I open my eyes, and spasm; the clarity is all too hurtful, I quickly squint and cover my face with my right hand, I can barely breathe through my nose, and when I open my mouth, it feels like it was dried out with a sponge.
as I move my head around, I realize I’m laying on top of a blue couch, there’s a black ceiling lined with blueish LED lights. I look at my left arm, it’s holding a tepid, half empty can of beer. Still unsure as to what’s going on, I pat myself down, looking for my phone, my wallet, any indication of where I am.
I feel a hard rectangle near my leg, I pull it out of my pants; it’s a broken phone, and when I press a button, a low battery warning appears. Then I feel a softer rectangle near my other leg, I pull it out of my pants and open it. A metro card and a few bills fall off.
I rise up from the blue couch and stretch, my neck is in agonizing pain, and my arms and legs suddenly feel disturbingly cold. Examining the room, There’s a small balcony overlooking a double storey window. I can hear sounds coming from the lower floor.
Curiosity charges me, and I approach the balcony, slowly, feeling some sort of dizziness.
The noises become more defined, it certainly seems like approaching steps. As I look over the balcony, a short woman, in a grey turtleneck, approaches the patio, dragging along a large travel bag.
She delicately drops the bag to the floor and sits on top of it. she then takes her purse and pulls out a couple of papers and a passport. It was then that I realized that breathing through my mouth would be too loud, so I tried my best to breath through my nose.
I was unsure as to how to approach her, to know where I was, and why I was there. through my mind I could only imagine I was at a party or something, but the two storey loft looked spotless, as if someone cleaned the entire area but chose to leave me on the couch with the tepid can of beer.
suddenly, the woman throws the papers on the ground; the passport making a particularly harsh noise as it hits the marble flooring. Then, she starts audibly crying. I suddenly feel nauseous and lay down on the floor next to the balcony handlebars. I try to pull myself together, my body feeling like a rag doll, unbothered as to what I commanded it to do.
Her wail reverberated through the walls and irritated my ears, making me cringe. Slowly, it began dying down, as she calmed herself. But it suddenly stopped.
“We... we have a problem.”
She remained silent for a moment.
“Please just. Just come here, I have to tell you”
Slowly, my eyes drew shut, and I fall asleep.
My phone buzzes, and I’m back in the couch. As the noise startled me I dropped the can of beer, and a small puddle forms on the floor. As I pat myself down, I realize my phone is in my left pocket, and I pull it out. There’s a message on the screen.
“What should I do”
I reach over to the small image on the corner of the screen, and press it. A man with a short woman are posing next to an office cubicle. Suddenly the status changes from “online” to “typing”
“I swear, this is the last straw”
“I can’t handle her bullshit anymore, I am so done with her. It won’t even hurt”
I returned to the chat box, and tried to type back, but my fingers seemed to sink into the screen and nothing gets written on the text box. The contact’s status again changed from “online” to “typing”
“Well, wish me luck”
Suddenly I slip back into consciousness, I’m lifting my hands up at chest height in the air, but not holding anything with my hands. I look over the balcony once over and once again see this woman, but she’s standing up, behind the bag.
Then, a door opens, and steps become audible.
“Hey” The woman said, as she waved her right hand in an embarrassed fashion.
“Hello” a male voice said in the background, the steps becoming harder as they approached the patio.
“So, this must be it”
“You don’t understand”
“Oh but I do. I really do”
The man began pacing around the room, I retracted back behind the balcony so that he wouldn’t see me.
“I’m such an idiot”
“Oh don’t say that”
“Then why the fuck am I putting up with this shit, this is the third time”
“It’s quite enough. We agreed to this, we agreed that you’d look for the right papers, divorcing him, and you’d finally come with me”
“Just shut up okay!”
She shouted, nervously.
“Look at this” She said, as she kicked her bag. “Does it look like I’m having second thoughts?”
He stood; silent, awaiting her explanation.
“He... He came back, he told me I couldn’t take the kids”
“Oh, just like the last time? You’re just gonna leave me here again, standing?”
“Here’s my bag, asshole. My kids are staying at their grandparents”
He looked shocked.
The apartment was sunk into silence. I approached the balcony once again. Both sat against the wall, looking at the huge window. On the outside, a light shower started coating the window, the rain emitting a soft sound as it fell.
“Yeah, my goddamn kids”
“Shit. I wasn’t ready for this, I swear I thought I was gonna come in here and break up with you” he said as he chuckled.
“I just, I just want to stop disappointing you, but I don’t know what to do. So yeah, I’m leaving my kids behind, is that what you wanted?”
“Of course not.... But, I don’t want to stay here either”
“I’m at my wit’s end, man, this is all I’ve got.”
“Why, why can’t we just work?”
“You know my husband, he just.. he always does this”
“Yeah? Then why haven’t you divorced him? If custody was clearer we wouldn’t be losing a goddamn flight as we speak”
“It’s complicated, it’s not like you divorced your wife immediately”
“It’s been four years”
“What do you want me to do about it!”
“Is this your way of teasing him?”
“Yeah, are you just teasing him? Just holding off on the divorce in case we go sideways?”
“Well, right around now it would seem rather convenient to have an insurance, wouldn’t it?”
“Of course it would.”
“Wait, seriously? You really think that?”
“You’re not giving me anything else to work with”
“You said it yourself, it’s been four years”
“Yeah, and you haven’t let go”
“Then why do I have my bags here? If the condition is that we go, then we go. Fuck it. I have my passport right here. I have my bag right here, I have our four tickets right here. Shame we can only use two”
“You would hate me if we left without your kids”
“It doesn’t seem like you’re giving me a goddamn choice, it’s either suffering our breakup, or suffering without my kids for some time. How am I the bad guy here?”
“If you had just divorced that asshole we wouldn’t even be talking about this!”
“Oh you try divorcing him. It’s fucking impossible, ever since he tried to jump”
“Oh, now we have to pay for the your husband’s suicidal tendencies.”
“He’s not my husband”
“That’s not what the state records show”
“You’re just gonna try and squeeze this whole victim character for as long as this conversation continues, won’t you... Just, unable of seeing what I’m going through. My goddamn kids. It’s two months and they’re just five!”
“Okay you know what stop. We’re never gonna solve this on time”
“Ok, then you decide.”
“I... I don’t think I want to.”
They both approached the window. Looking at the rain as they breathed heavily. The light shower quickly turned into a strong storm, turning the sky from blueish grey to an almost black shade of grey.
“I need to talk with my brother, he’ll know what to do”
“You want your brother to solve our relationship?”
“Yeah, I guess I’d rather have him decide. Because I’m either too stubborn to see it’s over, or too stupid to see a way out.”
“Okay, let’s do that. If that’s what you need” She said. Then she turned her eyes towards his arm and took his hand, he spasmed as her hand gripped his. As I watched this peculiar scene unfold, my muscles started to tense, and started retching. As my frame convulsed I tried to hold myself together and keep my mouth shut. But just as they started turning around, I felt a column of burning liquid go up my throat and into my mouth.
At first I tried containing it, but I knew it was too late, I gripped the handlebar and pulled my body into the void; feeling my body releasing the toxic bloat as it escaped my mouth.
When the first splashes of vomit hit the ground, the bizarre couple looked upwards; startled. At first they shouted; holding themselves tight. Then when I looked at them, I realized I knew exactly where I was.
“What the fuck are you doing in my apartment, Frank?” I heard him scream. As my stomach emptied, I felt release; I felt comfort. So I dropped myself to the ground, a breathed heavily.
Awaiting some sort of confrontation.