Yet another chapter from the same yet to be published novel
"Thanks for taking my Mom to the hospital," Mordecai said, praising her.
"I don't drive, so I would've had to call an ambulance."
"Be thankful she drives an automatic."
"I'm just thankful you were there. I wouldn't have been able to help her
"Can I get a kiss in return, then?"
"Well, you'll just have to wait and see."
"Tease . . ."
Mordecai walked with Melia down Pequot Avenue. She kept trying to
hold him by his left hand, his right holding a warm, wet cloth she asked him
for. He kept pulling his hand away from hers, not wanting to lead on the poor
girl. He loved her, but not in that sense. He would not kiss her, either, thinking
he would then be stuck with her. He was afraid of her, or maybe himself,
becoming attached. He was attracted to her both emotionally and sexually, but
realized early on that he had no passion in his heart when he thought of her.
He thought she was intelligent and kind-hearted, despite her fussiness and
her temper. He found her pretty and exotic, even in the clown makeup, and he
loved her body, which was thin, muscular, alkalized and covered with perfect
skin. With regard to all this, he still felt practically nothing for her. At least, he
knew he could never love her the way she deserved. He saw a future with her
that would only bring him emptiness and frustration, and always fought against
the thought that he was being too particular.
"I'd rather be with your best friend," Mordecai said, or at least he thought.
Maybe he only mouthed the words, but no sound came from his mouth. He
was too embarrassed to state this openly to anyone, especially her. For
Mordecai to tell Melia how he really felt would be like telling Leah herself.
The embarrassment Mordecai felt about this was not in the potential shock
that either of them would succumb to if this were found out, but in the fact
that he had waited so long. It had been six months and Mordecai still insisted
on carrying on with this charade, and had no idea how to correct it. He was
thinking that maybe he needed target practice in his encounters with the
opposite sex. There he was aiming for Leah and missing, but only by a
little, hitting the girl standing next to her right in the heart.
Frustrated, Mordecai soon realized the reason for this. It was not so
much that Leah was aloof or defensive, though she was to quite an
extreme. It was not either the fact that Melia was open and flirtatious,
though she was to the same extent that her blood-sister was not.
Simply, he feared such a devastating rejection, since his heart
screamed so loud every time he saw her, he was sure the whole
world could hear it. Melia, on the other hand, made him feel no such
fear. Taking the easy way out, he rationalized that Melia was still an
excellent catch. He was the envy of many of his peers because of her,
and she surely would have bedded him at even the most ambiguous
request. Still, he felt that settling for Melia was just that, settling . . .
perhaps more like unsettling. More likely, he thought, it was the
abomination that was clutching and smothering his heart. Little did
he know, as began to feel this very stranglehold deep in his chest,
Leah was only about a hundred feet away from him on Old South
Melia was well aware of how Leah felt. Had she known how Mordecai
felt, she might have avoided what she would likely end up viewing as
a colossal waste of time. Since she was clueless at that end, she cared
little about Leah's desire to covet. There are three billion men in the
world, she thought. Why does my best friend want me to give up the
only one I want? When this came to light a couple of months earlier,
she could not help but feel her blood-sister was being deliberately
cruel. She would not give up Mordecai until she had tasted his lips,
if not his tongue and also the rest of him. She was sure that
Mordecai was much too shy to be aggressive with her like other
boys she had dated, which he was. She figured she would see
how long she could dangle herself in front of him before he
finally had to give in to her. Her patience had finally run out
earlier this month. She decided it was time to get him alone
and settle this once and for all. Tenacity took her over,
since she had not even a glimmer of what Mordeai really
She asked Mordecai for the hot cloth, which was not so hot,
at this point. She took out a small sample packet of cold
cream and smeared it on her face. She then took the wet
cloth and wiped the clown off of her face. She cleared her
chin, her cheeks, around her eyes and along the upper part
of her neck and, finally, her nose and her lips.
"Why'd you do that?" Mordecai asked, who thought since it
was only eight she could still be in costume. Mordecai, on the
other hand, did not wear a costume, since he had no serious
attachment to the holiday.
