Play Red Julie And Move Me

Submitted into Contest #137 in response to: Write a story about someone forced out of their home.... view prompt

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Fiction Drama Crime

I didn’t know what her Chinese name was at first. She introduced herself as Julie and that was what I had called her for those dramatic months we shared a flat. Julie didn’t drink when I first met her which I thought was remarkable considering she had a Scottish boyfriend who was a regular at the flat and who usually drank a beer or two while sitting in the living room with his feet on the table talking that Glasgow talk but in a slow, understandable way to Julie. When he first saw me he stood up and shook my hand firmly and locked my eyes as if to measure me; letting me know to keep my dick in my pants. The first few weeks I heard them have sex a couple of times and it seemed morose, digital and boring as if the pounding followed some clockwork rhythm. I boiled it down to the Scottish and Chinese not being the most romantic mix in this world and I went about my business; working and drinking and trying to find some version of love or another. Of course I fantasized about Julie. I fantasized about imaginary women or women I had seen during the day so why wouldn’t I fantasize about her. She was slender and had long black hair and her eyes were that of a rabbit; dark and shrewd. But I intended to keep my oath not to mess with women whose men I had shaken hands with. 

One day coming home from work feeling optimistic despite the cold and dark season I saw Julie sitting in the living room by herself with a blanket covering her legs and belly and her computer was on the table streaming a movie or a series. I greeted her and went into the kitchen to put away the food and the drinks I had bought and I took out a cold beer and went into the living room and sat a decent distance away from her.

“What are you watching?” I asked. 

“This is a series about very intelligent people solving very horrible crimes,” she replied and leaned over and paused the video. 

“Don’t pause it, go on, do you want a beer?”

“I don’t drink beer.”

“Do you want some wine?”

“I have wine only sometimes with dinner with Steve, do you have wine?”

“Yes, red and white.”

“Oh, which one is the best?”

“I don’t know, it depends on your taste,” I said and sensed she wanted some so I went out to the kitchen and came back with two bottles; one red and one white and a glass. “Here, try it,” I said and she straightened up and looked at me with her dark and curious eyes and the blanket she had over her moved and I could see she was wearing shorts. 

“I try a little bit only.”

“Try as much as you want,” I said and started rolling a cigarette. 

“You smoke outside?” She said looking at me pouring from the red bottle. 

“Yes, of course.” 

“Can you roll me one too?”

“Yes, of course.”

We sat and drank and when I handed her the cigarette I had rolled she lit it in the living room and looked at me and smiled and sipped from the glass. I shrugged and smiled too and lit my cigarette and went out in the kitchen and brought in an ashtray I knew was being used by her and her boyfriend despite us agreeing to smoke outside. 

“Do you like Steve?” she asked suddenly. 

“What do you mean? He seems like a nice guy, how long have you known him?”

“Only three months, we study together and he is nice, I met his father, he is very rich.”

“Good for the father, what does he do?”

“Financial business, he owns a flat in Edinburgh and one here and one in the north.”

“And what does Steve do?”

“Also financial business.”

“Wow,” I said acting impressed and in the meantime wondering what I should do tonight. I had this sense I should go out, roam the bars, maybe flirt with someone who wasn’t together with Steve who had a rich father with three flats spread across the country. 

“Yes, is your father rich?” Julie asked and poured some more wine.

“My father is a criminal and not a very good one at that, he is dirt poor.”

“Oh? What crimes?” she focused those rabbit eyes on me and I could sense the heat coming out from them.

“Long story short he used to rob and extort, now he is not robbing and extorting anyone but he is on welfare so criminal is the closest you get for what he does or did.”

“He is not rich then?”

“No, that Julie, he is not.”

I stood up and for a second I thought about asking her to join me for a drink outside but isolated the urge and drowned it — thinking of consequences was something rather new and delightful to my mental faculties. 

“Are you going out?” she said. 

“Yes, help yourself to as much wine as you want, and you know what? I think you like

the red one, don’t you? There are many different kinds, you should explore them.”

“Thank you,” she went silent. 

“What are you going to do?”


“You study a lot.”

“Yes, I have to, I am not so good with English.”

I went out after that and the cold breeze did me good. There had been heat in there and there were definitely roads to go down that were no good and I had no intention to screw this up like I had in the past. I don’t remember much else from that night except that I went out and met some co-workers and that we had a few pints and talked some nonsense and I don’t remember anything happening when I came back home. The apartment was silent as a graveyard and I had gone to sleep. 

The next morning everything started to go downhill. Steve was there and he was in a rowdy mood and when he saw me he quickly looked away without a greeting. I shrugged it off and went into the kitchen to make some coffee and when I came out again to the living room the front door shut and Julie was standing in the hallway with her head hanging low.  

“What was that about?” I asked. 

“Nothing, he didn’t like me having wine, he thinks I drank with you.”

“Oh, how much did you have?”

“No it is OK, I will buy you a bottle.”

“That is okay Julie, never mind really, do you want coffee?”

“Yes please, my head hurts.”

We had coffee in the living room and I was feeling slow after the night out and Julie's eyes were cold, tired and worried. Probably she is not used to being hungover, I thought and felt sorry for her but I knew I better keep my distance this coming period so I had my coffee and went into the kitchen to make some toast. I didn’t hear her coming in from behind me so I was surprised when I heard her voice:

“I think he will leave me, Steve, I think he is tired of me.”

