Russian Surrealism and Origami chapter 5

This is the last part of my only romance in short form. It’s a bit longer than the other chapters but I didn’t want to break it up. I’ll have a note or two after the story but enjoy this now.

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The Last Chapter

“This going to be awkward.” Ethan mumbled to himself as he entered the restaurant  in the Dulles Airport.

“Sir?” the hostess looked at Ethan and he just waved her off as to say never mind.

“I’m here to meet someone and I’m a bit late. She hates it when I’m late.” and the hostess still stares at him with that ‘I-don’t-care’ look. Ethan reaches into his jacket for his glasses to see if can find…

K.C. is just twirling her straw around in what is now her 2nd diet cola thinking to herself, ‘Maybe he won’t come.’ and as if on cue she sees Ethan in the entrance and waves to him. He smiles and walks over and K.C. smiles back and between gritted teeth she says “This will be so awkward.”

After the initial greeting of hugs and cheek pecks they settle in and try to arduous  task of “catching up”. K.C. starts with ‘you look good’ and Ethan returns the compliment but she would look good in a burlap sack, but today she was looking very put together with white pant’s and a scarlet cloak. Time does change people because when they met years ago he would have imagined her in this.

“Ethan, how long has it been? You know since I saw you?”

“Aaaahhh…I’m not sure.” he reaches for his water to try to cover his face and hide his lie. He read whole books on how to read the human face so he knows that the slightest twinge or eyebrow raise can and will give him away.

K.C. looked at him hard and fixed her mouth to call him out on it, thankfully the waiter came by to take their order. Before he left them alone he said to Ethan “I loved your book, sir. My boyfriend and I met at the bookstore and we’re  in line and noticed we both had your book in hand and started to chat. We both say we fell in love because of you.”

“Thanks. It means a lot that you like my stuff.”

“Really? You guys met in a bookstore?” K.C.  with that devilish grin that would probably get Ethan in trouble. “I bet you that you didn’t know that’s him and I met. He wasn’t even cool about. Kinda stalker-ish.”  Then the waiter was regaled with Ethan’s lame attempt to impress the most beautiful woman he has seen. All he could do is watch the the waiter laugh at K.C. animated facial expressions. Take a sip, grin, fake laugh and repeat.

“But he did get my attention,” and her face turned serious, “and he stood by me through thick and thin. The best friend I ever had.” She reached across the table and looked Ethan in the eyed and smiled.

“That is the sweetest thing I heard all week. Wait until I tell Brad about this. Let me go put your order in right now.” and off went the server and his patrons were still holding hands.

“It was my wedding.”

“What?”

“That was the last time I saw you.”

Picking up his drink and bringing it to lips before his glass is empty except for ice cubes. “Where is that damn waiter?” Looking around and then back to her “I guess it was the last time. What’s it been? 3 or 4 years?”

“Two.” K.C. knew she shouldn’t have brought it up but it’s too late to do anything about it now. “and a half.”

“Sorry, I’ve been busy, you know with book tours and my new one is coming out next month. Oh, I’ve got a copy for you right here in my bag. So are you still doing the fashion thing? Or are you a kept woman? What’s his name… Eric right? The real estate mogul. Where are you guys living now? The French Rivera or is it Belize this month.” He could not have said that without sounding spiteful.

“London if you really want to know, Ethan! To answer some of those other questions, I’m off to France because I have a fashion show to go see, because I’m a Goddamn buyer for one of the biggest stores in the world! I work and my money is mine and I will not feel badly for living well. Enrique is his name and you know that!” She slammed the table a few times and the utensils fell to the floor. The surrounding tables and staff looked over.

“Your food will be right out” the waiter said cautiously as he picked up the forks and replaced them with new ones. “I’ll be right back with a new drink, sir.”

Too ashamed to look at anyone, Ethan nodded his head. They sat in silence until the entrees arrived and even about until half way through. Ethan attempted a lame joke on how much food that K.C. had. She mumbled something.

“What?”

“I said, I’m pregnant, dummy.”

Ethan was shocked. So shocked that K.C. reached across the table to close his mouth and she laughed. She stood up and walked over to the other side of the table and moved her cloak to the side to reveal a bump. Ethan could only touch her belly in awe, then he looked up at her and she mouthed ‘5 months’. He stood and embraced her for the first time in years. Best friends forever they would say when they were younger but at that moment it was quite obvious.

To anyone watching it must have seemed odd to watch because just 15 minutes ago they were making quite a different scene. They sat back down just smiling at each other. Ethan picked up his fork and leaned back into his chair and just moved his food around, not even thinking about another bite.

“What is it, Ethan? I want you to be happy for me. I NEED you to be happy for me.”

“I am; I just never thought… this.” he made a gesture to her stomach.

“I know.”

“I’m just a guy from the neighborhood…” and then nothing came from his lips.

Putting her fork down and listening and seeing how hard it was for Ethan to continue; K.C. retorted “And I’m just a girl from the same. What’s this about, E?” She knew what and this has been brewing for years. Things that should have been said but wasn’t. The tension was almost too tight like when a violin is strung incorrectly and just SNAPS!

“I cried at your wedding.”

“I know. My family told me, and your mom. I could tell when we danced too, your eyes were red. You should have asked for Visine. I did. We both cried at the wedding.”

Sighing Ethan went on “I know I saw you, we all saw you walking down the aisle with that goofy grin on your face.” That was the old Ethan that K.C. knew and it made her smile.

“No! Well, maybe it was goofy but just a bit. I saw the video and had that edited out and photoshopped my old modeling headshot on top of my body.” They both laughed. “So what if I was 16 and it’s black and white? It was my damn wedding.” Picturing this made Ethan laugh even harder. After they stopped and caught their breath K.C. continued “ I had that look because I was trying not to break out and just bawl endlessly and run away.”

That turned the mood again and silence followed. The waiter cleared the table and asked if they want a desert menu and espresso? One cappuccino and one black and sweet coming right up..

“Why did you leave the way you did?” this was the question he needed to be answered.

“E, I really don’t know. After all this time I still can’t figure it out. I’m sorry. But we had those six great months.”

“It was more like three, K.C.”

Silence and then the drinks came. Ethan poured even more sugar in his coffee without even tasting it. More of a habit, he’s in cruise control at this point. He has so much to say her and pictured this very moment everyday for almost 3 years when she came back from ‘trying to figure out who she was’ her words in the letter she left in his mailbox. No other word from K.C. for five months but her father and mother would drop by to see him and just say that their daughter is fine and says hi.