"I wanted you to see my face," she said, smiling amorously.
"What for?" he asked, as he rubbed some of the residual white
makeup from her forehead.
"Because . . ." she said, which was followed by nothing verbal.
She simply grabbed the back of his neck with her left hand and
kissed him, passionately. She stuck her tongue in his mouth and
was truly delighted, though Mordecai was not.
"Sorry," he said, as he broke off of her. "I just don't feel the way
Melia's eyes began to tear. For a second or two she refused to
believe it, but looked into his eyes and knew he was serious. She
had no idea what this felt like, except when her father was alive and
replaced love and affection with strict discipline and constant criticism.
"Why?" she asked him, feebly.
He could not bring himself to tell her the truth, so he said nothing. He
saw the tears building up in her eyes. Then she began to walk away
with her sunken head pouting and sobbing.
"Wait," he called as he skipped after her. "I wasn't trying to totally
demoralize you. Let me walk you back to school."
"Don't bother," she said, as she walked faster to stay ahead of him.
"No, I'd like to," he kept saying. "I have to go to the Lodge tonight,
She stopped, and looked up at him. "I have to patrol the other side
of the neighborhood, now. I'm not going back to the school for another
Mordecai saw a nun out of the corner of his eye, or at least a girl
dressed as a nun, walking with what appeared to be two priests. He
disregarded it for the moment.
Melia finally stopped crying. "I'm not used to being rejected. In fact,
it's never happened before." She took his hand in hers. "Just let me
be alone for tonight. I'll talk to you again in a day or two."
"You'll be alright?"
"Sure . . ." she responded, a little unsure of herself.
They both looked toward the town center. They saw Sorrel, the girl
dressed as a nun, with two boys. The one on the left was dressed as
Abraham Linclon. The one on the right was dressed as Benjamin Franklin.
They both kissed her about the face as she turned to one and then the
other. They both clawed at her habit, trying to get a feel of what was
Melia was appalled.
"Wow," Mordecai said softly.
"Yeah," Melia began, as she decided to elaborate. "I'm not Catholic. In
fact, I hate Catholics! But that is just f***ed up!"
They both stood and stared, for a moment, in repulsed awe.
"Yikes!" cried a voice from behind them. Melia turned first.
"Rosanna!" she yelled, excitedly, as she saw her with a huge bag of
Mordecai turned and was surprised to see the goddess of his universe
standing before him. He looked at her costume and felt it was appropriate,
for he was totally bewitched. He insisted he was going to speak to her this
time, but his heart would not listen to his brain. He resigned himself to
feeling foolish, yet again.
"Do we go up Westway?" Melia asked her.
Leah nodded, and began to stare at the object of her affection. He did
not seem to notice. She thought if she smiled at him, she would encourage
him, but found it hard to smile with her heart beating through her chest and
with her stomach pressing against her throat she also found it difficult to
breathe. She did not even notice Rosanna looking up at her, offering a
sympathetic look as though the lovesickness was so strong it could be
felt by those around her.
"Mordecai has to go to the Lodge," Melia said with an energetic and
determined voice. "So he can't join us."
They must've had a fight, Leah thought, as she panted, for the butterflies
in her stomach were inseminating many flowers.
Rosanna's eyes lit up, as she moved closer to him, staring intently.
"You're Mordecai?! Wow! I've heard about you."
Leah gave Melia a look of great alarm, like DefCon One. Melia quickly
jumped toward Rosanna and covered her mouth with her hand. She
would have hated to see her sister so embarrassed.
Leah regarded all this as self-inflicted and consequential. Rosanna
must have asked her at least a dozen times, 'what boys do you like?',
before Leah finally gave in and spilled her guts to her. When she did,
she was suddenly sickened with the feeling that what had just happened
would soon happen.
"C'mon, Rosanna," said Melia, leading her away. "We only have an hour
to get through this end of the neighborhood." They walked off, down
towards the shore.
Mordecai failed to comprehend what he had just heard, his frustration
escalating as he walked back towards the Lodge.
Leah turned to him as he walked away. She was frustrated as well,
having braced herself for an actual conversation.