When the Day Is Blue, I’m Sitting Here Wondering About You by Elaheh Steinke

She went out of the door just the way she had came in two months ago. She became a part of me so hard, but left my life so easily. She was my girl.

1

Where It All Began

“And I will run until my heart it aches. I will love until my heart it breaks …” I was listening to one of Amy MacDonald’s songs while driving under the sunshine’s rays, one winter day. It was cold outside, it was snowing, and the wind was blowing into the trees at the side of the street. I was lip synching the song thinking of a new thing to sketch, maybe a person. I was tired of all the animation characters and nature views so I decided to give it a try, see If I could do it or not.

“Hey Allan.”

“Lana! Where are you? I’ve been trying to reach you; you don’t even answer your cell.”

“Sorry Al, I guess I needed some days off.”

“Some days off? From me? It’s not fair.”

“No!” I paused and switched the phone to my left hand so that I could change the gear. “From life I guess!” I said.

“Idiot! You could have told me at least.”

“I will make it up to you.”

“Ooh…I’m tempted!”

“Al, common! Let’s go get some lunch somewhere. I’ll pay!”

“Buono, in ten minutes.”

“See Ya!” But he had hung up.

Allan was my friend since college. We met at Buono restaurant in Brooklyn when we were both freshmen. We became inseparable soon enough to make everyone think we would end up sleeping together or something, but we never did. It was me who made him promise that he would never fall in love with me in that way. And it was kind of working for us until that cold night in his place when we were both drunk and out of our minds.

He had that strange and unreadable look in his eyes all night and when I was in the other bedroom taking off my clothes to go to bed, I saw him standing at the doorway in the dark, loosening his tie.

He slowly walked to me. “You know I’ve been thinking all these years you kept turning down guys, you were silently shouting out that you wanted me to make a move.” He was right in front of me, touching my bare waist. “Al, don’t do this to us.” I said in a quiet voice, covering my body with the only piece of clothes I had in my hand. “Yeah, and by that you mean?” He put his arms round my neck and pressed my head to his chest. I started struggling to free myself but he was stronger than me.

“Allan, you are drunk like hell. And I need to take shower…” He didn’t let me finish. “Why don’t we take shower together?” Said him and pulled my shirt down.

I’m a pacifist, and I hate those people who hurt others physically but that much alcohol can turn you into an entirely different person; watching him do that, made me furious.

I, who had never even raised my voice at him, punched him in the face so hard that he fell on the floor. He didn’t make a sound, he didn’t even move when I called him. I was so scared that I couldn’t cry. I just put on my shoes and my shirt and left him lying there.

I don’t remember driving home, I just woke up in the morning with a terrible headache and found out I had left my jacket and jeans and my bag there. I was feeling so rotten and exhausted. So I took a quick shower and ran away from all that.

2

If You Just Realize

When I walked in he was sitting in the same place we used to sit. He stood up and hugged me saying “Lana! Lana!” hearing his voice saying my name again and again made me cry for the first time after that night. “Al I’m sorry. I’m fuckin” sorry.” I pulled my face back and touched the big bruise on his left cheek. “I’m…” But he stopped me right there. “I deserved it. I really did! And I still look handsome anyway.”

He ordered some bourbon for both of us and we drank. “To us, and our everlasting friendship and your bra, which is in my guest room right now!” Said Allan and I exploded. I laughed so loud that I made everyone stare at us.

After the lunch He apologized for that night and we both promised to forget it and never talk about it. And we never did.

But life is not a screenplay. You may do whatever written on the script, but you can’t do anything about your supporting actor. He might just act way better than you. He might just be as witty as you are. He might as well surprise you in a way you’d never know!

3

Never Knew, I Was Loving You

“Lana!”

“Hi!”

“Are you free tonight?”

“Well, guess I am. What’s the big plan?”

“I’m going out with John and his friend. Well thought you could be my date tonight!”

“I’d love to.”

“Cool. Will pick you up at 6.”

“Great!”

I wasn’t sure what to wear. Well what I usually wear is nothing like a girl wears for a dinner in a restaurant or a night out. I was kind of nervous and I didn’t know why. Maybe it was because I wasn’t used to going out with people other than my friends. I wasn’t even comfortable around my family; I never felt I belonged to them. I always belonged to myself.

