(re-write/update of a short story from a writing class that made it to print)
Mark was in the kind of sleep that only jet lag can induce. His head lolled dangerously (or so it seemed) to one side. Janna kept worrying he would knock his head on the side of the door-frame if she did a bump or a fast corner.
Serve him right.
She had been looking forward to a quiet weekend when he’d called, out of the blue, saying he had arrived at the airport and needed a place to stay for a while. Just like that, no warning or anything. And of course, he needed picking up. She wondered what it was about her that made him feel he could flit in and out of her life on a whim.
The worst part – her greatest source of irritation right now – was how overjoyed she was that he was here at all.
She looked over at her passenger as she sat chewing at the nail on her left thumb to soothe conflicting emotions.
Above the obsidian orb that was Mark’s left eye, a tiny red light dotted each second. There was the sound of gentle breath ebbing and flowing in a way that signalled light sleep. So much for taking the scenic route, then.
At the stoplight on Avenue road, she leaned over and waved a hand in front of him. She wanted to see if the gentle movement of air would wake him, but there was no reaction. She sat back again, deciding to appraise this new look he’s come back with.
The wavy chestnut-coloured tresses have been formed into 6 or 7 dreadknots at the top of his head, and everything else – everything she used to run her fingers through – had been shaved clean off. She didn’t know how she felt about that. After all, he’d thrown a fit when she’d cut her own hair and dyed the tips of the short twists red. A red that, he complained, registered awfully for him. Like a flickering neon fuchsia lamp.
She wanted to trace out the new rectangle of bristles framing his mouth and chin. It was definitely – hmm… desirable, even if it did make him look older than his 44 years. Janna stared at the new goatee and wondered how long it would take to get used to.
It had the faintest hint of flecks of grey, too. When did that happen? Then there was the heavy tan: not just the genetics of Mongol climbs Caucasus, as he liked to joke, but more likely too many freewheeling patio days without sunblock, beneath a searing Singapore Sun.
Without warning, a cacophony erupted around her.Tags: Janna, Mark, The Treble