“It’s been a long day,” Angie said. “We’ll talk about this in the morning.”
“Oh, you end the conversation right now!” I said.
“There’s nothing left to say.”
“Nothing left to say?” I said. “Nothing left to say?”
Angie threw her hands in the air. “It’s not like you’re so perfect.”
“I didn’t kill anyone, Dear.”
“It was an accident,” Angie said. “I threw him in the back of my truck, and I headed home. All I ask is you help me dispose of his body.”
How did it happen again?” I cocked my head back and crinkled my eyes.
“Like I said — I was driving home, and he walked out in the street.” Angie raised then lowered her arms. “Just came out of nowhere.”
“You mean, he was crossing the street, and you hit him?”
Angie bites her fingernail. “You make it sound worse than it was.”
“You killed someone. That’s kind of a big deal.”
“He’s some homeless guy,” Angie said. “No one will miss him.”
I shook my finger. “I’ll help you, but don’t go bragging to your friends when you get plastered.”
Angie made a zipping motion across her lips.
“Grab his feet.”
“Now?” Angie yawned. “I’m tired as hell.”
“Yes now, you idiot!” I said. “What did you think we’re waiting until the morning?”
Angie shrugged. “Well, excuse me.”
We loaded the man’s body in the back of the truck to throw him over some out-of-the-way cliff. In Yakima, Washington, there were plenty of wide-open spaces to dispose of a body.
“You and you’re drunk driving,” I said.
Angie shifted her body to me. “I wasn’t drunk this time. I swear it.”
Angie’s tight-lipped stare convinced me she was telling the truth. We passed the Richland lake, but there were campers out there. So, we continued to Vantage to toss the man’s body over the edge of a cliff.
“I’m out of shape.” I heaved, lifting the man’s body. Dust hovered as the body rolled down the embankment. Angie clapped the dust off her hands.
“Let’s get out of here,” I said.
As we traveled back to the house, the ride was silent until Angie bursts out in laughter.
“I’m glad you think this is funny,” I said.
“No, I’m laughing at you, Dear.”
“Well, share it with the class; what’s so funny?”
“It was a mannequin, not a real body. I wanted to see if you’d do anything for me.”
“You mean, it was a cruel test?”
“Don’t find it funny?”
My unmovable eyes bulged when a grin tugged at the corner of my mouth. “You’re crazy.”
“And that’s why you love me.”
“And that’s the truth, Dear,” I said.
Mary puffed her lips and folded her arms. “That’s so not the truth!”
“Look, I just don’t love you anymore.”
“But, you can’t be over me. You can’t. It’s like illegal to be over me,” Mary said.
“I’m sorry, Mary. It’s over.”
“It’s not over until I say it’s over.”
“Don’t make me call the police.”
“Wouldn’t be the first time the cops came here because of you.”
“You’re still on probation from the last time you busted out my windows, Dear.”
“Dear?” Mary said. “Don’t you break it off and then call me dear.”
I waved. “This is what I’m talking about, Mary. Everything I say or do is wrong. And it’s just so wrong.”
“I’ll change,” Mary said. “I’ll go to counseling and shit. I’ll take anger management. I’ll do anything; just don’t tell me you don’t love me.”
I gave her a tight-lipped stare.
“Don’t go acting like you have all this self-confidence without me.”
“I think you’d better leave.”
“I’m not going anywhere,” Mary said. “I’m not giving up on us.”
I threw my hands in the air. “God… you’re unbearable.”
“Maybe so. But you still love me.”
I covered a grin.
“There’s that sexy smile of yours peeking through.”
“Damn it, Mary.”
“What? You’re going to break it off after everything we’ve been through?”
“Maybe that’s the point: We’ve been through too much together.”
“And we’re still together,” Mary said. “Our love is strong.”
“Maybe you’re right–“
“Of course I’m right, Dear.”
(From Dusting off Dreams)
“I just want to get out of this town,” Shannon said. “Any place is better.”
I scratched the back of my neck. “Where?”
Shannon stroked her chin. “Ahh. Seattle. Let’s go to Seattle.”
“And leave the South?” I raised a sly brow.
Shannon blew out her lips then a smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. “Exactly, leave the South.”
We packed our belongings in the back of my Jeep. We passed interstates and highways at speed so fast; I felt like I was drunk.
“What’s with the hurry?” I said.
“I got a surprise.”
“You? A surprise?” I laughed.
“Surprises are so not like you,” I said.
“You’re going to like this one.”
“Maybe we could find a home. A place of our own.”
“We’ll rent something until we can find the perfect home.”
We entered highways with patches of evergreen trees on either side and light rain.
“Didn’t you grow up in Seattle?” I said.
