I look at her in her familiar veisalgia, the stench of alcohol mixed with bile stained her clothing, her eyes swollen and rimmed with a soft blush, there were mascara stains rimmed all over her lovely eyes. She looks like a fallen angel, she has cried again. Fallen.
She looks at me with yearning, and I reach to her, or rather, she has reached to me. At one a.m. in the morning, she is at my doorstep, shivering from the cold, her clothing thin. Something has happened, there is always something going on for her. She is always in some situation. I ask her what’s wrong, but she shakes her head in reply. I let her in.
This is almost a routine now.
She is Kaye, the girl I have loved for years, sought for but I could never have her. She loves me, she says, but she is not in love with me.
But I don’t mind. She trusts me, and she can always come home to me. I am her safety, she says. The warm home she can come back to once she is finished in her battlefield of love.
I let her sit in my reading chair as I warm up a glass of milk. She sits in the corner of the chair, her body curled into a protective ball around herself. I am afraid for her, what has happened out there?
There is no doubt she has been to a club, or perhaps she has been in an argument? I think of many possibilities as I pass her the warm glass. She gives me a thankful glance and sips on the milk. Even in her desperate and pained state, the demure she holds is definite. I observe her ruined make up, and her thin, pale arms, all bare and cold from the lack of clothing.
‘Do you want to take a shower?’ I ask carefully, as if she might break apart at any time.
Kaye is a woman of confidence, ennui, but she is another person whenever she sees me. She hides a world away. She is flirtatious but holds an air of cool, always an apple to a man’s eye. She has a petite form, but her face is mature and striking, deep-set, large topaz eyes holds a man’s gaze and never lets go.
But right now, the intense gaze is off, her eyes are tired from the crying. ‘Yes, please’ she says softly, huskily. She places the glass on my coffee table. ‘Do you still have my clothes here?’
Being in the situation she always is, I have kept a variety of sleeping clothes for her, clothes she can wear when she needs a rest, or somewhere to hide. She gets tired of impressing the world.
‘Yes, I’ll bring them to you, just go shower’ I turn on the heater and pick out a lavender coloured shirt and drawstring shorts from the armoire. Then I hand it over to her with a towel.
Kaye presses the towel and clothing to her chest and walks over to shower. I leave her to it. She might take a while, I thought, so I turn on the recorder and slowly, music flowed through the air. A soft melody floats in my surrounding, an unknown melody, a gift that came in form of CDs from Kaye. These are the lullabies that send her comfort. Which is why they are kept at my place, I thought with irony.
I pour myself another glass of red wine, Kaye in my musing, along with the soft music. I think of her as I have last seen her, which was a month ago, in the same weary state as she is in right now. She says it is a sickness, a sickness that follows her, haunts her every once a while, and she is helpless, no way to save herself but to destroy herself, destruction in the form of drugs and alcohol abuse. I hurt at the sight of her scars, be it physical or mental.