Chapter 41: For me.
After an apprehensive drive and a long back and forth with herself on what to do, Julie walked into the bar where she knew he was and walked up to him. His hair stood out from the crowd.
“Drake.” Julie said, announcing her presence and displeasure.
“Don’t call me that. Aren’t you supposed to be plotting an evil scheme or something?”
“You make me sound like a moustache-twirling villain. I have sad feelings and alcohol sometimes works. I’m hoping to drink enough of it to kill those sad feelings.”
“You killed Daveigh’s boyfriend. And told her she was my half-sister.”
“That I did. And I could apologise, but I came here to forget, not to remember. Can I buy you a drink?”
“No. We fucking slept together. I mean… I thought you were better than that. I hoped you were better than that.”
“I’m not. I wish I was, but I’m not. For what it’s worth, I am sorry about slipping up with your sister. That act of villainy was not one I had particularly planned.”
“Yeah, I know now, you… Are you wearing a wedding ring? Am I like your side piece on top of all that?”
“Funny, I haven’t been accused of cheating on a corpse in a while.”
“I’m not cheating on anyone, I’m the scum of the earth and boy, do I know it, and sleeping with me doesn’t make you a bad person. Not to me, in any case, but that opinion might count for very little. I’m wearing this ring, even though I do not deserve to, because I am feeling especially sentimental. If you need to yell at me some, be my guest, I probably deserve it. But I am going to continue drinking. I suppose I am sorry about your sister’s boyfriend too, but I probably won’t be losing any sleep over him. Her boyfriend was a moment of a regrettable lack of empathy. One of the many moments I’d like to forget. I mean, for some reason I can’t un-remember that my wife was murdered so if everything else could go away for a few hours that’d be fucking great.”
“I’m sorry about your wife.”
“You couldn’t have known.”
“I’ll take that drink now.”
“Ah. Beer, right?”
“One of the boys.”
“I don’t think alcohol cares about gender.”
“I guess. You know, I always just loved the name Cuba Libre.”
“You drink like a girl.”
“I drink like lady.” Julie let out a small laugh. She felt immediately angry at herself.
“You’re not a good person.”
“Feels a little like this conversation is spinning its wheels.”
“And I just had to like bad boys, right?”
“So what’s your endgame?”
“Must be simpler ways.”
“I guess. But at least I can fool myself into thinking it wasn’t my idea this way.”
“Daveigh told me that you want to fight Michael.”
“Yeah. Or die trying. You know, I also had a kid.”
“You have a kid?”
“Did it have a name?”
“Her name was Riley.”
“And your wife?”
“Riley really isn’t. Such harsh sounding name. Delilah insisted though. And I loved it because she did. Said it was a gender neutral name. Said Riley could be one of the boys or be a goddamned fairy princess if she wanted to be. Riley Rose St. Claire.”
“My first choice in names. Riley won out in the end though. I think Delilah had already named her Riley in her head, and just pretended for my sake. When she finally came out, she was more of a Riley than a Rose anyway.”
“Sounds like you really loved them both.”
“More than you could imagine. You know, Delilah would always take her steps in a straight line of tiles as she walked through the house and her steps had to be one tile apart. Also, she couldn’t cook to save her life. She was an absolute terrible cook. So I did it. I enjoyed it though. Made me feel useful, needed even.”
“Wow. You cook?”
“Why’d you sleep with me?”
“’Because I have no taste in men.”
“That’s all there is to it?”
“I’ll tell you if you promise me something.”
“Guess I won’t hear it then.”
“Are you fucking serious?”
“Yes, I am dead serious. I mean, what is the point of any of this anymore? Michael wants to kill me so bad, maybe it’s just time I let him. And the world is better off without me… But God, if I can hit him… Just once… If I can just punch that smirking face in one more time... It’d be worth it. Then nothing else matters, you know?”
“Don’t. Drake, please.”
“Because I slept with you for a reason. I slept with you for you. Because I liked you, even though you like the sound of your own voice way too much. There’s something good in you.”
“And you slept with me because I remind you of your dead wife.”
“When you put it that way…”
“Live. And then come fuck me for me.”
“I don’t care if you kill Michael tomorrow. But don’t you die.”
“Does that mean that you actually care about me?”
Julie knocked Drake’s drink down, grabbed him by the collar and kissed him. The bartender cleared his throat with clear disapproval and Julie extended her middle finger.
“I care about you. Don’t die.” She said.
“Oh.” Drake said.