Tongue Tied

The woman looked up, spotting the man at the window. He was just standing there, still as if he was a mural, painted permanently in the spot. She watched him for a moment before crawling off the bed and padding over to the man. She leaned on the window staring up at him.

“Morning.” The woman murmured sleepily. The man stared solemnly out the window causing his companion to bite her lip. “What’s wrong? What are you thinking about?”

The man shot her a jagged grin. “I was just thinking about what it feels like…” The man moved his hand to the glass.

“I’m so sorry. I-” The woman looked down as her voice faded she felt her cheeks flame with shame.

“It’s alright, I’ve gotten over it.” The man said. “We should watch a movie…. A new movie.”

“Sure, but I’ll rent one online. I don’t like leaving you here…” The girl began to walk back to the bed.

“Why? Because I don’t live here?” The man chuckled under his breath, it was a joke. However, after getting no response, he turned. The woman stood there stiffly, frozen in place.

After another moment, she slowly turned around. He was shocked to see the tears brimming in her eyes. “Why? Why would you say that?”

“I- it was a joke.” He frowned then added. “A bad one. Sorry.”

“No, no it’s fine. I guess I’m a little uptight.” She rubbed her bare arms, her voice barely above a whisper.

“Go out and get a movie, you haven’t been outside all weekend.” The man suggested, trying to change the subject.

“Okay, okay. I’ll be back,” The woman spoke slowly nodding her head as if to convince herself that she was making the right decision. “don’t get too lonely without me.” She went to her clothing drawers and pulled out a pair of black pajama bottoms, then she padded over to the bathroom.

In just a minute she came out wearing the pajama bottoms and white tank top. She smiled at the man as she grabbed her purse and sweater. “I guess I’ll go…”

The man smiled. “Okay, I’ll be here when you get back, you know.”

The woman shifted on her feet. “Okay, bye.”

He watched as she unlocked the front door to the apartment building. “Be careful on those stairs!” The man called out behind her, causing the woman to smile.

“I will!” She shouted back. The man always said it and it made her smile to think that he cared so much. However, it was slightly morbid, thinking of the origin of the phrase.

As the woman carefully stepped down the stairs she remembered the macabre image of her husband laying at the bottom of them. He’d fallen down and broken his neck, by the time she arrived home, his corpse was waiting to be discovered.  Once she got outside, the woman looked up at the man who still stood in the window now looking down on her. He waved and smiled, then turned around and vanished.

She remembered his words ‘I’ll be here when you get back, you know’. Of course he would, she smiled. He wasn’t able to leave the building, being a ghost and all.

Inspired by Tongue Tied by Aqualung

Lyrics to Tongue Tied

Word Count: 550


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