Just before the realization that we are not going to be here much longer, I trip over the threshold that I have safely navigated over for the past nine months. The first week that we moved in, I had to watch my step, because the builder that made this(more) studio out of a garage had left a 2x4 framing the doorway across the floor. He said that it was good because it kept rain from seeping under the door when it rains too hard on the graded pathway leading to our entry, but mostly it seemed to us like sloppy work. We have learned in our time as his tenants that he is good at justifying whatever is going wrong.
I am carrying something when I trip, and it falls silently. Leaning over to gather it back up, I see the small kitchen counter with its curtained shelf. When we moved in I borrowed my sister's sewing machine and made tidy covers from ticking and strung them on wire which I nailed to the legs of the counter. The wire is sagging now, and the ticking is too heavy to stay straight. It slides to the middle of the wire, and gaps of several inches on each side show cereal and plates.
There are empty boxes on the floor, and they were not there when we lay exhausted on the floor by the sink smelling like paint and one another and imagining years instead of months in this place. Your hair seemed straighter then, but I know now that it was simply short. Now it loops upward, and you look like a photograph I saw of the friend of a great artist on a beach in France in 1931. Before things started changing over there, when art stood a chance.(less)
"I just don't know," Jasmine sighed. "I have fucking clue what I'm doing."
"Language missy," her father scolded. "And there has to be something that you want to do. What ever happened to personal training?"
"The gym was into super high pressure sales. And I hate getting(more) up that early."
Jasmine laughed. "I haven't taken a yoga class in almost a year. I'd be the most out of shape instructor ever."
"You wanted to teach English abroad, didn't you?"
"I did, but none of the programs accepted me. I just," her voice wavered. "I'm just a mess. I hate my job. I hate my life. But I don't know what else to do?"
Her father nodded sympathetically. She sipped her red wine morosely. They were at their Italian restaurant. Or at least it felt like theirs. In all the times they had gone there, there had never been any other patrons. How the place stayed in business was a puzzle they often pondered.
"I'm a failed actress, teacher, writer, athlete. It's seems like no matter what I try and do, I just fail." Jasmine fought back tears. She wasn't one to cry normally. But the heap of disappointments had broken down her normal fortitude. "Maybe I should stop trying to pursue my dreams. Maybe I'm just better off settling in an office somewhere."
"There's no shame in a normal job. I hate seeing you in shitty jobs when I know you're capable of so much more." He fiddled with his wine glass. "Get a good job, meet a nice guy. Nothing wrong with that."
Jasmine smiled, but didn't try to explain. The sense of dread that filled her when she thought about a normal 9-5 job. She didn't know many things, but she knew she didn't want that. (less)
They're a very odd pair, the two of them. He was nearly twice as tall as the little girl that accompanied him, often clad in a ragged coat that flared out as he walked, while she always wore a simple outfit, a standard blouse-skirt combo accentuated by splashes of(more) red. Definitely not people you'd expect to see together, but, well, they stop by at least once a week. You're used to them by now.
They always took a table outside, rain or shine, after ordering an assortment of pastries. From behind the counter you can see him talk at length while she sits passively, far more reserved than her animated friend, yet always very interested in what he has to say. She's a curious kid, once you get her talking, always asking questions and seeking answers. Which is great, unless she's asking questions that should really be answered by her parents. In five years.
You'd usually be more worried about an obviously unrelated twenty-some lad carting around a girl that can't be more than ten, but you see them fuss over each other all the time. She's always bundled up in his careworn coat if there's the slightest chill. He's always being 'defended' from all manner of threateningly inanimate objects. One time, hah, you brought in your old doll because you were going to pass it on to your sister's kid after work and absolutely all the color left his face when they walked in. She just kind of marched to the counter and pushed it out of sight, leading him in by the hand with an air of gallantry.
So yeah, they're an odd pair, but a close one. And really, you hardly ever see that kind of friendship nowadays. You just know they must've been through a lot.(less)
I crack open the ivory colored door , spilling the streetlight into the foyer. The rug in front of the door has always clashed with the stairs, maybe that's just the rum. I twist my bronze key out of the lock like I did earlier this morning. Should have(more) been home four hours ago. I am an intruder and irregular. I take off my hunter green toque and brush back my blond hair. I hang my coat on a rack before the stairs. I brush a single long brown hair off the shoulder. It drifts slowly to the floor and lands in my swede shoes. My feet land one by one on the ascending stairs up to our room. Each step I take is a reflection of my day. Each stair a thought, a past decision. All are normal and routine until the last. I miss a step, I try to skip that part of the day but I trip. My hands slap down on the top stair. I stay there for a moment, forced into thought. The meeting, the drink that lead to another. The lustful barter and swaying suggestions. There is a call from down the hall. I don't hear it, just muffled words. I feel like I'm shell shocked, my hands are strained and my mind races in slow motion. I look up to your overcoat, it's blue and bears your crosses arms. I look at your face, sad and expectant. Your blond hair is foreign. I don't bother explaining, I look down to my quivering clenched hands. You just know.(less)
She is slipping from my fingers as the seconds tick by. Her beautiful face was fearful when she saw mine looming before her. Was I that scary?
"Relax..." I said soothingly, hesitantly extending my hand out to her. She flinched as our skin made contact and I shuddered(more) in delight. "Relax, Erica. I'm not gonna hurt you."
"Who are you?" She whispered, her amber eyes apprehensively assessing me. "What do you want from me?"
I gave her a wide friendly smile - perhaps this would easier than I had anticipated. She was so close, so close into the trap I had carefully laid out for her. "I'm not here to hurt you," I said slowly. "I'm your friend..."