Then one night she sends a text to meet at the bookstore, and he was early with her favorite tea waiting. She spoke about her world tour and took out a bunch of postcards addressed to Ethan but never sent. She barely took a breath but Ethan was happy to see her again and to hold her hand even though the kiss was a bit uncomfortable but all that mattered was that she was back. He was about to tell her that he had written a novella and it was being published but he never got to that part because mixed in within the postcards was her wedding invitation.  K.C. didn’t even flinch or pause. She went on and told him how she met this rich guy, and then to Ethan, the world went all static. He doesn’t remember how he got home till this day.

“Was it because I have that memory issue? Sometimes I act all weird, I know but I haven’t had too many episodes in awhile.”

Shaking her head K.C. reached for his hands but he didn’t give them but she left them out there anyway, hoping he would. “ No, Ethan. You were a perfect gentleman even before we became romantic. You stood by me no matter what I did. I could see the love in your eyes ever since the first night we went to the gym and I pushed you away as long as I could but I loved you too and… and that scared me. I remember walking to the bookstore with you and you pulled me into that jewelry store to ask me which ring do I like? I was scared shitless. ‘Just for fun’ you kept on saying. At that very moment that I knew I was not ready for marriage but you were and I went home and booked my flight for the end of the week.” She was openly crying and then she felt Ethan take her hands.

Ethan wanted to berate her more on how is possible that she could marry this guy she only knew a few weeks before she agreed to marry him but he didn’t want to hurt his friend anymore than she already doing to herself. He asked for the bill and they left.  The waiter got a hefty tip and a signed copy of Ethan’s new novel.

“What time is your flight?”

K.C. still sniffing grabs Ethan’s wrist and examines his watch. “Oh, in 5 minutes.”

“Geez, we better get…”

“Don’t worry. It’s private, it will wait for me.” Hearing her words and she thought ‘oh God, that sounded pretentious’.

“Well, la dee fuckin’ da.” Ethan smiled “Not the same girl from the ‘hood are ya?” Trying to sound like one the old men that never left the six blocks of the neighborhood.

“If I didn’t have this volleyball sitting on my bladder right now, I would race you to the gate and show you! But how about I split your lip for you instead?” She slapped Ethan in the back of his head.

They walked the rest of the way promising to never lose touch again and to meet up again soon. At the gate, they hugged and kissed maybe a little too long but nobody was complaining.

As she walked down the tunnel to her plane Ethan yelled, “I love you, Kaori Caleigh Blondin!”

She didn’t even turn around she just kept pace and raised her fist like that actor did in Breakfast Club. Corny but yet that was classic K.C.

***

Time has passed.

3:12 PM

Horns blared and Ethan barely dodged the cab but he was not so lucky with the mini van in the next lane because it swiped him in the shoulder, hard enough to knock him down on the rain soaked street. The last thing he saw before he closed his eyes was a pair of headlights bearing down on him and all he could think was ‘I’m sorry, K.C.’

8:58 AM

“Hello? Yeah, I’m awake I just got out of the shower. Now? But she’s…EARLY! No, I’m in DC, I have a thing in an hour. No, no. I’ll be there. Tell her to hold it, if she can.” Hanging up his cell Ethan realized how stupid he just sounded. He threw on a T-shirt and searched for underwear. ‘Oh forget it where are my jeans?’ After calling downstairs for immediate check out and ordering a cab to take him to the  station. An express train leaves hourly to New York. ‘I can be there in Penn in three hours and then about another half hour to forty five minutes to Queens.’ Ethan looks at his watch and says “Hold on K.C. I’m on my way”.

9:01 AM

Peter Blondin, K.C.’s father ran into his daughter’s room to see his wife packing some of the things that K.C. might need in the hospital. “I, uh got him, sweetie.”

Breathing the way she was taught in Lamaze class K.C. spoke in between inhales “Is…he…going…to…meet…us…at…hospital?” It was obvious the pain was increasing and her temper was getting shorter.

“Right now he’s in DC. He  had a thing, I’m not sure what that means, but he’s on his way.” She glared. “He says to hold it in if you can…” The words sort of faded from his mouth as he realized how stupid he just sounded.

K.C. waved him to come over and Peter did and bent over to hear her better. She grabbed him by his left ear and pulled him close to her face. She went into great detail.

“I”m about to expunge a human being from my vagina that is about the size as a watermelon with a cantaloupe for a head and chances are that it might come out sideways and spread-eagle because that is how it feels right now”.

“Let your father go. Men say things that are stupid. They don’t think. Come on, let’s get you to the car.” K.C.’s mother pries loose her daughter’s grip on her husband’s ear. She leans over and gives him a peck and says “C’mon dear, you can drive.”

12:44 PM

“Where?!” was the only word that K.C. yelled into the phone.

“I’m coming. I swear!” Ethan said as he tried to pace in the bathroom on the train. It was futile and dangerous at the speed the whole train was traveling. “It’s pouring and that slows the train a little but I’m not that far out of the city and I’ll catch the next train to Queens. It will be faster than a cab. I promise you I’ll be there.”

In her delivery room K.C. lets out a grunt and a nurse wipes the sweat from her brow but that seemed pointless since she was soaked everywhere. “You need to push, sweetie.”

“NO! He’s coming, he promised.” through gritted teeth she spat.

“The baby’s father?”

“Ha!” this made K.C. smile. “I have no idea where that creepy, Spanish piece of a cretin is!” Did that even make sense she thought. “No, my best friend is coming because he said he would.”

Sympathetically the nurse looks into K.C.’s eyes and softly says “You need to push now.”

“Is the baby in danger?”

Looking over to the monitors the nurse shakes her head. K.C. closes her eyes, trying to focus pass the pain and then whispers back to the nurse “Then get the hell away from me. When Ethan gets here my baby and I will be ready.”

3:13PM

‘I’m still alive!?’ Ethan’s outstretched hand was touching the grill of the car that as bearing down him a few seconds ago. The driver got out to see about the man she just hit and braces for the worse, but instead Ethan pops up. “I’m fine. It was all my fault but thanks for not hitting me. You’re an excellent driver. I gotta go. Thanks again.” and he runs off leaving the poor woman in shock and in a downpour. His phone rings. “I’m here, well I’m really  just crossing the street now, What? Meet you where?”