He picked me up a little bit later than I was expecting him to and I had time to make some calls for some models I was about to meet a week later. I wasn’t sure if I could really deliver something out of it, I never believed in artificial art.

When I was in car with Allan I lost all the stress I had. He knew I had a hard time dealing with strangers. He had even brought some Djarüm cigars which I loved. Neither of was smoker, we only smoked on special occasions like celebrating an event.

“What are these for?” I asked.

“I had these in my pocked that night. I just got all drunk and… .” He smiled bitterly.

“Al, you don’t have to do this!” I put my hand on his shoulder but I felt it wasn’t enough so I put my other hand on his waist and leaned forward and kissed his forehead. Not once, but twice.

And we smoked the cigars. I swallowed as much smoke as I could to save the sweet taste of its cinnamon flavor and it gave me a slight headache so I closed my eyes and fell asleep on Allan’s lap.

He woke me up when we arrived. We gave the car keys to a tall skinny black boy standing outside the restaurant. It was the first time I was going to a fancy place like that. I was used to fast-foods and diners and Buono was the best I could afford.

We walked in hand in hand.

4

Take A Good Look At Her, She’s My Imaginary Diva

“Well you look nothing like what I had in mind.” Said John, while shaking my hand. He was tall and well built, with dark brown hair and black eyes.

“I take it as a compliment.”

“Missy this is Lana, my gorgeous friend I talked about.” Allan introduced me to John’s friend.

“Hi gorgeous!” we shook hands. Her handshake was really strong and confident. I felt her long fingernails pressed into my fingers. Long fingernails all painted blue. She looked at me, with a strong look. Her blue eye shadow, her blue dress and bracelet, her blue earrings weren’t the only things that caught my attention, the contrast between her beauty and her strong gesture was. I felt so melted in front of her.

“Shall we order? I’m starving!” Said John. So we sat down. I tried to avoid looking at her. She was sitting next to John and in front of Al. I could feel her look on my face, slowly creeping down my neck to my hands. I was looking up and down the menu, not reading it actually!

“This place has the best meat loaf in town, if you need some help.” Said John looking at me.

“Lana’s a vegetarian.” Allan said proudly. He was always proud of my habits and attitude, my effort in every little thing I needed to achieve, but he never put himself to be like me. And I liked the fact that we both had accepted what we were made of.

I ordered a French salad and everyone else ordered meat loaf. Everyone seemed so hungry because no one spoke a word while eating appetizers.

“How can you quit eating bacon? I’d miss bacon if I don’t have it once a week.” John said while chewing his stake.

“To tell the truth I’m sick of telling people how I…”

“You should eat fish dear!” He leaned forward.

“John please!” Allan politely asked him to stop.

“So you paint for a living.” Missy lifted the tension.

“That’s probably what Al has told you! I can’t paint actually!”

“Don’t start that crap again!” Allan was a bit frisky. I continued anyway. “I just draw sketches. And I don’t do it for the money. In fact the money is not that much.”

“How do you sell them? Your sketches I mean.” When Missy said that, I looked at her for the first time after our introduction. She was smiling at me and I answered with a smile. “I put them on my website and people buy the prints.” I felt my answer was a bit clumsy so I drank my Champaign, looking down at the table cloth.

“I always wanted to be an artist, but I ended up becoming a doctor.” I looked at her again.

“You’re a doctor? Look too young to be a doc.” I said.

“Well, not exactly a doctor! I teach English literature at NYC!”

She became even more interesting than before. “Jeez! How old are you?” I found out I was being a bit irrelevant right when I finished the question.

“A year older than you!” She knew my age!

John and Allan did all the talking the whole night and my short quick sentences were just sort of TV commercials. They talked about work, apartment prices in New York and politics. These are the three things that drive me crazy. Allan and I never talked about these things. In fact I wasn’t really listening to them, I was secretly looking at Missy, observing her. And each time I felt I was staring a lot I engaged in John and Al’s conversation or chew a bit of my food but it was like I couldn’t get enough of looking at her. It was like she was made of millions of sweet little details and when everyone finished and it was time to go, I hadn’t eaten half of my food. John asked if I was on a diet or something but Allan told them I was more of a chocolate-fucker than a food-fucker. “-fucker” is Al’s favorite word combination and he uses it more when he’s drunk or sleepy.

