I was waiting for Elizabeth to come down.
I drummed my fingers on the kitchen table.
Callously, I wondered if she’d topped herself
in her room. Finally I heard gentle footfalls on
the landing. Elizabeth appeared, her hair
dishevelled, her face surprisingly pale. I had
to admit she looked spectacular in my pyjamas.
I cleared my throat and asked Elizabeth if she’d
like some breakfast. Just coffee. Father was
long gone. Elizabeth sprawled in her seat,
relaxed, she threw her head back, and yawned
a monumental yawn. Something told me she
planned to stay awhile. She was just too pretty,
too fragile, to cast into the streets. Father, I was
quite certain, would become besotted too.
I watched Elizabeth sip her black coffee, like
a small bird entranced by a snake. She was
so beguiling. I wanted her to stay forever.


Author: Robert James Berry

Poet & Novelist