3:25PM

“AAAHHHH! It hurts! I can’t stop it!” K.C. was staring at a bunch of mask covered faces and they were looking right back at her but none of those eyes were the ones she wanted to see right now. She needed reassurance that…

“It’s OK. honey, I’m sorry, so sorry but I’m here now.” K.C. thought she was is hearing things until she saw a new body enter the room adjusting the mask and cap and then she saw those eyes. Ethan, her friend and her once lover. The man who will always be in her heart and she knows that she is in his. He leaned in and grabbed her hand and she could tell he was smiling under the mask.

She pushed and as she was she strained to say “You’re late!”

“You’re early.” and they laughed together. “Now push, K.C.

4:02PM

“You did good work, kiddo. Your baby is healthy and beautiful.” Peter said.

“You had a great coach.” added the nurse nodding at Ethan. She was cleaning the delivery room and took pictures of everyone. K.C.’s mom claimed that she is going to upload pictures right away to her FaceSpace account.

“Don’t you want to hold the baby, E? You won’t hurt him.”

Waving his hand and shaking his head no, Ethan takes a seat. “When I got here my adrenaline was pumpin’ into overdrive, but now I think I could really use a doctor. My arm might be dislocated and I think I’m gonna pass out now…” And that he did.

6:56PM

When he awoke he was with K.C. and the baby, special arrangements were made while he was unconscious to have them all in the same room. K.C. and the child were asleep and Ethan just watched them both memorizing everything about this moment. He never wants to forget this. K.C. opened her eyes briefly to look at the baby and then she saw Ethan standing close by, she mouthed ‘hi’ and reached out. When she could feel his hand in hers, she closed her eyelids and went back to sleep. All was well.

-end-

I did cry at a wedding of a dear friend once, she was beautiful and I drew on that experience to write this.  If I remember correctly I made K.C. multi-racial. Mother was a Japanese-American and her father was Swede/Nigarian mix. Imagine what she must have looked like, so pretty to me anyway. That is why her name was was all over the place geographically. I also had plans for another ending for this where that they went back to Forrest Hills and bought their own mom & pop bookstore and still wrote and worked in fashion on a part time basis because they were raising a boy, but I will leave the ending as is and the readers can imagine what happens next. Now I have no idea what to write next.

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Russian Surrealism and Origami chapter 4

This is the second to last part of Ethan and K.C., two of my most adored characters. I hope this wasn’t painful for anyone and chapter 5 we find out what happens to the friends and what K.C. actually means.

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Chapter 4

It was mid-morning when K.C. rolled over for the 8th time, but this last one was different from the previous 7. This time she was REALLY going to get up.

Sitting on the toilet and rinsing out her mouth at the same time still trying to clear the cobwebs from her mind and trying to think. What did she have to do today? What was today? Yes, it was Tuesday; all the new magazines hit the newsstands today. OW! The mouthwash is starting to burn.

26 minutes later K.C. comes up from her bedroom/studio in the basement of her folks house. She moved down there when she moved back home during her ‘depressing’ stage. Looking back, it was kind of bleak. Putting on weight and becoming an introvert was quite easy for her. Too easy.’ Never going to do that again’ was her mental note.

Humming at the kitchen table and eating some dry toast and flipping through the newspaper she saw an ad that really got her attention. ‘This is what I’m going to do today!’ she thought and then went back to mental note that she had awhile ago. She picked up her cell and began to type.

Ethan woke up to his Bee Gees chime, the one that alerts him that he has a new text. K.C.! He hasn’t heard from her in a couple of weeks since she was at his house. The text said to meet on a certain corner in a two hours and not to be late.

“God, I’m late!” Ethan looked at his watch as he was just stepping out of the subway, he had nine blocks to go before he was there and K.C. is a stickler on promptness. A fast walk for three blocks became a jog the rest of the way. He saw her from behind, sitting on a bench and the closer he got he could see that she was drawing the statue of a lion that was in front of her.

She was so good he thought. He watched intently on what was a plain white page take form right in front of him. Each stroke was either thin or thick on whichever way she held her pencil. The shading gave it depth of course. What was it called again? Chiaroscuro. Yup, he did remember somethings from school. Still looking at the page then he started to notice her hand and then her bare arms up to her shoulders. She had a tan line and was much darker than all those months ago when he first met her. Her hair was different too; it was…

“You know you are doing that creepy, slash, stalker thing again.” K.C. said softy never looking up from the paper. Taken back Ethan regained his composure  and began to walk in front of her and before he could say a word she cut him off, answering the question that never left his mouth. “Your shadow was in my light.” She finished up the drawing a few seconds later held it up to examine it against the real thing, folded it a couple of times and Ethan can see it was on the back of flyer that she must have grabbed on the way here and just tossed it in the nearest garbage can without a second thought.

She stuck her hand to her side and said “Come.” Ethan did as he was told and she dragged him across the street, cars and lights be damned. She barely looked to her left and right as she was  pulling a grown man behind her who was panic stricken into blaring traffic. Still slightly bewildered that he just survived what seemed like a suicide mission, K.C. was pointing to a sign with the same hand that Ethan was holding, “We’re going to see that.” It read ‘The Plight of Japanese Americans During World War 2’.

Walking up the stairs of the museum, K.C. said “ My grandparents were born in this country but when the war broke out they were taken from their homes and ‘displaced’ in these containment camps in California. They were just kids and being held just because of their background. You think that kinda thing only happens elsewhere; in a third world country. But that  shit happened right here in the God Blessed America.”

Ethan looked at her and could see she was angry and breathing hard. He said nothing as she was buying the tickets and when she handed Ethan his she said with a calm smile “The only good thing that came from that was it’s where Pappy and Grammy met.”

Ethan always wanted to know a bit more about his friend and today she was sharing one her deepest with him. This time he grabbed her hand and smiled back and they spent the rest of the afternoon learning.

Russian Surrealism and Origami chapter 3 part 2

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I had an off day and this is getting to you in the middle of the night, sorry. I needed a rest day from my weekend away but didn’t get it really. Doctor’s appointment, hate those things. Hope you are enjoying this story, this part of the story is somewhat autobiographical because I used to have memory blackouts like this. Wake up next to my girlfriend and not remember her wholly. It was a tough year for us but we made it through. Now on with the show…

Chapter 3 pt. 2

Knock knock knock.

’What a hard door’ K.C. as she rubbed her knuckles. Moments later the door opens and Ethan greets her without a word or a smile.

“Hey. Let’s get out of town for the night? I don’t know where but we can decide to catch the next train to…I don’t know…Kalamazoo. Is that a real place place or only in the cartoons.” Pausing to catch her breath and then continues “I told my parents that I don’t want to model anymore and I swear to God my mother almost fainted. I need to go somewhere far and I want you to come with me.”

