A week had passed since the “incident” in Mr. Heinrich’s office and I was here wallowing in self-pity, anger and disgust at myself for making such a thing happen to me.
I had my favourite ice-cream, cookies n’ cream in front of me while I stretched out in my queen sized bed at my loft.
My loft was on Queen St W at The Candy Factory Condominium complex. Its interior was a pale lavender, with a wooden ceiling that stretched from my foyer to my kitchen. The living area has a large green sofa that can seat four persons, 2 arm chairs that matched, plush forest green carpeting, and a brown coffee table that separated the sofa from the forty inch flat screen television which hung on the wall. A wide dining room table of oak with intricate swirl carving was set behind the sofa. In front of the living area two huge glass windows with French arches that overlooked the city’s infrastructures and roads. Adjacent to the living area was my kitchen that had a large island made of dark granite and the stove, fridge and cupboards were built into the area behind it. Then just beside the end of the kitchen area was a small passage that had two doors across from each other. These were bedrooms and one of them was mine and each had en-suite bathrooms.
My bedroom is a massive square box that had my bed to one wall facing two sets of windows, two chest of drawers, two nightstands on either side of the bed and lamps on top of them. Polished wooden flooring matched the wooden ceiling, a ceiling fan hung over my bed and two frames hung on the wall behind my bed frame. I have a wardrobe and a walk-in closet to the wall that was beside the wall with the windows. I loved my room very much, putting a lot of time and effort into getting it to fit my taste.
Olaf decided to keep me company today, instead of going on his usual prowl in the alleyway, down the street from where I lived.
I thanked him countlessly and cuddled with him all night.
Now I had orange and white fur all over my pillow.
I didn’t mind. It was rather comforting that someone cared.
I sighed for the billionth time that morning. My phone was blaring “Wicked Games” by The Weeknd again and I knew it was Ronnie calling because of my absence from work for the past week.
I was debating whether or not to answer this time, until I just decided against throwing the phone into the wall behind the television which led out into the passage.
“What is it?”
“I’m worried, especially since you haven’t been answering your cell. What happened? I can’t believe this.”
I could hear the exasperation in Ronnie’s voice and I couldn’t keep blaming her any longer for my misfortune.
With an exhausted huff I replied, “I’m sorry! I got fired. I should’ve told you sooner but I am too devastated right now.”
“I am so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so sorrryyy!!! I guess it was true then, but for what though? That’s what everyone can’t understand.”
“Promise you won’t let this slip in the least or else I’ll hunt you down and gorge your eyes out!”
“I’m serious. Say you promise… I’m waiting.”
“I can hear the smugness in your voice,” Ronn deadpanned.
“Come on say it,” I said in a sing-song voice.
“Fine. Promise. Cross my heart, hope to die. Girl scout’s honour and all that crap.”
“Good. That wasn’t so hard.”
“Spill,” Ronnie protested.
With a long sigh I began recalling everything that happened a week ago. Reciting his words and my ‘responses’ word after word.
It was torture and when it came to the end I hollered like an infant. But Ronn never uttered a single word over the receiver, instantly sending me into panic mode.
“Ronnie are you there,” I sniffed.
I looked at the phone screen and she was still on.
“Ronnie! Answer me this instant!”
“What?” Was her only response.
“That’s all you have to say!” I exclaimed.
“That motherfucker! I can’t believe this! I can’t believe him! I just can’t believe this shit!”
Something dawned on me as I was pulling out of bed.
I crossed the room to my window overlooking the street I lived on and caught Olaf walking leisurely across the road to his girlfriend’s house after I frightened him while I was shouting at Ronnie.
He had jumped up and decided that he couldn’t stay in my presence when I got excited. The obnoxious fiend he was.
“I just realized that I don’t know where you are. Where are you?”
It was well after four in the afternoon.
“I just left the office. I rang you from in my car.”
“Did anybody hear you?”
“I doubt it. Are you trying to distract me from this because it’s not working? Are you alright? I’m coming over and I’m bringing pizza from that Italian deli on my street.”
I sniffed again, “That’s nice. Thank you and your street is my street.”
