"Why do you wear only lace?" He asked, the words falling seconds too early.
"Because," She said, to undo him with dread, "It lets me view everything clearly."
"But how can you see?" O'er the Earl Grey tea hushes words from his lips betwixt heart broken sips. "It's not of your sight that these wonders indite, so though I'd die to believe you, that can't be…"
His hands stay close. Steady gazes from the wind. Echoes... But the sounds are only reflections of his own emptiness, the intricacies of being alone. They grin in the tea stained parlor, leaves falling outside in crinkled shades of raspberry parchment, her hands weak specimens, falling, of course - always falling, dropping into their own pallor. "If you could explain it to me, maybe I could understand…"
But his intrigue is left without an answer, too silent to be there. They whisper on in the painted room, floor boards blanketed by withering Persian fabric, faded reds, indistinguishable pinks. Flowers not to be seen. Only to her eyes. Always so fragile. He'd learned how to see them.
He leaned closer, eyes squinting to see beneath her extricate, white visage, the twirling fragments of imagined flowers, the fantasies of a loom in some far off place; and beneath it, a face just as woven, though not beautiful. Only her skin could be seen. Ah, and the mourning. The mourning as resplendent as silver threads.
So only… He did not hear the rest of that sentence.
Taste the copper of childish ignorance; they'd pushed him to the ground. Eight year old hands with eight years of pestilence, dirty fingernails, shouting voices. Tree branches climbing towards the sky, the playground more of a hellish conglomeration of iron bars – a prison – and there is nothing innocent about shouting hazel eyes wide with contempt, young, plump lips forming the shape of insults.
One syllable words break through the barriers, crossing the borders that would lead him into an adventure – and her, though she watched only from the window, to a far away place, one day, somehow – luminescence, or the curse of the dark?
They left him lying there in those autumn leaves, filing away one by one. A beaten and bruised young boy.
He lifted those green eyes toward the window.
She smiled an awkward amalgamation. Pale, crooked lips, tassels of feather white pushing up into boney cheek bones, the holders of pale eyes with a strange, pencil leaden blue, the artistic expression of sympathy, the wintry cream, the sheltering embrace of a gaze that he'd always needed; only of youth, a look that echoed from so many years before, when they were only children meeting for the first time.
Her fingers wrapped around the lace table cloth.
More moments crumpled behind walls. Crushed velvet was unsatisfactory. The roof is drummed on in sounds reminiscent of tin, but it is shingled with moments locked inside of a helpless mind. Impenetrable? Almost. A prison of iron dissolved for fabric. She looked up from beneath her veil.
"There it is…" She echoed, and her lips pulled into the familiar expression, and it was only then did he realize that she didn't have any eyebrows. Bare patches instead, a monochrome Mona Lisa. Just as faint a smile.
"What?" He asked, always asking something, following the contentment of her gaze, the shining threads of incandescent sapphire.
She tipped herself closer to him like an antique teapot, claustrophobic by her own sense of selflessness, impeded by it, awakening to one too many inhibitions where only liberty graced the pages, and the window was painted red and silver, sliding down her lenses to grant them color, a tea stained reverie. "Just another moment passing."
He had not seen her face in years, not since they'd first met.
Always wearing that lace veil, fingers folded over a table without its cloth.
"Why do you wear only lace?" He asked again, never quite hearing her the first time. Dust tinged the edges of the window sill, a line of sight that hadn't grown old, and the tree outside still shown like a cup of Earl Grey.
She knew nothing of impatience, whispering once more.
He leaned in closer, narrowing his gaze to read the motions beneath the fabric, the softness, the innocence, the frustrating sense of... Not here, not anywhere, what was she saying? He did not know. The heat of her breath slid down his face, poking through the cover of intricate material.
Too softly were the words following "So only…" woven.
Finalization of an all encompassment. Traveling somewhere. Always in a different place. Not sure what to make of the words that he'd never come to understand, a story incomplete within his mind, one that he never held the pen to. Tea stains - tear stains? - over the Persian carpet. The wept drops of ink, inscribed words? The ones that he'd endure a lifetime just to hear the rest….
But experiencing it once again, missing it, being unable to clasp the little details, the falling of each syllable, the curve of her "So that only…" like a Ferris wheel's loop, the carnival of language that fell from her lips every single time, was the suspension keeping him from contentment.
And it was the clause that brought the silver out.
"Why do you wear only lace?" He asked, with the words falling seconds too late.
And experience chose her to hold him close, a world of silver, sedate…
"It was simply too much," she spoke in a rush, the chilling ecru of a sorrowful blue, "I'd sought to find a safe respite in time… Where for you only delicacy would touch."