March 14th, 2006, 09:37 PM
HB Forum Owner
Well, if you told me you were drowning,
I would not lend a hand.
I?ve seen your face before my friend,
But I don?t know if you know who I am.
Well, I was there and I saw what you did,
I saw it with my own two eyes.
So you can wipe off the grin, I know where you?ve been,
<u>It?s all been a pack of lies.</u></center>
March 15th, 2006, 01:30 AM
HB Forum Owner
The last time he found himself here the situation was very different. Roles were reversed, paths were crossed, hearts were pasted into something as real as possible. It wasn't love, or lust, or anything so cliche: it was just marriage. Just two names on the same piece of paper, two hands donning golden rings, two people with the same last night. There was no love. There was no fate. There was no doubt about that.
Now, Ian walked down the sidewalk not as a broken man, but as a whole man. It was never about being half of a whole -- except for the fact that he was half of a very whole mess -- and it was never about not owning up to his faults. She knew he was faulted. She knew he was broken. But, she also knew when he pasted himself back together (which he always did, with no help from her) he became a mosaic of a man that was bold and strong. Crass, and witty. Hopeful, and helpless. He wasn't out to save the world; hell, he wasn't out to save himself. And he certainly wasn't out to save their marriage. It was unfair to say the sky that spilled like sheen oil over the horizon was anything like his heart. He wasn't so heartless, he was just bored. He needed something to occupy his time. A simple nine-to-five with an overly large house and the random play on Friday and Saturday nights just weren't enough.
Really, he needed a challenge.
Ian started to find codes to crack. They started out simple; his ex-wife's garage door keypad, for starters. It took him exactly seven hours to crack it -- though, not in the same day. There were many starts and stops. When her black Range Rover purred from down the street, he could hear it; the Range Rover she bought with his money, to park in the garage that was attached to the house that was built on the land that was all paid for with his money. Not her money. Not her children's money. They didn't have children, it wasn't necessary. At any rate, he'd hear the purr and worked up to the very second the lights twisted and turned to stare a bright blaze down the driveway. She never saw him. She was always too busy checking the rearview mirror for lipstick smudges, or fooling around with the stereo complete with XM radio. She was always too busy checking her hair for mussed pieces, or reaching into her consol to put her Gucci sunglasses away -- which, of course, he paid for. He paid with the very breath he breathed. He paid for all of it, and he would until the day that crazy bitch was laying face down in a gutter.
But we wouldn't want something so drastic to happen, now, would we?
Now, as he sat across the living room from his loving ex-wife, he couldn't help but clench his teeth and tighten his jaw to hold his tongue. She sat there with her brunette hair, crossing her slender legs as she offered the sweetest smile she could muster. He sat there with a block for a jaw, his Adam's Apple jumping in his throat as he cleared away the cobwebs of speech that had built up over the months since their last meeting. They were such strangers, yet they were such similar creatures. They had their eye on the thing, and one thing only: getting rid of each other.
"What do you want, Ian?" She purred quietly, her supine spine curling against the back of the chair.
"You know what I want, Monica."
"Mm, well, I've got about ten minutes, we'd have time for a nap."
He gave a short exhale instead of a laugh, dragging his thumb over the square of his jaw. "I'm not talking about your cunt, sweetheart."
"Really? In that case, I don't know what you want." Her language dripped off her tongue like wine. It made him feel absolutely wretched.
"For starters, you could shut your mouth." He could feel the bile bubbling up from his gut, his mouth filling with saliva. Why the fuck did I even come here? "Secondly, you could give me my money back."
"Oh, but love, I--"
"Don't start your bullshit, just write a check."
"Do I need to get my lawyer, Ian?"
"No, but I'll tell you what you do need to get."
