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  • The Hotel Window by Piper Davenport

    I.
    His hands touched her breasts but they weren’t really there. See, she believed that the human touch could evaporate without reason and beyond the possibilities of eternity. But, when she told this to others, they refused to look at the marks on her breasts. But didn’t want you want to touch her? Didn’t you want to see inside her head and wonder how God made naked bodies that hide behind foggy windows? And believed that if she had pushed herself hard enough, she might have floated away to Neverland and never had to do anything imagined.

    II.
    His eyes made her cry but they didn’t speak at all. See, she believed that if we could make words from not speaking anything at all and she cried while the world dropped tears from her eyes. If this had not happened, she might have had nothing to look at when staring outside. She might not have told their secrets, yes, theirs, without ever having made a telephone call. Just lied in bed and dared someone, anyone to knock on the door. That would have brought us to the center of the stage but the lights were off and she didn’t care to turn them back on. But not that it would have mattered, she wouldn’t have opened the door. She wouldn’t have moved past the cheap floral bedspread to the television. Nor would she have turned on the television to watch old wrestling shows from the ‘can’t-kill-me-80′s-era.’ No, but she wouldn’t answer the door if anyone knocked. She’d rather run and hide from him. She’d rather make him believe that she had flown away. Those eyes that she imagined about when she sat and waited. She would rather do anything than watch those eyes over and over again. Didn’t you want to destroy her? Didn’t you want to not say a word and wonder how the hell God made bodies that won’t float, eyes that won’t cry and knees that won’t plead? And you didn’t believe her when she said that she pushed herself to stay. She suffered. She fell. She bled. Everyone else had known but you. Everyone else had watched and waited.

    III.
    His heart escaped from in between her legs but it was never his to give in the first place. See, she believed that if she waited, he would allow her to be a free woman but she was wrong. The window won’t open and she would have to hurt herself to fly away. She dreamed last night that you destroyed some other woman and that it was she standing outside, next to the telephone booth, with a pink scarf and blue lips, waiting. The ring flew out of the window. The knock on the door came again but nothing stopped her from putting those big hands around her throat as you dared her to look away from you. She stood there smoking a cigarette, laughing as her dreams crumbled before her eyes. She bleeds, she dies, she rumbles, she shakes and the world goes on. Didn’t you hear her? She called your name. But no, you want to watch her watching you and wonder how God made bodies but God didn’t make minds? And you didn’t believe her, so you pushed her down, again and again. You could never imagine the possibilities so she floated away with both of our hearts, yours and hers.

    IV.
    His lies were the reason she waited. She tuned everything out. Even in blood, even in death, she kept her promise. She clutched it like a purse and kept it locked away. It was found again in this room, amidst the smell of dried sex, Chanel No. 5 and one lit table lamp. The room was empty. The serving tray in the hallway covered with half-eaten food and she waited. The telephone rang but she knew it was coming from across the street. The train not stopping, the best of the worst, the sound of a man’s voice. All she could hear was the faint sound of glass breaking. If he made a promise, he didn’t keep it that night. But she was ready; her lines rehearsed: Didn’t you want to lie? Truth be told, didn’t you want her to wonder how God made bodies? And he didn’t believe her. He pushed her away. She fought back but he broke her. He lied. He killed her. So, she destroyed the one thing he loved. With the curl of a hand, she welcomed his lies. Two become one and not three.

    V.
    He sat by the window and she walked by. He winked at her but she was not sitting next to him. She watched the eyes, all four of them. Two pairs of eyes smirked. It was the not first time that had happened. She was used to being in third place. Ten days later, she saw him again. It was six blocks away. She had asked for the time; it was all she could think to say. Seven o’clock on the dot. They stood near a flea market where a Cambodian woman walked by and offered them eight-legged spiders, cooked to a crisp.

    As the rain dropped, silence engulfed them until he told a joke that made her blush and five fingers went over her mouth. It took him all of twelve seconds to apologize. She smiled and he noticed a gap, separating eleven of her teeth on the left from eleven on the right. That happened right across the street. She didn’t remember, not until that night.

    By then, she was crying. But no one could tell. The window covered her sorrow the rain covered her tears. He walked by again. She decided that she wasn’t going to wait again.She knew what she was going to say: Didn’t he want to wait for her? She had waited all this time, all these years to hear from him. Locked away like broken hair follicles, she needed water to break away. Didn’t he want her to be happy? But that was in her mind. Still, she believed in happy endings. With that, she opened the window, called out to him and floated away. To the land of happy endings. She believed that he would rescue her, that he would catch her. So she closed her eyes and hoped that he would catch her.

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