With his head cocked to one side Ethan explained plainly “Nobody is home.”

“So? We are old enough not to need permission” She grabbed his arm and started to pull him along. Ethan protested about needing his book. K.C. closing the door behind him said “You read it a hundred billion times, I bet you the ending is still the same.”

Ethan seemed against the whole adventure she almost had to push him into the subway car. He would say he was cold and K.C. responded that she would take him to a store and buy him a hoodie. Grey and red, his favorite colors. Ethan would say that he didn’t have his wallet and she would say “ I have plenty of cash for the both of us.”

When they got to the train station K.C. was barely noticing Ethan at all. She was making plans on where they should  go, meanwhile Ethan was getting more nervous by the minute. He was twisting the sleeve of his new hoodie and mumbling to himself while looking around at  unfamiliar surroundings.

“Hey.” K.C. said while grabbing his shoulders and looking him in the face for the first time all day. “I just made a joke about Point Pleasant and you didn’t even crack a smile. That’s why I keep you around you know, to laugh at my brilliant humor. I should have been British. Are you OK?”

With tears in his eyes all Ethan could say is “Who are you? I wanna go home.”

The trip back to Ethan’s was a somber one. Ethan looked at the world with the eyes of  a child; everything was new to him and he seemed to be in awe by the city that he has lived in his whole life.

“How tall do you think that building is? Why is that policeman wearing white gloves? Is a pigeon the same as a dove?” He questioned K.C. and she was thoroughly confused on his mental state.

‘Maybe he hit his head’ she thought. and a few other theories but nothing seemed right to her.

Walking up his street Ethan seemed to recognize landmarks and pointed them out. “That’s where Amy used to live and I rode my first bike up that hill…” and on and on he went until his mother came running out of the house like she was being chased by a flaming zombie. She hugged her son which seemed like a very long time and that made K.C. feel awkward and even guilty when the woman started crying.

“Where have you been?” she sobbed.

With no inflection Ethan answered “This lady wanted to go out and she knows my name but I think I forgot hers.”

Now K.C. wanted to be hit by a bus. Two times. The glare that she got from Ethan’s mom could have been catalogued as a weapon of mass destruction. “Well, I’ll be going now.”

“Get in the house!” growled the woman not at Ethan but at K.C.

“Yes’m.”

After at least 30 minutes of sitting in the kitchen alone without even being offered a drink really made K.C. on edge. Also she had to use the bathroom but dared not to move from her seat. She heard Ethan and his mother’s voice upstairs but mostly her’s, he was  monosyllabic and still not like acting himself. Another theory came to mind that Ethan was a twin and she grabbed the wrong one today. ‘NOO, way too crazy.’ Then she heard a shower turn on followed by somebody coming down the stairs.

Without saying a word the matriarch of the house came into the kitchen and walked over to the drawer holding silverware looking for something. K.C. swallowed hard and  was thinking about an escape plan in case this  pissed off woman swung at her with a knife. Slam! went the drawer and Bang! another one opened. Still searching through every drawer frantically until she let out a “There you are.” She turned to the stove and turned on one of the burners and bent over way too close and then inhaled. She stood straight up and turned off the fire and with her back still facing K.C. she let out a huge sigh as smoke rose above her head.

“I…” Ethan’s mother started “You know, I haven’t had a cigarette in over 3 years. I didn’t even miss it. I can read the label, I know these things could possibly put me in the grave.” She then turns and leans against the sink. “But you, little girl, this is your fault. The stress that I’ve been under this afternoon, I think I lost 5 years of my life.” Taking another long drag and exhaling she just looked at K.C. for a long time and K.C. was looking for that bus to come by… twice.

“K.C., what were thinking?”

‘She knows my name?’

“Yes, I know who you are..”

‘She can read my mind?!’ panicked K.C.

“Ethan talks about you. I think you might be his only friend.” She took out a book from her back pocket and threw it on the table. “Well, he doesn’t really talk much about you but he wrote about.”

It was the book that Ethan always had with him, the very worn book with all kinds of notes and stickies in it. “I’m just gonna assume you don’t know about my boy’s condition.” Finishing the cigarette and running a little water on it and then into the trash she continued as she sat down next to K.C. “This book, do you know about it?”

“He just told me it was his favorite and he likes to reread it.”

“Yes. It is his favorite but it’s become more than that. This book has become his lifeline; in a matter of speaking. Those notes are things that help him remember. Take a look.”

K.C. reached for it and Ethan’s mother gets up and asks if she want’s a drink. K.C. carefully looks through the pages and sees hand drawn maps and a list of foods that Ethan likes to eat. There is a family tree drawn on one of the pages where the chapter ended and 7/8 of the page was blank. At the bottom there was Ethan and right above must have been his parents. Ethan’s mom is Terry and Ethan.She never knew he was a Junior. Seeing what page K.C. was on when she returned with with 2 cups of water Terry said that is an important page to Ethan. Maybe the most.

She then went on to explain how Ethan has a neurological disorder that has happened 5 years ago when he was in a car accident. He was in his last year of high school and was reading that same book when pile up happened on the expressway. He was in a coma for 3 months. Terry was visibly shaking reliving the most terrible time in her life in her mind. Ethan woke up the same day his class graduated. It took him the better part of a year to relearn his motor skills and to speak properly again. Since then he got G.E.D. but still has to live at home because he forgets important things. Every few days he might just forget who his parents are or where he is at that very moment.

“It happens 2 or 3 times a month. He is like a blank slate on the really bad days. He will look at me like I’m a stranger.” Terry was welling up again. She went on how Ethan writes important things down in a journal that a therapist suggested but he would forget where he would put it or just forget what notebook he started to write in. “I told him to put it where he will always remember, something special to him. And that’s what that book is. He just put’s the really important things in there, well important to him anyway.” At that  moment is when K.C. came across a sketch of herself on a green post-it on an earmarked page.

“I had no idea… I just wanted to get out… away from my parents for a bit and I should have known Ethan wasn’t OK.”

Terry reached over and gripped K.C.’s hand, “Yes you should have known that he was having a bad day, didn’t he seem a little odd to you today?”

K.C. shamefully admitted “Yeah. I was wrapped in my own head and he tried to tell me  but I was mad at my folks and…” then she wiped a tear from her cheek. She didn’t realize that she even crying.

Upstairs the shower had just shut off and the silence seemed to snap both Terry and K.C. back to the present. Grabbing the book Terry said she should put it back up in his room and K.C. should go.

