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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 that she bummed a cigarette from one of the bar's workers, forgetting she had quit smoking twenty five years ago.....a year after...
The First Job
Marcy had been on her first job. A high powered extremely pressurised position, which, despite everything, she had loved. She was so thin, at the time, 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. When her hair touched her cheeks she called it, 'angel kisses'.
Then she met Darby. He was everything she wanted. He had that slightly hippy style, and an ease of himself, besides being well built. In fact, it was his shoulders which caught her eye first, then his chest and arms, then she saw his face. He had seen her looking at him, and gave her a half smile.
She was caught.
Not One of Those...
They began dating, 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, 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 had stared at him. Stared in shock when he defined their relationship as a 'hook-up', He had returned her stare, looking at her as if she were an idiot.
Every second of that interlude was branded in her mind, on her soul.
He stared, she had walked away. Walked away, faster and faster in the night, then she saw the bus and jumped on.
She had 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. When she looked around, she realised...and followed him off.
She had gotten off the bus.
She had been, two blocks from her house. She began to run, run as if pursued by demons.
As she came to the entrance of her building, she stopped, caught her breath. When composed, she entered. She walked to the elevator, in and up to her floor. She had emerged, walking slowly, reached her door and unlocked it and entered
It was ten forty, her parents were still awake. They were in their room, watching T.V. She called out, then went into the bathroom.
She wanted to shower but did not. If she did, it would make it seem like ‘something happened’ so she just brushed her teeth, popped out, into her room.
She carefully hung up her clothes.
“Marcy, you alright?” her mother had called.
“Oh Yeah...” she replied.
“We’ll talk tomorrow..” her mother said. Being a Mommy person, knew something was wrong.
The Day after the Day After
Marcy had a very bad night, then spoke to her mother in the morning. She had revealed everything, or almost everything.
Marcy had been so upset, she did not want to see Darby. Not ever.
On that Monday morning, she had called her office, said she was sick and wouldn’t be in. Then dressed and went to look for another job. Another job in a different area.
She searched all morning, and by late afternoon, found one. It was not as good
as the job she was leaving but it would do.
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.
She had been quite careful.
Darby always took lunch from twelve to one so snuck out at 11:50. Marcy arrived at the office eleven thirty, and virtually hid until she saw Darby passing. Then she went upstairs, 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 there was no problem. Many people can’t finish their six month probation due to the pressure, so Marcy became one of them.
Her boss 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 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.
After Marcy had left her job, Darby rang her once. She didn’t answer. That was the last she had heard from him.
She had lived her life, gone on to meet another man, Simon. He wasn’t everything,
but respected her views, as he came from a family as conservative as her’s.
They dated, they kissed, became engaged, got married, had sex on the honeymoon, moved in together.
He died after the birth of their second child. She lived well on his insurance and her job.
Years passed, her children were grown and moved away, and Marcy was on her
To fill empty hours she did the social life thing; museums, plays, all during the day.
In the evening she might go out with friends.
She lived as full a life as a widowed wife and mother presiding over an empty nest.
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 guy...Darby!.
In twenty six years, she had gone from a size one to a size four and due to the gym and diet, down 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. Darby was was making rude announcements.
Marcy couldn't tell you what he said exactly, because she dashed out of the back
exit, before he saw her. Out, in the back alley, smoking a cigarette, and laughing 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.