Posts Tagged kiss
She knew why already, but knew he wanted her to ask him.
“My mother only has one grandchild, and it’s that crazy pill popper’s. She probably won’t even stay with my brother. He’s such an ass to her. And then he’ll have to battle with her to even see the kid.”
“I think you’re jumping ahead a little bit,” Ala said, touching his arm. She felt him tense up slightly.
“I don’t. I screwed up. My mother won’t be able to see me get married. She’ll never meet my kids. And all of that could have been done by now. She put her life into this family and won’t even see it grow. My father worked to make life comfortable for this family and they won’t even enjoy it. Neither of them.”
He was always irrational when he couldn’t control a situation.
“Jase, you can’t get married and have a family for anyone but yourself.”
He parallel parked on his street and they got out of the car. She let him walk ahead because he had the keys.
“I could’ve by now. We could’ve. There was no reason to not get married.” He opened the heavy front door and stomped up the stairs. She didn’t know if she should even follow him. She had to though because all of her things were in the apartment. And he would never forgive her if she didn’t.
“There was a reason, Jase.”
“Yeah,” he said, slamming the apartment door behind her, “What?”
She leaned against the card table in the dining room.
“To begin with, getting married is a big deal. It’s not just a next step because you’ve been dating someone for awhile.”
“Says who? Some feminist online publication?” He hit the top of one of the windows and opened it.
“No. I do.”
“Why did you even move here then?”
“Because I wanted to be with you. I moved here with love for you. But I realized that we weren’t working very well together.”
“You didn’t even try. You fled.”
“I didn’t try?” She put both of her hands on the table to steady herself. “I know you’re upset. This isn’t something we should talk about now.”
He paced the room, kicking off his shoes.
“I brought you into my whole life. Into my family. I consulted with you before I made decisions about my future. I thought we were building something.”
“I did too.”
This was a scene she had replayed many times since moving out of the apartment. He wanted her back. He wanted to make this work. He loved her as much as she had loved him. It was a dream come true. She could kiss him right now. He could lift her up and carry her into the bedroom and they wouldn’t have to ever look back. They could feel how they felt when they had first met. They could go back to their first time.
And she didn’t want any of it. It wasn’t that she was over him, but that she felt how she had dreamt of feeling when being in love. She couldn’t go back to what she had with Jase, because it didn’t feel as right as everything felt with Danno. She had known Jase for years and already knew Danno better.
Jase saw her looking out the window and slowly approached. He took her arms with both of his hands and turned her toward him so they were face to face, eye to eye. Her phone rang and her eyes darted to her purse. He held onto her.
“I know you’ve been with someone else,” he said, almost smiling. Ala wasn’t afraid of him or what he might do. She realized he was so upset about his mother and so upset about her not wanting be with him, that he could kill her. It was possible. But she was happy that she was telling the truth very plainly, no matter what the outcome. She had come here out of concern for Abigail and to show support to his family. Now he had turned the visit into their issues. Her phone rang again and he snickered. “Come on, tell me you haven’t been. Lie.”
Ala didn’t remember washing, throwing wrinkled clothes back into her suitcase, or even locking the front door. She sat on the rubbery blue bus seat and let her head rest of the cold glass window. She was going to Boston and didn’t want to think about what she would do when she arrived.
Danno was quiet that morning, awakening her with nuzzling and then slipping into the shower. He asked nothing about where she was going or when she would be back, which to her meant it did not warrant a discussion, which made her feeling desperate to want to talk about it.
She had not told her parents she was leaving town. Her mother would ask too many questions and would say it looked pathetic that she wander off in a moment’s notice to be with someone she was not seeing anymore. Her father would have no opinion.
What was most alarming was her carelessness toward the house. The garbage had not been taken out. The housekeeper had not come and Ala had not inquired. That could all be dealt with upon her return.
She decided to have a drink in lieu of breakfast. The dining cart was open and serving breakfast burritos with egg whites tucked inside, or cereal. She ordered a Bloody Mary. It came think and lukewarm, tomato juice and vodka with a dash of pepper. She tried to drink it as quickly as possible.
