The spring weather became radiant, having a similitude of a summer’s day. Benji’s playfulness continued during Angelica’s walks in the woods. He took pride in believing that his humorous display was winning the day. He imagined, or indeed saw, a sign suggesting the imminent crumbling of Angelica’s wall of indifference. His monologue was now light-hearted, and they walked together as if in agreement. Benji viewed the conversation as in a dream.
At times, Angelica smiled, holding her mouth as if to hold back laughter or conceal a laugh. Benji was instantly enthralled by her captivating smiles and by the belief that the gods (his literary muses) were orchestrating the whole thing – or lending a helping hand. Or was it a machination engineered by the fallen archangel who (no doubt, he believed) wheeled his power in mysterious ways – an able though infamous, fiendish fellow?
Benji imagined that Angelica would soon become curious about him and wanting to know what laid behind his persistent act of appeasement.
Angelica’s smiling continued, and at whatever Benji said or poem, he recited. Once he saw her lips parted as though they were about to utter something. But Angelica’s silence had become an oddity by now, though her lips continued to show no sign of rudeness or aggression.
Above their heads in the woods were clustered trees and a few sun beans that made their way through. The ice was gone, where the sun never shone. Benji became conscious of birds’ twittering during a pause and even a barking dog in the distance. His eyes registered no swans or ducks in or near the lake.
Angelica might have been having concealed amusement from Benji’s seemingly feebleminded performance from an observer’s perception. It was true that at times he had managed to get her to smile, though he fell short of getting her to speak. Nothing came beyond a smile from her lips that were as sumptuous as some Hollywood actresses from the fifties, he thought.
The observer might have also wondered, as Benji himself began to wonder, whether snobbery or shyness inspired the lady’s silence. So graceful was she, through the quirk of fate, might well have been deprived of the gift of a spoken tongue. Though the man, the gardener, whoever he was, appeared content with the woman’s smiles and silence, which might’ve been better than nothing after all.
And by now, the observer might have shaken his/her head in amusement and moved on.
This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.
GETTING IT RIGHT, IF EVER – ROMANCE NOVELLA
First edition. July 29, 2019.
Copyright © 2019 Lawrence Taylor. ISBN: 979-8201288105
Written by Lawrence Taylor.