We walked out and as we were waiting for our cars, we all realized Al was too drunk to drive so John offered us a lift but I said I could drive and Al could stay at my place. God! Missy was smiling at me all the time and when I was going to say goodbye and shaking hands with her, she pulled me close and gave me a hug. I was surprised but I hugged her back. “Hope to see you more gorgeous!” She said and walked to her blue BMW not hearing my “Sure!”

“I’m surprised you didn’t set me up with your friend.”

“You’re my only friend. He’s just a colleague of mine.” Allan said, lying on the ground in front of the TV.

“That’s not my answer dear!” I said massaging his shoulders. He seemed to be so exhausted.

“Alright, Alright. He’s… You know…Gay.” He said the last word so quietly that I thought he was afraid of saying it. But I noticed he was just sleepy.

“Really? He didn’t look like one.”

“Yeah!” He was thinking hard because he was rubbing his ear. That’s what he does when he’s thinking. “He hates being called a sissy that’s why he acts too macho.” He said.

“I liked him.”

“Yeah she liked you too.”

“Who?” but he was asleep.

5

Angel, I Can See Myself in Your Eyes

It was Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday was Skating Day! I met Allan for the second time in Central Park on a Tuesday afternoon when we were both in college and had kept the habit of going there every week since then.

I used to go there a bit earlier each week to take some pictures with my camera. Not for work, for myself, but it was years since I had done it so I decided to take some shots till Al had came.

I took a couple of pictures from kids and people playing around. Unlike sketching, I could take pictures of living things. I sort of realized how different I looked at Central Park through the camera. It was like I had changed drastically.

I walked to the east side where there were more couples than children coming with their parents. I remembered Allan and me making fun of young couples, thinking how lame they were.

I sat on my skateboard which was as old as our friendship, zoomed on an empty bench and was about to click when someone came to the view. I waited till she went out of the frame but there was something about her that made me look away. I looked away and saw her. She was walking towards me. It was Missy!

“Hey!” She said smiling at me.

“Wow! You’re so un-blue today!” I said pointing at her Black skirt. I could bet on my life, she was the only person in New York City who had worn skirt in that weather.

“Wrong! I’m so blue!”

“Are you depressed or something?” I frowned.

“Noho!” She laughed out loud! “It’s dark blue I mean!” she pointed at her skirt.

“Oh, yeah! I can never identify dark blue from black. I’ve always been that way.” I smiled again.

“So you belong to that 0.3 percent of people who suffer from this type of colorblindness!” She said monotonously.

“I never knew that!” I was a bit shocked.

“So what are you doing here?” I asked.

“Looking for you!” She smiled again.

“seriously! Do you come here often?”

“Nope! But I know you do.”

“Yeah! Allan and I have this…This…”

“Habit” She helped.

“Yeah, habit. We come here every Tuesday.”

“Ow, about that. He won’t make it today.”

“We just talked on the phone.” I was beginning to get worried for him.

“He had a meeting, that’s what he told me. Why don’t we go have a cup of coffee?” She smiled. She was smiling all the time. “How can she do that” I thought.

“Mm…Alright.” I put my skateboard in my Jansport and followed her.

“So you are a photographer. That’s interesting.” She said sitting on the chair in front of me, at the Coffee Costa on fifth avenue.

““I used to be more of a photographer than I am now. I worked for National Geography for two years.” I handed her my Zippo.

“That’s interesting. I remember when I was at high school I couldn’t wait to go to my school’s library every Monday to get the latest issue of National Geography to just look at its pictures.” She let her cigarette’s smoke out.

“No thanks.” I said as she offered me a cigarette.

“I even remember my 15th birthday when my boyfriend stole one of the magazines from the library for me.” I laughed. “He must have really loved you!”

“Don’t think so.” She put a piece of her chocolate cake in her mouth.

“My first boyfriend broke up with me on my birthday.” I said and then smiled.

“Bad experience for your first one.” She smiled sympathetically. I realized she was smiling more in the cafe”.

“Yeah! I wasn’t expecting it, when he told me that. It doesn’t make me sad anymore. In fact I haven’t thought about it for years.” I sipped my coffee which had gone colder and easier to drink. “So how did you become a university teacher?” I ate some of my chocolate-cherry cake.”

“I grew up in libraries. When other kids my age were playing in the streets and dressing their Barbies, I was reading classic novels in my room. I could read when I was four.”

“I knew you were some sort of genius!” She smiled again like she knew I was going to say that. “I doubt it.” She said. Taking a big swallow of her latte”.

