An Open and Shut Case; Case Rested

An Open and Shut Case; Case Rested

Percival, sitting with his shoulders slightly hunched opposite me at a café, intermittently sipping a black coffee with brown cane sugar. Never anything else. Always the same, with most things. Most would refer to him as vanilla, but then most don’t know him as well as I do…


“Cressida, what are your thoughts on this?” Percival, says, perking up a little, a little taller with his shoulders. He leans in and fixes me with his piercing blue eyes.


‘When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. Opportunities don’t knock on negative minds,” he quotes.


“Are you referring to yourself, Perce?” I smirk. He moves back a little, he doesn’t appreciate his name shortened in any form. He particularly disapproves more of Perce than Percy. The effect is usually one of astonishment. This time he ignores me, never been done before, I make a mental note. Perhaps a changing man finally, finally maturing? “How many doors have gone unnoticed along your path since…?” I do not need to finish the sentence. He knows.


“Cress!” He pauses. I choose not to react, often a challenge but this time not so. No, I will not bite; this will be worth listening to. He resumes, “I can’t hear the doors closing unless it’s on my good ear’s side, but one or two I guess.” He pauses for a second, “Unfortunately, doesn’t even come close…”


“Well, Percival,” I relent on the teasing. “I hope you’ve learnt a lesson on allowing doors to close, despite them not coming close… Close to what exactly do you refer, dearest? Pray, do tell. You know I don’t miss a thing nor am I capable of doing so… Spell it out, will you!”


“Close (shut) or close (nearby).” He takes in a monumental breath of air. I take no notice, he used to be a theatre actor in his spare time and I know drama when I see it. That’s one pastime he should never have given up on.


“The same word with two meanings,” Percival says, “not unique, of course. Doors have been shut, slammed or closed so gently they are almost ajar…”


Perce breaks off, softly. “…another interesting word there to play with… Ajar.” Oh, how resistance becomes futile when a word can be repeated in the world of Percival! Ajar! Ajar!!


“When is a door not a door, Cressida? When it’s ajar!” His grin disappears as he replies unabashedly.


“Opportunities, experiences, passages of time have finished with a closed-door to never go back to. School, work, family, relationships, for example. Sometimes I’ve stormed away from opportunities of their relative value because I have been insulted or let down, not taken seriously. Each door is made of a different material, has locks of different strengths (not always on the same side) and some are impossible to re-open once they are closed for good reasons. When I think of my family, I have experienced quite a bit of door slamming when I couldn’t reopen from my side but they could from theirs and still close it again! Sometimes people have tried to get close to me but they never gained my trust so I sealed that door but they never got close.”


I sit feeling humbled after Percival delivers a poignant tenderness. Not often does he reveal from the heart, the soft spot from his soul, but he does to me, I am the catalyst, so he has told me once or twice before. The emotion palpable, spreading over his flushing face. The delivery is outstanding. I do not respond for a minute, allowing his profound words to sink in, to tug at my sentiment strings during a chemical silence.


I must encourage him further to return to the stage!


What come, come may! Someone once famous said once upon a time.






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