The careless remark was tossed flippantly into the still night air, where all at once it became a missile, pointed and powerful and heading straight for her. It hit its target with deadly accuracy, pressing those hidden buttons she had kept so carefully hidden. She felt the internal elevator doors slide silently open and she stumbled backwards, unbalanced by the force of her response, her gut feelings twisted and raging. Holding the big weight that a moment ago she had not felt, she saw the gaping black hole and in an instant she was plummeting down the deep shaft to where the dark things were waiting.
She swallowed, hard, the lump in her throat barely keeping her tears at bay. Like a pressure cooker they bubbled and boiled beneath the valve of her tightened jaw. With every shallow breath she feared they may escape and make it to her eyes and run burning down her flushed cheeks. She was terrified that if they got that far, they may never stop. He turned up the radio, flicked on the windscreen wipers and the engine roared as he pulled out into the fast lane.
He lifted his head and finally spoke, the words tumbling out of him and pouring into the space between them. "We are part of all this - this swirling mass of atoms called life. We breathe in and we breathe out, we cry, we laugh, we love, we die, it is full of meaning and yet means nothing." She was silent for a moment, his words still ringing in the smoky room. Well yeah, I suppose you're right, she said, putting her cup down on the floor beside her. "What time are we going shopping".
Chill out he said, as he meticulously bought the cigarette paper up to his lips and with a deft and artful tongue licked the exposed edge. The music kicked in with a floor shaking bass beat, he flicked at the lighter and inhaled deeply. The melody and smoke spiralled up to the high ceiling and she flung her legs over the arm of the chair and settled back into the cushions. He stretched out his suntanned arm and passed it to her. . . I'm chilling, she said, as she took the smoke down deep into her lungs and held it there.
Jagged looks from his dark brown eyes sliced her composure. She sat cross legged on the worn carpet, it had seen better days and was frayed at the edges, like her patience. Coffee madam? he asked, the edge in his voice grating on her already fragile nerves. The purple curtains billowed into the room as the wind picked up outside. . . a storm was brewing.