The Kindness of Fate
Leaving the Bar
Marcy ran from the bar, pushing through the side exit. In the silent alley, she exploded into laughter. She laughed until tears rolled down her face. And then she wondered if she were laughing or crying.
She was so confused, she bummed a cigarette from a worker, forgetting she had quit smoking twenty five years ago.....a year after...
The First Job
Marcy was at her first job. A high powered extremely pressurised position, which she loved. She was so thin she wore a size one. Her long brown hair was so well tended it gleamed and she loved the way it felt around her face, angel kisses.
Then she met Darby. He was everything she wanted. He had that slightly hippy style, and an ease of himself. He was well built. It was his shoulders which caught her eye first, then his chest and arms, then she saw his face. He gave her a half smile.
She was caught.
Not One of Those...
They dated immediately, and soon they were a couple. He wanted her to move in with him. She wanted to think about it.
To her, the path was meet, date, engage, marry, move in together, have sex. Okay, the sex can came after engagement, or on engagement. But the moving in together should come after the engagement, at least.
To move in with him, after a few dates; to have sex after a few dates, before there was anything like a commitment...no.
“I’m not like that...” she said.
“What are you like?” he asked with an almost sneer.
“I am like.. I am not one of those hook ups.”
“You’re not a hook up? This isn’t a hook up?” he exclaimed.
She hadn’t answered. She had stared. That moment proved Einstein’s theory of relativity. She stared for a month; although the clock would prove forty two seconds.
She stared, her life, like vomit behind her teeth.
Just a Hook up
She thought they were in love.
At least she was in love.
She loved him.
She had bent and twisted her life to fit his. She went with him to places she didn’t enjoy, but wanted to be with him. She thought he loved her.
She thought it was love at first sight.
She didn’t, until that moment, realise she was no more than a casual hook up. A gal who attracted him and he’d hang with until someone else came along. She was a place mark, an easy mark, nothing.
She thought they were in love.
But he defined their relationship as no more than a hook up.
She stared at him, he looked at her as if she were an idiot.
Then she turned and walked away. Walked, faster and faster in the night, until she saw the bus and jumped on.
She sat on the bus, so confused she almost passed her stop. She would have passed her stop if the person sitting next to her hadn’t jarred her when he stood, and when she looked around, she realised...and followed him off.
Now she was on the street, two blocks from her house. She began to run, run as if pursued by demons.
As she came to the entrance, she stopped, caught her breath. When composed, she entered the building, came up on the elevator. To her door, opened, and in.
It was ten forty, her parents were still awake. They were in their room, watching T.V. She called out, and went into the bathroom.
She wanted to shower but it would like ‘something happened’ so she just brushed her teeth and popped out, into her room, to hang up her clothes.
“Marcy, you alright?” her mother called.
“Yeah...” she said.
“We’ll talk tomorrow..” replied her mother, who knew something was wrong.
The Day after the Day After
Marcy had a bad night, spoke to her mother in the morning.
They decided on strategy.
Marcy did not want to see Darby. Not ever.
She called her office on Monday morning, and said she was sick and wouldn’t be in. Then she dressed and went to look for another job. Another job in a different area.
She searched all morning, and by the afternoon she found one. It was not as good as the job she left, but reasonable.
The next day, sans make-up, her hair under a scarf, wearing dark glasses and an old coat, she went to what had been her office.
Darby took lunch from 12 to 1 so snuck out at 11:50.
Marcy arrived at noon. She spoke to her boss in a dull low voice. She told him she had to leave, the pressure was too much and she wasn’t well.
As she’d only worked there for three months it wasn’t a problem. Many people can’t finish their six month probation due to the pressure.
He was very nice, told her that she could use him for a reference for her work had been excellent and he had no idea she couldn’t cope.
“Neither did I until...” she said, waving a hand to suggest that Something Happened.
He told her he’d have her accrued pay put into her account and shook her hand. She was out of the building by 12:27, and got as far away as she could, spending the rest of the day sitting in a park, looking at nothing.
Darby rang her up once, she didn’t answer. And that was the last she had heard from him.
She’d gone on to meet another man, Simon, who wasn’t everything, but respected her views, as he came from a family as conservative as her’s.
They dated, they kissed, they becamet engaged, they got married, they had sex on the honeymoon, they moved in together.
He died after the birth of their second child, and she lived well on his insurance and her job.
Then her children were grown and she was on her own. To fill empty hours she did the social life thing; museums, plays, all during the day, unless she had friends to go with her during the evening.
In The Bar
This evening she’d walked into this bar (although that wasn’t what it was called) to have a Daiquiri. She had not had one for years.
She was sitting at the bar when she heard a voice.
A sneering annoyed voice, and recognised it.
There, arguing with a much younger woman, who was leaving, stood an overweight, sloppily dressed, balding, loud mouth.
In twenty six years, she had gone from a size one to a size four and now to a size three. Her hair wasn’t very long and slightly dyed. She knew she looked forty-ish, not forty six. But he looked fifty nine.
The female, not all that pretty, had said something like “Go to Hell...” and was storming out of the bar, and he was making announcements.
Marcy didn’t hear them, because she’d dashed out of the back exit, before he saw her, and laughed until she cried.
The man she had loved so much, the man who hurt her, so much, was now, alone, in a bar, trying to pick up ... no trying to make 'hook-ups’... with women old enough to be his daughter. Women who didn’t want to be in the same bar that he was.
Marcy went to her purse, wiped her eyes, took a glance in her compact mirror.
Pleased with her appearance, she strode to the roadside, waved for a taxi, and went to the house she had lived with Simon.
She had the driver let her off on the corner, and went into the shop. She bought a bottle of wine, and went home to celebrate.
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