Monica's face fell into something smoldering, her eyes hooded with eyelids that wore too much makeup for their own good. She sat for a long moment, swinging her leg in common time, before she pulled up from the chair and moved into the adjoining kitchen. She'd always wanted a great room, and Ian never let her have one. Now, she had it. And didn't pay a lick for any of it. Pulling the refrigerator door open, she took out a chilled bottle of water, nudging the door closed with her hip. Her fingers worked to unscrew the cap, her eyes focusing on him. "I think you should go."
Pushing up from his chair, he gave a mock bow, and slung his hands into his pockets as he headed for the backdoor. "Your wish is my command, honey."
A muzzle would suit just perfectly.
March 15th, 2006, 10:04 PM
HB Forum Owner
Come on, motherfucker...
The door slid open easily and nearly silently. The Plexi glass had smudge marks from Darla and Scooter, the (devil) cats that constantly pawed at the door wanting in or out. It didn't matter if it was fucking ninety degrees outside, they wanted outside if they were inside -- and it didn't matter if it was loud and crowded inside, they wanted inside if they were outside. Why Monica bought the cats to begin with was beyond Ian; it could have been any number of reasons, but his best bet was on the simple fact that he was allergic. She'd make him die a slow and painful death if she could -- that was, if he didn't get to her first.
Day four, and Ian had figured out three of seven codes to the various hotspots around the house. There was the garage door (cracked quickly), the back door (cracked secondly), the front door (cracked thirdly, over a package of red roped Twizzlers), and now the sliding glass door that loomed on the side of the house in the shade of a large weeping willow planted just after the house was built (circa 1920-something -- the house, not the sliding door). Once opened, the door led into a large Florida room that offered bright sunlight with pale splashes of colors: flamingo pink throw pillows tossed neatly over a cream-colored couch, with a Berber carpet mixed with salmon and baby blue. It was exactly four-twelve, and Ian synchronized his watch with the wall-clock which read three minutes ahead: four-fifteen. Today was Wednesday, and Monica always spent Wednesdays with her god-daughter Samantha.
Samantha was a fifteen-year-old straight out of an Anthropologie catalogue. Between her excellent marks and her stunning looks, she often had a hard time juggling her full schedule of homework, socializing, and competing in gymnastics. Every day -- but more importantly every Wednesday -- the school bell would ring at exactly three-thirty-six, and Samantha was picked up by Monica and brought to the gym to work out. They would run a mile -- together -- at exactly four point eight miles per hour. They would go to the bathroom and wash their faces, chittering around about the latest television shows, the latest hairstyles, et cetera. From there, they would go to Panera Bread and order salads, and take them to the terrace to eat -- unless it was raining, then they salads would be brought back to Monica's house to be eaten in the Florida room.
Today, however, it was not raining.
Sliding the glass door closed behind him, Ian walked toe-heel versus heel-toe to keep his shoes silent while he paced to the refrigerator. Twenty-six steps exactly. He opened the door, pulled out a bottled water, and closed the door before walking to the answering machine. Three steps. Forty-five seconds total so far. Silently, his hands pantomimed as he pretended to unscrew the lid from the bottle, walking to the waste bin. Forty-seven seconds. Then, he perched on a stool at the island situated mostly center in the kitchen, positioning himself at a quarter-angle to the stool to his right.
"How was your day today," he began silently, his mouth still while he gestured with his hands. He sat, pantomimed a sip from the bottle, and nodded his head silently. "I do wish Ian could see you, my, you've grown so tall."
Smirking, he slid out of his straddle from the stool, walking back to the refrigerator to deposit the unused bottle of water to its proper place, then proceeded to walk toe-heel back to the Florida room. One minute, thirty seconds. He'd account for their actual eating at a later date in time -- now that he cracked the code, he could get in whatever he pleased. Monica set it to her mother's birthday, and would not reset it unless she was given a reason to.
Just as Ian entered the Florida room, he immediately disappeared, leaving no trace behind.
It promptly started to rain.
