Whisps

March 4, 2014
By catik111 SILVER, Des Moines, Iowa
catik111 SILVER, Des Moines, Iowa
7 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"After all, we are nothing more or less than what we choose to reveal." Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey), House of Cards


Her eyes follow to the whisps of steam as they rise. Lazy coffee, she accuses. She feels an arm come and hug her shoulders from behind. Trance now broken, she looks upon him. “Hey, I heard what happened.”
“Who hasn’t?”
“You seem to be taking it pretty well.”
“I try.”
“I’ve got news.”
Indifferent to this escape, she absentmindedly bites. “What’s that?”
“I was recommended for a new position.”
“Really?”
“Yep. The boss came up to me and told me that he was asked to select his hardest worker, and he thought that I fit the profile.”
“That’s great.”
“All I have to do now is sign the papers and show up for an interview.”
“Seems easy enough, I think you can do it.”
“I agree. It’s a huge opportunity. And, there was drama along with it.”
The coffee had cooled but she could feel the steam laze about the back corners of the room. “Do tell,” she said, looking back to the defunct coffee.
“Well you see Carla thought she was going to be the one to be recommended. She’s been there so long, you know. She was so mad when she found out, being my ‘superior’ and all that. Oh well, it was just simple fact I beat her out for it. No one works as hard as me.”
“You deserve it,” she mentioned quietly, but not too quietly.
“Exactly what I said. ‘I earned it,’ I told her. She just looked at me. Well anyways I’ll get a call about the interview soon and then within a week or so they’ll tell me if I made the cut or not.”
“I’m so proud of you.”
After a pause she said, “I have to go get ready but-“
“I’m sorry about what happened-“
“It was great to hear about your interview, I couldn’t be more excited! It’s making this day go by a lot easier.”
“Thanks. I have to dash to meet Jim, but I’ll see you later tonight.”
“See ya.”
Both on their feet, he gave her a quick peck on the forehead and hurried to grab his things. Smiling out the door he gave a short wave and left. Still smiling, she put her hand on the table, apparently to steady her self. With a soft chuckle she picked up her mug and dumped it in the sink, leaning over the disposal. She then began to take notice of the sleepless nights she had endured, and realized she didn’t care.
She was thrust awake by the abrupt buzz of the doorbell. Without a second thought she was jolted back to reality and went straight to the door. It was her friend Frances. “Oh hello there, lovely! It’s so great to see you again; you look great.”
“Well, I don’t feel great. Here, come on in.”
“Oh, don’t be ridiculous! You’re a wonderful person, and this is just a small set back.”
“This is the eighth time.”
“Does it matter? We all know you’re capable of doing it, so why do even need to prove yourself anyway?”
“What?”
“If everyone knows you can do it, then why should you have to do it at all? Can I smoke in here?”
“Not in here,” she replied in a confused state, “Landlord, I guess, doesn’t like it.”
“Bummer.”
They have made their way to the living room. She couldn’t tell you how they got there, just that they ended up there. “I don’t know, I’ve just felt pretty down about the whole thing.”
“It’s all there, you just haven’t been able to get there, quite yet.”
“Well, yeah, it may be there, but it just can’t happen when I want it to. There’s just always someone better.”
“I totally understand.’
“I mean, everytime I get so close but I’m never quite there.”
“Definitely,” Francie was now checking her phone.
With a slight laugh and a shake of her head, she says, “Can I get you something to drink?”
“Iced Tea will be fine.”
As she grabbed the gallon price-saver jug of Arizona Iced Tea and poured two glasses, Francie began a new conversation, “So how are you and Harry?”
“Oh fine.”
“That doesn’t sound fine,” she says, receiving another text message.
“Well, I don’t know, whatever it is is probably in my head. As usual.”
“What a head-case,” Francie adds laughing.
“Oh, for sure,” she says sarcastically, but doubts the true purpose of it.
“So what is this imaginary problem?”
“I don’t know, it’s just- I just don’t know. I feel like I’m not meeting some sort of standard.”
“Like?”
Now sitting by each other, she takes a sip from her glass so as to give her time to formulate an answer.
“He’s just- really great. To the point at which I feel the need to be just as great to him. As if it were an obligation for me to be the best girlfriend because he’s the best boyfriend.”
“Okay.”
“I honestly don’t know if I’m making any sense.”
“No, you are.”
“Well, I might talk to him about it. You know, tell him how I’m feeling and decide a course of action from there.”
“Okay, that doesn’t make sense.”
“Well I’ve never been in a relationship like this and I just don’t want to let him down because I like him so much and he’s so great I just-“
“Are you considering breaking up with him?”
“Possibly.”
“Alright. Look me in the eye right now.”
“Okay?”
“I forbid you to break up with Harry because you think he is too good for you.”
“But-“
“Don’t tell me that’s not what you’re thinking, because that’s exactly it. You don’t feel good enough for him because he’s so great to you.”
“Well, yes.”
“No. I refuse for this to happen. He is literally so great as a boyfriend, you can’t handle it. That doesn’t make you any less of a girlfriend. That doesn’t make you any less of a person. You need to realize that.”
“I just always go to him with my problems and, let’s be honest, I’m crazy. I literally worry about everything and-“
“And he’s your rock.”
“He’s my rock.”
“Then why are you even questioning this? Clearly he’s making your life better! And if he truly cared that you leaned on him for that kind of stuff, he would tell you.”
“But-“
“No buts, you can’t break up with someone because you feel deficient. If that was true you wouldn’t have this great relationship in front of you,” she put a hand on my shoulder, “you just need to stop worrying. This is working, and it’s helping, and it’s everything anyone would want. Don’t throw it away.”
Frances leaned in and gave her a hug, which was returned after a wiping away of tears.