“What can I do? Should I tell him I’m sorry?” question K.C.

Terry answered calmly “Chances are he might not even remember today, but if he brings it up you can apologize next time you see him. As what you can do? Continue being his friend, treat him the same that have been. He needs a friend and after meeting you I’m glad he has one in you”. Terry then briskly goes upstairs before Ethan leaves the bathroom and K.C. walks all the way home with a lot on her mind..

***

The TV’s glow was a sign to K.C. that Ethan was up. She thought for a moment to throw pebbles at his bedroom window but that seemed too John Hugh’s and not really her style, so she just dialed. A few rings later she hears Ethan’s voice.

“Hey.”

“You feeling OK?”

“Yeah. Why?”

“Um, No reason. I just had a bad dream and you were in it.” K.C knew that did not sound convincing at all.

“K.C., it’s 7:30 at night. Do you go to bed this early?” Ethan chuckled and then got a little serious and curious and brave all at the same time to say “ And do you often dream about me?”

With genuine disgust  K.C. answered “UGH! Don’t be so…male! I was just checking up on you.”

Clearing his throat “Right, of course. I was just just kidding.” He got off his bed and trying to find something to fiddle with because he was embarrassed as if she was in the room with him. “Sooo, whatcha doing?” Ethan wasn’t sure if asked that already and he cursed himself and smacked his forehead for not being a smooth talker.

“Just hangin”.

A long pause hung over the both of them. It had seemed like an hour had gone by Ethan but it was just seconds. He had no idea what to say to her even after all the time at the bookstore and the gym she was a mystery to him. He went over to turn the TV off and when he did he glanced out his window and there she was. Just standing, holding her cell and smelling some flowers that were in the neighbors yard across the street. Ethan then opened his window and hung up his phone and yelled hi.

Turning around in surprise K.C. waved and walked across the street and into the yard and stood under Ethan’s window. “How do feel, E?”

“I’m still fine. We just talked about it. But you’re the one with the nightmare, do you wanna come in and talk about it?”

Shaking her head side to side in the same manner that a toddler would. Ethan tried again with a different tactic “What was it about?” He leaned his elbows on the windowsill readying himself for a long story.

Choosing her words carefully as she looked up at Ethan, remembering how he looked at her so differently yesterday, like she was a total stranger. That hurt her more than she realized at first.

“My dream was that we were going on a trip… I don’t know where but we didn’t make it far because you got sick.”

Considering this Ethan thought for a moment and said “Well, It’s just a dream. As you can see I’m fine, don’t worry about it.” Still looking at K.C. looking at her paint spattered boots he adds “Come on in. I don’t think you’ve met my mother yet.”

Luckily K.C. was looking down because if she was facing Ethan he would see the sheer panic of seeing that woman again. “No, no.” she said while meeting his gaze and forcing a smile. “It’s getting late and I might go do some painting and I want to get there before it gets too dark. Laters.” She waved and walked off before Ethan can say another word. All he could do was watch her until she rounded the corner.

How I hated Dave Chappelle.

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I had gotten a call from an assistant director, Annie, asking me if I wanted to work on the Chappelle Show’s second season. I was super leery about this. I had never worked on a show like this before and I remember telling Annie I would call her back. I barely new of Dave at this time, not even sure if I had seen his movies yet but I heard of this show but never watched it. I had to call my boy in Atlantic City, Roberto to ask him if this was something I should do. He said yes, a hell yes if I remember correctly. He was a fan of Dave’s and the show.

My first couple of weeks were rocky, this was not my thing at all. For the years and shows that I worked on previously, it was teamster driven but not this one. My job was to take the company car, pick up Adam the 1st A.D. from home in the City and then drive to the set, wherever the locations department could wrangle on the cheap and down low. Like I said non union and for that the production company can get fined and such.

So past my chauffeuring of my boss I was supposed to lend a hand in setting up things like tables and help other departments with whatever they needed. Eventually I would get to do the main part of my job which was to handle any and all paperwork for every department on the set. Make they all had sides and scripts, plane any orders they needed, make sure that we had enough video and audio tapes and make sure that time cards were given and etc. and etc… at the end of the day collect the reports and tapes and get out times of everyone, drive Adam home then go back to the office and put all of that paperwork and tapes in a nice report then drive home. Somedays we would shoot 16 plus hours and then do all that stuff afterwards. It was too much. After a couple of times of me being late picking up Adam and me complaining, someone else took over for him getting to set.

I think it was in my 1st week I think the call time was at “X” and we were all set to shoot this long day except for Dave. He needed to sleep because he was tired. “What? We have been here for hours setting up for HIS show and he’s tired?” My thoughts at that time were somewhere in that frame but definitely not that nice. For a bit I couldn’t stand his diva ass and I’m pretty sure we were not even speaking, still early in the season.

Another long day and I helped pack up and got everyone’s reports and such, I went back to or HQ, the production office and it’s dark and lonely. I was getting used to it, no distractions. During the day I would be getting calls and text messages from Michelle, the chief office secretary and we had a system now. I would sit at her desk and do my reports and she would leave me notes and things to do or correct. But this night I heard voices from way in the back hall. The editor for the show would often be there later than me but he did have the same hours as me too.

I heard 3 voices and I took a look and it was the editor, Neil co-writer of the skits and Dave himself. This is when I found out why he was so tired before getting to work in the morning. Him and Neil would write for what was coming up, work with the editor AND if time permits go to a comedy club, whichever one that would let him walk right in unannounced and do a set, trying out new material, mastering his art. His days were maybe even longer than mine at times.

I learned to unclench and stop grinding my teeth when he needed a nap. At the time he had 2 young boys, one wasn’t even walking yet, and his wife would bring them into set almost everyday when we worked in the City. He didn’t see them when he got home because they were asleep but he was able to watch the babies first steps at work. Dave was working hard for them and I’m sure would rather be home but home came to him.

The months went by and Dave would come sit next to me and we would shoot the bull with other members of out team and he would often say that I was funny.  Working on that show was one of the highlights of my career. Not sure if I will ever see him again but I really think he would recognize me and ask me “What’s p, man?” like he did before. Wish him the best.

Russian Surrealism and Origami Chapter 3 part One.

Sorry. I didn’t put this up last night and I know it’s important not to keep you guys waiting, all 5 of you. But forgive me, it is my lady’s birthday weekend so we are taking a little time off for ourselves. So here we go with my favorite part of the story, if I do say so myself, Ethan is effing adorable for a fictional man.