March 24th, 2006, 05:49 AM
HB Forum Owner
Why can't I breathe? I can't breathe! I can't feel my veins, I'm sinking, I-- oh, God, I'm drowning. Heaven help me, I can't fucking see anything, it's so dark in here. Am I alive? I don't see a light, I-- Ian? Ian, I smell you. I feel you breathing; is that you? Why can't I--
"Last night, I had the strangest dream."
"You're not going to start singing Simon and Garfunkel now, are you?"
"How do you even know who they are?"
"One of the kids has them on their iPod at school."
"Wow. Shouldn't you have Backstreet Boys or John Mayer or something a little more... poppy?"
"I like John Mayer a little. Not as much as Jack Johnson. Did you know he has a new album out for Curious George?"
"I didn't even know they made a movie of Curious George."
"Where have you been?"
"It's not where I've been, it's what movies I've seen."
"You like adult movies."
"You like John Mayer."
"So do you!"
"Well, that's true. I do."
"So are you going to tell me about your dream?"
"Mm, I don't think your mother would appreciate it."
"Why not? Were you having sex with someone?"
"Why? I'm fifteen, I'm not in middle school or something."
"You know about sex?"
"You know about sex? Come on, Monica. Haven't you ever watched Fifteen With Syphilis on Lifetime?"
Monica just blinked.
"I'm kidding. Yes, I know about sex."
"Well no, it wasn't about sex. It was about Ian."
"Oh. You saw him?"
"He came over a few days ago. We still have some divorce issues to work out."
"I don't understand divorce."
"I hope you never have to go through it. Ever."
"Why did you get divorced?"
"Sorry, I won't bring it up again."
"No, it's alright. It's just... difficult."
"I'm fifteen, remember. Not middle school."
"I know, I know." She paused a moment, thinking. "Sometimes people rush into things without really thinking things through first."
"And... we didn't really think marriage through. We liked the idea of marriage, but when it came down to it, we... well, this isn't really appropriate. You'll understand when--"
"When I'm older."
"Yes, when you're older."
It's happening again. Why is it happening again? God, if you're there, can you help me? My lungs are stuck-- I-- I'm dizzy. I was almost asleep, and now this... this thing won't leave me alone. What is this? A pillow. A fucking pillow. Maybe if I-- I can't move my mouth, I think I-- I can't feel my legs! God! I can't feel my fucking legs!
"I think we have to talk."
"Apparently, since you called me."
"This isn't a joke, Ian."
"I... I keep having these dreams. And I wake up and I'm suffocating."
"I knew you wouldn't be mature about this."
"How is my asking you what value this conversation has to me being immature?"
"Ian, you're the one choking me in my dreams."
"That's right. Oh."
"I guess maybe I haven't let go."
"Yes, you have. You did a long time ago. Remember? When you fucked Joseph in ou--"
"Okay, alright. I made a mistake, don't bring it up again."
"Look. I want my fucking money back."
"I'm having dreams about you killing me, and all you can think about is money?"
"I pledged my fucking life to you, and all you could think about was fucking Joseph?"
"This was a mistake."
"Of course it was. It always is with you."
"Are you sure they're dreams?"
"What do you mean?"
"Just something to think about."
March 29th, 2006, 11:44 PM
HB Forum Owner
She laughed quietly, sounding rather recluse. Subdued. Tranquil. By that, one should not associate her with something serene -- she was simply drugged -- and her veins were covered in a sooty ash of liquor and Dramamine. When she laughed, she looked like a lanky crane, her long neck stretched even further in an attempt for her head to gracefully swing, her hair falling back in languid strings across her shoulder. The attempt was noted, however it hardly produced the kind of results she'd long hoped for.
"Ian, you're so suave. I swear I've known you a thousand years." Her rosebud lips pursed and puckered naturally, the corners of her mouth vying for attention, pulling back the curtain of her lips to produce a bubblegum-like tongue that dotted a thin line along her bottom lip. "Or maybe you're just the Devil incarnate, hmm?"
