Six years. Six years and he’d left just like that. I’d come home from work to a note, and an empty closet. The note didn’t give a reason, no anger, no love, no nothing. Just ‘I have to go’ bullshit.
Shock was a pale understatement of what I’d felt. I didn’t think to call any friends. I practically ran from the house, leaving purse, phone, keys, wandering blindly, unable to scream or cry.
It was almost full dark when the neon of a bar attracted my attention, on an unfamiliar street, I don’t know how far from my own. That’s where you’re supposed to go, what you’re supposed to do.
I walked in, ignoring who was there, sat down at the bar, and tried to get the bartender’s attention.
“What are you drinking,” said a low voice next to me.
I nearly shouted ‘None of your fucking business!’ But I didn’t. Instead, not turning my head, I said “Vodka martini” through gritted teeth.
“Yo ‘BERTO!” the voice boomed. “Two vodka martinis.” He paused, and I could feel his eyes on me. “One twist, one dirty.”
He didn’t say anything else until the drinks arrived, then presented them both to me, indicating I take my pick with his hand. I still hadn’t looked his way. I started reaching for the glass with 3 pierced olives when a hand intercepted mine and shook as if greeting an old friend.
“Park” he said.
I looked up into a pair of eyes so hazel they were almost yellow, in a face that looked too young for them.
“…Mary.” It was probably obvious that wasn’t actually my name. I didn’t care.
“Pleased to meet you, Mary.”
Tattoos covered both his arms up to where they disappeared under the rolled-up sleeves of a fitted business shirt.
“I wish I could say the same,” I replied. Not bitterly, not angrily. I had no emotion at all. Maybe I never would again.
He looked at me a moment, then smiled, not offended, broke the handshake and slid my drink to me.
“No problem. You just let me know if you need ano- ‘Berto. Another drink for the lady.”
I could have refused it. I didn’t.
I could have not talked to Park. I did.
I could have not told him about anything, made up a story. I told him everything that had happened.
I could have cried, screamed, ranted. I didn’t. I told it coolly, analytically, like it had happened to someone else.
Park listened, nodded, listened, got me a third drink that I managed not to gulp down.
Park didn’t offer a fourth, but told ‘Berto to give me a big glass of water.
And then… we talked about other things. His job, my job. Nothing at all. Everything. We took turns. I learned about him – assuming he wasn’t telling stories. I didn’t see the point in making up stories about myself, so I told the truth.
When I realized I had walked into this bat without so much as a quarter, he offered to pay for my cab home. I insisted I was ‘just around the corner’ and that I could walk. He offered to come and told “‘Berto” he’d be back to pick up his car. I looked at the bartender critically. I didn’t like him, but when he nodded at Park, then at me, I nodded, too.
We were not just around the corner from home. I had wandered for a lot longer than I’d realized earlier. I was exhausted, drained, and barely remembered where the apartment’s spare key hiding place was.
At my open door, Park shook my hand to say goodbye, and I could tell that he actually meant it. God fuck it all, but he was just a regular nice guy. What was I supposed to do?Just let something like that walk away? After everything?
Before he could let go of my hand I pulled myself to him and kissed him. Hard, desperately. I felt him nearly jerk away, but then, he was kissing me back, and my arms were around him, and he was lifting me through my doorway.
Tears ran down my face as the door closed behind us. I kissed him fiercely, tearing at his clothes and mine as he carried me to the couch in our – in my living room. All the emotion that had been missing since I came home to an empty house flooded out of me. Sorrow of loss, anger at betrayal, everything seethed and exploded and ripped and tore until we were both naked and I was riding him on my couch as if my life depended on it. Maybe it did.
He felt different inside me. Length, width, texture, heat. My body liked it. A lot. I fucked him savagely, and came like I was taking something from him. Maybe I was. He groaned when I shuddered and impaled myself that last time on him. And I think he came in me. I didn’t care. I collapsed on him then, sobbing. I think I fell asleep that way.
When I woke up next morning, it was late, the sun high in the window. I was in my bed. I was late for work. My head… didn’t hurt. My heart did. My thighs did. My insides ached, but it was that good ache that I hadn’t felt in so long.
“Good morning.” A low voice I recognized. It was Park, in my bedroom doorway, in boxers and nothing else. with a cup of coffee in one hand and a plate of eggs in the other.
“It was what I could find to make.”
He set them down on the bed-table beside me as I sat up.
“You… I… have to go, get to work.”
“I… don’t know. But you have to go. This was a mistake.”
He was sitting on the bed. I was intensely aware of how naked I was under the thin sheet.
“Was it?” He said it at exactly the same time I asked myself the same question. Why had I say it?
“This is a rebound. Worse, it’s- it’s the car-crash still happening. It can’t mean anything good for me. Either of us.”
His hand was on my cheek, my shoulder.
“Maybe. Maybe not. But- say the word and I’m gone.”
He leaned forward and kissed me. I kissed him back, and babbled about why this was stupid as he pulled the sheet from me. I din’t tell him to leave. I argued about how this was a bad idea, and he kept saying maybe, and touching me.
And then I was on my hands and knees on my bed, looking back at Park as he held my hips.
“This… is… maybe…” I said.
Park’s cock pushed into me from behind, and I began to let go.