“Although I was a good reader, I was so fucked up in writing and spelling. I actually failed in spelling at second grade.” She picked out another cigarette.

“Guess it was a big disappointment to your parents. I’m dyslexic too. It took years till they finally accepted there was nothing wrong with me.” I took one cigarette from the pack on the table.

“I was lucky I didn’t have parents.” She gave me my Zippo.

“Who did you live with then?” I asked.

“My parents’ friends. They didn’t have any children so when my parents died in that car accident they took my custody.” She said the last sentence like I knew what car accident she was talking about.

“I’m sorry.” I said touching her left hand on the table. She seemed so cool with it but I could read it in her eyes that there was a big empty space in her life. I looked at her fingernails painted black, probably dark blue.

“I’ll buy you dinner if you buy me another chocolate-cherry cake.” I said, giving her a wink.

We walked to my apartment all soaked and wet. It suddenly rained and we couldn’t find a cab so we ran till we got there.

“God I’m freezing!” She said, drops of water dripping down her skirt.

“You need to change your clothes.”

“No I’ll be fine.”

“Come on. I’ll give you some dry clothes.” So we went into my bedroom and I looked in the closet to give her a towel and some clothes. I turned around to give her the blue towel I had found and there she was standing near the bed with no clothes on.

I could see myself walking towards her grace and beauty. She seemed so tall without her clothes. I went closer and stood right in front of her. My brain was sending signals to my right hand to hand her the towel. Instead, my left hand reached out and touched her arm. I looked down her body following her fine body lines. The towel fell off my other hand and set it free. My fingers touched her breasts and found their way to her hands. I locked my fingers to hers and stepped forward and stared at her eyes. She was smiling and so were her eyes. I could see myself in her eyes, I was smiling too.

And it all went so natural, so easy. I was aware of what was happening. We didn’t say a word, neither of us did. I didn’t feel weird or confused which I had felt a lot when I was with a guy. I was feeling so attached, so connected. I was myself and I knew it all did matter now.

6

Words Fall Slowly, Silent On the Ground

We took shower together and ordered pizza. We both ordered margarita because Missy said she wanted to try and see if she could become a vegetarian.

I paid for the pizzas and sat on the couch.

“I’m telling you, it’s gonna be tough.” I said, drinking my milk.

“Was it tough for you?”

“Not at all. I never enjoyed eating meat. It’s silly how people do things because they’re used to doing them. Its 11 years I haven’t eaten meat.

“Impressive!”

“You have to take more care of yourself though. I have to drink milk everyday to not to lose my hair.”

“Yeah! Do it please cuz I love your hair.” She said touching my short hair. “It’s curly and short.” She said with that lovely look in her eyes.

“You like short hair?”

“Hell yeah!”

“So why don’t you cut your hair?”

“I don’t want my hair to be cut short. I just like girls who have short hair.”

“I like your hair. It’s long and straight.” I said sitting back, stretching my feet. I remembered how fantasized I was about her fingernails that night.

“I like your fingernails. Mine never gets longer than this.” I said, showing her mine.

“Don’t worry. They go well with your fingers. I love them.”

“Yeah. Love is a matter of difference.” It just came out of my mouth. I didn’t know if I even meant it or not. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean that.” I said. But I really liked her. In fact I loved her.

“It’s okay. I can’t say I’m not interested in you. In fact I asked Allan not to come today.”

“Why?” I just realized why, right when I asked.

“Don’t panic.” She laughed, taking a big swallow of her beer.

I felt a bit contemplated but I didn’t mind. “Will you stay for the night?” I looked at her seriously. “I don’t wanna feel like I’m not part of you and Allan’s plan!”

She smiled and took my hand, pulling me closer. I pressed my head to her neck wondering how life changes its direction in a moment and makes you a different person.

We lied on my bed, sipping coffee and I told the story of all my relationships with guys including Allan’s last week performance.

“I was standing somewhere like the place you were standing a couple of hours ago.

“This is the floor of fame.” She said, hugging me tighter from behind.

I laughed. “The floor of shame!” I said.

She laughed too. I was silent for a couple of minutes.

“I’ve never been with a girl before.” I said.

“You see how easier it is?” She kissed my ear. She smelled like coffee and I liked it.