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                                                 Chapter 3 part 1

These meetings went on for a few weeks without them really getting  to know each other. They would talk about books, cartoons or just make stories up about  other people and giggle among themselves. K.C. would notice that Ethan would act distant on some days, like it was the first time they met but that was O.K. with her because she liked to read with no distractions. She would get ‘her’ book and he would take his out of bag. Once she glanced over and couldn’t make out the cover or the title but noticed that it was full of notes and post-its and bookmarks.

Seeing her puzzled look, Ethan said with a shrug “I REALLY like this book” and would smile and go back to reading. On occasion he would scribble something in the blank spots on the page or read a post-it.

Some weeks Ethan noticed that, K.C. would come in with clay on her hands and not paint, after some coaxing he gleaned from her that she takes art classes whenever she feels like it. “It was a Groupon and since I have nothing else better to do…”

“Well why do you only come here once a week at the same time and leave at the same time? I mean we can eat something a bit hardier than scones.”

With lowered head she confessed “I’m not suppose to be here.” With some effort K.C. continued “I’m supposed to be next door at the gym. I used to be a model, that guy you saw me with was my runway partner sometimes. Anyway, it meant more to my parents than me after awhile and when I brought up that I wanted to quit my mom would guilt me and say that I’m blessed and millions of other girls would die to be me. So I started eating junk food and putting on the weight. Just enough for the agency to drop me, but the parental units could not leave it at that. They signed me up to that gym and drop and pick me up every week.”

There was a long pause and Ethan felt like he needed to say words of comfort and as he opened his mouth K.C. blurted out “But not anymore! I’m going to tell them that I’m 24 now and I just want to be happy and not do the things they want me to do, but.. I still want to lose the weight and do that for me and not them. But I hate going to the gym.”

“Well… I guess I will have to join and go with you. It could be fun”. Ethan exclaimed way too perkily.

“It’s for women only, stupid.”

“That place next door?”

“Yup”

“No problem. They have those huge ceiling to floor windows and when you’re doing your thing inside I can do the same thing outside.” Ethan was very proud of himself for thinking up such an plan.

“That is the most ridicules thing I have ever heard.” K.C. shook her head and waved him off. Getting ready to pack up her things and go until Ethan grabbed her arm.

“I can help you. We can do this”. He looked so sincere that she had to say yes. They both went down stairs and K.C. went inside the gym and got  schedule and came back out. The both of them planned out the routine that they would follow starting next week. Every now and then she would say how silly this was and he said that it would be fun.

****

They met outside of the gym. It was drizzling and there was a chill in the air.

“You don’t have to do this. We can go inside and…”

Shaking his head Ethan said “Nope. I’m all set. I rode my bike here and in my bag I have water, weights and a towel. We’re all set.”

“I can’t believe you are going to do everything outside on the sidewalk.” K.C. continued, “Here is a list of the things we will do, I printed you a list. First a quick stretch for about 5 minutes then 20 minutes on the bike and by that time it will be time for the aerobics class.”

“Gotcha.”

“Class will be 45 minutes, will you be able to handle that?”

“Forty-what? Surrrrreeee. No big deal” The words came out of Ethan’s mouth very shaky.

He smiled at K.C. and she just grunted and went inside. She found a staging area where she could see Ethan and him her. They both had the same music playlist for the full sharing experience and they started together. K.C. started to march in place and so did Ethan, then jumping jacks and ski hops. So far he was matching her move for move and they kept an eye on each other the whole time. Some eyes were on Ethan too from passerby or two but they just kept on going.

Now K.C. was pointing to the exercise cycle and Ethan gave her a thumbs up. He unchained his bike from the ‘No Parking’ post and figured he would go around the block for a few times until 20 minutes were up. That was a sound and logical plan but this was the busy time for the neighborhood, as people were trying to get home from work or go shopping or just to one of the many restaurants around.

When 20 minutes were up K.C. was concerned. She did not see Ethan come by the window once the whole time. Women were gathering for the class and K.C. went outside to see if she could spot Ethan at all. She looked in the direction that he went, then to her left. No sign of him. As she was about to grab her things from inside she saw him come from the street directly in front of her.

She could see that his pants had now had a tear down the left leg and where was the running  jacket he had on? He was walking the bike now because it looked like the front tire rim was more oval than round. He chained the bike back to the post and without even looking up at her Ethan only said “Don’t ask”. She didn’t and just gave him a hug and at that moment she noticed she was touching his bare skin on his back because there was no back to his shirt.

“I’m fine” he said as K.C. stepped away. “I just need to pick a better route next time,” with a smile. She took off her hoodie and gave it to him. Ethan struggling to get it on said with a smile again, not as big as his last one, there was a wince of pain on his face. “We have a class to take now.”

After being shooed inside several times K.C. took a her place by the window where she could keep an eye on  Ethan and the instructor just fine. As the class was doing some basic cardio the heavens opened up with buckets of rain. Looking up into the sky and down at his feet Ethan just shook his head for a few seconds, but after that he was began to mimic the instructor.

K.C. had to laugh at this poor man with very tattered pants in her hoodie that was so small for him that it looked like a belly shirt with big white stitching that said PINK. But he did the whole class despite the conditions, the lookie-loos and the occasional heckle. Ethan also drew attention of the instructor and with that winning smile of his he waved and put an extra effort in the moves. She waved back and went on.

‘Who is this man’ K.C. thought. Almost at the same time the instructor, Sharon, said the same thing.. K.C. raised her hand, winded, “He’s my friend. He is trying to help me stick with this”.

“He is a helluva friend. You should keep him.” Sharon smiled without a break in the program. The rest of the ladies in the class chimed in and agreed with her. They gave Ethan the nickname ‘cheerleader’ and waved. he smiled and waved back and the lady next to K.C. commented how cute he is, despite his choice in wardrobe. Silently K.C. agreed.

After class was over and the rain stopped of course. K.C. waved him in and he was much appreciative for it. This was a ‘no fly zone’ for men but this one time Sharon bent the rules for him. About 30 women said good night to him and one of them lent him a sweatshirt that would fit.

“I want to take you to get something to eat, but my father just drove up.” K.C. pointed out the window. “We can give you a ride home.”

“YES, please! I can’t feel anything from my nose down.” And with that she introduced him to her father and off they went after the bike was loaded in the trunk.

