I sat at the kitchen table, stuffing my mouth full with a taco, trying to make the seemingly everlasting awkward silence a little less awkward. The room was disturbingly quiet, the only noise coming from my obnoxious chewing. Every once and a while a made a quick glance in Halle’s direction. She sat at the opposite side of the table, taking small bites and avoiding my eye contact. Ever since the whole ‘boyfriend’ incident she had stopped talking.
She went from being aggravated with Sophie about her constant pestering on not having a boyfriend to being insanely embarrassed, for admitting that she didn’t have one or for her outburst I wasn’t sure. She made a mad dash from the room, causing the dropped chocolate cheerios to fly everywhere. Not bothering to clean them up, there were still dozens of little cheerios strewn all throughout the kitchen and dining room.
Sophie had left pretty quickly after the whole event transpired but not until she spent a minute trying to convince me to have a ‘quickie’, which I had reluctantly told her couldn’t happen, no matter how much a certain part of me disagreed.
“So uhh… Halle.” I cleared my throat and pursed my lips. “What’s up?” I wanted to slap myself as soon as the words left my mouth.
What’s up? Really? Am I really that much of an idiot? In what way does that make her want to say anything? I sound like a parent that already knows everything and has nothing left to say or the idiotic adult who doesn’t know how to act around children. I am around kids everyday all day and all I can say is what’s up? I groaned internally.
Halle gave me a quick glance then took another bite of her food. The silence hung between us, the sound of the living room clock ticking in the distance making it all the more obvious.
“Halle…” I sighed tapping my fingers on the table. “You have to talk to me… Whatever happened, you can tell me.” I ran one of my hands through my hair nervously.
Halle’s eyes snapped up, but this time instead of seeming frightened they seemed angry. “No. I can’t.” she sounded so sure of herself and firm, I didn’t want to prod further.
I groaned, and swallowed the rest of my food, convincing myself that getting her to talk was necessary for the present arrangement of her living with me. “Yes you can Halle. You can trust me.” She remained silence and I began to feel a little impatient. “Come on Halle. I want you to stay here but I want to understand. I want to know what is going on so I can help you! You were quiet all day today and I can’t take that every day it will drive me crazy!”
Halle stood silently and took both our empty plates in hand. “Not now… please… not now.”
Her voice sounded so pained and her eyes filled with hurt. My eyes locked with hers and the rest of the world seemed to disappear. Suddenly a loud crash filled the room. I looked down and saw one of the plates Halle had been holding smashed in a million pieces on the floor. Halle looked shocked and scared in my direction but I took no notice. I jumped up to pick up a piece and as quick as the plate had broken a sharp edge sliced my finger.
“Fuck!” I cursed loudly, the sharp pain searing through my hand, blood welling to the surface.
“I’m sorry!” I turned and saw Halle’s eyes filled with tears. “It’s all my fault, I’m sorry…” she started to cry and tried to pick up the pieces.