Oh, wow. Eight o’clock. Guess you been stood up, bro.
“Aaaawwwww.” she purrs with mock sympathy. “Don’t feel bad. What is that, the third one this month?”
The twentysomething woman laughs as she twists the top on the evening’s fifth Passion Peach wine chiller.
“Here’s to being hot and knowin’ it. Bottoms up, baby!”
Her cell blasts a Hip Hop alert.
“Oh, maaaan. Who’s tryin’ to harsh on the girl’s buzz now?”
She snatches the phone lying next to her on the couch and checks the incoming number. The digits look vaguely familiar.
“Are you fucking kidding me?! Why in the hell is he calling? We were done like a month ago. Ya know what, though? Might be a goof rappin’ with him right now. Shit, I got nothin’ else to do.”
Leaning forward over the glass top table, she fishes the roach out of the ashtray, flips on her lighter and sucks in another hit. Tapping the “Call” button, she bellows, “Hell-ooooo. Mario’s Pizza. And we already know…ya don’t want anchovies! Ha-ha-haaaaaa.”
Turning her head from the phone, keeping her ear pressed on the receiver, she exhales.
A male voice says in barely above a whisper, “It’s me.”
“Heeeyyy. So wut up with you, big guy?” She takes a hefty swig.
“I bought a gun. I think I’m gonna kill myself tonight.”
She couldn’t have heard him right.
“You’re gonna do what?”
“I said……I think I’m gonna kill myself. I’ve been thinking about doing it all day. For a long time, actually.”
She takes a quick toke.
“I think you know. You do, don’t you?”
“Why would I know how come you’re gonna kill yourself? Which I don’t even think you’re gonna do anyway.”
For several moments neither one speaks. She sets her cooler down on the table, grabs the remote and fires up the tube. Flipping through the channels, searching for something halfway decent to scope out, she finally zeroes in on the “The Young Housewives of Albuquerque”.
He finally breaks the impasse.
“Do you remember when you said that you could see you and me being together for a long time? That we made a really great team. My brains and your beauty. Remember when you said that?”
She stifles a giggle. One of the “Young Housewives” tossed a full glass of Chablis into her friend’s face.
“Ummm…no. To be honest, I really don’t recall ever saying anything like that. If I did, I was probably pretty fried. I say a lotta crazy stuff when I’m wasted.” She drains the last sip from the bottle and turns the volume up on the TV a couple of bars.
“Well, I remember. You said other things like that when we were dating, too. It was all total fuckin’ BULLSHIT!”
He is shouting at the top of his lungs, as if he is right there in the apartment, inches from her face.
She inhales mightily, trying to extract the last spark out of her blunt.
The young woman has heard these sob stories so many times before from the countless guys she’s dumped. Still, she feels like she should say something.
“Oh, you always were such a ‘Drama King’. And we weren’t even together all that long. Chill out, dude.”
Slowly, she blows out the last of the weed. Seriously baked now, she continues. “Hey, we had some good dates. I really got off on that Kings of Leon concert you took me to. But sometimes relationships have their time, ya know? And that was the deal with us. It’s all good from where I sit. No hard feelings. Okay?”
Her cell beeps, signaling another call.
I’ll bet it’s that smokin’ hot bod from the club the other night. Ooohhh, what a cute little tush.
“Hey, buddy, I need to go here. I’ve got another call comin’ in. It’s my Mom. Maybe I’ll see you around at a party or something. You have a good one, awrite? Buh-bye now.”
She takes the call only to hear a dial tone.
“Damn it! Oh, well. He’ll call back. They always do.”
She eases back into the cushions of the couch.
Is this guy serious? I mean, he was kind of strange. But suicide? Maybe I should call someone. Or call him back to see if he was punkin’ me. No, that’s not really his thing. Shit. I s’pose I oughta do sumthin’.
The moment of rare introspection dies quickly. Another episode of “Young Housewives” is starting.
Hey. Maybe it’s one I haven’t seen. That’d be sweet.
She opens the last bottle of the six-pack and chugs half of it, barely aware of the police sirens wailing on the street below her third-story apartment. Seconds later an ambulance screams past.
Inside her apartment it is quiet. Save for the relentless bickering of the reality TV bimbos.
Something inescapable is upsetting her.
“Oh, Gawd. It’s a fuckin’ repeat!”
About the writer:
John Smistad writes short stories and movie reviews. His work has appeared in Short Story America, The Poeming Pigeon, and Midlife Collage. Smistad is a contributing writer at themovieblog.com.