“I never thought I could be.. I mean I never thought I was…”

“Say it.” She tried to turn me around. I turned to her. I had forgotten how beautiful she was. I just stared at her, looking at her eyes and her lips. I wanted to kiss her but she had this serious look on her face.

“Don’t be afraid of facing it. I know how scary it can be but you’re a big girl now.” I was frowning I guess, cuz she began to be nicer to me, a little more sympathetic. “I realized I was gay when I was eight.” She turned her back at me and leaned down to find a cigarette. “Eight?” I asked.

“I struggled with it for ten years.” She lit her cigarette. “It was a tough thing to deal with. I lost but losing was the biggest win in that case.” She held my hand and pulled me closer. “Don’t fight it Lana. You’re too good at it.” She smiled.

“At fighting?” I asked.

She laughed out loud. “Being a lesbian I mean.”

7

I Need To Wake Up

“Lana.” I heard her voice, felt her touch on my arm. I opened my eyes. It took seconds to get out of the dream I couldn’t remember.

“You look ugly.” She squeezed my nose.

“Thank you!” I said.

“I was watching you in sleep and the strangest thing happened…”

“I talked to you?” I said, in a sleepy voice.

“You were awake?”

“No that’s just what I usually do in sleep.” I said, looking for my t-shirt in the bed sheets.

“It’s here!” Said Missy.

“What?”

“Here!” She said smiling, looking right into my eyes. And I got it.

“I got a job, you know. I’ll be late.” I said. But again not believing in what I was saying.

And it happened again, more easily than before.

I didn’t go to work that day but Missy did. I went to Al’s office instead but he wasn’t there. He didn’t return any of my calls so I decided to find him myself. I couldn’t imagine him skipping work. He was so workaholic.

I was walking down the street to buy coffee when my phone rang!

“Miss Haggis?” Asked a nosey voice.

“Yap!”

“Lana Haggis?”

“Yes.”

“We found your number on Allan Atkinson’s cell phone’s emergency calls.” The flat voice just hit me in the face. I guess I became temporarily deaf for a minute cuz I couldn’t hear a thing.

“Ma’am?” He sounded more flat.

“What’s the name of the place again?” I could hear my voice being as flat as his.

8

Elephant Girl It’s An Accident, Unfortunate

I didn’t go straight to hospital. Didn’t need to. He was gone. That was it.

I walked to the furthest bus station and listened to Blonde Redhead’s latest album on the bus and didn’t go inside the hospital until I hadn’t finished listening to the album. The thought of Al, never getting the chance to listen to the fucking great songs on the album and other fucking great songs was killing me. I was angry. I was furious. I suddenly rushed into the hospital and asked for him. I was directed immediately to his room which was the last place on earth I expected to see him in: Cold. White. Bright. Empty of furniture and non-cozy.

And there he was. Lying on a probably dark blue leather bed in the middle of the room. I thought he would never tell what color the bed was if he was standing in my place, cuz he too couldn’t tell the difference between dark blue and black. Just like me. It made me smile but seeing his face so serious, so steady, so tense and peaceful at the same time broke me. I reached my hand to touch his face but I changed my mind. Didn’t want to feel him while his whole body was cold and out of life. So I stood right behind him and put my fingers into his hair. It was soft as always but a bit wet. They probably had washed them. I smelled his hair, didn’t smell him at all. I wish I had his Green Tea shampoo with me so I could wash them and touch them and feel them and smell them. I sat on a blue leather chair next to his bed and put my face on his cheek and closed my eyes. His face smelled like wine and.. and blood. His lovely blood that had kept him alive for me those

years and the same fucking blood that suddenly he had ran out of. I put my arms round his chest and rested my face on his neck. I was smiling but tears were dropping down my eyes running down his chest. I wanted to hear his husky voice, watch his open face and touch his warm body covered in soft blond hair. I was crying hard I guess cuz someone came in without knocking. Or maybe I didn’t hear the knock.

“Ma’am?”

I didn’t look back, didn’t raise my head either.

“You alright?” He came in. I couldn’t talk. I can’t talk properly when I’m crying.

“I’m doctor Ford. We talked on the phone.” I realized his voice. He didn’t have that flat voice though. I turned my head around, with my arms still round Al.

“I tried to reach you last night…”

“What happened to him?” I didn’t let him finish, with anger. I knew what he was going to say. Missy had switched off my phone cuz it was ringing like mad.

“Your number was dialed 23 times by his phone. It was also…”

“What happened to him?” I shouted hysterically.

