He turned to face me, his face was contorted into lines of anger and distaste – nostril flaring, jaw tight, eyes glaring holes into mine, hand by his side clenched into a tight fist – as though it was taking all his self control not to hurt me. As though it took each fibre of his being to not to spit out every damned thing, every fault, every fleck, each fleeting thought that had ever crossed his mind about me, crushing me in entirety down to the core.

His smouldering gaze bore holes into mine and I felt myself shrinking under his painfully penetrating stare. I felt more than a little guilty that something this unexpectedly stupid could hit us at just the wrong moment and screw things up so exponentially and so wholly so quickly.

He wanted to scream and yell at me, I could tell, he perhaps even – and I cringed as the thought flashed into my mind for a millisecond – wanted to hit me. But he was refraining himself, his body frozen and in utter icy control. Perhaps he was afraid of over-reacting, perhaps he was afraid of how I would react to his reaction, or perhaps – and I cringed again at the thought of it – he was afraid of himself. And what he could do.

Who could have guessed that everything was so much more complicated than it seemed? That all along, when I thought I had knew what was happening, there was so much more, just simmering below the surface. And I had less than skimmed the surface.

I opened my mouth but no words would come. The unspoken statement died at my lips before my brain could form them. And at that, something flashed in his eyes and I thought that had been enough to send him over the edge. That he’d snapped and was going to lash out any second with words like knives carrying all the rage in his eyes at that moment.

But he didn’t.

No, he was better than that.

He turned from me mechanically. And left.

“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.”
Maya Angelou 


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