Conspiracies and Cigarettes

The air was thick. The days had started to blend together, the repetitive tediousness of the same thing day in, day out. It was maddening, but Bella dared not to say anything. She just waited for whatever opportunity for reprieve she could get. She was more a guest now than ever and she needed Nose to let her stay until she could get out.

Nose and Linus were sitting there listening to their radio show, smoking, sipping their coffee. Bella would sit there with them through the tense anxiety that permeated the air because it was better than the loneliness and anxiety she would feel if she had stayed downstairs. Even though Linus rarely spoke to her these days, she felt less welcome in the room with his belongings than sitting there with them.

At least Nose would talk to her.

Nose was welcoming to her. In his own weird way. Of course, Bella was riddled with self doubt so even if it was genuine kindness, she couldn’t tell.

This was everyday. Sitting, smoking, occasional banter, scrounge for something to eat, sleep, repeat. It was fucking crippling. She hated it. The radio show they would listen to she thought was meant to be satire at some point, but they had become so invested that she felt that they had started to believe some of it. What used to be hilarious hypothetical had turned into serious considerations of “what if”. And she was fucking drowning in this sea of depression and conspiracy.

Nose couldn’t tell, he would still joke about the show sometimes, unlike Linus he would eventually turn the radio show off preluded with a “well that’s enough of that”, to which then he would go about his day.

Linus would sigh, then pick up a cigarette to embark on his secondary measure of ignoring Bella.

He was getting extremely good at doing that.

Nose seemed oblivious to the tension, Bella knew that he knew what was going on. He just went about his business unfazed by it all. If he wasn’t, he was really good at pretending.

Either way she was being crushed under the weight and with it another string in the disentanglement of Bella and Linus.

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