“He was driven here by an ambulance. He was still alive but over intoxicated. He was hit by a car somewhere in 8th avenue.” He stopped.

That was a block away from my place. He was surely on his way to there.

“Did he say anything?” I asked, wiping my tears away.

“No. He was pretty unconscious when they brought him to ER.” He got that flat voice again. I turned to Al. To his cold, bruised, childish body and cried.

“Are you his girlfriend?” He put his hand on my shoulder.

I stood up and left.

I took a cab home and threw myself on the sofa. I had Al’s clothes and belongings in a box on the table. I didn’t open it in the hospital. I felt like I could never do it. I just couldn’t stop thinking about him dialing my number again and again while being drunk and stumbling while walking to my place and suddenly feeling the pain through his body, not knowing he had gotten hit by something. And then falling on the cold snowy street, still thinking of getting to my apartment and then life, flying out of his body and he, not even feeling so. I couldn’t believe he was gone. I had talked to him just the day before. I had carried him home the day before that day. We had smoked together happily that same night. He was my everything for the last seven years. And now I had nothing but a trace of his smell on my fingers.

I don’t know how long I was thinking about all that stuff. It must have been hours cuz when I heard the door open and looked outside it was dark! I sat straight and watched Missy creeping in, in the dark with a bottle of Champaign in her hands. I had totally forgotten that she even existed.

“Missy.” I said quietly.

“Jeez!” She almost jumped.

“Why are you sitting here in the dark?” She turned on the light. “What’s happened?” She sat on the sofa, right next to me. “What’s happened to your eyes?” She touched my cheek and my eyelid. “You’ve got eyeliner all over your face!” She began laughing but stopped as she saw me that stoned.

“You’ve cried. Haven’t you?”

“Allan is dead.” I could feel the irony in my voice.

“What? When?”

“If you hadn’t switched off my phone he could reach me and I could go pick him up somewhere and he wouldn’t be…”

“Lana! Lana! Stop…” She was pulling my wrists and I was pushing her away. “Lana! Co..me here..” She won and I found myself crying in her arms, rubbing my eyeliner all over her white shirt.

9

Miles Are Getting Longer It Seems

“You want some strawberries?” Asked her from the corner of the kitchen.

“I’m allergic.”

“Cute!” She came over and sat on the other chair in the kitchen. “Honey, eat something. You haven’t had anything in the past two days.”

“I can’t.” I was angry, as I was the past three days. I pushed the bowl of yoghurt aside, disgusted by its smell and walked out of the kitchen.

The next day and days after that I couldn’t sleep at night, couldn’t eat either. I began to feel tired during the day but it didn’t help me sleep. Even Missy couldn’t help me sleep. Even her closeness, her elegance, her patience and her warm whispers couldn’t make me sleep or eat. I was being tense and harsh most of the time and she was always kind and caring. Even her kindness bothered me.

We didn’t hold a funeral for Al. That was my idea. I didn’t want to see him lying in a coffin, all dressed up with makeup and everything, looking all alive. I wanted to keep him dead in my mind. It was easier that way. Or that’s what I thought it would be. Now there are days I just want him alive, joking and laughing all around, filling the room with his strong gesture and green tea perfume.

“Lana!”

“What?”

“There’s a call for you.” Shouted Missy through the shower curtains as I was shampooing my hair.

“Who’s it?” I said, tasting a bit of the shampoo that was running down my head.

“Al’s uncle!” She was right there in the bathroom. I pushed the blue curtain aside and grabbed the phone, with shampoo foam dripping down my body. “What the fuck do you want? Now that he’s fuckin’ dead? It’s all about money isn’t it!? Let me clear this for you fuck-asses, I’m not letting you read his will. He’s not…” And I said the rest, bursting into tears. “He’s not dead…” The phone fell off my slippery fingers and I fell down into the tub with it. I grabbed the phone and threw it at the wall. I grabbed the curtain and pulled it down. I almost tore it but it was just not enough so I went on and took the shaver and I would have done it if Missy hadn’t taken it out of my hand and slapped me on both sides.