I didn't answer her; I sat and watched her from across the table, mimicking that of a clone waiting for the last drop of elixir before being thrust towards life. This woman had haunted my dreams, yet there was no stigmatism when we met in person. All I could do was compare her lips to that of the single rose left sitting on the cleanly pressed linen, so stark against the blood-licked petals. She caught me staring.
"Ian, have some wine. Or is that unkind of me to offer, given you're paying for the meal?" Her mouth drew itself into a sanguine trail of gloss, an elbow moving to spike against the same linen the thorn-threaded stem lay upon. Here, her chin gently hit the back of loosely curled fingers, and I counted the notches of her knuckles as she cradled her chin so.
"Don't you find silence as intoxicating as language?" The thought of posing the question as something casual had come to mind, though somehow I felt readjusting my napkin in my lap and leaning back in my chair was all wrong. Instead, my eyes simply stayed just where they were: watching the arc of her mouth. I suppose it wasn't necessary for my tongue to wet my lips regardless of how dry they were, but it did anyway, and in doing so I watched Cheryl blatantly shift in her seat. I was no longer watching the notches of her knuckles, but now I watched the side of her neck. I watched the thin spaghetti strap that fell from the knob of her shoulder, and from beneath the table, I felt a single stiletto hit the floor as it dropped away from her foot, her leg stretching out casually for the ball of her foot to slide against my shin. Her attempts at being smooth were hardly attractive; then again, women rarely attracted me anymore. I found them to be nothing but worms. Pretty little worms, that squirmed their way right into my pocket. Right into my wallet. Right into my bank.
"I think we should go, it's getting late." Her mouth mustered something sweet, regardless of how catastrophic her eyes were. Only catastrophic, because I could spot bedroom-bred eyes anywhere. That, and I knew very well it wasn't past eight-thirty at best.
Making love was never something I intended to do, though if it helped along the process, I'd play into it as much as needed. Her home was nothing much to speak of -- a small colonial I feel quite certain her father purchased for her as a belated wedding present -- and I felt that I suddenly had made a mistake in choosing her to be my first. It wasn't that she wasn't beautiful (she could be rather striking if only she didn't try so hard), but she was too easy. She didn't put up a murmur of a fight, let alone a howl. I suppose if pressing my lips to her throat was part of the game, I was winning. It started in the foyer, not much after she'd closed the door behind the both of us and set her small black handbag on a marble pillar just to the right of the door. Though, her skin was hardly was what on my mind upon contact. Instead, I silently grieved for lobster I never had the honor of touching. A bottle of 1923 Sauvignon that barely made it down my throat. A healthy tip for a waiter who was the highlight of my evening given he held a pleasant smile and a casual stride. I could feel my mouth starting to tremble as I thought about the time we'd wasted as we waited to be seated at a table that should have held one of the finest dinners to be had this year. And to my chagrin, she enjoyed it.
She refused to fight. She gave in so quickly, and so impetuously, I had no choice but to follow her up the stairs. Already, she was trying to shed clothes that didn't exist. Already, she was imagining her head leaning back to fall against a pillow that I knew she would expect me to guide her towards. Gently, mind you; it would have been rather ungentlemanly of me to let her simply drop to her misery.
I suppose I should feel something for the fact that when the pearls of her spine hit the mattress, it wasn't because we were making love, but because she'd ingested her fate. I suppose I also should feel something for staining her creme-colored satin sheets, newly purchased as I could still smell the newness of them waft through the air the moment I entered the bedroom. I suppose I should feeling something for the fact that such creme-colored sheets were not marred by my own fluid, but by hers that matched each beautiful rose petal that eventually would cripple and fall against the linen of the table just as she fell against the mattress of the bed. The beauty of it all, was the fact that her divorce had been final just twenty-seven hours prior to our date. Not to mention, her ex-husband left fingerprints in all of the right places.
The shame of it all, was the fact that it was just so easy.
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