“No Expectations”

 

 

 

3.

“No Expectations”

 

“how lucky I am to have something

that makes saying goodbye so hard”

 

– Bill Watterson

 

She woke naked on His pink queen bedspread feeling sick to Her stomach. She hated this place with a passion: There were post-it notes covering the walls with shredded strands of thought, ideas for stories etched into the woodwork, charcoal sketches scattered across the floor, and the sickly sweet smell of vanilla hung thick in the air. His Footprints were all over this house. A burnt-out spliff lay abandoned and smoldering in an ashtray next to the bed. Boxes filled with clothes sat half-packed on the floor beside Her — She recognized the red-hot thong poking its ass out of the corner of one of them. The large bay windowpanes to Her left had been cracked (in more ways than one) either this morning, the last, or the evening prior.

Fuck Me. Her head was pounding. She rolled from the frame-less mattress onto the floor. She turned to the big bay window and swung it open on its hinges, standing blind at the mouth of His bedroom cave, squinting to greet the day:

The air carried hints from the sycamore trees outside — Light scattered through their leaves, and there was the faintest sound of children laughing, calling to Her, from a place far past the edge of the horizon. She began to feel hopelessly lost as She stared out the window and off into the distance until music closer to home brought Her back to the situation at hand — She heard it rolling up the stairs to greet Her at the worn and weathered windowsill; “Just put me on a train — any train in the station,” She sighed. “and I’ll never pass through here again”.

She collected Herself in a brief moment of clarity before turning away from the glass and walking slowly towards the hallway to meet this morning’s ruckus.

 

He was busy cooking a fruit omelet in the kitchen, whisking eggs in one hand and dabbing oil onto the pan with the other. He had become extra-ordinarily good at cooking breakfast recently, and His technique was better now than it had ever been in all the years She had known Him. She stood motionless at the kitchen doorway.

“Would you like plums, or pears?” He asked with His back to Her. She was glad He wasn’t facing Her — He would have seen Her jaw drop to the floor before She could catch Herself. She paused; She did not have an answer for Him.

“Where is my purse?”          He turned to look Her in the eyes. The pan behind Him simmered on the burner.                 “Why — leaving so soon?”

She didn’t reply to his question; She simply walked over to the kitchen table and grabbed it from the same seat She had plopped it on the night before.

 

“Why did you do that?”

 

He turned His head away from the burner and looked deep into her green eyes:
            “You needed a ride! You needed a place to stay… A bed to sleep in.”

“Not with you,” Her words were laced with venom. He knew how awful She felt the morning after, no matter how hard she tried to hide it; He always saw Her shame exactly the same, whether or not He felt She deserved it. But this time was different; this time it was pretty up in the air, even for Them:

“You took advantage of me.”

Their eyes were locked, in place, Together. Both of Them were well practiced at holding back tears, and neither had recognized the faint shimmer behind Each Other’s aquamarine pools from across the room.

He licked He lips nervously and cleared his throat to speak: “You were drunk. You threw yourself in my car.” Her eyes burned into His. He couldn’t take it anymore — He finally turned and looked away; “And… So what if I did?”

Her smirk turned to revulsion in an instant as She realized what He had done to Her. Her tongue was barbed, and Her words sharp with malice; “I should have known it could never be just a drink with you.” Her eyes started to tear over, ever so slightly, as She fumbled with the pearl earrings just retrieved from Her purse. She blushed as anger bubbled out from under Her skin and began seeping through to the surface of Her very being. She still hadn’t managed to get Her left earring on as She shot Him a nasty glare and barked a command — “Take me to the airport!”

 

He stood, unshaken. Her eyes were burning. His were cool, calm — collected. His lips parted, and He began to speak softly — “Sorry gorgeous; I’ve got no gas to take you.”

A brief pause and a queer silence, followed by an exasperated sigh:

“Figures.”

She plopped Herself onto the steps behind the threshold, strapping the black, four-inch Stiletto heels to the soles of Her feet. “Why do I always find myself with guys who are days away from being evicted. Don’t you even Dare calling me again!”

He looked deep into Her smoldering eyes, then turned Himself back to the stove top. He spoke behind His own back, cooing to Her in a sing-song voice:

“We both knew what this was. ‘I Had No Ex-Pec-Tations…’”

“Don’t be cute,” she spat back at Him.

He spoke His last words to Her, gazing deeply into the dark pits of Her spiteful eyes:

 

“You know, I always said that You threw Your pearls at swine.”

 

She glared at Him,  –, fuming:

 

            “Yeah, and you were the biggest Pig of them all.” He looked deep into the frying pan at his fingers. A single tear ran down his nose and dripped onto the pan. It made a brief hiss as it stuck the searing oil and evaporated in a wisp of smoke:

 

            “I know.”

 

She snatched Her purse from the ground and stormed across the hall to the front door. She yanked it open, still steaming with piss, vinegar, and wonton aggression towards the man that She used to love as She cast Her gaze back at Him, standing contrapasso, falling into the sinking hole behind the gaping doorway:

 

“I’m going to the airport, and I’m going to tell them ‘put me on a plane’,

any old Fucking one, just so long as it is The FUCK AWAY From YOU!

Be sure to burn in Hell, ASSHOLE!! And I hope You kill Yourself soon —

Spare the rest of us the God-Damned pleasure, You Fucking LUNATIC!”

 

She slammed the door behind Her. He watched Her walk away, listening to the clacking of Her heels on the flagstone steps as She faded into the peace of the quiet suburb.  He held the finished omelet in His left hand, still simmering in the saucepan.

After a few moments He turns away from where She stood at the door, dumps the omelet into the trashcan, replaces the pan on the lit burner and leaves the room.

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