Hello! Welcome to a new Secondary Sunday! Today’s story is about Daisy, the neighbor that sometimes cat sits for you when you are away on business or just… Away.
I hope you enjoy it!
There are many things that Daisy, the neighbor who sometimes house and cat sits for you, doesn’t tell you. She doesn’t tell you about her life and what she does on her free time.
You hardly know anything about her. In fact, beyond saying hello to each other every morning as you walk by each other on deserted hallways, and asking for odd favors, you two haven’t really talked that much.
You are neighbors, sure, friends even if you want to stretch out the meaning of the word. In truth you’ve known each other since you moved into your home. She was there, she has always been there.
In sobering words you were each other’s way of filling up a void. You were just trying to get rid of the silence that sometimes seemed to be everywhere… Overwhelming you.
You know enough of her, and her of you, to ask her to take care of Mr. Fluffkins III and stay in your place. She likes it there.
There is a certain quality to your home that is often times missing in hers. There is a sadness in your house that feels a lot more like melancholy than sorrow.
She likes how… Cinematic your home is. As she curls down on your couch, phone left forgotten by the coffee table, and holding a mug of tea (the one you gave her last Christmas as a sort of joke and she forgot at your place… the one she always forgets at your place) while she waits for Mr. Fluffkins to decide whether they want to be petted or not, she feels like a character in an indie movie. She smiles at that.
She often smiles when she’s in your home.
But she also cries.
She guesses that also makes her feel like a character in an indie movie.
She doesn’t want to alarm you by telling you this, but she feels like Mr. Fluffkins III feels uncomfortable when she cries. They do try to lick her tears away and distract her by demanding cuddles.
She likes that as well.
She wishes she could have a cat, but her ex-boyfriend is allergic to them.
You don’t know about that either. Hardly anyone knows about other people’s heart breaks.
She had a boyfriend. You knew that, right? That guy that usually stayed over for days at a time and then disappeared for days at a time.
It was always quiet after he left.
You only noticed because there was laughter and sound when he was around. The contrast was too stark not to notice. Even if Daisy was always quiet, she always seemed to be even more quiet when he was away.
They had… Issues. Is what Daisy would’ve told you if you had ever asked or she had been the kind of person to offer personal information without prompting.
But you didn’t and she wasn’t, so you never knew about him.
He knew about you, vaguely. He was aware that Daisy had a mug in your house and she sometimes took care of your cat. He too wished he could have had a cat.
There weren’t only bad days. She wants you to know that. There aren’t only bad parts. Please know that.
She was happy. Deliriously so.
She remembers the early days with butterfly wings and uncertain stares. She remembers being afraid of speaking, saying the wrong thing and scaring him away. She’s sure he had been the same way.
She also remembers the in between stages. Loud and bright moments of movement and sound followed by, sometimes long and sometimes short, periods of silence and calm.
At first she liked it. She was a quiet, often lonely, person so all the hecticness of a new relationship was kind of tiring for her. She was thankful for the small, often big, stretches of loneliness that were afforded to her.
Then the silence became tiring as well. There were thoughts in her head, things she’d seen or heard that she wanted to share with someone. Not just anybody, but someone who knew her well enough to receive the little pieces of herself hidden inside mundane things.
She could’ve told you, you were near enough. But you aren’t close enough for it to matter.
It was only a matter of time before the silences brought a new weight to her life and the relationship. There was something strong in there, a shield, a protection of a kind.
She never truly understood what the shield was for. Right now, she doesn’t know it either. Maybe if she knew, she’d feel better. Maybe if she had some closure… Maybe then she wouldn’t hold onto her phone like it was the most important thing in her life. She wouldn’t cry when the phone didn’t ring. Or when it rang and it wasn’t the right person.
She doesn’t know much of what happened. You don’t know what happened.
She does remember the end though… Or what constitutes the end of something that had a clear beginning and a blurry ending.
She remember that night, their last night.
She remembers how gentle he had been with her. He was always gentle, she remembers that much. He never touched like she was a weapon or something fragile, or an enemy. He did look at her that way, though.
He’d often look like he was far away from her because that was the only way he could keep on breathing. And she respected that, she understood.
She didn’t know, but she understood enough about the facts to keep her distance and offer whatever she could give away… Words, silence, simple fingers and gentle eyes.
He held her that night, so gently and carefully. His arms wrapped around her body in the middle of sex and he had cried. He’d hidden his face against her shoulder and cried.
“Whatever it is, we can work through it,” she had wanted to tell him.
But there are many things one cannot work through.
You cannot fight someone else’s issues and abuse if they do not want to do it, to face it.
You can try to help and understand but you can’t go much further than that.
So she held her words inside herself and he hid the things he’d been keeping away inside his lips.
There were many things he wished he’d told her in that moment. So many discarded thoughts. For a moment he almost told her everything.
“It’s not trauma,” almost left his mouth. “It’s me.”
But he feared she wouldn’t understand.
So he refrained.
There were other thoughts, other things she should’ve known. But those thoughts are not yours to keep.
He couldn’t share them with her, he would’ve never shared them with you. So those words will remain a secret.
He is gone now.
He left like he did so many times before, the silence began and Daisy waited.
Then the phone call came.
He was gone.
A good bye and nothing else.
And she wanted to keep on waiting.
Those are things you don’t know about Daisy.
No one knows Daisy, not really. She’s always been too quiet, and lonely. She wished someone knew her, then maybe the thoughts in her head would be shared with someone who maybe could understand.
But you never ask and she’s not the kind of person that offers information about herself without prompt.
So she will carry on house and cat sitting, feeling like the sad character in an indie film waiting for her break.
Not a heartbreak though, something cool and metaphorical.
Who knows? Maybe even a side quest?
The script of her life is still being written, she’s still acting and you? You’re still a character in her life, not as secondary as she is to you but not close enough to change the course of the narrative.