"No!" She shrieked suddenly and it took me by surprise. "I do NOT recall being friends with YOU. I saw you - you're the one who keeps following me around ALL week." She shielded herself with her bare arms. I cracked a grin; did she really think she would get away so easily? "Please, stop following me. You... you don't know me. You just know my name!"
I growled. "Don't know you? Ha! In that week I know much about you. I know you like non-fat milk on your latte, I know you like the color pink even though you tell people you hate it. I even know what kind of fish you like to eat."
I grabbed her chin and brought it close to my face. This was it; I had cornered my prey. She is close, oh so close to the brink of death. I had won. I savored the raw fear that was clear as day on her face. Seeing it gave me a thrill. "And now, you die."(less)
Let me tell you something, my friend: I never bought those who say that love is a chemical reaction.
I never bought those who babble about love at first sight either. Or those who blabber that love came from similarity, or habit, or hatred, or difference, or anything.
I could see it all over his face. In his fake, watery eyes. Through the stammering. He was always such a good actor. I used to be tricked by it, but after a while, you're just able to see through it. You just know.
"What? Are you being(more) serious?" he cried his fake tears on the ground. Over and over and over until I just stopped him. Yes, of course I was being serious. I hate being lied to.
The first few times it wasn't so obvious. He had a new pair of underwear on. He said he just picked them up because he thought I might like them and was glad I noticed them. Looking back, I am glad that I noticed them too. They weren't new underwear. They looked faded. They didn't belong to him.
The second time I noticed something unusual was the following day when he had changed the password on his phone and didn't tell me the new one. What could he be hiding?
That was two weeks ago. Since then, there was no real evidence. If this was a courtroom, I didn't have a damning Exhibit A. Well, I did, but the jury would have to know Paul. They'd have to know him like I knew him. The damning exhibit was his lying fucking face. I could just tell that he didn't trust me anymore. We didn't have that connection. The energy around him told me everything I needed to know.
From there, once you're in that position, you just know what you have to do. (less)
His southern drawl, his green eyes, and that cigarett smoke.
The new guy at work wasn't my type but we were very good friends. We hung out plenty of times but it was this one time that was different. Those eyes of his reflected the moonlight as his star(more)e tranced me. What was it about fixing a car tire that made me so attracted to him?
"so now that is done, I'm gonna smoke, is that ok?"
We drove back to his house and hung out with his roommate like we had done many of times before. Once he was off to bed, it was just me and the new guy. Our gazes met this one particular time, and we just knew.
He appeared to have something on his mind. Nobody could figure out what it was. He had a look of confusion on his face. It was clear that there was something not right about the situation he was in at the moment. You could cut the tension in the(more) air with a knife. Nobody knew that he really was the secret millionaire as he wore old clothes and acted like he was somebody who had been unemployed most of his life. The grey lines in his face showed that he worried a lot in his life and he was no stranger to hard work. Why was this happening may asked. There seemed to be no reason to the situation. Where was it all going? Why was he being asked all these questions when it was clear that he was not the one who was guilty. “for fuck sake” he said, “I didn’t do it” “ do what everybody?” in the internal voice in their heads. The only way was for him to deny that he did it. (less)
"You just know." The instructor said, "With a few years experience under your belt, you just know when a suspect is lying. But you don't have any experience yet, and you won't have enough before a while. So what can you do until you have enough experience?"
(more) The instructor looked around the room at the young men and women he was training on interrogation techniques, waiting for an answer that didn't seem to come, even though the trainees liked this calm jovial man. He started frowning and pinched the bridge of his nose before adding: "Come on, you're going to be inspectors in just a few days, stop being as shy as high schoolers and answer this!"
As usual, Chloe was the first to try, she raised her and and started: "Use the tips the other instructor gave us?"
The frown disappeared on the instructors face and he smiled. "Thanks for answering but no. Those tips aren't terribly useful on their own, you'll need to interact with quite a few suspects before they really make sense. They're they're a base for you to build your experience on."
The trainess started looking at each other and muttering, someone with a less discreet voice bitched about having trained for nothing. But the instructor, still smiling, ignored them and continued.
"What you'll have to do is pretty simple, you'll have to shut the fuck up and do whatever your seniors tell you to do. I'll end this last lesson with this: These last 2 years of training are basically useless. You know nothing. For at least 2 years you will have to shut up and try and gain experience from the seasoned inspectors. Don't get cocky, shut up and obey, make your life easier, don't assume you know anything, you know nothing."(less)
Door slam. High heels clink the marble floor. The rhythm gets the song "Another one Bites the Dust" stuck in my head. Maybe I aught to stop correcting her all the time. Maybe I won't get the chance too. That's unfortunate.
Behind me the Eiffel Tower glows beautifully, but I decide to stay on the couch and watch tv instead. She'll be back to check out the hotel first.
Unemotional. Lack of sympathy. I don't believe that. I'm very emotional. Put on Beethoven and I weep. It's just everything else I don't care for. I just don't understand why people get so angry. At the new fumbling grocer. At the guy talking in the theatre. I guess I can understand the cat incident. It was very close to her heart. I suppose I could've been a bit more... Tactful. But I hate tact. It's always this falseness. This pretending to care. This mask of lookI'magoodperson.
Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I missing some part in my brain that tells normal people how to act. Maybe I am just a cold-heated dick. I'm not too upset by that. I can live with that. It's just that others can't.
I can already begin to feel like I'm forgetting her. I know I'll forget the time she sat in my lap and laughed with me on the couch. Her warm smile will soon be replaced with her harsh words, but I'm okay with that. I move on. Find something you love and let it go. All angels turn to devils over time.