I will not say it was love at first sight because… well, it would be a lie if I did. But I will say he saved me from the inevitable. He swept me off my feet, if you will. I had been sat on the side-walk and I know how I must have looked: aged well beyond my years; unkempt… abused and unfed. And I was all of those things. But he came and sat next to me and started telling these awful jokes – I guess to cheer me up. And it worked. The next thing I know, I’m having a hot shower at his house – the first in weeks – and he’s taking the sofa while I sleep in his bed. I swear I slept for days and then I woke up and we talked for days. About our lives; about our futures (future); about how we like our eggs. And I could feel the flowers of love just beginning to bud between us. I began to trust again. And we kissed and the flowers bloomed.
But he’s pacing now and I don’t know how to get him to stop. He’s yelling – not at me, though he is kind of yelling at me – things… jumbled things. “What have you done? The police… what have you done?” He keeps repeating that line. And I look down at my hands as I sit down on the sofa where he slept that first night, except my hands are covered in a slick, shiny red. As is the bottom of my dress and my thighs are streaked with it too. I don’t know what it is but I want to get it off off off so I wipe my hands on the sofa and I see flashes of the man in my mind, his eyes dead and staring off into the distance. Blood. A pool of it spreading beneath his chest. And now he’s shouting at me again, right in my face, asking where the body is and who it was. “Damien? Damien? Anna, was it Damien?” He shrieks.
And I can’t reply; as though my tongue has been cut out of my mouth. So instead, I ask his late great grandmother to have a word with him: to make him shut up so I can think. As he opens his mouth (no doubt to begin shouting again), she grabs his tongue, but he still tries to speak for a while so she tugs at it – stretching it stretching it stretching it until I hear a faint pop! and it’s all coiled up like a snake on the floor – detached. Like my own, I guess, for I still could not utter a single word; still did not know what to say. I could feel his gaze on me and it was loud loud loud even without his tongue. His great grandmother refused to do any more; said she didn’t want to make him lose his voice forever.
Thankfully there was a knock at the door. I leapt to my feet, but thinking back I wonder how I wasn’t afraid it was the police. I think maybe deep down I knew it would be someone sent to help me. “I am Wren,” a voice called through the door – a deep, resonating, trustworthy voice, “let me be your guide.” So I opened the door while my love stood stock still, as though frozen in time. I expected to find a man, but instead I saw a centaur – one of those creatures from a myth. He was much older than I expected; his beard and fur were speckled with grey and his eyes told many tales. “Hop on. We need to act fast.” He said. Half in a daze, I jumped onto his back with difficulty, wrapping my arms around his neck (perhaps a little too hard) as I struggled to put my leg over his back without the help of a stirrup or two. Before I had quite got comfortable, he muttered “no time” in an apologetic tone and raced out into the dawn chill, trotting through the desolate streets.
“Mr. Wren Offaclees, please stop where you are.” The police, I thought. Wren paused and turned to face the policeman. No, sorry – old habits die hard – the policebot. It rolled closer to us. A compartment opened in its chest and it shot out a net, encompassing both myself and Wren. “Follow me.” The robot turned around. The net’s string – still attached to something inside the compartment – tautened and we were dragged along behind him. I could see curious faces peering at us from their pod windows in my peripheral vision, but whenever I tried to look at any directly, they would hide just before I could catch a glimpse. “You’re in big trouble, Anna,” the policebot said as it rolled its way to the station. I buried my head in Wren’s neck, even though I felt nauseous for travelling backwards. I didn’t know what to expect at the station and I didn’t know if I could be much help, for what had happened had become a blur in my mind – a goop of porridge, all mushed and mixed.
Is it normal to not know what you want? There’s something about Amelia in the final episode of Grey’s Anatomy that resonates with me. Besides the fundamentals (or what I view as the fundamentals, anyway), I don’t know what I want any more, and I don’t know if I want the things I potentially want for all the wrong reasons.
Hmm. Something to think about, I guess. Maybe life should just be played by ear.