Saturday, October 12, 2013

In the Still of the Night (Part 2)

Need a recap? Part 1

     He looked back down at the phone, at this former lover of hers and his engagement announcement. There was a pounding in his head, as if he could hear the beating of his own heart from within, that was growing as he clicked through to Jenna Burke’s Facebook page. 
     Her profile picture was of her and a friend, each with her blonde hair braided and wearing a straw cowboy hat, red plastic cups in the hands they had slung over each other’s shoulders to pose for the camera.  She was conventionally attractive; nice hair, nice tan, nice teeth, but generic, unlike Kyla who stood out in a crowd with her long legs and wildly curly auburn hair.  He had dated plenty just like this Jenna Burke, although none seriously, as he found that once he had fucked a girl like that, he grew tired of her quickly.
     He was scrolling down to find her status just as Kyla returned to the table, placing his shot before him and then sitting down.  She picked up her own glass, raised it in his direction, and tossed it back. 
     He looked down and read the post.
     “Baby Greene will be arriving in November!!!!” it said.    
     “Bottoms up, my friend,” she said, nodding at his drink.
     The pounding in his head continued as he looked across the table at her.  He had once asked her if she wanted children someday, but she had waved her hand at the question as if brushing away a small, annoying bug.
     “No kids for me,” she had said, leaning forward with a smirk, a glass of red wine dangling precariously by its stem between her fingers.
     “I’m not exactly the maternal type.”
     He did not take his eyes off of her face as he tipped his head back and let the warm liquid slide down his throat. He was feeling dizzy as the alcohol hit him. Nothing about this night was going the way he wanted it to. Nothing about this night was making any fucking sense.  Adam Greene and his pregnant fiancé and Kyla - his Kyla, HIS FUCKING KYLA - trying to drink them off her mind. He took a deep breath, held the side of the table to steady himself, and tried to tell himself that she was still the same, still the same Kyla she had been when she walked into the bar that night. She was not slipping through his fingers.
     No, she was sitting there, across from him, her same hair that he had run his fingers through, the same mouth that had met his, the same long fingers that had scratched down his own back. No. Everything was alright. They would leave soon and go back to his place and he would hold her close to him and she wouldn't be thinking of Adam Greene or his wedding or his baby. She would wrap her legs around HIM and be his and everything would be the way it was. 
     “You drunk yet?” she asked.  He nodded.
     “Great. Then we should probably go before I buy us another round and wind up throwing up all over the bartender.”
     He wasn't sure exactly where the feeling was coming from, but he suddenly felt bold. Rather than let her decide whether or not the evening was over, he stood and said, “Let’s go back to my place.”
     “Perfect,” she replied and in a moment he was steering her through the crowd and out into the night air.  He wanted to hurry. The sooner he had her in his apartment, the lights low, her naked body beneath his, the sooner everything would feel right again.
     They walked silently for a few minutes, until she slowed a bit. 
     “I’m drunk,” she said quietly.
     He was happy for this. Maybe she would pass out in his bed and stay the night. That would certainly go a long way to fix things.   
     “Wow,” she said with a small, forced laugh. “Wow. I am…I am REALLY drunk.”
     “Come on,” he said, taking her arm and walking quickly but she pulled away.
     “No, I…I need air, I need…” she trailed off. Her eyes were shiny but remained sharp as she suddenly looked at him.
     “Got a cigarette?”
     “At my apartment,” he said.
     “Bullshit,” she said, laughing and grabbing playfully at his waist where she knew he always had a pack.
     He was growing impatient, even as he stopped to pull a cigarette out for her. He couldn't be sure she wouldn't still turn toward the street, hail a cab, and slip away, leaving him alone with no relief for this feeling of urgency.  But as he leaned in to light the cigarette for her, she looked up at him with wide eyes and he felt, for a moment, better.  They were only a few blocks away from his apartment now. She was almost his again.
     She dragged on the cigarette as they walked, their pace slower than he would have liked. She hadn't exaggerated her drunken state; she stumbled for a moment, reaching out for him as she steadied herself.
     “Fuck,” she said, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. Her breast brushed against his arm as she did. His heart raced. Three more blocks.
     “FUCK,” she yelled, turning her face up towards the sky and laughing. She let go of his arm and sped up her pace.
     “I mean,” she laughed bitterly, “I mean do you believe this shit?” She was in front of him now, turning back to face him, her hair bouncing as she did. He wanted her to stop. He wanted her to stop moving, stop thinking and, for fuck’s sake, to stop talking.
     As if he had made it happen himself, she stopped.
     “You know,” she began, and he wondered if, since he had made her stop moving, he could make her stop talking before the next words slipped out of her perfect, delicious mouth.
     “I was pregnant once.”
     He had failed.



  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! I promise it won't be a 10 month span between parts 2 and 3.