“Don’t get all technical now. It’s still a good distance. Anyways, don’t worry we will fix this. I feel so awful, because I had brought you to that meeting. I’m really sorry.”
A good hour had passed before Veronica Ophelia Beauchamp showed her brunette haired, tanned skin self. She had a key to my place as I did to hers.
She was a tall woman, at 5 ft. 9 inches and at 27 with Afro-Indian features. She has been my best friend, since the day my mother and I moved to Canada to be closer to my father’s side of the family, who insisted that we migrated from Jamaica for a better life.
My father was not as kind as his family had been to us. I mean I haven’t even seen him for the past 22 years.
He only sends money to my account every Christmas. I guess he thinks he was doing me and my mother a favor or just paying me off for his freedom from fatherhood.
In the end, I just hated the fucker and despised anyone, that is, my mother and little sister, Freya for the times they even breathed his name in my presence.
Anyways there she was at the park with her dad, he was dark-skinned and handsome, towering over my mother and I as we approached the swings.
His British accent captivated me as he introduced himself and Ronnie to my mother and I.
Ronnie and I exchanged looks and it seemed at first that she was afraid of me with her big doe eyes, which gave anyone the impression that she was a shy girl (we had something in common from the start- full eyes). Those black as coal as held a shade of darkness that would scare anybody out of their wits. I shook a little getting lost in their depths.
My mom and her dad had left us to bond while they themselves became acquainted with each other.
I had decided that I loved the swing set too much to have it shared, so I proceeded to push every other child that dared to play on my swing.
By that time Ronn had moved from the swings and was playing on the slides.
This particular routine became a thing every time mom accompanied me to the park, until it spilled over into the school that I started to attend.
I was apparently the swing set bully at school. Until one day when I was pushing everyone off Ronnie decided that she was going to enjoy my swings in peace.
I was head strung and she was just not moving and then it began with a kick to the back that had Ronnie flying head first into the sand pit. She was mad and wasn’t moved, until I felt a stinging sensation in my eyes that wouldn’t let up and sand grains dancing across my vision. She threw sand in my eyes! I still couldn’t believe it.
I screamed and Ronnie was crying, this alerted a teacher that pulled us off each other by our ears and had us placed in detention for a week where we came to an agreement in the case of the swings.
By the time detention was over no one other child could get on the swings if I couldn’t and Ronnie agreed to man the sandbox instead and we would exchange our roles every week.
We bonded over this and became great friends.
Ronnie jumped up on my bed to sit and I was tempted to quarrel with her for having me wait so long.
I couldn’t resist...
“Where have you been? I don’t live that far from you,” I admonished.
“Getting the pizza. I got a little ...distracted by this white shirted man. I could have sworn it was Mr. Heinrich, but I wasn’t sure so I was hiding behind a pole outside the pizzeria, until a bird attacked me and when I finally got rid of the bird he was gone. This took about 15 minutes,” she explained.
I stared unblinking, before I finally asked, “Was it him?”
“What part of I was being attacked by a damn bird did you not hear,” she half-shouted.
“Was. It. Him,” I enunciated through gritted teeth.
She narrowed her dark eyes at me and exclaimed, “No!”
“You didn’t answer the question,” I simply stated. “But thank you for your failed report. I appreciate the effort.”
“It seems you don’t want to be fed.”
“I’m sorry! But you should have thrown our pizza at his sexy bald head.” I squeaked.
“What would we have eaten?” she questioned.
“Simple. Another pizza that you would buy,” I told her nonchalantly.
We stared at each other, then burst out laughing.
Eventually we had decided to put the pizza on hold for a few hours to go shopping. It was Friday after all. I stole two slices of the barbecue pizza before I left, I was starving!
Strolling down the street we came across this bohemian boutique that had so many different scarves that were to die for. I almost shoved Ronn into the glass of the store the way I was caught off guard by the different colours on display.
With a grimace Ronnie followed silently behind me into the store.
She was just as excited as I was when we started browsing the store. It had a lot of clothing that I needed... wanted (what’s the difference?).
