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Posted by on 9 Jun, 2017 in English Corner, General | 0 comments

Writing Exercises: The Storm

The room had been quiet for hours. The silence was broken from time to time only by the almost inaudible fall of a tulip petal on the glass table. The bunch of flowers had been in that vase for about a week and the tulips were totally opened by now, almost flat, colours faded out, the petals twirling a bit. The pollen on the stamens was heavy and started to scatter around, creating a yellow circle around the vase. Nobody bothered to change the water from that vase and Layla could feel the repulsive smell floating around the room. The air was as heavy as the pollen, the heat made every breath a struggle.

fallen petals

Greg was sitting in his armchair, his index finger moving up and down on the bright display of the tablet. His breathing was heavy, as if every gasp of air was a big effort. He sat there, motionless, his blue eyes fixed on anything else but her. On his forehead, drops of sweat were gathering in a small crown, and, from time to time, one of them was dripping on his cheeks all the way down to the neck. He wasn’t bothering to wipe it off. He had been quiet for the few hours that passed since their big fight. If that can even be called a fight. They needed to do it quietly, to not make themselves heard upstairs, where his parents were sleeping. She told him this time she would leave, although she knew she probably would not do that. The needy, shy, and lovable little boy sleeping in the bedroom next door was the reason she was going through the wordless evenings, unbearable silences, tense sleeping next to a person who seemed far away, in another universe, and at the same time too close, almost touching her.

Layla avoided looking at Greg as well, she didn’t want to see his thick body, the body she remembered being totally different ten years ago. The bright university assistant she met on campus on a lovely spring day was a charming, athletic man, full of energy and smart ideas. Layla wondered every day where did that man go? She was sitting still, her body tense, while in her mind the thoughts were spinning, like the dark clouds that started covering the sky outside. Greg took an apple from the fruit bowl. Yellow, the dotted fruit skin was shiny, like a shield against the sharp teeth trying to rip it apart. He took the first bite. That one was the most annoying of all. While the sharp teeth were penetrating the skin, the juice started dripping from inside of the fruit, on the outside surface and on his chin. He smacked his lips together to gather the juicy liquid, then started to chew on the piece of fruit. Smacking lips and chewing continued for a while until a loud clap of thunder made the windows tremble and Layla was grateful to the gods for that.

She stood up from the white leather couch and went to the window, hoping to see the first drops of rain. The lightning arrows broke the darkness of the night and illuminated the garden. For a second, everything was perfectly visible, then it was dark again, until the next lightning strike, creating the effect of a slideshow with big intervals between the images. The booms of thunder that followed were powerful. The wind began and intensified quickly and all this show went on for a while, but the rain still didn’t show up. Layla was impatiently waiting for the rain. She always loved a good summer storm – they made her feel free and powerful – and, today, this would have been her only happy moment. She remembered when they watched the storms together, hugging, smiling and inhaling the fragrant air. That seems like ages ago. The times when they laughed together at movies, shared the same headset to listen to their favourite music, danced like no one was watching in the small living room of their first house. The day they married, she was convinced that the rest of their life together would be like that and then some. They must have grown old already, or something else happened in the meantime. Like the imperfect storm outside, not managing to be what a storm should be, their perfect marriage unexpectedly changed and wasn’t what she dreamt of, any longer.

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