So this is another thing I found in the high school folder of my umpteen-backuped writing folder. The difference between this one and the one before is that this one is something that was rewritten nearly a decade later and served as the fourth chapter in what I hope will prove to be only the first novel I will write far enough to get to editing. ______________________________________________________________
I help her move her stuff into the back of the cab. There’s a lot of it there. One carry on and four suitcases, each the size of a small car, filled to the brim with all sorts of crap. Which I guess makes sense seeing as she’s moving out of the country, but still that’s a lot of crap.
“You know you don’t have to leave.”
“You know you could come with me.”
“You know I can’t leave here.”
“And you know I can’t stay here.”
We’ve been over this a thousand times. Part of me hopes that this time I’ll convince her to stay. Another part of me just wants her to miss her plane.
I slam the back of the cab shut.
“You sure you don’t want to take me to the airport?”
“Would it increase the chances of me getting you to stay?”
“We’ve been at this for three days.”
“No. I’ve made my decision.”
“Aren’t there jobs just as good in Indiana? Hell, even the United States?”
She presses herself against me.
“This job is a once in a lifetime opportunity, I’m not going to throw it to the wind because I’m comfortable with the way things are now.”
“I can see down your shirt.”
She hits me.
“Goddammit Adam. I’m being serious.”
“So am I.”
“Megan look, I know you think that this job is what you want, but honestly, Japan? Do you really want to work in a place where they have to separate sub trains by gender because the men can’t keep their hands off the women?”
“I can defend myself.”
She gets in to a mock boxing stance and throws are few light punches at me. I catch one of her fists and pull her towards me.
“That’s not my point.”
“What is your point?”
“What about us? What about…”
I lean forward to her left ear.
“The sex was good, but there is more to life.”
“Yes, yes there is, and it is all far less entertaining.”
“True. Now are you coming to the airport or not?”
“No, I think I’m going to go upstairs and down a bottle of vodka, then I’ll probably make some dirty phone calls to your sister.”
“On a Thursday morning? You do realize most people have jobs, right?”
“I have her work number.”
“Okay, creepy stalker guy, I gotta go.”
She kisses me on the lips and opens the door to the cab. She gets in and I hold the door open with my leg.
“So when are you coming back?”
“Probably not until this Christmas.”
I stand by the cab in silence. She looks up at me; she wants me to close the door.
“Call me when you get there?”
“It won’t be until 4:30 in the morning tomorrow.”
“I’ll be up.”
“Sure, I’ll call you. Now will you close the door?”
I move by leg and she slams the door shut. She remembers something and rolls down her window.
“Don’t forget you have that doctor’s appointment at 10:30.”
The cab pulls away before I can thank her.
I go upstairs and unlock my apartment. I plant myself in front of the TV and try to engross myself in an infomercial. I fail miserably. The fact that the woman I love has just left me to go off to another country has left me a bit depressed.
I go back through the past four years of my life. We met through a mutual friend and hated each other. She was defensive and antisocial; I was outgoing and stubborn as hell. One night our friend invites us over for a game of Monopoly and I end up with a bunch of miscellaneous property that Megan had the rest of. Meanwhile our friend had the part of the board with Park Place on lockdown. No one got in or out without leaving part of them behind. So I end up landing on friggin Pennsylvania Avenue where he’s got a hotel just waiting for me. So I shell out the 1400 and now I’m left with a pile of 5’s and a couple of 50s I hid under the board (being the banker has its benefits). Megan offers me a grand for Marvin’s Gardens and my Get Out of Jail Free card. I swallow hard and take the money. She completes her yellow set and plants two houses on each of them. She’s been hording money from the get go, she even passed on the rail roads (I found out later it was because she saw them as dead end real estate).
At this point we’ve been at it for about an hour and a half and every one’s getting tired of it, but no one says anything. So Megan rolls and lands on her own property no big deal. Our friend passes go and lands on Baltic. I get six dollars. Go me. Eventually I land on Free Parking for the first time in the game, and come off 5000 bucks richer. Megan rolls a couple times and lands on our friends lots. Ends up losing most of her fortune on hotel costs, even ends up having to mortgage a couple of properties. At this point our friend is rolling in money and is smugger than George Clooney. He’s smiling simply waiting for us to inevitably land on his side of the board. Our eyes meet and we immediately know what each other is thinking.
I hand her two thousand dollars and she gives me Oriental and Vermont. Now I have a complete set. More time passes and in less than 10 minutes we’ve our side of the board dressed like the Vegas strip. We’ve given each other free reign at our hotels while our friend is left paying out is ass. In another twenty minutes our friend is bankrupt and living off of ramen for the rest of his life. Disgruntled he puts on his jacket and gets ready to take Megan home. I tell him not to worry about it. We get in the car and immediately sparks turn into flames. I end up pulling off to the side of the road and we end up fucking in the back of my two door sedan. Nothing quite as good as monopoly-sex.
After that we didn’t really talk to each other much. A week passed and I had filed our meeting under “one night stands”. About a month later I meet her in the frozen food section checking out the prices of some TGI Friday’s Potato Skins. We talk, it’s awkward at first, but eventually it comes around to comfortable and I offer to cook her supper. As it turns out I can’t cook. So we end up going to the mall and eating in the food court. She had Chinese and I got a slice of pizza. We end up talking some more and finding that we aren’t all that different. We both hate politics. With that out of the way the rest was easy. We went to see some high budget horror movie. We laughed through the entire thing.
Over the next three weeks we saw a lot more of each other. She started staying over and we just sort of found a niche in each other. She had her job as manager at some electronics corporation. I had my job as a postal worker. It was hardly a match made in heaven, but we both enjoyed what we did. Which made out time together relatively relaxed. We’d lie in bed and she’d doodle on a scratch of paper. She had this character she would always draw. It was this little dragon that these funny blue eyes and breathed frost instead of fire. She wasn’t good at it, and ordinarily I’d tell her that, it’s one of my more repugnant qualities, but she enjoyed it so I wouldn’t say anything. It helps that we were sleeping together, that tends to change things.
Eventually we bought a condo moved into together. That was three years ago. Since then she’s been promoted and when she was at a business dinner with a guy from Andross Company of Japan, or JAC (I’m still not sure how the acronym works), they liked the way she did business and told her they would like to offer her a job. And that’s exactly what they did, less than three days later they called and talked to her. I didn’t understand most of it, she took Japanese in high school and practiced regularly, while I took the easy way out and learned Spanish and never used it after high school.
Three weeks later she’s packed her shit and ready to move on. She said I could come with her, but I couldn’t leave here. Too many family, friends, and a life I’ve grown attached to. She always was the type of person to keep things interesting. She was never satisfied with life. Things could always be better and she had developed a way to easily detach herself from things, this time it just happened to be me.
I get up and grab the bottle of vodka from the freezer. I pull the top off and take a swig. It burns all the way down. I walk back over to the TV and take a seat directly in front of it. I take another shot from the bottle. I change the channel to Cartoon Network. They have some multi-colored hamster running around and going on adventures with other multi-colored, multi-cultural hamsters. I find the entire idea of the show repulsing by this time the liquor keeps me from moving. So I sit there watching TV, until I finish the bottle of vodka and pass out.