The seat smelled like her hair long after she left. As he sat in that little booth alone contemplating on incoherent thoughts, there was still an air of her presence around him. He thought he could still picture her in that blue dress leaning on the table staring into her water as she had done for the thirty minutes that she’d been there. He had known what she was going to say and he’d felt the dread and anticipation turn in his stomach. He had looked upon her with a certain kind of softness that sought to assure him rather than to soothe her. He had not said a word. Somewhere in the background, he heard the sound system come on. The place had some really impressive surround sound. It seemed to ease in from the walls and into their moods. The song had a slow hum that turned to into a relaxed rap and a beat that rose and dropped with you pulses. He thought it funny of the universe.
He shook himself and stood up suddenly. Robot-like. He felt that the pub had now become too hot for his black outfit. He thought about losing his leather jacket before he decided that it would be a lot healthier to just walk out and away from this place. This booth that now resembled the ugly shape of an unfinished mansion. He wanted to keep the memory of her pure and that could only be done far from the place that it had been defiled. He sighed and began to cross the floor, proceeding to the counter near the door while ruffling in his pockets unconsciously for money. The bar attendant was a rather pleasing young man who seemed to smile warmly behind his closed lips. It was probably his eyes though, he thought. They made his seem harmlessly hospitable. Like a safe place. Which was a rather unusual quality for bartending. It surprised him that he should consider these trivialities with all the weight in his head. So he tried to concentrate on his sorrow as he handed over the note he’d found. The bartender shook his unusual head and said simply while nodding towards the door.
He did not question him, rather dragged himself out and into the mild chaos of people in a Tuesday evening, loosing himself in the events of her again.
She had said it with a certain kind of acceptance that wrapped around his uncertainties like a cloak and took away some of the burden. She was looking straight into her glass of water and she was not moving. Her voice did not shake and the only time that their gazes ever met, she did not look seeking at all. He remembered feeling both relieved and painfully unneeded when her eyes did not ask for assurances or for help. He saw those eyes now splashed across the city lights. Looking at him from the billboards and beaming past him in the headlights of pimped up Matatus. They blurred him and forced him further into his mind to try and make real sense of what had just happened.
He had thought he’d prepared himself for the news. He had sat down and had read the message that blinked from his phone and he had felt the tension behind the words. Before they met, he had spent the day going through himself to find out what exactly it was that he was feeling. He found a couple of conflicting ones and he’d gone with the one he thought was most dominant. He had tried it on consciously and told himself over and over again.
“It’s just a baby. It’s just a baby.”
By evening, he had tried about as much as thirty percent to accept in his heart that they could handle it.
He was almost hit by a rogue Matatu, liberally painted with green glow paint that screeched to a halt a few inches off the paved sidewalk. He bumped into a corporate lady rushing by as he tried to swing out of its way. Nothing he had done, however, had prepared him for the bus that she had crushed into his heart chest when she had added.
“But it’s not yours.”