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Epiphany (standard:drama, 1274 words)
Author: E J ReeveAdded: Feb 12 2003Views/Reads: 1947/1138Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Beware of what you wish for...
 



The car effortlessly slips between the sheets of rain that have been
falling for days now, a constant grey film emerging from the ashen 
January sky.  Warm and disconnected, Kate stares at the monochrome 
streets as they gleam blackly oiled against the drab facades shutting 
up shop for the evening.  Everything seems colourless and bleak to her 
as if she is travelling through an old worn movie. The passers-by 
speeding up comically, as the car swishes past them, their lines 
distorted through the haze. She sinks further down into the seat, her 
nerves fluttering, grateful for the cushioning warmth from the heater 
protecting her from the hanging chill outside in the settling dusk. 

The streetlights begin to flicker into life smearing fluorescence across
the bleary windscreen, the bright coloured smudges pooling in close-up. 
She flexes her feet and glances sideways at the driver.   He smiles 
tightly knowing she has been looking. 

"Bloody rain, so bloody depressing eh?" 

Managing a weak smile, Kate senses a twitch of embarrassment in her
stomach.  He's trying to inject some life into the car as the tense 
silence between them has amplified over the last ten miles, but it 
doesn't work. Tendrils of apprehension are flourishing in her stomach, 
they've crept up inside her, strangling her voice ever since last week. 
The image of his face hovering over a delicate wineglass, shadowed in 
candlelight, and the crushed velvet box sitting accusingly on the linen 
tablecloth repeats in her memory.  She bats the image away and 
concentrates on the windscreen wipers' steady movement. 

"You're quiet" a matter of fact statement, his tone flat and his eyes
focused on the road. 

Staring at her hands pale in the gloom, and then at his capable hands
resting on the wheel, she nods her head mutely. Her mind is fretting 
over the impending conversation at the end of the journey.   They've 
left behind the city centre now and are driving up out of the valley. 
Gone are the dreary buildings and the forlorn remnants of Christmas 
hanging forgotten in the corners of the shop windows, instead silent 
heavy trees flank the road, rising up from sodden undergrowth, the 
branches looming towards the windows.   It's dark outside now, the beam 
of the headlights picking up copious green gloss and two pitching 
channels of mist. 

It's sinister out there, Kate shudders involuntarily. 

"We'll talk when we get home" A flat monotone through the stale heat,
his voice barely audible over the soft hissing rain.  She knows he'll 
bully an answer out of her tonight.  A surrender to an endless cycle of 
laundry, weariness and resentment, the inevitability of her life, 
mapped out before her, etched with the silvery lines of motherhood 
suffocates her. 

"Can I open a window?" 

"No" 

Kate shoves herself further back in the bucket seat knowing the futility
of arguing with this absolute response, and peers from the window.  The 
rain was different up here amongst the trees, thick, soft and 
soporific, coating the windscreen. I'd love to dance in this rain, she 
thought, I'd love to look at the stars and feel the rain rinsing my 
body with it's cold freshness, clarifying me, drenching my bones and 
washing this frustration I feel.  She imagines telling him this, the 
car stopping, the ultimatums forgotten whilst he takes her hand and 
joins her in a dance of reckless liberation, the rain soaking them as 
they laugh into one another's eyes. A realisation that impulsiveness 
isn't in his nature wrenches in her stomach and the butterflies creep 
back. She had told him once she wanted to travel, to smell and touch 
some history.  He had laughed looking over the top of the morning 
newspaper, his eyes sparkling with amusement and shaking his head 
imperceptibly. 'You'd get lost' he told her with exasperation in his 
voice. 

She peers at his white collar opalescent in the night, rising and
falling against his papery throat.  Still in his suit, she thought, his 
middle-management suit pressed and ironed with his shiny cheap shoes.  


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