Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. I promise! Any similiarities of characters to actual people are completely coincidental. I swear . . .
She looked in the mirror. Casually pushed her hair aside and begun washing her face. Smiling to herself as she used the scrubber on her pronounced cheek bones. Funny how the simplest things she found joy in now. It had been several months since the separation and she had been on one disaster of a date after another. Then she met him. He came just at the right time. Just like a Prince Charming come to save her from the big bad wolf. At least that’s how he made her feel. She worked so hard all the time. Taking care of everything; her boys, her house, her car everything. He came and she was finally able to not worry about anything. Even if it was just for an afternoon. He took care of her. He fed her, kept her company, and gave her body what it needed. And she didn’t have to worry about a thing.
She rinsed off her face and patted it dry. Put on a little moisturizer and some lip gloss. Pleased with the result, she finished getting on her pajamas. She was going to see him tonight. It had been almost a month since she last saw him. He had been very busy with work and she knew he was kind of moody. She told herself to be patient, but it was really hard. They communicated almost every day, instant messenger mostly. It was so refreshing having conversation with someone she didn’t have to speak down to. She was a very smart girl. Like seriously. IQ 3 points from genius. It helped her only at work and as she played along with jeopardy on tv. No real advantage being so smart. And she was sure the 3 points away from genius kept her from understanding the point of Sudoku. But the thing it was most useful for was keeping people away. Most people found her strange. Humor above most people’s heads made would be associates look at her sideways. Yes, she was a very strange girl. And while that was alienating, she found comfort in her oddness. But he, he kept up with her smartass comment for smartass comment. He even got her Ralph Kramden reference. She was so impressed that her boom pow wasn’t met with a blank stare. The only person who got her as much him was the Nigerian. And it was a shame how that turned out. When he said, “to the moon”, she almost licked the computer screen. So delicious this boy was . . .
She sat down and turned on the TV. Watching video after video, waiting for him to call. He said he was going to call after he finished at the club. It was right around the time he was to call. She began to be nervous. She wrung and wrung her hands around each other. She looked down. Her hands were red. She was so glad she stopped taking her meds. As anxious as she was feeling now, she was grateful that she felt anything. On the medication, she hadn’t felt a thing. The apathy almost crushed her. She understood why she needed to start the medication in the first place. It was all the Nigerian’s fault. Why couldn’t he fall in love with her like he was supposed to? After the scene she had made at the club, she thought he would never speak to her again. Some people were so stupid. When he called her again and wanted to see her, she knew how it would end. He just needed her to end it. And she did. She did just what he asked her to do. She looked down at the phone again. It was 2:40 am. Her head started to pound. She turned the channel to another video channel. It was Maxwell. It reminded her of the time he came over. Maxwell song after Maxwell song. Like he had called the station and planned it. When he was on top of her, holding her face to close to his, it was like he was asking her to see inside him. His hair much longer than hers. Strong locs. Falling around her face. She didn’t know where hers ended and his began. They fell into her mouth and eyes like she was swimming inside him. It made her want to crawl inside of him and hibernate herself through the rough patches. And she was going through a very rough patch.
“Slow Roll” by Kymani Marley came on VH1 soul. Yes, this had to be a sign. Speaking from the TV to her.
She looked again at her watch. 3:15 am. She was losing time. That hadn’t happened to her in a while. Not since . . . Well at any rate, time was flying faster than her brain could keep up with. She reached for the phone. She should call. What if he was lying in a ditch hurt somewhere? She resisted the urge to dial his number. She thought it might seem crazy to call him. He said he was going to call, so she was sure he would. She got up and mixed a cocktail. A vodka with a splash of lime juice. That should calm her. After she took a sip from her drink, she opened the silverware drawer and retrieved her paring knife. She took the sharp end and pressed it against her thigh. She pressed and pivoted the blade to the side. It pierced the skin and blood came slowly out. It provided such a sweet release to her. The sight of the blood and the feeling that with the blood, her anxiety was being forced from her body. She stared at the mess she was making. It was spilling onto the kitchen floor. She didn’t want him to think she kept an untidy home. She cleaned her wound and applied a bandage or two on the slice on her thigh. She grabbed a sponge and cleaned the spot on the counter and floor.
3:30 am. Her phone rang. It was him. He said it was taking a long time for him to get his money. He said he would try to catch up with her tomorrow. She told him that he was always on her mind and that she couldn’t wait to see him. It didn’t matter what time it was. He told her that it was okay, that she would see him tomorrow, maybe. She said “okay” and hung up the phone. “maybe” that word stuck in her head. “Maybe” see her tomorrow. “How dare he?” she thought. She felt her ears getting hot and her head began to pound louder than ever. She began to pace the room, wondering what she should do. She only could hear buzzing. The buzzing . . . just like when she went to see the Nigerian for the last time.
She slipped on her slippers and grabbed her keys. She opened the door and stepped into the air heavy, wet and hot. She opened the door to the car and got in. Turn the ignition and backed out of her space. On the way down the parkway, she began to cry. She remembered when she went on a similar mission just a few months before. It was winter then. He called and asked for her to come to see her. It had to end, he had said. He tried to be so nice and accommodating. It made her sick how he was trying to talk to her as if she was stupid. How he tried to talk to her in that calm tone that people use when they are trying to reason with a crazy person. It was so infuriating. He just wouldn’t understand. But she would make him understand. And he finally did understand. The last look on his face was that of complete recognition. But of course by then it was too late. She would make this one understand as well.
As her car raced down the highway, she peeled the Band-Aids off her leg. She pushed her fingertips into the soft spot she had made earlier. The pain felt so good. It made her feel so alive. The pain and the wind pouring into her car through the open window made her feel like she was more awake than she had ever been before. She double parked her car outside the club. She still heard music pouring out the windows as the last of the partiers were spilling out of the doors. When she got out of the car, she could feel the stares. Someone grabbed her by the arm and said something about her bleeding and if she was okay. She could barely hear above the pounding in her head. She shoved him off of her and headed toward the stairs. She began screaming his name. If she saw his face, she would be okay. She just needed to see his face. Finally, she saw him at the top of the stairs. He had a look of disbelief on his face. She wanted to wipe that look off of his face. This was his entire fault. She thought if had just kept his promise, if he had just kept his word . . .
Everything began to go gray. She was losing her sight, just as she had lost time and her hearing with this anger that was replacing all of her senses. She felt weak. She felt her legs as they began to shake. They were completely wet. She didn’t understand why they felt so wet. She tried to climb more steps, but by then her legs were useless. She closed her eyes. He really didn’t know what he was doing being so nice to her like that. He really had no idea what he had started. But she was sure he would understand now . . .
4 days ago