I had searched the whole evening for the code word- the secret joke or quick innuendo that would break through the crust of her fury. I had said something, or done something, early in the evening- that much was clear. All night at the beach and later, at the highway rest stop Burger King with the bored looking staff and broken ice maker, she had been crisp and matter of fact- one word answers, grimaces or silence after my puns and clever allusions. She was boiling, certainly, but still too conscious of her standing among her friends to dress me down in front of them.
I never found it, and watching her walk away, I noticed the way the skin behind her knees made an “H” when she bent her leg. I had studied every inch of her body, I thought, but I had never seen that before. Another fact about her that had passed by me unnoticed- ours was the sort of relationship where a lot went unsaid, unstated and unremarked. She walked firmly, like she was trying to put as much space between my car and her body as she possibly could. I watched her hips move as she crossed the courtyard area and went into her front door.
“What It Takes” was playing on the radio. I wondered if I was going to need to figure out how to let her go. She certainly seemed gone, I mused, as her door slammed shut.