Saturday, August 29, 2009


He found it strange, later, that so much happiness could spring from that irritated, put-out moment. For, after all, to sit somewhere is to claim it, to call it yours, even temporarily. "That is my seat," one says. Or, "Oh, am I sitting in your seat?" It is impossible to have a seat if it is someone else's - if so, it cannot be yours. So, naturally, his irritation upon walking out of his rowhouse - his house, mind you - and finding her sitting upon his low retaining wall.

"Can I help you?" He asked, the irritation seeping from his voice. Or so he hoped.

"I'm just resting," she smiled. "Thank you." She made no movement, except to recross her legs. They made the cloth of her skirt flow, heavy liquid cascading down from the wall.

Her gratitude was genuine, if presumptuous, and he paused in his indignation for a moment.

"Well," he said, and then faltered, uncertain what he had intended.

"This is a beautiful view you have," she added, flicking her wrist towards the other side of the street. A hill sloped down across from them, empty of houses, showing lush green trees below. "You are fortunate."

He followed her eyes, and nodded. Fortunate, yes, he thought, he knew, though it was easy to forget. Startled, he sat next to her to look at it.

"You don't mind?" he asked.

She laughed. "It's your wall."

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Princess Nijma

Princess Nijma