If I had a penny… (well, for a start I wouldn’t be ‘penniless,’ but, that’s a story in itself – and for another time)… If I had a penny… I would be able to ask you for your thoughts – and be able to pay you for the pleasure of your innermost meanderings; and knowing you, as I do, I know that ‘you’ would ask for that payment upfront – and test the coin with a slick ‘bite’ and, maybe you would have a set of scientific scales about your person with which to check that the coin was within an acceptable degree of weight perfection – maybe.
But, I don’t have a penny; and, nothing is for free in your world.
So, we sit here in silence; while I try to look as if my mind has something interesting upon it, that you may be inquisitive about. I know that you have a whole pocketful of pennies; just one, transferred to my possession, would allow me to ask you ‘that’ question.
“A penny for your thoughts?” I would say – casual, unaffected, just a caring friend wishing to share their concern for your silence and its cause.
That’s what I would say.
Another thing – as your name is ‘Penny,’ you might think that I was being flippant; that I was taking the proverbial out of you (which I do, far too often of late).
So, we sit here in silence.
And the silence drags.
And I have to say something – some thing.
You start to pull at that wristband again; twisting its emotive words into a distorted message of concern.
I watch the detailed moments of an inconsequential action.
I consider them too deeply; associating the twisting with your tortured soul and the distortion with your mental anguish.
I was always one to over-analyse.
You always told me that.
You do realise that I have always loved you. Would do anything for you. Have taken breath from the air to keep alive – just for you.
You don’t even know that I am here – you have no eyes for me; no thoughts upon me; no pounding heart to me.
You are not someone who can love another; as they would love you; as they do love you; as I love you.
We keep the silence between us and just exist. Just.
If I died now – would you notice? Would you utter a brief requiem upon my passing? Would you break this vow of nothingness?
I won’t test this out to see the reality of it; unless you ask me to – as I said ‘anything!’
Time passes. You remain unchanged; whilst I age perceptibly. My youth leaves faint traces; my status as an elder forms lines upon my face.
I think that I must have slept; for upon opening my eyes, I understand the feeling that you had gone… to be a truth.