the most awkward of silences are those between a boy and a girlPosted: October 2, 2009
It seemed to be a nigh-impossible task, but damn if she didn’t feel like trying. And damn did that almost seem like a mistake. She stands outside of a door painted green after it had been painted red, covered in a thin layer of dirt splattered by the wind. Her hair is tousled, wind-swept even, and her clothes inexplicably still neat. A breath. Two knocks on the door yield no response. Three rings of a digitized dial tone lead to a four-second delay of dead air before a response. The voice is gruff, masculine to a certain extent, voices of others can be heard faintly if at all. “I’m on my fifth cigarette here, Em!”
“It’s nice to hear the progress by which you’re killing yourself.” Em replies, in that tone that the female gender masters by the age of twenty-two.
“We’re in the back yard, on the porch.” He replies, answering her unasked question. Click. Em nearly trips over the front step as she tediously makes her way toward the back of the house, her shoes, if one could call them that, for they were more towards the line of soles with straps, proved to be no protection against the untamed wilderness within the unkempt grass. It was enough to slightly unnerve one who spent the majority of their life within the safe confines of tiled or hardwood floors and stale, recycled air-conditioned air. There’s the soft sound of laughter, the volume of it steadily increasing to that of a raucous roar. Em looks up to see four peculiar figures, one holding a cigarette, the other a beer, and the others nothing at all. The one holding the cigarette notices her but does not acknowledge her, allowing Em to sneakily make her way to the step of the porch. “That’s some fucked up shit, man.” He says, and takes a drag.
“What is?” Em asks, signaling her entrance.
“Oh, hey Em!” The one with the beer replies, without answering her question. One of the two who hold nothing at all looks at her with a slight disdain. The other, a slight attraction.
“I don’t believe we met?” The one with the slight attraction says, in a manner intentionally suave but unintentionally unnerving. “I’ve heard a bit about you, though.”
“Yeah?” She extends a manicured hand towards him, as a sign of introduction. “Then you should know that my name is-”
“She’s Em,” the one with the cigarette interjects.
“I can introduce myself just fine, thank you!” Em retorts, her hand still extended. The one with the attraction carefully shakes her hand, brutally beating the notion of himself kissing her hand in a manner only those ruggedly handsome could with a baseball bat. A metaphorical baseball bat. “I think The Rude One,” she enunciates, with emphasis towards the guy currently taking a drag from a wrinkled cigarette, “told me once that your name is Dan.” She notices his hand to be fairly rough before letting go. Dan, as he was now known, nodded in agreement while coyly averting his gaze from her. She stands on the porch, clutching a bag that suddenly seemed too heavy, watching four not-quite-men stare into space, lacking something to keep the conversation going. “What, did I interrupt something?”
“Sorta.” The one who holds a bit of disdain replies. The one with the beer casually sneaks inside to grab another can, without so much as saying his intents to the rest of the group. A plane buzzes by, cutting through the silence like a butter knife.
“So, uh, how about that weather?” Dan shoots into the void of conversation.
“Yeah, I know, right?” Em replies, “First it was sunny, then rainy, now it’s just…” she trails off.
And then, silence.