Thursday, December 1, 2005

Dishes are done...

So where the hell was I?

That's right; Roxanne had freaked me out. But what the hell happened after that? I've been way more caught up in the present than I'm used to lately...

Actually, the rest of that spring was fairly uneventful...all that I can really remember right afterwards was the lease on my crappy apartment was coming up, and I was looking for another place to live. I had enjoyed living alone for the past year, but I knew that it would be much easier on my bank account if I found a roommate, something I had always had bad luck with in the past. Most of my friends, or at least the ones responsible enough for me to consider living with, were off at college at that time, but Alan had just decided that he was going to take another semester off for whatever reason, and I figured I could convince him to move in with me.

I finally did, but not until he went over all the details of the arrangement in his usual, anal way. We did manage to find a seriously cool apartment, right in the middle of the area of downtown that we always hung out in, and for a pretty decent price, too. I loved the place; it was within spitting distance of all my favorite bars, it had a great balcony with a patio, and the view from my bedroom window looked straight down into the city. It wasn't as cool as my place in Colorado, but it was pretty nifty, and I figured we'd have some good times there. Funny...we only lived there for about a year & a half, but sometimes it seems like half my memories take place in that apartment...

Anyway, we moved in during the late spring, and Alan got a job waiting tables at one of the restaurants nearby. The place he worked was right next to a Chili's, and all the employees from his work would go next door afterwards to unwind, so pretty soon we became semi-regulars down there. I got to know the bartender pretty well & he would always hook us up with extra stuff whenever we came in. One day, a few weeks after we'd moved there, Alan, Pete & I were sitting at the bar, talking about ways you could kill a Green Lantern using mustard, when the bartender suddenly looked up, smiled a big grin, and yelled out "Hey, Ted! Long time, no see!".

I looked over my shoulder, not thinking anything of it, and I saw exactly which Ted he was talking about: not 10 feet behind me stood Ted & Kara, arm in arm....or, hand in hand, rather. I remember that was the first thing that struck me, before I even had time to be shocked. She's holding his hand, I thought. She never held my hand in public...hell, I've never seen her hold anybody's hand in public...or private, for that matter.

They saw me at about the same moment I saw them, and Ted turned away from me as fast as he could. He waved his hand to the bartender & headed back into the restaurant. Kara looked at me for just a split second, raised her eyebrow & the corner of her mouth, and then she looked away just as fast. She smiled at Ted's friend & turned to follow him to their table.

Alan & Pete both looked over at me; I was still staring at the two of them walking off. Somewhere around this time, I started to breathe again. I turned around slowly & just sat there for a second...nobody had said anything yet. I remember I took a sip from my glass, looked up at the bartender & asked him "So you know Ted, huh?".

He replied "Oh yeah; his brother used to tend bar here with me; he comes in all the time."

I sat my drink down, looked over at the guys, nodded & said "We gotta go." They indulged me. They also agreed, for the time being, to indulge me in the new rule I made that day: We don't go to Chili's anymore.

I remember everything that happened that day like it was yesterday, and I remember that when I walked out of that bar, I started to think about the last year...about Maria, and all the drama with Veronica, and the two whirlwind weekends with Roxanne, and my promise to myself to get the hell over it all...and I realized that none of it had made much difference after all; seeing her again was like having my heart run through a wringer. And seeing her there, smiling next to Ted, in a way that she would never have done with me, hit me like a ton of bricks. Yeah, I had seen the guilt in his eyes, too (in his, not in hers), but that didn't make it any better. I got amazingly drunk that night.

Over the next few days, I tried my best to slowly stop feeling sorry for myself, but I know I spent enough time moping around the house to annoy Alan. I remember he & Mindy even tried to bring over the Pink Power Ranger to cheer me up one night, but she ended up passing out on our sofa, drunk on wine coolers, before any cheering up could happen...and I knew that was just as well.

Eventually, I got tired of feeling that way again & managed to kick the whole thing back out of my mind...or as far as it could be kicked, at least. Life went on as usual for a little while, with nary a female in the mix. We had pretty well settled into the apartment, and by that time, I had been at my job for over a year, so I was pretty complacent there, as well. In other words, I slacked off a lot. A huge amount of my time at that place was spent reading comics, doing crosswords, or talking on the phone. One or more of my idiot friends was usually hanging around there as well, so it had become another one of our little hubs.

One night about a month after the incident, I was at work, getting ready to close up the store, and I decided to give Pete a call to see what he was up to, just like I had done a thousand times before. When he answered the phone, however, I could tell something was up; he sounded...distracted. Not like I-had-called-while-he-was-having-sex distracted, but I knew there was something he wasn't telling me....or something he was trying to & didn't know how. I asked him what was going on & he said that he had just been surprised by some company dropping in just a minute before I called. I asked him who it was, and he said "Well, Heidi's here..." but then his voice trailed off. He didn't have to say anything else; anywhere Heidi is, she's going to have a certain someone with her. But before I could ask him who else was there, he told me to hold on, and he put the phone down...

I knew what was probably going on...Heidi had stopped in to see how Pete was, and she had a certain friend of hers in tow, and I had just happened to call right in the middle of it. It was awkward, but like I said, we were all friends & I had faced this kind of awkwardness before. What I didn't understand is why Pete hadn't just hung up the phone, but had told me to wait on the line instead. I sat there for a minute or so & I heard muffled voices on the other end, and then I heard them get farther away. Then I just heard silence...and what I thought might be the sound of someone breathing. Then, I knew exactly what was about to happen...

After a moment or so, I said "Hello?", and after another moment's silence in response, she answered me in that unmistakable tone of hers.

"Hello.", Kara said...



6 Comments:

Blogger Mint Tulip recalled...

That's about the only thing I hate about living in a small town...you never know when people you don't really want (or need) to see will just pop up out of nowhere. And, just out of curiousity, did you REALLY finish your dishes? All of them? :-)

Thursday, December 01, 2005 9:16:00 PM  
Blogger Frankie recalled...

no way.

no FREAKIN way.

Thursday, December 01, 2005 9:42:00 PM  
Blogger ambrus recalled...

omigosh
omigosh
omigosh

you can't stop there! C'mon EXBF ... don't be so mean.

I gotta say I think Kara is my favourite. I have a feeling she might the worst ... but man there is just something about her.

Thursday, December 01, 2005 9:48:00 PM  
Blogger Charlotte recalled...

well that was JUST mean!

Thursday, December 01, 2005 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger Emily recalled...

C'mon dont leave us hanging like that! You haven't written in so long, you could at least leave us with some satisfaction!

Friday, December 02, 2005 12:33:00 AM  
Blogger ExBF recalled...

I did most of the dishes...most of 'em.

Friday, December 02, 2005 1:48:00 PM  

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