Grace and Isaac

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 09, 2016

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Submitted: September 09, 2016

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Grace sits on the kitchen counter, she’s staring at Isaac and he can feel her gaze on the side of his face. He doesn’t turn to look at her though. Instead, he keeps absentmindedly scrolling through Facebook on his phone with his middle finger, not really looking at anything and thinks that this isn’t the way a relationship should be. He shouldn’t feel uncomfortable in a room with his girlfriend. He reasons with himself that every relationship is different, maybe theirs is frayed while others are the opposite.

Out of the corner of his eye he sees Grace swing her legs and listens to her heels bang against the cupboard doors. He wonders if she’s doing it as hard as she is to catch his attention.

He begins to fidget in his seat, feeling evermore uneasy in Grace’s presence and just as he has convinced himself to get up and leave, she opens her mouth and speaks.

“Can you tell when I am sad?” She asks, the question and her voice jarring as it slices through the silence they had been sitting in and sends chills down Isaac’s spine.  “Can you? I’m curious.”

He takes a few moments to pull himself together and swallows loudly, he’s still not looking at her.

“Not usually, but I have begun to assume you are unless you tell me otherwise.”

When he finally does look up at her, her eyes are blank but her mouth is twisted into an unhappy grimace. He thinks he’s said the wrong thing and he’s worried about how she’ll react. They stare at each other for a moment, Grace’s eyes boring straight into what feels like his soul but probably isn’t and Isaac letting her. He always lets her.

After a few tense seconds, Grace’s mouth straightens out and she blinks, looks away and says “That is a wise move,” whilst glancing around the kitchen. Her eyes never settle on one thing for longer than half a second before they dance away onto something else. Isaac wonders if she feels the same discomfort. He wonders if he causes it.

He spends about a minute or so trying to catch her eye but she avoids it. It’s a game they play whenever she gets this way. She can expose her insides so long as she is not forced into eye contact. Isaac remembers her saying before, “The eyes are the windows into the soul, my dear, sweet tabby cat. I don’t want someone taking a peek inside of my identity, you understand.” He did, but didn’t voice how he thought letting someone see the real you was the most intimate experience and should be shared with whomever you trust the most. Maybe she has, maybe he isn’t who she trusts.

She looks back at a spot just above his head, “Why don’t you ever do anything about it?”

It’s an accusation. Isaac can hear it in her voice and immediately raises his guard.

“What can I do? Nothing works with you,” Grace looks offended at this but Isaac barrels on. “Not when you’ve fallen this far. Sometimes I can get to you, when you’re still hanging on, I can pull you up. But once you have set up home in the void again, there is little I can do. Your voice echoes over mine.”

He’s breathing heavily when he finishes, having rushed to get it all out in case she interrupts him like she so often has done. He’s watching the way she fiddles with the hem of her skirt and how she smooths it out after. She doesn’t say anything and he doesn’t either.

“You should shout louder,” is all she says.

Isaac twitches a shoulder, his left, and Grace’s eyes snap to it like it has upset her. He stays as still as possible, feeling like prey in the gaze of a predator.

“Okay,” She says, slowly. “I’ll allow you your excuse.”

He huffs and slams his fist down onto the table top, causing the teacups and salt shakers to tremble. Grace doesn’t acknowledge the movement at all. She blinks lazily as though bored with his outburst.

“It is not an excuse!” He yells. “Your sadness is an anchor and sometimes I can lift its weight, but sometimes it is buried too deep. That is not my fault! That isn’t my fucking fault, Grace! Don’t put that on me.”

There are tears in his voice, tears in his eyes. Tears and anger. And a sense of betrayal.

Grace sighs, an uninterested sound. “I need your help,” she tells him.

It isn’t a request, more of a dare. And Isaac can tell that she doesn’t care if he takes it or not. In her mind there is always someone else. And there would always be someone else.

Having come to this realization that he will never enough, he feels almost broken.

He’s crying now.

“I know, I know. I just don’t know how—tell me how! How can I help you if you do not tell me how?” His tears are slurring his words. “I’ll do anything. Anything! How do I keep you afloat?”

He’s on his knees in between her legs now but doesn’t remember how he got there and he’s staring openly up at her face, her lips are quirked into a half-smirk and he knows he’s played right into her hand. She takes a small jump off of the counter and he shuffles back. Grace helps him to his feet and circles around him, making him feel, not at all for the first time, like prey, and kisses the back of his neck. She tugs the hair at his nape and he lets his head move with it, he’s unsure if the goosebumps rising along every spot she touches are because of her or the draft. The chuckle from behind him seals his fate and he knows he can’t leave.

Slinging her arms over his shoulders, her right hand resting in the hollow of his throat and the left pressing into the fabric of his shirt above his heart, she says, “You keep me on your shoulders,” and as it comes out of her mouth, she feels them sag, already having carried too much of her weight.

 

She smiles. 


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