Ticks

All she could do was yawn. He sat across from her, at the table for two, on the patio at the Starbucks on Fourth Street and Hertle. As he spoke, he flexed his arms–somewhat inconspicuously, but not really–it was maybe through a way of his own subconscious doings that he would. He was sat, with a lean posture, with his arms boxed, straight ahead of him. He was wearing a small, thick, white cotton shirt, branded with the name of a popular retailer across his chest. His hairstyle was short and clean–his face was shaved to match. His flesh was black–a very solid, pure shade of black. She was dressed in all black. Leggings, flip-flops, and a baggy, very basic, black sweatshirt, though it was made by a designer brand. Her hair was blond, and straight, and quite long. In the bright sunlight, it had shone with deep hues of a yellowish orange. Her name was Samantha. His name was Ethan. They had been dating then for a few months.

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Ethan was staring straight in her direction, though Samantha kept her eyes fixed away from his own; it was obvious the message that she was sending him. She fully intended for it to be so, and Ethan, as well, had received it as such, but neglected to humor it, or honor it, he just stared at her as if the gesture was not given, as if perhaps, that Ethan himself, was telling Samantha, in his own way, to cut it out, or just get over whatever it was that he had done that put her in such a mood in the first place. From a point of view in casual intimacy, the two had become keenly aware of one another, and were more than just aware of the other’s respective ticks. Samantha turned toward Ethan, to face him, only just momentarily. She engaged his eyes. She yawned in his face, interrupting him mid-sentence as he spoke. She then looked at her nails, and again, she turned away from him.

“Wow, I really do love talking to myself” Ethan said abruptly.

“Oh, I hadn’t noticed” Samantha quipped back at him. She again looked at her nails.

“Black nails, huh” Ethan said, “everything is black today” he then added, trailing his words into a short mumble. Samantha turned her face up sharply, “What?” she said, then asking. Her face was contorted just a bit; her jaw had scrunched inward, only slightly but it was plainly observable. Ethan reacted to it with a raised eyebrow. It had seemed, to him, that she was anticipating to be insulted by his comment, which is the opposite of what he intended, as he was merely but hoping it would trigger some sort of conversation, which incidentally it did, but just not the kind that he was hoping for. 

Ethan’s mind was shooting blanks–without thinking, he spoke, “You look like Avril Lavigne” he said, and turned his head away immediately.

Samantha’s jaw then literally dropped; she was not exactly, warmly receptive, to his remark. She spoke, she said, “Wow, that’s like, the dumbest thing that you’ve ever said to me.”

6328eps_nailpolish001_baepv Ethan turned, “I doubt that’s true” he said quipping, but with some intentional humility, hoping to turn the mood up by taking a light-hearted shot at his own self. It didn’t work. Samantha was no longer pretending that she was disinterested in Ethan; she was staring right at him, straight into his eyes. Her jaw had still not closed itself shut; her face was fixed as one of true disgust–though it was probably slightly exaggerated, either for some effect, or merely that she was just caught up in the moment. Now it was Ethan who was the one looking away from the other, though there was no hidden angle to be found in his doing so; He was, quite simply, fed up with Samantha, and truly did not care to engage her any further for the moment.

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