Thursday, August 9, 2007

Disarm

“Okay, let's try again.”

She concentrates on concentrating. Think baby, think she says quietly.

A minute passes. The ice melts and clinks against the walls of the square glass that holds her fancy sweet tea. The sort you buy at snobbish coffee houses served by yuppie waiters dreaming of Maseratis.

Nothing. Not a whisper. Not a sigh.

“One last time alright?”

Her palms start sweating. Damp and clammy, they leave stains on the black matte table. So many thoughts, so many memories swim about in her head, like tadpoles in the mossy drain that ran through a house she grew up in. Too many. She searches through them and casts most of them aside.

Imagine a child searching for a forgotten toy in playpen filled with balls. Like the type they used to have in McDonald's before it became hip and cool and McDee's. You can never really empty the playpen, neither could you arrange them in neat piles of checked and unchecked. Every time the child pushes some balls away in one direction, more balls fall in their place from the other direction.

Cast away thoughts and memories resurface here and there, shielding the memories that could answer her questions.

“When?”

“How?”

Who was an easily answered question. It had to be him. It was only him.

“Why?”. That could never be answered. Because she was careless. Because she deserved it. Because it could be a good thing. No. It can not ever be a good thing. Not now. Not like this.

The indicator said positive. There was a plus sign in the middle of the circle on the device. The silly little plastic device. It looked so unreliable. 99% accuracy it said on the box. Perhaps she was in the 1%. But all hope of that possibility vanished after the third test.



Positive.


+

She had expected a large dramatic reaction, a flash of lightning, the ground shaking, or at the very least, for herself to to breakdown and cry. But instead, she found herself calm. Composed. Steady breaths. Staring at the little blue vertical line that appeared over the horizontal one in the circle, slowly and shyly making itself visible like how pictures appear on polaroid film.

Outside the cubicle, girls chattered on about clothes, boys, movie stars. One stamped her foot impatiently.

She disposed the test kit into the blue bin next to the bowl, flushed, and stepped out. Smiled politely at the next person in line. Washed her hands with pink liquid soap from the dispenser that smelled a little like the cheap potpourris sold at a flea market back home. She walked to the coffee house, ordered a fancy sweet tea that came in a square glass that still had bits of a price tag stuck on its underside.

She's still thinking.

“What now?”

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

kailin, do you write the short stories yourself? cos i'm in need of short stories to transform into short films.

-faiz-

kai lin said...

Yes fez, I am the author. =]

Anonymous said...

are you preggy?

kai lin said...

fiction doesn't necessarily reflect real life, anonymous.

David said...

kai lin,

A touching story. No doubt repeated around the world many times every day.

Waiting for the next chapter.

I enjoy your writing and just found your blog!

David

U.S.A.