Shannon’s eyes darted to me, and she nodded, returning her eyes to the road.
We pulled into the driveway of an empty house. “What are we doing at someone’s home?” I asked.
“This.” Shannon placed the car in park and shifted her attention to me. “This is where I grew up.”
“I guess I don’t understand.”
“Mom left me the home when she died last month,” Shannon said. “It’s ours.” Shannon fit her body in mine.
“A home. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Who doesn’t like a surprise?” Shannon said.
(From Dusting off Dreams currently #12 out of 168k in poem collection)
“Look, just as long as we’re together, things will be fine,” Jessica said, nibbling on my neck.
“But…what about the big house we can’t afford?” I said.
“This cabin is good enough.” Jessica took a few steps to a creak on the floor. “For now.”
We both laughed hard.
I couldn’t believe Jessica was this cool with not getting the house she wanted. I felt like a loser because she thought I couldn’t afford it.
We’d been couch surfing the majority of our relationship. This whole coronavirus has left us homeless. We live off the good graces of other people. That is until I received this letter in the mail.
It was from a man I’d never met: my grandfather. He left me an old log cabin in Carolina. It wasn’t the newest cabin, but it was a place to call home. To get our mind off our depression, we’d drive through the westside, where the rich folks live to look at homes and picture our life inside one.
We’d dream of affording a home in the hills one day. As we traveled through the hills, Jessica’s eyes welled with tears. “That home.” She pointed. “It’s so beautiful.”
I swallowed a lump in my throat. “It’s yours.”
Jessica raised her head. “What?”
“The house. It’s yours. Granddad left me ten million dollars.”
Jessica’s mouth fell open, not closing. She crawled across the car to sit on my lap. “I love you. I love you. I love you. But wait?” Jessica said.
“A house isn’t a home without a kid,” Jessica said, biting her bottom lip.
“I love you. I love you. I love you.”
Sultry summer nights burned time.
Her ocean-blue oval eyes burned with mine.
Silence shook the ground beneath.
Wind burned lips.
Calorie burned hips.
Our tangled bodies burned crisp with passion.
(from Dusting off Dreams currently #12 out of 168k in poem)
“You didn’t have to say it like that, you know?” I said.
“How else was I supposed to tell you about the baby?” Alisha said. “You know how much I want kids.”
“I don’t know — like a normal person,” I said. “You could have come running into the bedroom with a pregnancy test. Anything other than this.”
“Well, excuse me for being creative!” Alisha said.
“You call dropping off a cake at work with a baby on it creative?”
“Don’t want it, do you?” Alisha said. “The baby — you don’t want it. I should have known,” Alisha said, rubbing her stomach.
“It’s not that I don’t want it. I just had a surprise of my own.”
“Suprise?” Alisha raised a sly brow. “You. Got a surprise for me?”
I stood to my feet.
“So, you’re leaving? Was that the surprise?”
“Just relax,” I said. “And close your eyes.”
Alisha complied. “This had better be good.”
I whisked a young girl through the door and stood behind her. “Well, open your eyes, dear.”
“I’m sorry? Who is this young lady?”
“We’re adopting her. I thought I’d be creative.” I raised a sly brow.
Alisha wiped tears with a tissue. “This. Now this is creative.”
(Check out Dusting off Dreams currently #12 out of 167k in poem collection)
“Let’s do something,” Jackie said.
“Like?” I said.
“Something…anything we might later regret.”
“Woah, dude. Hold on. I’m still on probation for the time we broke into that church to have sex in.”
“Don’t be a Debbie-downer.”
“What are we talking — setting a house on fire kind of thing?”
Jackie stroked her chin and crinkled her eyes. “Even better.” She tapped my shoulder. “Come on.”
“I don’t think I’m going to like this.”
We slid into the car, passing stoplights and street signs. “Where exactly are you taking me?”
“Just trust me.”
“The last time I trusted you, I spent 10 days in jail.”
“We won’t get caught.” Jackie’s ocean blue eyes darted in my direction and then back to the road. “Aren’t scare, are you?”
I placed my hands directly in front of the vents, blasting heat. “Should I be?”
“If we get caught, yes.” Jackie raised a sly brow. “But we won’t.”
“We’ve been driving for half an hour and–“
“There.” Jackie pointed. “That’s where I wanted to take you.”
There was a candlelight dinner for two and a small band playing out favorite pop/punk music.
“I guess I don’t understand.”
Jackie placed the car in park and shifted her body in my direction. “Marry me,” Jackie said.
I looked either way. “Is this some kind of–“
“Just shut up and say you’ll marry me,” Jackie said, slicing the air with her hands.
I laughed hard. “Of course, I will marry you, dear.” I pulled out a ring. I’d intended on asking her anyway.