I turned around and she was standing there with her sad dark eyes.

“No he won’t, not because of you drinking some wine, right?”

“He will, I think so, he is tired of me and I am tired of him anyway,” she said and took a step closer to me and I felt my heart start to pound heavily. I had to think and think fast. 

“Listen Julie, I will talk to him, alright? I will sort it out.”

“Will you? Why? Do you want us to be together?” 

“Well I want you to be happy, you are my roommate, a happy roommate is good for the atmosphere.”

“Maybe I am happy without him, we could drink more wine at nights.”

“Maybe you are just tired today, and confused,” I could see tears in her eyes so I instinctively stepped forward and held her in my arms and she slowly relaxed and then her head fell down on my shoulder and she started crying. Really crying. 

“So, so,” I tried and we stood there for a must have been a couple of minutes.

“Will you talk to him?” she said when her sobbing had finished.

“Yes, of course,” I said and removed myself from her embrace and studied her red and wet face. She smiled at me and I felt a genuine feeling of wanting to take care of her. I decided to talk to Steve the next day. 

When I came home from work the next day Steve was already at our flat, with his feet on the table. When he saw me he stood up and abruptly said:

“You better start packing son, you better move.”

“Why is that?”

“You know why, trying to make moves on my girl with your hands on her, we could call the cops you know.”

“The cops? Are you insane?” I tried to find a flicker of humor in his eyes, a hint that he was just joking and pulling my leg but his cold fish eyes just beamed towards me not revealing any hint of humanity whatsoever. 

“You are insane, where is Julie?”

“She does not want to talk to you.”

“Julie?” I called out. “Julie?”

No answer. I looked at Steve again and an electric feeling started to sip out to my fingers, toes and head. 

“Listen, I don’t know what you think is going on here but let me assure you,” I started but was interrupted:

“No, let me assure you it is best if you start packing, I am not joking. I know who you are, I know your father, or my father knows your father very well. They had an incident a couple of years back, your father broke into one of the flats and stole some valuables my mother had cherished, O’Hare, isn’t it? You are his son, Marc O’Hare.”

“How do you know all this?” 

“Julie told me about your father and I looked you up, I know some people who know some people and now, will you start packing or should I call the cops?”

“Call the cops you fucking lunatic.” 

“Oh, my pleasure,” he said and I saw that he picked up the phone and started dialing.

I stood frozen and just watched him.

“Yes hello, I would like to report an incident of sexual harassment. Yes, yes. He is here. She is at my flat. They share an apartment, yes, I am her boyfriend and I am at their place.”

“You fucking pig,” I found myself yelling and I took a step towards him as he flew up from the couch and held his hand towards me telling me to stop. 

“Easy junior, I am just pulling your leg,” he started laughing hysterically. “Julie went shopping, she will be back soon.” 

I felt exhausted but then suddenly an anger from some hidden room in my gut started to creep up my spine like a volcano. I swung at him with my right fist slamming the phone out of his hand and then continuing up towards his face smashing into it with a releasing feeling of satisfaction. I didn’t hear anything break but the thump of him hitting the ground rang out. He tried to stand up but I kicked him in his stomach once and he groaned and lay still.

“Please, I was just joking,” he tried.

I didn’t say anything, I could not. The rage had my mind hostage and all my energy erupted into the fists falling onto his face and body. My father had not only served longer time than what was called for because of that burglary but something else had happened too, some men had looked him up and no one knew exactly what had happened to him but because he had never spoken about it. I could only assume what had happened. I could have killed him if not someone had pulled me aside.

“What are you doing? No!” it was Julie. 

I panted heavily lying on the floor. The anger slowly dissolving.

“You killed him!” she screamed.

“No, he is not dead, I just taught him a lesson.”

“You killed him!”

Steve moaned and moved around. His face was soaked in blood. He tried to stand up but he couldn’t. Julie looked at me with a surprised look that turned into an angry one filled with disbelief. 

“What happened?” she was still screaming.

“Your boyfriend went out of line.”

“I am calling the cops,” Julie said and picked up her phone. 

“No, don’t,” I tried but then thought that I probably deserved it.

“Call them Julie, guys like this shouldn’t go free,” Steve said leaning against the wall. 

Julie picked up the phone. I stood up and went to the kitchen and rolled a cigarette and lit it. Watching out the window, expecting the cops to arrive even though it was too soon; they probably had plenty to do tonight as in any night in this town. This was history repeating itself I thought. A history of violence, a history of mischief running in the family and an agonizing pain that never truly went away, never truly healed. I took another puff of the cigarette and then opened a beer. Might as well start packing I thought, feeling as if I had just been forced out of my home.

“Yes, this is Daiyu Fen Li,” I heard her say from the living room, that’s it, her Chinese name I thought and put out the cigarette. 

March 18, 2022 19:44

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1 comment

Andrea Mariana
18:56 Mar 24, 2022

Thanks for sharing your story with us! Your story premise is interesting and I appreciate the intriguing characters and mysterious back stories. There were a few points where I was a little unclear as to who was speaking or what was happening in the plot, but those were mostly minor issues.


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