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Rewind. Rewind. Rewind.
I have always had a saying. When life gets rough, drown your miseries in a high fructose, corn syrup laden drink called a Slurpee. I guess you can say that is what wound me up here, here being this compact, blue Jetta, driven by this somewhat stranger girl and her shock of red hair; my role as the helpful passenger to giver current directions to our current destination, unknown. I mean, at this point I had nothing better to do, and I had no complaints. Yet.
12 Hours Earlier
It was that time of the day again, that one time of the day we as a collective race dread, when a somewhat insignificant piece of timekeeping technology becomes a dream slaughtering sensation, its shrieking melodies topping the hate lists of the world for a few brief seconds. The particular dream in question, though it was more of a recurring nightmare, though my parents dearest (who I am convinced would find this nightmare of the pleasant sort, as in rainbows and unicorns pleasant) would say it was all in the eye of the beholder. The dream opens with its victim, a timid, middle aged man waking up in the morning to get dressed in proper cubicle dwelling attire. He heads down stares and greets his doting, faceless wife, kisses his faceless children goodbye, and walks out the door with a cup of overly caffeinated black coffee. (And for future dream reference, when I say faceless, I literally mean no facial features jammed onto the front of her skull faceless) He proceeds to his gray, family sedan which, as he turns the key in the ignition, doesn’t start, the ancient thing eventually rumbling to life after much begging and coaxing. As he is backing out, he also hits the mailbox and spills the aforementioned coffee all over is dress slacks. His car troubles cost him an hour getting to him to the office, a blank, stark, generic building of sorts (Isn’t it written somewhere tin the building code about this?
Section 5.5763 Division 324.7 Paragraph 5 Sub-paragraph 2 Asterisk 4
An office building, to be an office building must be stark, plain, generic, and unnecessarily unappealing
Anyway.) Our poor soul enters coffee adorned pants and all through the double doors, past the fake potted plants and (surprise surprise) faceless receptionists and employees to his dismal and, quite dreary might I add, cubicle; a family portrait and a rather horrible rendering of a dog and sunshine in crayon by his daughter the only things of note to stare at as he is vocally raped by his sweaty, overweight boss on the consequences of his tardiness. When the Gorilla finishes his oral tirade, he looks at the blank wall and the blank clock as its counts down to the day he dies. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. When an eternity has come and gone, he heads back to the car, drives home, and pulls up into the driveway his white, cookie cutter suburban home. After an appetizing dinner of tasteless mush, the man heads to bed, wherein his theoretical restart button it pushed. Enter me waking up to the earsplitting scream of the alarm, my own scream drowning out that of the latter.
Disoriented, and thrashing around, I fall out of bed. Crap. I jolt up, wide awake, and my bedside tables meets my head in holy matrimony. Ouch. Rubbing my now-the-size-of-a-goose-egg-welt, I ponder on the course of my day. This mindless mind wandering leads me to her, and before I know it, she is pushing all other thoughts out of my head. Her amber curls reflect the sunlight as they frame her porcelain face, the blush splaying out across her olive complexion as I tell her I love her. She returns the favor with a peck to the cheek, already running to the end of the wharf, her feet a pitter patter on the weather worn planks. She reaches her destination, the end, where plank meets ocean, and throws her hands wide, welcoming the sun and shine as the wind plays ever so softly with her hair. I whisper softly, I love you more then you will ever know, Cathe-EEEEEEEEEEEE. The alarm clock, not content with its peaceful slumber, resumes its melodious noises.
I am jolted out from between here and there, her face already receding from my vision. Shaking my head, I pick my self up and start my day. Today is the day, today is the day I repeat endlessly in my head. I throw on my nicest pair of pants, a dress shirt she called me “cute” in, and don a leather jacket, funny, being the one she picked out for me 2 Christmases ago. My heart starts to race again, and I reach for the velveteen box, removing it from its place of honor on the window sill. Grabbing my phone, I start down the hallway and into our kitchen. “Food,” I murmur, “Check.” I grab a banana. “Flowers?” I say to no one but myself, “check.” (Lovely plans for a hot date? Also a check, but who needs reminding?) My mental checklist reviewed, double checked, and approved, the car is my next destination. My ever so awesome cream, ’67 VW Beetle, (the first car she called me hot in) (nicknamed Lazy Daisy by my friends, not so awesome now that I think about it) purrs to life, and I am off. Seacliff Dr. rushes by and her sea-facing condo enters my field of field of vision, so I park. I do a double take as I open the door, Is my hair nice? How are my clothes? Since when did she give a crap?
A curious anomaly happens; my entire 5 years of knowing and loving her flash before my eyes and I walk up the front steps. Ring. Now, before I continue, there should be a number of things a boyfriend should be allowed to expect when ringing his girlfriends doorbell, but, one thing a boyfriend should never expect, is Kolby Clearwater. As in, best friend Kolby Clearwater, hottest guy in school Kolby Clearwater, naked except for a towel, HER towel, Kolby Clearwater. Thud being the sound of my heart beating its last beat, my stomach dropping out my butt, the sky falling, and the flowers, along with my life, crashing to the floor.
This next scene might as well be that out of a script for a trashy soap opera. So lets lay it out for you.
Kolby: “Yo’, Cliff, man, this ain’t what it looks like!” (Usually a sign of the end, or, the beggining of the end.) Kolby appears just as shocked as I am and he throws his hands up in the hair in self defense, forgetting they were keeping the curtain up on Kolby Junior. His attempts to “Lower the curtain”, or raise the curtain in this sense, on his manliness’ full stage exposition is somewhere between comical and morbid.
Cliff: “I-I-I-” I can’t keep it up any longer, I back up. The wonderful writers throw in a new plot twist, Kolby still struggling with the towel and Kolby Jr. when I notice her running down the steps, shrieking. I continue to back up. Rewind. Rewind. Rewind.
Catherine: “Cliff, Heathcliff, I swear this isn’t what it looks like. I am sorry, it was one time, it was a mistake, I am sorry” The stereotypical and ever so fittings words spew from her mouth, but I am barely paying attention. Rewind. Rewind. Rewind.
I open the door of my car and get in as she continues to shriek, closing the door. She bangs on my window, shouting something still along the lines of I’m sorry. I pull out the velveteen box, and press the ring to window, murming a cross between “I loved you” and “Why?” She pauses, dumbfounded, and I push on the gas, her silhouette remaining in my rearview window as the distance between us grows.
A single tear rolls down my cheek and onto my cracked leather interior.
Rewind. Rewind. Rewind.