Ethan and K.C.’s meetings continued and the weather started to get warmer. All of the ladies in the exercise class knew his name as he did theirs, he was quite popular. After class K.C. would suggest either dinner or the bookstore. She was not hiding the fact that she was not going to class from here parents because she really was and for sometime now, and when not in class she would take afternoon runs.

“Why are you reading that again?” with a mouth full of taco salad and pointing at it on the table.

Swallowing “ Because I like it. I told you that” Ethan put his hand protectively over the well worn book

“Can I take a look?”, she started reaching over.

“NO!” exclaimed Ethan. More than a few heads turned and K.C.’s eyes widen and she drew her hand back quickly like it was going to get bit. Ashamed Ethan continued in a lower than normal tone “I mean not this one, I’ll get you a brand new copy. We’ll get it tonight right after this.” He looked down into his plate but didn’t eat another bite. Just moved the food around in swirls and K.C. for the first time saw that there might be something wrong.

 

Russian Surrealism and Origami pt.2

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Yesterday I posted part one of this romance I wrote. A short story and in retrospect it was pretty bad. I used the word ‘very’ in almost every other paragraph. That is a huge Writer’s No No, I found out later when I was trying to learn the ‘rules’ of the art. ‘Very’ is such an empty word that says nothing. “The father is very mad at his son.” doesn’t sound as good as “The father was boiling over with anger at his son.” Not the best sentence I have ever written but there is more to the second example, something that the mind’s pictures more clearly. Perhaps dad was shaking because he was mad, perhaps sweating. I know you get what I mean. So to make this story readable I tweaked it a little, but stayed true to what I wrote all those years ago. Glad I got better with practice. Enjoy.

Chapter 2

A week later K.C. went back to the book store, squatted in her spot and flipped to her last page and found inserted there was a  folded piece of paper. In neat handwriting there was a note.

I don’t even know

Where I should start

You’ve affected my life

By looking like a piece of art.

 

“Double You Tee Eff?”she said loudly, not caring if children are around or not.  ‘It must be basement boy.’ she thought, ‘Gahhd, you can’t even glance at people without thinking it means something.’ She crumbled it up and left it on the floor and went back to her reading.

The following week K.C. found another paper inserted there but this was a yellow origami in the shape of a crane, but that’s not all. On it she could see some lines, she unfolded it to see herself. There was a drawing of her from the shoulders up and it looked REALLY good. The only color was streak of pink hair that she kept colored upfront. The details were right on even down to the paint specks she had on her face, but those were from 2 weeks ago.

***

Ethan saw her smile as she folded the crane back and she set it in front of her, she smiled again and then picked up her tea and and started reading. Ethan was  beside himself with glee and trying to think what to do next. Then it happened. All of his elation was swept away when a  handsome man  stood over her the girl of his dreams in an arrogant stance like he was a damn superhero and she looked up with a joy and jumped into his arms and gave him a kiss and ran her fingers  his hair.

They sat together and spoke quietly and into each others ears and God Dammit he even looked like a God damn superman. The bluest eyes (they must be contacts) and a thick set of jet black hair. Broad shoulders, the kind that women love and he didn’t shave for a couple of days so he had that sexy scruff that all the movie stars have. Ethan thought if there was some kryptonite he could get his hands on and cram down this pretty boy’s throat. She picked up the origami to show it to him and they both laughed. That was it! Ethan could stand no more. Maybe she is just a shallow, fickle woman that has no real emotions. Maybe she just likes cookie cutter men that all look alike. Well if that was the case then she was not for Ethan. He put his book back in his pack and stormed out into the night.

A week went by and Ethan thought that he would leave a nasty note to tell her how two dimensional she is and she would not know a real man if he came up and bumped into her. Ethan found her book and her page took a yellow scrap of paper out of his pocket and then…

“You know you could just try to come up to me and say ‘hi’.

With a little jump and a quick turn Ethan saw her, just a few inches  from him.  She was stunning and not smiling. He was nervous that she thought he was a creepy stalker. Ethan could not speak. His mouth was open but couldn’t form the words so he unfolded and his note that had only one word on it.

HI!

After an awkward time of staring at each other Ethan clears his throat because he thought it would crack. “Hello”. It did anyway.

“You did some creeper things you know. You’re not a creeper are you?” K.C. accused while poking her finger in his chest with every syllable she uttered, making Ethan take a couple of steps back.

“No, no. Not at all. I…just wanted to get to know you.” Ethan could not even even look her in the eye during the last part. He looked around and there were patrons looking at his humiliation. Ethan actually was looking at the floor for a hole to swallow him up.

K.C. also noticing that she was causing a scene grabbed the paper from Ethan’s hand and then grabbed him by his sleeve and pulled him down to the cafe. She ordered two hot chocolates and pointed to a couple of stools against the wall. They sat in silence, staring out the window and sipped. It was like that for over an hour and Ethan thought it was awkward to say the least. She was flipping through some fashion magazines, not even pay attention to Ethan. He introduced himself and put out his hand and all she did was nod and not even looking his way.

After a few more minutes passed K.C. looked at her cell phone and got up and collected her things. “It was nice meeting you, Ethan. Next week? Same Bat time, same Bat channel!”  and like that she was out the door.

Not sure what just happened, Ethan just sat there for a few more minutes to take in what just  occurred. He looked at the cups that were still sitting in front of him and he saw her name scribbled on them from the barista.

“KC huh? Her name are initials?” commented Ethan with a shrug and threw out the cups. He went back upstairs and found a spot to sit and dug into his bag and took out his novel and his ever present pen and post-its and started reading and writing .

The next 7 days seemed to crawl on by but when it did finally come Ethan could barely wait until that night.  He went to the cafe and got two drinks and as they were being handed to him a voice whispered in his ear “I want whip cream.” Without turning  Ethan smiled and asked for the cream to be added.

“Here you go K.C.” passing it over, he thought he was clever. If she thought it was she didn’t show it. They went upstairs to collect her book and found a space for the both of them. They read, chatted about the weather and read some more.

Out of nowhere K.C. blurted “Why did you leave me those notes?” He shrugged. Continuing “That first one, you know, that love poem was total rubbish.”

Ethan wished that never came up. “Yeah, sorry about that. I’m no poet and I know it.”

That brought a smile to both of them. “Did you like the picture?”.

“Yes it was very good, you even had the paint splatter on my face. Did you draw it that night?”

“No. I had taken a picture…” and at that moment he wished those words never came out but he continued “and I had printed it up and had my cousin draw it out. I have no real talents”.

K.C. just blinked at him in slight awe and again Ethan was looking for that hole. “Don’t know origami?”

