As Simple as That
All he wanted was just to see her again. Was it really so much to ask? Every day he woke up in a luxurious white bed with the sun streaming through his window and pooling on the carpet, and the coffee was there on his table, white wisps rising from the surface, and he wondered how the butler managed to bring it hot right before he woke up. He stepped out of bed and went to the window and the fragrance of the garden greeted him kindly. He drank the coffee and read the paper like any ordinary man and they came and took his cup silently, bowed heads. He had tried to converse with them, but he just didn’t know how. He didn’t know how to talk to anyone except her.
He opened the wardrobe doors wide and looked at the endless row of coats and jackets and suits and ties and trousers, all white and black and grey with no colour to them at all, and he dressed in one outfit and felt small inside it, like a little imposter with no right to be there at all. All his life he’d been too short, his hands too big and clumsy and scratched, his smile too awkward and his face too unsure to fit into a man’s suit. He didn’t feel like a man anymore. They’d taken that away from him when they gave him soft pillows and smart leather shoes. When he was with her, that was when he felt strong, not like a little frightened boy. And he wanted that back. He wanted to know that he had a purpose, someone to protect, to love. The coffee didn’t taste good to him. The bed was too soft and the garden so big he got lost in it just the way he got lost in the rows of suits. He didn’t like the abstract paintings they’d hung up on his wall or the way they moved around the house silently as if they were mourning his death while he was very plainly alive. He didn’t want it. He didn’t want any of it.
He just wanted her.