Deferral

The way the woman would put it is this: there is a death for everything, with an inevitability of grief waiting beneath. Composure’s surface cracks eventually. After deferral, pain’s ugliness comes as a relief. To square your mouth and let anguish echo is bliss. Every sailor in a matelot jumper knows that.

She left him there, in his cornflower blue suit of ignorance. She turned away from his unseeing, unseeking, dead and lonely person, bound up in empty words and the harm of unknowing.

She stepped out into the wider world. She walked. Bravery didn’t come into it. Deferral had become untenable. She had come to an understanding with herself. The malice of silence wasn’t what she wanted. Nor the brutality of indifference.

She thought of a statue, of a green metal building. She thought about the horizon, and the sun caught the gold in her brown hair.

A small, dark girl watched her quizzically​ from a distance. The small, dark girl thought about possibilities. She thought about offering the woman the benefit of one of her finest skills, but the woman had purpose in her stride. The small, dark girl saw this with the glittering blackness of her eye.

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