Everything felt a million miles away. Cliché but also incredibly true. The kids down the block were still playing, the digital picture frame still flipped through to new pictures, even she was still getting ready but she couldn’t feel anything. Nothing seemed to be connecting to her either.
The laughter from curtains she and her sister had used to play dress up was gone, though the lacy texture felt rough against Carol’s elbow. Her sneakers, as she slid them on and pulled the laces tight, weren’t shouting cheers and encouragement the way they had for every run, every marathon, she had ever worn them for. The warmth of her grandmother’s hugs, most often found hand stitched into her old couch, was chillingly absent.
Every touch, every focused glance, had always been filled with memories, feelings, impressions of the good times and the bad. Her whole life she had been like this, even when she was quiet nothing else around her was. . . until now. Carol looked around, her finger tips retracing the curtains, the couch, her shoes, but nothing she touched gave her anything in return. Her eyes scanned the rest of the room resting briefly on as many of her tchotchke as possible. Nothing.
Carol’s eyes fell upon him. Standard height, large and defined muscles, even from the couch she could see the beautiful, strong swoop of his nose and his darkening five o’clock shadow. She knew every part of him. Individually they all had stories to tell, collectively they sang epic poems of love and triumph to her, for her. Usually they sang. Today, she waited; silence.
His eyes darted between her own before ping ponging down and around to all his favorite parts of her body; her eyes, her lips, her chest, the place on her belly where small, faint scars were still healing. Carol wondered if his eyes could still feel her. A small tear formed enhancing the glow of his golden hazel iris. She didn’t need psychometry to see that he couldn’t.
Carol stood, exhaling deeply as she began to stand. Earlier she had tightened her back and in the process had gotten a small patch of rug burn. How the carpet had been so surprised! None of the apartment’s previous inhabitants it seemed had fucked on the floor. Their loss, she had thought to herself. She straightened up. Her breath left her body; no leftover taste of that thick Liquid I.V. packet she put in her water, no rush of relief in her back. Her body moved as if it were free of ailment.
Even she was a million miles away.
Her eyes returned to Charles. Tears were running down his face, falling faster than their feet should have been by now. Carol hated when they had their moments, she hated even more to see him cry. He had to know it was all going to be alright. Things always were between them. Never had it sounded so clinical between them, so cold and unfeeling, so over. . . it didn’t matter. Before either of them knew it they would be outside running their favorite trail then stopping at Pappies for breakfast on the walk home.
She moved closer to him. Her feet completely unaware of the table or the bench. Carol could see them, but she couldn’t feel them. How interesting it will be to go running like this, she thought, with everything so quiet.
Before she could reach him Charles blindly fumbled for his phone. His eyes never leaving the couch. She could understand what he meant now, probably better than ever, about how strange it was to see her zone out. She waited for a small chuckle, a chortle, her own little nervous tick to escape but she remained quiet.
Carol turned to look where Charles’ eyes were glued. In the same seat she had just been in was her.
Her body. Flat, unresponsive.
A million miles away.