The twilight that invades the land only highlights the mist
that hovers over the mountains, reminding her of how they got their name. With
a bitter snort, she wonders if the smoke is too tired to rise to join its
cousins in the sky. She knows too well how it must feel.
The whiskey washes down her throat, no longer burning as it
travels on its trail. She exhales, willing the sorrow that weighs her down to
leave. Even it’s not listening.
It’s been seven nights since he left.
She isn’t sure anymore if he’s going to come back.
She wonders if she wants him to.
Another sip, another swallow. Her fingers hover above her
cell phone, willing it to ring. She wonders, not for the first time who she
wants to call. Red waves, or blond curls?
Nothing, but a mocking black screen.
The cold whiskey slips down her throat, reminding her of so
much that she’s missing, longing for even. The tears run down her cheeks tell
their own tale as they drip into the approaching darkness around her
She picks up her glass for another sip, only to find it
empty. “Well hell.” Her old black lab who has been with her forever wags his
tail. “Hey Jake! Go get Mama the Wild Turkey?”
He stumbles to his feet and wags his tired old tail. He
buries his head in her lap and she scratches the thick fur on his neck. She
watches for a moment as her tears disappear into his coat. “Oh Jake,” she
whispers. “What are we going to do?”
Her old friend lifts his head and whines, licking the tears
off her face. She grabs her old man by the ears and kisses him on the nose. “I
love you too, Jake.”
The kitchen door slams startling them both. Jake growls and
she calls out, “Who’s there?” she hears footsteps and swears, “Damn it!” under
her breath when she can’t find the bow and quiver that is usually hanging out
here on her front porch.
Jake stops growling and instead yips happily and his gentle
wide tail welcomes whoever is on the other side of that screen door.
It squeaks open and she can’t help the smile that appears amidst
her tears when she sees who it is. “Peeta! What are you—“
“I ran into Mitch in town, he told me what happened.”
Instantly the argument from the other day flashes in her
mind. She wonders if he told Peeta that the argument was about him. “That
asshat. Whatever he told you is wrong.”
Peeta comes on out onto the porch. “No, shit. Did you
really think I was going to believe him over you?” He glances at the half full
bottle of whiskey on the table by her chair. “Why didn’t you call me, Kitten?”
She rolls her eyes, and shrugs. “You were probably busy—“
He steps forward and the way he grips her upper arms, in
the tipsy haze that has started in her brain, she wonders if he is going to
kiss her. She knows how badly she wants him to. “I’m never too busy for you.”
He does kiss her on the forehead and she closes her eyes willing him to kiss
her somewhere, anywhere else. “Now, where is my glass? you are going to share
that bottle of Wild Turkey with me.”
He lets go of her and goes back in to get that glass, while
she wishes that he would finally see her.