“No, I learned over there in the children books over there.” he pointed over his shoulder still not looking up.

“O.M.G.! You are a creeper! Taking paparazzi like pictures and going to the kiddie sections.” she punched him in the shoulder and started to laugh. The kind of belly grabbing laugh and this made Ethan feel better, he started to chuckle himself.

“Now I have a question for you? Where’s your boyfriend?

Immediately K.C. stopped and responded “Wait, what?”

“You know, that Kansas farm boy that was laughing at my origami.”

“He was not laughing and he’s not my boyfriend. Just a friend. We used to work together and he was in town for a few days and came to see me. We used to travel for work and became close. Like sister close, we would tell each other about the boys we liked.”

‘Gay?’ thought Ethan. “Yesssss”. Uh oh, did that part come out?

“Yes, what?” she asked.

“Yes… I want to finish reading this chapter. Its getting good.” was the only thing that Ethan could think of. So for the duration of the hour they read. She got up and they agreed for another weekly drink and read.

 

Another Bottom Drawer Story

In one of my earlier posts, I quoted  Hemingway on saying how we all write for one person even if they don’t read it or not. I think this was the first one that I did for a HER. The story takes place over years and here is the first chapter of it.

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                                               Russian Surrealism and Origami 

Chapter 1

It was raining the night  he noticed her. The kind of cold rain that drove people inside. Most would go home and not even try to brave the February nastiness, but since Ethan didn’t like his home life he opted for this place; the big franchise chain of a bookstore just a subway ride away.

He brought a book from his favorite writer from home. It was obvious because it had bookmarks and posits sticking out of it.

“Who brings a book to a bookstore?” an employee asked him as she handed him his tea in the cafe. Ethan just smiled and found a spot  on the floor upstairs by the window. He admired the pictures hanging on the walls of old book covers, trying to exercise his memory by knowing what authors had written the books before he started to read his novel.

Time had passed when he looked up from his tattered pages and saw HER walk up the escalator  with an air of confidence, like it was her name on the sign out front, she knew where she was going. Still wet  from the weather and holding a hot cup from the cafe downstairs, she began to unbutton her coat. When reaching her “spot” on the opposite wall from Ethan, she set the cup down on the shelf for a moment to  slide her hood back and finish taking  off her coat and dropped it on the floor.

Her dark brown hair was down to the middle of her back. She wasn’t paper thin but by no means fat and was wearing a purple thermal shirt with tears on the left arm and the rest of her wardrobe was light denim overalls with paint splatters all around. Every color Ethan has ever seen and a few he hasn’t seemed to make this ordinary piece of work clothing look like it should be framed and put on display somewhere downtown.

Still struck by her clothing Ethan didn’t realize he was staring at her backside until she started to turn around. Her wet hair blocked Ethan’s view of her face. She had a book in her hand and grabbed her cup and clenched it between her teeth, crossed her legs and slumped down hard. Thumbing through her book until she found the page that she wanted, takes the book and turns it over in her into her lap, and retrieves the still steaming cup from her mouth and puts it down on the floor next to her. It looked like she was taking moment to make sure everything fine and looked like she was lost in thoughts ,she ran all her fingers through her hair and scratched it and looked up at the ceiling pulling  all of it into a ponytail and binds it back with a hairband that was worn on her wrist. This was the first time Ethan saw her face and it was as complex as her overalls.  A cornucopia of a races and she was the most beautiful thing on the planet at that moment, for all moments, past, present, and future, on all planes of reality to Ethan.

***

“Ouch.” tea was still hot and K.C. cursed out loud; probably a bit too loud but she looked around to see if any children were within earshot and was relieved when there wasn’t. She hates it when people curse freely around kids, just show some respect was her motto.

The book is well used and only by K.C., after all she has been reading it for a month now. This bookstore is her place to hide when she should be somewhere else, doing something else that she really couldn’t care about at all.

‘Not even half way through’ she thought and looked at one of  three her watches on her right arm then she looked up and around at her fellow patrons and time killers. Sometimes she would make stories up in her mind about them just for her amusement. Like over there was a young mother looking for her toddler but to K.C. she was a cop looking for a harden criminal whom just escaped, and the ‘crook’ was enjoying  the chase and would squeal in a madman’s delight like a Batman villain.

In the one chair that’s in this section is the red headed guy who comes here every week just like she does and plays that same handheld game every time. The familiar ‘beeps’ and ‘doop doops’ come chiming out of  the device always in the same pattern. At first she would imagine that he was a hacker using the free WiFi to take over the world, but now he has been reduced to an unemployed guy living with his parents, in the basement no less.

Opposite of  K.C. was guy in red hoodie with glasses that made him like a Malcom X reject but that’s a nerd for you. ‘Gahhd he doesn’t even play the came well. Look at him trying not to seem obvious that he’s peeking at me’, ran through her head.

She verbalized “Stalker” in a high sing-song voice and the redheaded/hacker/gameboy/basement dweller looked at K.C. and smiled rather creepily at her. “UGH!”

***

For a  half of hour Ethan read  the same words over and over because of that girl with painted overalls had totally enthralled him.  He did not comprehend what he read but he made it to the end of the page finally. He knows what that girl looks like so well that he could describe her to the last detail. He closed his eyes and remembered that  she has smear of sky blue paint on her left cheek and a dab of crimson on the tip of here nose. In her hair there was a pink streak of hair dye that was up front and ran down on the right side of her face.

When Ethan took another look she was looking at her watch and sighs. Packing up to go she  and places the book back where it belongs on the shelf before collecting her stuff and makes towards the escalators.  Ethan wonders if he will ever see her again. Checking his own watch now he realizes he has some time left before the store closes and finally gets to reading his book without distractions but she was near the front of his mind.

“Attention customers, the store will be closing in 15 minutes. If you have any purchases, now is the time to bring them to the cashiers…” a male voice droned on. Ethan tried to get up but the pins and needles sensation in his left foot made it difficult at first but was able to limp over to where the girl was awhile ago.

“Which one?” he asked himself as he searched for what she was reading.

“Ah, there you are.” He pulled out a rather thick book that was  sticking out a little bit from all of the other books that were neatly sitting on the shelf.

‘Hmmm…she’s a thinker. Russian surrealism, go figure’ thought Ethan as he flipped through, she is she dogeared the page so she can pick up where she left off. Now Ethan knows that she will be back since there were several pages with creases in them. Now WHEN was the question.  He sat in her spot with the book and then dug through his backpack. He knew what to do to get her attention.