in her palm.

she was really good at this point. at this staying one step ahead of him.

she always knew where he was. knew which way to turn her head so he'd see her and she'd noticeably not-see-him.

it wasn't terribly fair. she knew that. and it wasn't terribly honest. but it was her right. and dammit, she was gonna take advantage of that.

not caring. the appearance of not caring. that was her gift.

or curse. she knew that. she carried that.

but she did wonder if this one saw through it.

if he knew that she sometimes went to bathroom just to take long, deep breaths. or to cry, even (though that was only the once, so...).

she could disappear behind her eyes. retreat to a region he couldn't touch--or at least, couldn't see that he touched. only one man had ever pulled her from there. only one man had ever said, i see you fleeing--i see you fleeing there and i refuse to let you go. even if it is hard, and even if i can't love you, i demand that you live through this--feelingly. it seemed like an unfair demand. but it wasn't. because she loved him and in his own way, he her. it was his great act of kindness that pulling-her-out even as he pulled away. but that was so long ago. and he was a better man than these others. or, well, he knew her better.

 something like that.

but just the other day this one had caught her. she had stood up and there he was. he wasn't supposed to be there. she wasn't supposed to see him. there was no preparing for this. and so her stomach dropped to her toes. and she felt the heat of the whoosh. and because she couldn't retreat fast enough she simply averted her eyes--looked away.

but she was left wondering if in that moment she'd been found out. if in the infinitely small moment of space between seeing him and looking down, had he seen her? for the first time? had he noticed she carried her heart right there in the palm of her hand?

probably not. they never usually did.

photo by lobymustard