Grey Matters

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She stepped down from the Northern Explorer, weary after the 12 hour sojourn from Auckland to Wellington.

All reasonable precautions had been taken to appear non-plussed but she was feeling more than a little ridiculous.  

Her fingers unfurled letting go, simultaneously dropping one shoulder, gravity to catch and release the taut strap of her laptop.  

All hit the platform with a collective thud!

To make matters worse, the baggage door rolled up, revealing more purple Sabini suitcases, added one by one to the mountain of dogs balls now assembling on the pavement. 

She picked past heads, shoulders and backs, furtive in her search of recognition, an extra pair of hands, a baggage cart.  

It had been 12 years since the last time he had crash landed on her doorstep, his purple XC Falcon panel van parked in the driveway.  

Jandles, jeans and a T-shirt, cap in hand.

He was at the Trax Bar, pint in hand, chatting up the female bouncer, blind.

His goat-skin duffel bag slung over the corner of a bar stool.  

His Yahoo Serious attitude to life rolled up into unkempt, sun-kissed natural dreadlocks that leapt out at all angles, confronting even the most liberal senses.  
He was in no hurry.  

What did she expect?  

It had been 20 years since they were an item that could only be described as an ‘eventful interlude at the crossroads of life’.

He traded in everything he’d accumulated (including me) and bought a ticket to nowhere in particular.  

I could hear his favourite mantra replaying like an unpublished Cure single on repeat – there is no such thing as Grey.

Life was black and white.

Grey was something she understood but for once there were no shades anywhere to be found.  

What on earth had possessed her to cross the Tasman with her most worldly possessions, an array of summer dresses and shoes?  

She could feel her stomach tighten, those butterflies rising like her awareness, threatening to expose her presumptive guilt.  

She walked away from her former life, pinning all her hopes and desires on another loose end she knew much better to mess with.  

Hope urged her on wondering if time had been kinder to him, an old flame may re-ignite…  

God knows she needed to feel something.  

Her mind and body had long since turned down any flicker of excitement, preferring to wallow in stoic self-pity; feigned permanent damage, rendering her frigid.

He had always been her potential escape.  

Her reason to live without seeming too dramatic.  

She would have gone anywhere with him, she reflected, knowing he would see straight through her faux par – her cheeks peak that most wanton shade of Crimson.  

Lowering her eyes, she made up her mind wrestling her way toward the lone baggage cart, daring anyone to make a beeline.  

Heading into the terminal, sweat running down the crevice of her back, she tapped out what she needed to say and waited, checking her mobile appearance in its reflection.

Her long tousled hair was a true expression of her frustration.  

Her large blue eyes smudged and blurred, once perfect Charcoal eyeliner betraying her yet again.  

Why did it have to be the hottest clear day of the most piss poor summer New Zealand had ever known?

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler, ‘Poetry Out West’

© Copyright 2013, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

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