“What the hell are you doing? Look at you!” She softly put her fingers on my wet cheeks but I pushed them away. I was standing there all wet and naked, crying silently.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry honey.” She came a few steps closer. I suddenly felt so exhausted, so needy, so unlovable. I began crying hard and that gave her the bravery to take my face, soaked in shampoo and tears, and kiss me hard. I let the sweet taste of her mouth substitute the salty taste of shampoo in mine. She grabbed my wet hair and made me get out of the bath-tub by pulling them. She pushed me to the bedroom’s wall and nearly pinned me.

“Take them off.” She meant her clothes cuz I wasn’t wearing any. My fingers which were scratching her back found their way underneath her shirt and undid her bra.

She wasn’t wearing any pants so taking off her sleeveless shirt was the only thing left.

I was still crying when we were making love quietly. I began to be myself again, like things were somehow back to the way they used to be. But I never knew things weren’t going to be the same again.

I wasn’t going to be the same again, cuz he wasn’t going to be the same.

“Look at me!” She said softly into my ear. But I didn’t want to.

“You never cried.” I said, turning to her.

“Cried for what?” She had her hand on my ribs, giving a little push on each one.

“You never cried for Allan.”

“Does it bother you?” She said smiling.

“I hate you smiling all the time.” I said.

“You’re being immature.”

“You don’t cry cuz you don’t know him. If you knew him, if only you knew what kind of guy he was, you would never smile and walk around as if nothing has happened.” I was feeling sick. Throwing up was the last thing I needed right then.

“Lana I love you, but if you don’t want me around right now, I can go. I can disappear for a while.” She said, moving her hand from my chest to my face. “I should have left sooner but I was being selfish I suppose, wanting you…” I just couldn’t hear those words from her. Every part of my senses was filled with anger. I pushed her away and got out of the bed and put my shoes on. Missy always mocked me for wearing my shoes first instead of my clothes every time after we had sex.

“Just don’t be here when I come back.” I said, getting out of the room, slamming the door.

I came home after midnight. She wasn’t there but had left four messages on my phone. I deleted them all without listening to any. Didn’t want to hear a thing from her or see her again with that smile, and being okay with everything. I didn’t want her, I needed him.

10

And It’s All Coming Back To Me Now

“Hi Lana.. It’s the 14th time I’m leaving a message. I’m beginning to like doing it. If you don’t return my calls I’ll come over there and fucking… I don’t know what I’m gonna do… Pleaaase call me. I’ve missed you.”

I deleted the message and sat on the couch with a bottle of vodka in my hand. I took a big swallow and opened the gray box on the table. On the box were Allan’s name and a number.

There were no clothes, only his apartment keys, his Calvin Klein belt which I had bought for his birthday, his watch which was broken, probably because of hitting the asphalt, his silver necklace and ring which we both had since college and finally his All Star shoes. There was a small stain of blood on one pair. I touched it. Of course it was dried. I looked at it and it was just then that I realized he was really gone. I didn’t cry. I put his ring in my finger next to mine which looked like the same. I smiled.

“Lana!” Shouted Missy as she opened the door and saw me standing there. “I was really worried.” She almost jumped and hugged me.

“Can I come in?” I said.

“I’m still mad at you!” She said in my ear, touching my wet hair as we were hugging.

“It’s raining for fucks sake!”

“I missed you all these weeks!” She was still holding me tight.

“Can we just go in?!” I said casually but she didn’t let go of me until I kissed her. We both got all wet under the hard rain but it was okay, we were better that way.

We talked all night and smoked a whole pack of cigarette.

“They’re gonna read his will tomorrow.” I gave her a fake smile.

“I’m lucky I don’t have any fucking family like his. Vultures!”

“They abandoned him when he needed them, when his only parent died.” I began to open a new pack.

“You’ve smoked like a factory! Enough! Okay?” She took the pack and threw it away. “Let’s make you a sandwich! Ha?”

“I’m not hungry!”

“I’m not gonna sleep with you!”

“Who needs you? I can do it with that…” I looked around. “Those pack of cigarette!” And we both burst into laugh.

I fell asleep right when I got into her bed.

I slept for sixteen hours and obviously didn’t go to Al’s lawyer’s office to hear the will but he called me the next day.

“Miss Haggis?”

“Mister Roberts?” I said while pouring some coffee for myself.

“I have good news!”

“I’m not willing to hear.”

“Well if you knew what he..”

“I don’t want to. Am I not being clear enough?” I had probably raised my voice cuz he paused for a long time.

“But there are papers you have to sign in order to…”

“I’m not signing anything!”

