who knows me better than I. She repeats the words to me softly, pleadingly.

"The mist isn't real my love. Just take my hand and it will go away forever".

I listen and I smile again, but still I cannot make her see. For the mist is life, and she is not, yet I cannot stay here without her touch. I have fallen so very far without her.

She blows me a kiss and I catch it in my hand, the game we always play. She smiles once more, her eyes betray her once more, and she begins to fade into the darkness.

I turn away. I can never bear to see her leave.

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