We gawked at mannequins, plastered our faces on the glass display case, and tried on numerous outfits. Mr. Heinrich was pushed to the back of my mind, but not far enough, but I was not going to be hung up.
Ronnie is more of a gothic chic kind of girl but she’s not indifferent to mixing up her dark side with a few light items.
“We deserve a vacation, don’t you think,” Ronnie asked.
“Yes!!!!! Oh my gosh! Why didn’t we plan this before?”
I hit her arm throwing the fifth scarf into my basket. This one a purple and pink butterfly like pattern on the cream cloth. The others in the basket had geometric shapes as patterns.
One was round, another has tassels and the other two were broad.
“Where do you think we should go,” I questioned.
“A hotel. Been dying to go for a while now,” she replied.
“Which hotel though?”
She pulled out her phone and showed me Radisson Admiral Hotel Toronto-Harbourfront on expedia.com.
“I see you’ve been doing your research. Were you planning a trip without me Ronnie darling?”
“Of course not! I’ve been planning it for your birthday in September but since this whole situation has happened why not go now. It’s summer anyways and it will take your mind off Roman,” she finished.
I was screaming and jumping on her the entire time she was telling me this, drawing prying eyes from behind the counters and throughout the store.
“Are you serious? Thank you! And to think I was just going to get you another painting for your birthday,” I brandished my teeth at her. She just side eyed me, then completely ignored me.
“You’re welcome,” was her only response, knowing well enough that I was teasing.
We had started shopping now for our little get away. Picking up rompers, dresses and bathing suits. I was so excited that I didn’t even realize that someone was in front of me.
“Ouch! I’m sor-“, my apology was clipped when I noticed who I bumped into.
He turned around with a knowing look in his slant eyes.
“Damn it! What the hell are you doing here, Wong!”
Branden Wong 6 ft. 2 inches, tall, dark and handsome, but not as handsome as Roman. I clipped that thought immediately.
His broad smile and Asian eyes sparkled when he was blatantly eyeing me up and down.
I was wearing a simple gray dress that flared at the end and stopped mid-thigh and when I peeped my head around his arm I saw Ronnie in her black jeans and jacket and 4 inch heels talking to Bobby, Wong’s friend since childhood.
It was obvious on the scowl on Ronn’s face that Robert Heckerman was hitting on her and she just wasn’t having it, especially in the way she walked off towards me (really the exit was behind me.)
“Let’s go,” was what I got when she reached me, and Bobby tailing her till she was out the door and he stopped her again, by coming up in front of her.
Now she was lecturing him. I turned back to Wong at this point.
“Aren’t you going to call off your horny dog before he gets hurt,” I pointed a thumb behind me. The bitch only smiled.
“Why? That’s none of our business, babe”.
“I’m not your babe,” I mumbled, rolling my eyes.
He placed a hand on my waist and drew me against him then he whispered, “I miss you. Don’t act like you don’t miss me.”
He began moving his hand to my ass and gripped it hard.
I couldn’t lie that I wasn’t turned on and he knew it. We were together for majority of my college years and I couldn’t get enough of him. He was my sexual drug and I was addicted.
We would fuck everywhere that wasn’t occupied by anyone and I loved the adventure and the freakiness of it all.
But one day I grew up and realized that it was just sex and nothing more. It just wasn’t healthy and it had to end.
It wasn’t easy ending it, because we would just end up in each other’s beds. So I just decided to distance myself from him by completely cutting him off. I changed my number, my address and my job that I now lost.
But being back in his warm arms now, feeling vulnerable while his erection rubbed against my lower abdomen was weakening my resolve.
I squeezed my eyes shut and said, “I can’t.” I pushed on his chest a little and took two deep breaths. In, Out. In, Out.
He caught my wrist pulling it up to his lips to kiss the inside of it. It was my undoing at this point and he knew it.
He knows how to get his way with me.
I thought to myself that one more night wouldn’t kill as he said, “come with me.”
It was more of a demand than a question but spoken so softly.
That was when I heard a bang on the glass window behind me and instantly the moment was broken.
I turned swiftly to see Ronnie pin Bobby on the glass window, while yelling in his left ear.