Part three of a series.
I scoop up the key card and the phone. I slide them into my left pants pocket. I see Jenny emerge out into the bar room from a dark hall. My eyes watch every step. She has with purpose. This time it’s a strut. Using her legs she puts a little twist into her body. She is walking tall, shoulders back. Her eyes lite like candles.
Behind her, a shark circles. Dead eyes locked in squarely on Jenny’s back. Chloe’s body moving with exaggerated movement. He race run with grace. Her body floats across the floor. My eyes are stuck on both of them. This strange coming together of bodies revels in my thoughts.
“Are you two ready to order?” Chloe announces her presence.
“Dear god, why would you do that?!” Jenny spins around to look slightly down on her younger foe. Her rage stays pushing up at the skin without breaking through. “Two specials, with salads.”
I stare at them a foot apart. I see them both undressed. One, every curve, every freckle, every scar, I can reconstruct from memory of several years. The other, pieces honed by careful observation fueled by desire to make the image real. My left pocket burns from the key to that very image.
Jenny drops in her chair. Her long bob rocks into place gently touching her shoulders. Her eyes meet mine. ” Well that was rude! I can believe she did that to me! You seen her come up on me. Did you know she would do that? Did you care? You were just looking.”
Jenny picks up her drink.
I am halfway through mine. I agree with her. The half hearted men response. It’s ‘yes,dear’, we all know patronizing. But civil, instead of sarcastic.
“So, Matt tries to take over the project! I’m in the meeting Roger wants new graphics again. Matt, he goes ‘I think you’re right. We should change that right away’. I jump up and say ‘we agreed last week on the graphics. There are the printer already. We can keep changing and make the deadline.” Jenny talks fast about work.
I’m lost. I’m not sure of what’s being said. I look at her. The woman I see everyday drones on about work. Days get lost into years. Vanilla actually begins to show flavor.
“Are you even listening?” Jenny throws the marital challenge at me.
“Matt’s a weasel. If Roger says you ask should work naked, he’d agree. How many times does he do that a day? Roger has to see it, babe.” I catch the basics. It never changes.
Saved by the food. The daily grind pauses. Quite moments are old friends in a marriage. You only see then once in awhile.
Jenny jumps. Her phone rings. She gets up and walks away, phone planted in her ear.
Chloe circles into my world behind her.
“Can I get you something else? I know what you’re having for dessert. You are hungry for a little extra still? I got another special for you. You better be using the key. I’ll be there in two hours.” Chloe starts with a whisper in my ear. She slowly turns out faces a little more than a foot apart.
Her lips are glossy. Her skin flawless. Her brown eyes, a chocolate that longs to be tasted. My body rises up in the chair. A flash catches my eye. I turn away from Chloe slightly.
“Do you want another drink, Jenny?” I catch her glaring at me. I don’t know what was heard.
“I need box. Got to go back. Roger figured out who gets the corner office. I got that bastard, Matt this time.” Jenny’s a warrior. Her battle face fully on. I’m not her target, now.
Chloe fades into the background. Like a shadow hides from the light.
“I got a couple things to do on the way home. I’ll finish up on my own then. Do I call you Executive Vice President Jenny now?” I try a joke on her. It dies miserable death.
Chloe watches her leave. She stays st the bar until Jenny clears the door. There’s a creepiness to the way I see it. She begins her decent on to me. New drink in her hand for me. A box in the other.
“One more glass of courage. I want you to make good on that promise of what you would like to do to me.” Chloe is bordering on evil as she talks. Every word absorbs into my waiting ears.
My eyes light up more than before. My breath is deep enough to taste the air. My heart beats like a teenager finding lust for the first time. Even the drink tastes different. I nurse the drink. It’s warmth travels in my veins. I drift. I see the object of desire. She’s an angel. She’s a devil. She is a line that I will cross over again and again. The feelings get stronger as the drink gets shorter.
My keys in my hand, I head for the door. I walk like a conquering hero. I know what waits on my future. The world outside is much brighter. I see the old black Nissan waiting. It’s a short ride to a place a long way from my life. A few exits to paradise.
I get on the freeway. It’s heavier than normal. I can’t seem to merge over between trucks. One keeps drifting toward my mirror. I slow a bit to avoid the crazy man. Slowly the next truck does the same. The rear wheels catch the hood of my car. My mind realizes I’m three lanes over . My world goes black.
“Jenny, do you have a tv near you!” An excited Chloe screams in a giddy voice. “He’s gone! The traffic accident is all over the news. I told you we could do it.”
“You shouldn’t call me! They find out. Get rid of the phone. We’ll talk later. Oh my god. I love you so much. But we have to be careful.”