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Sad Romance Coming of Age

He called up an escort, he couldn't handle it: he had to get her off his mind. He missed her: he missed her face; he missed the cute way she moved, the way she would cuddle up with him and make him feel like everything in the world was alright. A hooker was a good way to take his mind off her.

“Hello?”

“Hey, how are you tonight hun?”

“I'm good, I'm good. How are you, my love.”

“Good, had a few drinks and I'm looking to have some fun.”

“Oh yeah? You want me to come over?”

“Yeah, come over.”

“Ok, It's 250 dollars for the hour.”

“That's fine, Do you have any booze?”

“Yes.”

“Ok, Bring it.”

“Ok, Where you live?”

“614 Trent Ave.”

“Ok.”

“You know where that is?”

“Yes, my driver will know baby.”

“Ok, how long do you think you will be? I have to shower and get ready.”

“Ok, text me when your ready, baby.”

“Ok, I'll text you in a bit.”

He hung up and picked up the bottle of wine he'd been drinking — his second of the night — and took a swig. It was the wine he grabbed as he waited in line at the liquor store, he saw as he stood with a 6 pack and a bottle of his usual brand. He had to get it: it had her name on it. Lola. He'd never heard of it before, but it was like the Gods were calling him and telling him to drink that sweet nectar to get his mind off her. Nothing cured a broken heart like a bottle of white wine. So two bottles couldn't hurt, it was twice the medicine. But the more he looked at that bottle, the more he thought about her, and was forced to hold back tears.

He woke up in a daze, passed out on the couch. Looking at his phone, and saw a text message:

Hey baby, do you still want to play?

He replied: yes

Ok baby, I'll head out now. See you in an hour :)

He put his phone down and looked around his room, or rather, what remained of his room. Holy shit, I gotta get ready.  In the shower, he washed his balls, his cock, and asshole to prepare for a good night; jumped out, rubbed some deodorant under his pits, and some baby powder on his taint. In the mirror, he looked himself up and down as he put a comb through his hair: he looked good. Much better than he felt on the inside; all the pain he was hiding only exposed itself on the face that couldn't quite smile but still looked confident enough to handle life at the very least. Grabbing a beer sitting on the back of the toilet, a half-full can of Molson, he told himself:

“You're the man.”

He chugged it back and wiped his mouth on the hand towel. But he knew he wasn't the man, that he was the furthest thing from ‘the man’. He was a broken and lost soul, smelling of wine and broken dreams, with contempt in his heart for a friend he once considered dear but who took his girl away.

That son of a bitch, I'll kill him, he thought. But he knew he couldn't; he was entitled to her. She was technically his. It didn't make his anger subside any.

The escort showed up and he led her into his one-room apartment. Her eyes widened at the sight of the mess: the remnants of a wicked bender.

“You have a nice place,” she said.

“Thank,” his liquor-soaked voice answered back.

“Well how long do you want? A half-hour or an hour?”

“Let's make it an hour, I'm in no hurry.”

“Ok.”

He walked over to the box where he kept his cash and pulled out some money.

“Did you bring the booze?” he asked, leading her toward the couch.

“Mhmm”

He sat down and she handed him the bottle; he tore off the lid like a wolverine and took a swig. Absolute peach vodka, strong and fruity, leaving him with the urge to wretch. But it was warm and welcoming, like the arms of a mother after the first day home from school. She sat down beside him and put her legs over his lap as he took another swig. Then she leaned up against him and grabbed his arm, holding herself tight against his body.

“You want one?” he asked, gesturing with the bottle.

“Ok,” she said softly.

He handed her the bottle, and she took a small sip before handing it back into his big hand, already tipping it towards his mouth for a much bigger swig.

  “So, do you want to start?” she asked, kissing him on the cheek.

“In a minute, we'll just talk for now.”

“OK.”

“How was your night?”

“It was OK. I'm tired though.”

“Then rest a minute.”

“Ok,” she said, snuggling up against him.

