Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Years Eve



A blast from the past and it had caught her completely off guard.  He had looked so cute the last time, splayed on the bar floor, olives and orange slices in his hair. He thought she was going to be easy since he was the boss. The date and the job were left behind in a cloud of VW minibus smoke. Life went on.

And now two years later he wanted to go down to see the Big Peach for New Years.  What did he really want?

Kari still wasn’t sure she wanted to go.  New Year’s Eve had no appeal.  It was just a reason to get wasted, a celebration without a purpose. Oh, there was the pretense of faking atonement of the past. But hideous dates and worse hangovers made self improvement difficult.  No, impossible. It was a wasted day.
A curly haired image smiled back as she brushed her hair.  Vanity never was her thing.  Aging was a beautiful process and gray was normal. Only a cut to even the ends was necessary. Why did other women obsess so much over a color? Gray didn’t make them any less of a person. It was just another waste of energy.  

Kari held the brush in front of her, entranced by the inlaid Cherokee rose on top. It had been her Maternal Grandmother’s.  She had found it going through her Mother’s things after she had died.  The silver frame glowed and the soft bristles seemed to bring life to whatever it touched.   It was the only thing she had left from her family.

She thought about her father. Mother never did say how he had died, even on her death bed.  All she had known, was Daddy went away when she was little, maybe when she was three or four.  She had no brothers or sisters and she never did know any of the other family.  A space opened in her never to be filled, even with a scar.  She put down the brush and picked up the mascara and began the process.  

Why dwell on the past?  That was a waste of time. With a pointed nose and receding forehead, she resembled an overgrown rat. She lived like a rat with a string of bar and waitress jobs, usually losing them in a blaze of anger over trivial insults.  Nights were spent with joints and one night stands.  More often than not, she woke up alone in strange houses, not really remembering where she had been.   Satisfied with her eyes, she put down the mascara.  

The clock read 8:45. He said to be ready at 9:00.  

Reaching over to the end of the dresser, Kari picked up the pipe. There should be enough time. Looking in, she realized there was just enough for one or two good tokes, enough to take the edge off.  Inhaling deeply from the spark of the lighter, she leaned back a bit in the chair and let the smoke do its work.  The focus softened and she began to relax.  

But the call still nagged at her.  She had heard Charlie was angry about how she wouldn’t submit.  But he should have known better.  Was there going to be revenge?   She couldn’t put it completely past him.  A sudden chill came across her and the sweater closer wasn’t helping.  A shadow across her window caught her attention. What was that?  Picking up the hairbrush, she moved stealthily toward the frame of the window.  

The door bell rang.  Not thinking, she raised the hairbrush as she flung the door open. 

Only to find Charlie, with a dozen long stem roses and a bottle of Chianti.  

“Hey, Babe.  Happy to see me?”

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