“…you ruined me, I don’t want to settle for anything else…”
Continuation of a V-Day Fiction Part 1 from 2/14/11.
I’m personally not that pleased with what the outcome was, but hey here we go.
“Cause I went looking for a trace of something that you left,” where the words that played over the speakers in the coffee shop, and my mind wandered. “Too much now,” was all my mind could muster…too much now. Tonya smiled as if I needed the silent acknowledgement. A soft breeze swept through, wafting her hair a bit as she made silly faces to interrupt my mood. I glanced at a woman older than myself who walked around the outside of the cafe and her eyes briefly caught mine. “Do we know each other,” I thought silently as I watched her enter and watched her dart around the tables and couches as if looking for someone she didn’t quite know.
“Blind date,” Tonya smiled as she observed me. A man that seemed to match the woman’s confusion entered the seating area and their eyes seemed to connect their confusion in concert.
“Yeah,” I broke a slight smirk, as we watched their awkward dance as they tried to find the right seat, bumbling to find the right words and sit in the right position.
“How was your weekend,” the woman uttered with a nervous toothy smile albeit Wednesday.
“Why is it,” I began while looking up from my computer, “that I can speak so freely with you. About anything, but when to people are starting to talk to each other, they can’t find the words to speak to each other?”
“I don’t know, maybe that means we’re supposed to be together,” she smiled and laughed as finished. “I don’t know, maybe as adults we’re still as uneasy and uncomfortable as we were as children.”
“Can it be that we’re trying to be everything in one moment that we end up being nothing in that moment?”
“I guess…and I used to notice that you tried to be everything yourself. You got better as you guys continued on, but in the beginning…hmm…”
I tugged at my striped grey, black, and blue adidas sweater and tried to take in the words. If I had been too much, what were we? I briefly pictured that face, and I lowered my head as my recently favorite barista came around and she asked whether we wanted a free refill.
“Sure,” I responded to get Tonya off my back and she was left to make her decision. The image of became clearer as I thought of her hair, her smile, and her face. The day became misty, as Sandra returned with our fresh beverages. She had a slight smile as she looked over I guessed something made it obvious that Tonya and I were just friends.
“You guys should go out,” Tonya blurted keying in on the barista’s wandering eyes she blushingly smiled and walked back to the counter, obviously conscious not to look back. “You shouldn’t stay ruined by a past relationship.”
“Why’d you do that,” was the most comprehensive thought I had likely projected this early afternoon. My thoughts had been so scattered, trying to write, trying to think, and simply trying to provide some companionship to a friend, who was more comforting this day. “Next thing I know, I won’t be able to come back here…doing something with her.”
Tonya simply smiled, obviously holding back her laughter. “Let’s head back to your place,” she offered sensing that I was not “worldly” today. I simply obliged, as I powered off my computer, grabbed my power cord and phones and placed everything in my messenger bag. She simply had a notebook and her coffee. “How often do you think about it,” she inquired.
“Think,” I pondered as I wrapped my thoughts around the word. “I don’t think about it, I just…how can I say,” I asked, “I live it. And, I’ll never really be able to understand it…or at least right now. I just does not make sense.” She peered at me, not truly understanding my ramble,
“…was it the two wills…” the speakers arrested my progress by as we made our way to the door… “one mirror holding dearer now…”
And then the memory was vivid as the hours surrounding the event. Gabrielle stared at me with bloodshot eyes, red from hours of crying while I had spent the day working on finalizing my first book deal. I spent the day smiling unaware of her pain. What should have been one of my happiest devolved into the worst.
“Where have you been,” she screamed as I entered the threshold. The splintered draw door had barely closed as I smelled alcohol on her breath. The open floor to ceiling windows shown in an eerie light as the drapes seemed to flap in slow motion. Gabrielle’s steps were unsteady as she pointed toward him.
“Brielle, what’s wrong,” I asked uneasily as she shook a bottle in front of me. “Tell me what’s wrong, did I do something,” was the question that I asked, but had no clue about. Tears stained her face, and her normally narrow features were puffy, as she rambled.
“I’m pregnant,” halted my progress as she yelped it out. She was standing before me inebriated confessing that she was pregnant.
“Why,” I tried to ask.
“It’s not yours,” she shot back. I stood there, defeated. I could feel my shoulders drop, as the cold air chilled my partially drawn tie and exposed chest under the two unbuttoned collar buttons. Pregnant, and not mine, I reached to support myself with the wall, as I stared in disbelief. “My happiest day,” I now shuddered to think as I watched her legs dance backward.
“I’m sorry,” she pleaded as she slowly retreated from me and the door. Her curly hair whipped around her face and shoulders as incredulity still retarded my progress. I didn’t know what to say, what to ask, what to think. She sipped from the wine bottle again, warm tears still ran down her face meeting at her chin.
“Step back,” I noticed her precarious progress as she was drawn to the cool night air, and a future that she had decided upon. Brielle,” I screamed as I regained some composure and ran toward the window
Little Dragon’s “Twice,” had been repeating the entire time that she bore her soul. And, as quickly as this great day had been engulfed in these dark revelations, her leg was wrapped by the curtain and as quickly as I had seen her frail form before me, she was whipped over the side of the balcony.
I paused, returning to the current time walking out of Starbucks. I held my composure it had been over two years. Tonya could tell something had just happened, but was unaware of the association of this particular song and that night. I breathed deeply, breathed in the woman never to be my wife, I settled on never knowing the full truth, and we set out walking back to my place. My new manuscript, “Twice,” ready for me to turn in tomorrow. The chill of New York returned out on the street and we retraced my earlier steps.
“Valentine’s day,” I sighed walking down the block.
The manuscript Blue Lines is the fictional coming of age narrative of a young California woman Key Yemaya Walker, and her 2 year growing journey through school, love, and life period piece, written by Kenneth Suffern, Jr., taking place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill between the years of 1997 – 1998. Loosely based on true events, and experiences during that time, told through the eyes and voice of the main female protagonist, a freshman first attending the school.