He leaned back on the couch with her in his arms; to nothing but the sound of breathing. The world seemed to stand still in the dimly light room canvased with empty beer cans and wine bottles.

“Why you drink like this?” she asked from under her hair, his face staring at the ceiling.

“I dunno, I'm fucked up... I'm not a good person.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah.”

“You seem nice, though.”

“Nice things don't happen to me. No one likes me. Then I drink and push away the people that do.”

“Why?”

“Because I don't like living.”

“Oh, but you are young still. And handsome. Why you live like this?”

“I was just in a bad mood today?”

“Why's that?”

“My asshole friend took my cat,” he said, sitting up and lifting her as he did.

“What do you mean?”

He reached for the bottle and took another swig.

“ I was watching his cat for a year because this idiot ended up homeless. I told him I'd give him his cat back when he got a place, so I did. But I liked her; she kept me company… no one else will.”

“I understand, cats are nice to have. What was her name?”

“Lola.”

“Just like this bottle,” she said, pointing to his now empty bottle of wine on the table.

“Yup, just like this bottle. This bottle is everything in my life now.”

“What you mean?”

“I have no cat, I got no money, nothing good in my life... I'm empty, just like this bottle.”

“I'm sorry you feel like this.”

“It's Ok,” he said, taking a final swig of booze. “Now, let's get to some fun,” he said, turning toward her with a devious smile on his face. He leaned in and kissed her on the lips and as he did, he lifted her and walked her towards his bed. He paid for an hour, so he knew he still had plenty of time for some fun.

After they were done, he walked her outside, and they had a cigarette while they waited for her driver to come. It was the thin line between late night and early morning when all the world was quiet. They smoked cigarettes, and he looked at her with a smile.

“You know, you are different from most guys I've met before,” she said as the smoke left her mouth and the cancer filled the air.

“Is that bad?” he asked with a cocky smirk.

“No, you're just different. It's not good or bad.”

“Was I fun for you at least? I tried to take care of you and be gentle. I hope I was better than most.”

“You were.”

She let out more smoke from her lungs, along with a sigh.

“I just don't want to do this anymore.”

“Awe,” he said as he walked over and hugged her. He held her in his arms and she squeezed back. As he held her for a second, they were one and the same. Then he kissed her on the top of the head and let her go.

“It's Ok hun, Things will be better.”

“I sure hope so.”

There was silence for a few minutes before she broke it by handing him the half-empty bottle.

“Here, you take this.”

“Gee, thanks.”

“I don't want to look at it anymore.”

“It's never too late to change, hun. You seem like a sweet girl; there's more out there for you.”

“And for you, too. You're not a bad guy.”

“I hope I'm not.”

Eventually, her driver came, and he gave her one last hug before heading back inside, down a small flight of stairs, and through his apartment door to his couch. He sat down, took the lid off the bottle, and took a sip. Starring at the wall, he took sips off the bottle until the sun started to spill through the crack in his blinds. He walked over and pulled down the cord to open them up. The sun poured in over the far horizon and the earth looked fresh and dry as the birds chirped a morning tune. And nothing seemed wrong for a moment and everything seemed possible and impossible at the same time. Maybe life without Lola would be alright.

February 24, 2022 08:43

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3 comments

16:01 Mar 10, 2022

What a sad story. You're a great writer.

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Poppy Jackson
20:44 Mar 03, 2022

Loved this! The atmosphere was brilliant

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Clyde Laffan
22:48 Mar 02, 2022

Hi Michael. I thought this story captivating and kept me reading to the end. The dialogue was very realistic and the idea of two broken people resonating with each other worked adding gravity to the story. I'm not too sure about the cat thing. I appreciate that his life is a mess, cat or no cat, still, for a second I started not to take the story seriously, then, wisely you didn't dwell on it and we were back to the interaction between the two. I also enjoy the simplicity of your language (which is how I try and write). Well done. Keep writ...

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