A man wearing a leisure suit took the seat next to hers. She quickly stood and went to find her seat. After reading two pages of mild erotica from a book Gertrude had leant her, she fell asleep.
The sound of luggage being dragged out from the bottom of the bus awoke her. She stumbled out onto the sunlit sidewalk and waiting for her bag to be passed from smudgy hand to smudgy hand before finally reaching hers. She did not look to see if Jase was waiting for her and climbed into the first cab she could find.
The restaurants and parks held no reminiscent feelings for Ala. They pushed into one another as the cab sped past them. She wrestled with her purse to find her comb and compact. She was sweating between her legs and down her back, but did not have time to change clothes. Even though she had not set or confirmed a meeting time with Jase, her instinct was pushing her to arrive as soon as possible.
She threw a balled up twenty-dollar billed toward the front seat and ran around to the trunk to pull her suitcase out. The ivy on the side of the building had some new growth and the block smelled with damp grass, as it always had. She opened the heavy glass front door and opened the mailbox that had always had the defective lock to find the extra key Jase kept inside. She let herself inside and hobbled up the three flights of stairs with her bags.
The door to the apartment was open. She smelled dust and saw that the floors hadn’t been cleaned in awhile. No one was there. He wouldn’t have gone into work if he knew was coming, but she couldn’t remember whether she had said she would come for sure or not.
She took off her clothes and found a dress to step into. The weariness of the bus ride without fresh air hit her and she crawled into the bed she had spent two years sleeping in. The sheets felt rougher but otherwise the room looked the same. They had never put a lot of thought into what the space looked like. They didn’t entertain because they preferred being at home alone either locked in the bedroom or reading in the sunroom.
She buried her head under his pillow. The smell of his face was there and it sent cold prickles up her back, but she did not cry. She closed her eyes and thought of coming home to Danno.
What must have been a few hours later, she heard the door open, but was so relaxed she could not force her body to get up. The footsteps were steady until they reached what must have been where she put her suitcase, and then they increased rapidly until Jase was in the bedroom and taking off his shoes.
She turned over just as he climbed into bed next to her. He put his hand up the front of her dress and began pulling down her panties. Her mind was three steps behind and trying to register. She turned to face him and he kissed her very hard on the mouth. His arm wrapped around her and brought her on top of him. He pulled her dress down and began touching her. She could feel him beneath her and put both of her hands against his chest.
“Jase.” He didn’t say anything, but unzipped his pants and turned her so he was on top. She closed her eyes. She did not want this to stop. She had dreamt of this moment when he would realize that he was wrong and had made a mistake. She thought of Danno and the immediate cosmic ease she had felt. “Enough,” she said, rolling out from under him.
She stood and put her dress on, then looked down to find him red-faced and crying with one hand covering his face.
“I’m sorry, Ala. I can’t believe I just did that.”
She sat on the bed next to him and took his hand.
“Where is your mother?”
“At the hospital.”
“I think we should go.”
A large, powerful, pulsing knot rose up from her stomach to her rib cage and perched between the bones as Danno drove them back to Emmanuel’s house.
“Wrong”, her brain kept telling her. “Wrong, wrong”. She ignored the message. She seemed to climb outside of her aching, sweating, exhausted body and was watching. She made note of what a beautiful couple she and Danno made. She watched his hands work the wheel steadily. He was quite possibly going to lose his job because of her, and he wasn’t panicked in the slightest.
This time he pulled into the carport. Ala found the keys in her purse and lead him around to the back of the house. She opened the gate and saw a squat khaki clad man was perched by a rose bush snipping away. She stepped backwards quickly, nearly crushing Danno’s foot and closed the gate quietly.
“Is something wrong?” He said.
“I think the gardener’s here,” she said. She peaked over the fence.
“He isn’t supposed to be?”
“I guess he is, but I don’t want to talk to him right now. Let’s go around to the front.”
She basically tiptoed to up the front steps and opened the door. Danno touched the back of her neck and when she turned to face him, he kissed her.
