Nostalgia is a Liar

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Chapter Six

Summer, 2011

Luna was getting ready for a night out with the girls, 3 of her work colleagues. Loud and bubbly Latina extraordinaire, Jackie Reyes. She was one of the local photographers exhibited at the gallery. Shy, but dangerously mischievous when drunk, Gabby Sorrentino. Gabby did the gallery’s books. And last, but not least, Lydia Young. She was the gallery’s talent scout and discovered Jackie doing self-portraits on the Suffolk Downs subway.

Luna slipped into her black satin mini dress, fixing the camisole straps as she assesses her outfit in the full-length mirror.

A sullen Cooper plops himself on the bed. He looked the opposite of her fancy getup, wearing nothing but his grey sweatpants. Shirtless and shoeless.

“So how long are you gonna be gone for?”

She quirks her eyebrow, looking at him “Can you not survive one night without me Thindrel?”

He scoffs, kicking at the rug beneath his feet.

She walks over and gives him a kiss, cupping his sad face in her hands.

Cariño, it’s just one tiny little girl’s night out… I’ll be back to tuck you in before you know it”

He puckers his lips, “I know that… pffft… just wanna know if I should wait up”

“I’m taking my key… so no” she walks over to the dressing table. Sits down and starts applying her make-up.

He walks over, sitting on the table, facing her and folds his arms across his bare chest.

“Where’re you guys going again?”

“Cooper?” she giggles, “We’re going to Stanley’s Bar… and I’ll be back before my carriage turns into a pumpkin. Now stop acting the fool and grab my black, strappy heels will ya… the ones I wore to your folks’ anniversary dinner last month.”

He gets up in a huff and puff. Scanning her shoe closet for the pair in question.

“I’m just gonna chill tonight” he nods, as he watches her tie the straps of the shoes.

She looks up at him. Starting to feel bad for leaving him behind. But she needed some girl time.

He did make it extremely hard, giving her the saddest most adorable pouting face.

“What do you have planned then?” she gets up, flattens out her dress with her palms.

His eyes linger over her exposed legs, gulps before answering “Gonna watch that HBO Sports docco… McEnroe/Borg: Fire & Ice… seems cool”

“That’s nice” she fixes her hoop earrings.

“And I’ve been dying to get stuck into that model aircraft set…”

“Good, you’ve said you’ve wanted to but never got time. See, you’ve got lots to keep you entertained”

He tilts his head, “You’re enjoying this aren’t you? Me, being stuck at home with nowhere to go… you ever heard of not leaving your best guy home on a Friday night, huh?”

She giggles, resting her arms on his shoulders, interlocking her hands at the back of his neck.

“We could always dress you up in a pretty dress and some high heels… those lips and eyelashes need no extra embellishment mi querido bebé…”

He shakes his head, able to laugh at his sad sorry state.

“I thought you were leaving…” he retorts, walking over to the chest of drawers. Pulls on a t-shirt.

She sneaks up on him, wrapping her arms around his waist, hugging his back. Pressing kisses to the back of his neck.

“You smell amazing by the way… not that you need me telling you that” he spins around, facing her. “And you’re dangerous in black”

He bends down to kiss her, longer-than-formal. He nips at her bottom lip. Carefully holding her face in the palms of his hands. She grips tightly onto his hips, begging for more as she parts her lips.

“If you’re trying to get me to stay… it might be working”

He grins, stealing another kiss. Then walks out of the bedroom.

She shakes her head, dropping her hands onto her hips. A smile on her kiss-bruised lips.

Luna’s finally ready to head out. She walks over to Cooper seated on the couch. His documentary was playing already.

“Okay cariño I’m heading out now. Be good”

He plasters a smile on his face. This has her in stitches. She presses a kiss to his mouth. And heads for the door. In no time, he’d hopped up from the couch, sprinted across and wrapped his arms around her. He kisses her.

“I’ll miss you”

She wipes at his lipstick-stained lips, “I’m not going off to war… but I’ll miss you too.”

“Bye” she gives him another quick peck, before leaving out the door.

