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 when the city goes silent, the ringing in my ears gets violent, don/edna
Donald Weiser
 Posted: Jul 24 2017, 06:43 PM
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He takes a seat in the plush, recently re-upholstered chair that’s set slightly off to the side of the couch, not quite across from it but with a good enough view of the rest of the room. He watches Edna closely as he takes sips of the tea, hoping to calm his own nerves as Pascal paces from the kitchen and hops onto the couch, settling next to her.

Do you like being alone?


The question sits heavy in the air, not feeling like much of one. Edna’s questions never seem to.

“Well, there’s a reason I got Pascal. After living with other people for so long it gets lonely, sure.” He half-answers, setting his mug down on the coffee table with a weary sigh.

“Do you?”

This post has been edited by Donald Weiser: Jul 24 2017, 07:04 PM

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Edna Nödl
 Posted: Jul 24 2017, 07:00 PM
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She knows the right answer, the one she should say, should feel.

It should be easy to lie, to trick him and herself because she's felt that, alone for so long that she should be used to it, accepting of it.

Her tea shakes in her hands, holding on so tight now that they're trembling. She looks like she's struggling, her lips pressed together tightly to keep sound from escaping.

She knows the right answer.

But tells the truth instead, shaking her head quietly.

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Donald Weiser
 Posted: Jul 24 2017, 07:56 PM
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Don notices her trembling and wishes there was anything he could do to help or reach out, but he’s at a loss. So much of his approach to comforting his own daughters has been based around their childhoods, memories of doing things together or their past accomplishments, hugging them.

But Edna’s not his daughter.

And he doesn’t feel like he could even walk over to remove the mug from her bony hands without something bad happening.

“That’s okay, you know. Ed, if... if that’s why you’re here, then I’m glad. When you’re lonely you should reach out to people, it’s-it’s why they’re there.”

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Edna Nödl
 Posted: Jul 24 2017, 08:53 PM
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Edna shakes her head even more fervently then. No. He's wrong, that's not how it works, this wasn't how she was supposed to act. Where her hands overlap, intertwine along the side of her mug, her nails dig in to the skin between her fingers. Her eyes are burning again.

It was a mistake, coming here, showing Don this much of herself.

But she can't bring herself to move from where she is, can't work up the courage to leave because outside of this house, there was no one, a terrifying nothingness.

Donald Weiser always lets her in, makes her tea, tells her he's glad she's here and she isn't sure how to feel about that; wants to lean in and grab a hold of it, keep it close, but she's afraid of what that means, what kind of person it makes her to need someone else to steady her.

How much it'd hurt to have it and then have it taken away.

But,

but...

"If I reach out," she squeezes out in a whisper, her throat too tight, her lungs too small.

(I'm afraid.)

"Would you reach back?"

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Donald Weiser
 Posted: Jul 25 2017, 04:12 PM
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Edna’s movements make Don uncomfortable. As careful as he’s trying to be, he still feels like he’s doing something wrong, not enough right.

He always lets her in his home, makes tea and offers things to eat even even though she never takes them. He always makes sure to tell her he’s glad to see her, asks how things are, doesn’t try to lie to her, doesn’t push too much - because he cares. He doesn’t imagine her or her brother have met a lot of people that care.

Maybe it’s only natural that she misunderstands it.

Don quietly clears his throat and shifts in his seat, not knowing how to respond at first because he feels like that’s what he’s been doing for some time now. He smiles weakly, ”Honestly, I’ve been trying to. I’m reachin’, Ed, I really am.”

This post has been edited by Donald Weiser: Jul 25 2017, 04:12 PM

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Edna Nödl
 Posted: Jul 25 2017, 05:18 PM
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His answer forces a sound out of her, something between a sob and a laugh that cuts off abruptly halfway out of her mouth. She bites her lips closed again, pulls herself back inwards.

There's a long silence then, where Edna doesn't know what to do with that knowledge. She learned young that she had to hide all the weak parts of herself, cut them out or bury them deep, because people would use them against her if they knew. To show emotion was to give people the power to hurt her.

It feels impossible that anything else could be true, that she could break herself open in front of someone and they'd choose help over hurt.

But Don's reaching, and it could be a trap, something that would destroy her, but she's sick of feeling alone, she's sick of being afraid, has been holding things in for so long that she doesn't think there's any room left in her body for more, and all she wants to do is feel better.

Slowly, hesitantly, she lifts one shaking hand away from her mug to extend it out towards Don, a silent request.

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Donald Weiser
 Posted: Aug 7 2017, 03:06 PM
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Don’s expression settles into something thoughtful as the silence pulls tight between them, as he mentally picks apart his own words and hopes that they’re enough.

(He’s never been all that great with words, and sometimes can’t help but wonder just where he would be if that fact were different. Would Linda hate him like she does now? Would things be better with his daughters? Would he still be friends with the guys from school? Would people believe him?

Could he have actually done anything to help the people that have needed him in his life?)

Just as slowly he leans forward slightly so he can take Edna’s extended hand - boney and cold to the touch.

(Can he do anything now?)

This post has been edited by Donald Weiser: Aug 7 2017, 04:45 PM

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Edna Nödl
 Posted: Aug 7 2017, 08:06 PM
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And that's more than anyone else has ever given Edna, more than she's ever allowed herself to ask for. But even that isn't enough to calm the storm inside her, only makes her greedy and selfish, has her clutching onto Don's hand tight and pulling him forwards from the chair to sit next to her on the couch.

She moves slow, doesn't have the physical energy to accurately express the desperation or urgency that she feels, that need to feel grounded to someone, something. It gives Donald the opportunity to pull away, to stop this in its tracks as she scoots in closer,

guides his hand up and around so that his arm is draped over her shoulders,

so that she can curl up into herself, himself, and quietly rest her head against his chest.

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