“Mister Atkinson had told me how resistant you are!”

“I had to become like this because he was very persistent himself!” neither of us said anything till I finally said: “I’m just not ready for that right now. And I don’t think I’ll ever be.”

“Will you call me when you were ready?”

“I’ll try.”

“Thanks.” And he hung up.

I returned to work the next day and began recovering sooner than I thought. Things were quite alright between me and Missy.

“If you do some running you’ll get hungry and will eat more.”

“I hate running. It’s tasteless and boring.” I said while stretching my legs on the sofa.

“Do that stupid skating of yours then!” Said Missy, lighting a cigarette.

“Stupid? It’s the best and the most difficult thing in the world!”

“Bite me! Even 6 year olds do that!”

“You’re jealous!”

She put the cigarette in the ash tray and crept up on me. I winked at her saying “Jealous. Jealous. Jeal…” She began to lock my lips with kisses.

“I can’t skate without him.” I said, freeing myself from her arms. I looked around to find a cigarette.

“Here!” She handed me hers. Its sweet taste took away the emotional fragileness in me.

“Where is Al’s necklace?” I asked, letting the sweet smoke out.

“The one that’s the same as yours?”

“Yeah.”

“I don’t know.” She said innocently.

“Well how can you not know?”

“Are you saying that…” She didn’t finish her sentence cuz I stood up and walked to the bathroom. Took my clothes off and sat on the floor-towel till the hot water filled the tub. I took out a cigarette and got into the burning hot water. It smelled like lavender.

I closed my eyes and let its smell calm my nerves. I heard Missy walking in but didn’t open my eyes.

“Lana?” She softly called my name.

I felt her hand on my shoulder. I still had my eyes closed.

“Look at me.” She said, tapping on the back of my neck. I opened my eyes and looked at her. She was crying. I almost jumped out cuz I hadn’t seen her cry till that moment and I was sure she was in real pain. I opened my mouth to speak but she didn’t let me.

“I love you.”

“I love…” She put her fingers on my mouth and knelt forward. I thought she was going to kiss me but she didn’t. She took my hand and put it on her cheeks.

“All I ever wanted was to love you.” She kissed my fingers. “But you don’t trust me. You don’t even see me.” I wanted to kiss her tears. “It’s not…”

“Don’t say anything. I’m leaving.”

“Missy, just…” But she didn’t listen to me and went out. I grabbed a towel and wrapped it round my waist. I ran to the hall and found her searching for her phone. “Missy just listen to me.” I tried to make her look at me but she said No and pushed me hard to the couch. I sat still. Couldn’t believe she was being hard on me. She never was.

“I’ve got no one else.”

“No, you have.” And she stormed out, leaving me sitting there with nothing but words I never got the chance to say.

That’s how she went out of my door just the way she had come in that rainy afternoon. She became a part of me so hard but left my life so easy, so soon.

11

Where It All Began

I sat there for minutes doing nothing but staring at the table. I fell asleep on the couch and it was minutes past 4 in the morning when I woke up. It was dark. I reached out for my Zippo but my fingers touched a pair of keys instead. I touched the key holder, it was Allan’s.

I was still naked so I put a shirt and my jeans on and went out.

It was 6 a.m. when I found myself in Allan’s apartment. It smelled the same. I was really happy to be there. I turned on his coffee maker and drank two Lattes. It really got me. I then went to the bathroom. I picked up everything that belonged to him, including his perfume. I smelled it. It made me cry. But I was happy inside. I saw his bed from the bathroom. There were some clothes on his bed. I walked toward the bed and took a closer look. They were mine. The ones I had left there that night. My jeans, my jacket, my bag and my bra! I had forgotten that I had left my sports bra too. I chuckled.

I smelled my clothes, they smelled like Allan. Tears started to fall down my eyes. I opened my bag; there were two Djarüm cigarettes in it. I cried harder. He was going to return my bag with those cigarettes in it.

I lied on his bed and talked to him. I said everything I wanted him to know. And at the end I promised him that I would be the same again.

I took his Tony Hawk skateboard from the closet and walked out. It was Tuesday and I went to central park.

12

If You Ever Find Me, Will You Try Me

Love is not something voluntary. It happens when it happens. And you can’t control or chose it.

And it ends when it’s supposed to end. You can’t chose that either.

Love might leave you, but in the end it will find you.

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One Response

  1. It was long but worth reading.

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