“You don’t have to do this. What I think you’re going to do.”
“It’s fine. How soon will you have it back?”
“As soon as I can get a new access card. Two days max.”
She nodded and looked out of the back window. The gardener was still hard at work on the roses. She walked slowly down the hallway toward the study.
She heard his steps behind her. Maybe he should not go in with her. It was too late though. She opened the door. The books and papers were neatly stacked as they had been the day before. The window had been left open so the room smelled like wisteria. Danno, with hands in his pockets, walked over to an overstuffed brown leather armchair, and had a seat.
“Would you like a drink?” Ala said.
“No, I’m fine thanks.”
She was nervous. Her hands shook. She didn’t know how to stay calm like he did. The doorbell rang.
“Oh great! Who is that?” She said hysterically.
Danno got up.
“I’ll go see. Everything’s okay.”
He brushed past her. Ala quickly got the magnet out from behind the painting. She brought it over to the vase and, nearly spilling the rare sand everywhere, she tipped it until she heard a soft clink, and pulled the magnet up with the key attached. She jammed it into the desk drawer and took out the album.
She flipped through quickly, being careful not to smudge any photographs or tear any of the pages until she saw the list of birthdays. The first birthday, 7-23-47, was someone named Lawrence DeGrello’s birthday. She crawled over to the safe and turned the dial to each number. She lifted the latch and pulled up. The door opened into a deep dark hole in the floor. She tried to peer in without feeling down there first, but had no luck.
Danno came and leaned on the doorframe.
“It’s the gardener. He wants to talk to you.”
She could hear before she could see. The sound of waves, but softer and more tangible, like paper being crumbled very slowly. She turned her head to the right and felt the ache from sleeping in an odd position. She turned her head all the way to the left to try and nullify the pain, which never worked. Then she opened her eyes. The sound was the trees, the leaves rather, rustling and blowing while clinging to the branches. The sky was still bright, meaning she couldn’t have slept for that long, in less this was a different day all together.
She rolled over to her side and pushed up to sit. She spotted Danno. He was sitting on one of the slate rocks a few yards away, talking on his cell phone. His pants were still rolled up from the climb and his face had gotten color from being in the sun several hours. She wanted to kiss him. She got to her feet and hobbled over, still weak from the climb and lack of water.
As she approached, Ala saw him pull the phone away from his ear and hold it so that the receiver was directly in front of his mouth. Then he said something very loudly, but the wind made his words inaudible to her. He tapped a button and put the phone back into his pocket. He smoothed back his hair and turned toward her.
A thin smile appeared and he stepped off the rock and met her halfway.
“You were out cold.”
“I know. I was so beat from the climb.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, taking her hand. “I thought it would be a nice way to spend the day.”
“Oh, it was, really,” she said, the fear creeping back that he may be looking for a way to leave her.
“Should we head back?”
This time they walked the outer perimeter of the hill, which was more of a downward ramp, to take their time. Ala could not imagine climbing back down in one piece.
She almost began to cry when the car came into view. She wanted to run, but didn’t risk it, because the boat shoes were sure to fall apart with any added impact.
They got in and Danno turned the air conditioning all the way up. He opened the glove box and took out a pack of cigarette’s that said Shepheard’s Hotel on the gold foil on the front of the pack. He pulled a shiny lighter from his pocket and lit one while it dangled sideways from his lips.
Ala hated smoking more than anything she could think of at that moment. She pushed the button to roll down her window. He turned the air conditioning off.
“I didn’t know you smoked,” she said, trying to sound casual, while also trying to evaluate whether or not the smoking was something she could live with. As if he had asked her to marry him.
“Does it bother you?” He asked, looking straight ahead.
“A little, yes,” Ala said.
She watched his face for a reaction. All she could see were the tiny lines in the crevices of his eyelids raising slightly. He opened the window and tossed the cigarette out. Ala rolled her window up. He turned the air back on.
“What if I told you that I only smoke when something bad happens?” He said, keeping his eyes on the road.