As predicted, his night seemed slow and boring without Luna. He came to the quick realization that she brings all the fun in their relationship.

He watches his documentary. The now mellowed John McEnroe, who somehow still seemed always pissed off with his eyebrows telling the true story of his face, was comparing Borg’s aura to that of a Superman outfit. It was all confusing to Cooper, but then he never truly focused on the HBO Sports documentary in the first place.

He’d then move on to building his plastic model aircraft. A few hours of struggle in, glue and loose pieces everywhere except where they’re meant to be, he swoops the entire lot into the bin.

And then he took his guitar, sat on the sofa, plucking aimlessly at the strings. He’d start a song, then think of Luna. Start another song, end up thinking of her again.

He’d check the clock periodically, only to find a few minutes had passed.

Eventually around 11pm he decides to head to bed and re-read Eckart Tolle’s Oneness with All Life. A few pages in, he slams the book closed. Places the book on the bedside cabinet in a loud thump. He dramatically tosses his head back onto the pillow. Reaching for the next pillow and smothers his face. Argh.

He sits up in a flash, looks around the room. And then hops out of bed. He pulls on his Boston University hoodie and heads out to the balcony. Not before grabbing the pack of smokes he’d hidden on the highest shelf in the kitchen. He’d been trying to quit smoking, and successfully done so for the past 5 months.

He lowers himself down in the wooden rocking chair on the balcony, lights up a cigarette.

He rocks back and forth, puffing away, enjoying his newfound relief.

Cooper gets up, heads back to the kitchen and grabs a beer from the fridge. Back out to his happy place. He breathes a sigh of serenity, takes a swig of his beer and another pull of his nicotine fix.

Someone on the floor below is playing the 80s Mr. Mister track, Kyrie. Cooper bops his head along to the song.

He sings out loud, “Kyrie Eleison, down the road that I must travel. Kyrie Eleison, through the darkness of the night. Kyrie Eleison, where I’m going, will you follow? Kyrie Eleison, on a highway in the light

A shout from a head popping out down below, “Yeah, man! This shit is the jam amirite?!”

Cooper lets out a throating laugh, tipping his beer bottle to no-one in his direct eyeline of sight. “Long live 80s jams pal!”

After half an hour of fresh air, smoke filled lungs and 80s jamming, Cooper heads back inside. Shouting a goodnight to the guy below.

He tosses himself on the bed, rolling around for a bit to get comfortable. After another 30 minutes of tossing and turning, he finally starts to nod off to sleep. But not deep enough to not hear the front door open. He pretends he is still asleep though, lying on his stomach. His face buried in the pillow.

Luna enters the bedroom, kicking off her shoes. Dropping her bag softly in the corner on the floor. She unzips her dress. Cooper quietly pops up his head and peeks at her, now standing in nothing but her underwear. She unclips her bra. He could see her exposed bosom through the streaks of streetlight shining into the bedroom. She grabs one of his t-shirts from the top drawer. Pulling the oversized shirt over her head.

He quickly drops his head to the pillow as she turns around. She heads over to the dressing table, grabs the brush and combs through her messy hair.

She removes her earrings next, drops them on the table. Then quietly tiptoes over to the bed and carefully crawls into bed, not to stir his sleep.

She pulls the covers over her legs and snuggles up against his back. He finally turns to face her, still lying on his stomach. She drapes her arm around his back.

He opens his eyes and looks at her. She smiles, then presses a kiss to his rosy lips.

“Hey…” she whispers, “Did I wake you?”

He shakes his head against the pillow.

“Did you have fun?” his voice muffled against the pillow.

She nods excited. “You?”

He pouts his lips, “Nope. I missed you. You’re the only fun part of my life.”

“No…” she giggles, “That’s not true. I missed you too”

“You did?”

She nods again. He smiles, feeling satisfied and not so pathetic now. He pulls her closer under the covers. Presses a kiss to her mouth. They both close their eyes.

“G’night Lu”

“Night cariño. Te amo

Te amo

She runs her hand along his spine, the light scratching motion until he finally starts softly snoring.

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