The hydrangeas were in full bloom. Were they ever not in bloom? I’m not really sure. They were blue. Or purple. They were not white. They were definitely blue. They were the same color as her eyes. Or were her eyes the same color as the hydrangeas? She always kept her eyebrows perfectly groomed. There was never a stray hair lingering near her lids. They were always bouncing and arching and pinching together as she talked. Her brows, I mean. And they were so neat. Each hair settled next to another but never overtaking it. Their rusty color matched her roots. Her eyelashes were a bit darker though. That could be from the mascara. She wore quite a bit. It wasn’t black. A dark brown maybe?
Her voice stung my ears as she put me in my place. I had said something about her brother. Something rude probably. I thought we could joke. It wasn’t a funny joke. Her voice buzzed on, but I hadn’t heard a single word. And then she was quiet. I hope she hadn’t asked me a question. She just sat there. Looking down at her hands in her lap. She dug the nail of her index finger into the cuticle of her thumb. I might have been in trouble. I might have needed to say something to prevent any further problems. I just sat there. Waiting for her to lift her chin so I could catch the moment her pupils constricted from the light. Or was it retracted? Contracted?
There was buzzing in my ears. Was it from her voice lingering? Or the bees in the hydrangeas? Their fuzzy bodies zipping around to meet each pistil. Hungry. Happy. Hypnotic. Hopeful. I hoped she wasn’t actually angry with me. She might have had a tough morning. Business was stressful. Bosses made unreasonable demands. It might not have had to do with me. So I watched the bees. Bobbing in and out of sight. Working hard to keep the queen happy.
Her eyes were on me. I had missed the light’s effect. One brow was arched as the other stuck to its natural position. Admitting I hadn’t heard her wouldn’t have helped. Admitting that I’m a scumbag boyfriend wouldn’t have helped either.