Not How He Planned It

She sat on the edge of the bed; the middle sagged. Blankets with blood spots were wrapped around her. A 60-watt bulb burned without a shade. She sat there. Looking at him sitting in a chair across the room. Wearing dirty boxers and an undershirt. Smoking a cigarette. A bottle of whiskey sat on the stand next to him.

You want some? he motioned towards the bottle. She shook her head. He took the bottle with the turkey on it and poured some into a glass that had lipstick stains. He smeared the faded red marks with his thumb. We need to keep a tidier ship around here, he said. She sat there quietly and nodded her head.

The bulb began to flicker. The man walked over to it and made an adjustment; screwing it tighter until it broke in his hand. Damn it, he swore. The glass cut his fingertips. He sat next to her and wrapped his hand with the brown stained sheet. Nothing is clean around here, he said. There’s blood everywhere. Dried blood. Fresh blood. Blood, he told her. It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way, he walked back to his chair and poured another glass; covered his fingers with his tee-shirt. Weren’t you gonna be some kind of model? he asked. I mean. I’m nothing special. Just a broken down old man. But, you were gonna be somebody, he said. That’s how I remember it, she stared straight ahead in the dark. Sure you don’t want none? She shook her head. I can’t hear you.

Nope.

Why not? We got no place to be tomorrow.

No thank you.

Rent is due tomorrow, she nodded her head. There was silence. She laid back down in the bed. The pillow had drool marks on it.

He walked over to her and stood there in the dark. What? she asked, pulling the blankets up over her head.

Nothing. Nothing. You were supposed to be special. This ain’t how I planned it. He paused. Turned around and sat back down. Rent is due tomorrow.


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