Open Heart Absence (VII)

“Where is it?”

“Pardon? I’m not sure to what you are referring.”

“You are assuredly aware.”

“Pretend that I’m not, and tell me what you’re talking about?”

Tristan closed his eyes, then slowly inclined his head towards the ceiling.  He shrugged his shoulders upwards, tensed and flexed his trapezius muscles into his neck, and squeezed.  He held that position for several seconds, exhaled, then slowly relaxed his neck and shoulders.  He oriented his head downwards, then tilted it side-to-side at the point where his chin met his neck.

He leveled the positioning of his head, and opened his eyes.

The color of his irises had changed.

They were now the burning, white-hot yellow shade of the sun.  And like the sun having solar flares, pin pricks of red flickered intermittently in his eyes. There was a cosmic intensity to his gaze, as he stared into her soft, knowing, doe-eyed pools.

His nostrils flared, slowly. His chest heaved, in tandem with the flaring of his nostrils.  Tristan’s jaw clenched so hard that he began to experience pain in is cheeks.

He felt a tingling rush of heat on his skin, akin to being out in the bitter, winter, cold, then entering a house with the fireplace ablaze.

At the same time, he noticed a deep, centralized, internal chill.  It felt like intense nervousness, anxiousness, and like taking a breath of freezing cold air, all concentrated near the center of his chest.

He took a forceful step towards her.

“Of the few things that I cherish, you should know of which I speak.”

Her hands were at her sides, but one moved ever so slightly upwards.  Her right elbow contracted, and her right wrist followed suit, before she caught herself.

She turned from his eyes, and took a few steps towards the kitchen.

“I couldn’t have lost it.  I probably just took it off and set it down somewhere.”

“Is that so?  Perhaps you could pinpoint the location?”

“I’ll try to recall, but I’m not sure at the moment.”

“It’s not as if it were a piece of fruit, a piece of silverware, or a bottle of ale.  It’s quite a bit more important than that.”

“Of course, and I can’t fathom how I could have been so neglectful.  I simply don’t understand how I didn’t notice it was missing.”

“The fact that you didn’t recognize its absence, alone, is incomprehensible.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You should be more than simply apologetic, and certainly, immensely more careful in the future.  I expect that you will locate it today.  In the meantime, I will inquire at the shops near yours, to see if anyone may have located it.  Perhaps it simply slipped off, and someone may have found it.”

“You really shouldn’t trouble yourself…..”

“Do you think that searching around is a fruitful endeavor?”

“Well, I’m not sure if the shop owners will know much.  I wouldn’t want you to waste your time.”

“Is there a better alternative?  This must be found.”

“Let me look, I’m sure that I simply misplaced it, laid it down somewhere, or took it off temporarily.  There’s no reason to show excessive concern.  I’ll find it.  I had it, of course.  So I’m confident that I will be able to relocate it.”

“This isn’t exactly some trinket, some bauble to casually come by, and then absent-mindedly lose.  It isn’t a small note of currency, or a coin.  It’s not an article of clothing, nor is it a piece of dishware.  Have I not adequately illustrated its importance to me?

“I’m sure I know how important it is.”

“DO YOU?” Tristan bellowed.

“I know what it meant when you gave it to me.”

“What it meant?”

“I’m sorry. What it still means is what I intended. Of course I’m very aware of what it signifies.”

“I expect so.”

“I do.”

“You will find it.”

“I will.”

 

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