The silence returned, deep. He thought of the stillness as tidal, a recurring wave that smothered everything: his breath, his heartbeat, all the known geography of his thoughts. He could feel it submerge him, and he welcomed it. He wanted the no-sound to fill him so that nothing else could threaten, or matter.
She thought the silence was elastic, likely to snap and knock things over. It stretched for a short time before the strain was too great and it crumpled to its natural shape. Loudness was a way of life, and the quiet was tenuous, meant to be broken. It was necessary to fill in the blank spaces, fill it with something, anything: a cough, a hum, or a knock-knock joke, anything to fill in the blankness. Too much silence, and it collapsed, into anger or violence.
They departed in their understanding of silence; he welcomed it, she feared it. They intuited the other was different, but did not speak of it. Without her, he would drown; without him, she would suffocate in a babble of noise.