Teeth

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Chapter 13 - Mai Tai

March 1992

Mai Tai shifted in his chair across from me, but didn’t move. I expected him to slap me or at least reach for his keys to leave and kick me out. I have filled the ash tray with butts and dry ash. The last of my pack and most of Mai Tai’s was gone. Almost 4 months later, I sat there talking to a stranger, someone I found in a bar. This enigmatic man listened and seemed to see me through all of the things that I have done. I let this man see me.

He flinches only when I tell him about the venereal disease. When I’m finished spilling my guts, he didn’t get angry or try to hit me like he should for possibly poisoning him with Chlamydia. He gave me a hug.

“Would you like to go to the police?” he asked.

“No!” I screamed and then regretted it, “I just want to sleep.”

“You can sleep here tonight.”

“You’ve done enough already.” I’ve done enough already.

“He can’t find you here, and I promise you can sleep all night with no interruptions.”

I already felt my will power giving into my body. I couldn’t walk home right now if my life depended on it.

“Here. You stay here, and I’ll go get a pillow and a couple of blankets from my room.” He left to get the blankets, and by the time he returned, I was almost asleep.

“Lie down, Lilian,” he said as he returned.

I lay my head on the soft, borrowed pillow. My constant twenty-four hour fight for safety and sanity was finally getting shore leave, or at least a life preserver. I slept instantly.

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