“Glad to see things are looking up,” he says walking in with a radiant smile.
“I see you had a good night,” she had no choice but catch the contagious radiance.
“Wonderful, Jim is helping me put everything together for the interview and he said he knows the guy who’s conducting it. Fantastic night.”
“Good,” she looks off, obnoxiously.
“Oh. What’s wrong?”
“Well, I don’t want to bring down your night.”
“Of course not, tell me what’s wrong?”
“No it’s-“
“Just tell me.”
“No, never mind it’s fine.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. Tell me more about how Jim knew this guy.”
“Well, apparently their parents knew each other and they met each other while they were young and then keep in touch through out college.”

She has to admit, it’s hard to walk in the dark. She put her hands out before her to warn her of oncoming traffic. The kitchen still smelled of coffee, even the scent was lazy. She hit the counter and started feeling around for something to fill her hands. In the process, she knocked over the loudest pans in the kitchen. “S***.”
Edging her way around the counter, knocking the pan in the process. The shush didn’t help anything. Clawing her way to the fridge she opened it to gain light, but a bottle of wine dropped and shattered on the floor. Now shaking, she fell directly to the ground and backed herself away from the broken pieces. She clasped her hand over her mouth. She closed her eyes and forced only long, deep breaths. “No no no no no no” she repeated and swallowed hard.
The light to the room came on and she threw herself towards the broken glass, ripping open her palm in the process.
“What happened in here? Are you okay?”
“I-I-I…I was cold. I was looking for my sweater.”
“In the fridge?”
“No. I just couldn’t see. And I didn’t want to wake you up, and tripped over the pans and I fell on the fridge and-“
“S***, your bleeding. Let me get something to wrap that.”
He turned and left the room and she stumbled over to the nearest chair. She looked at the blood dripping from her hand and on to the floor. “Here you go,” he said, laying out the supplies.
“Did you get anything in it?”
“Maybe.”
“Here, let me clean it. It’ll sting.”
She barely reacted expect with a slight inhale, “See that wasn’t bad.”
“In comparison.”
“Alright, there you go, all better. Now you go look for the sweater and I clean up this mess, okay?”
“Just like usual, you cleaning up after me.”
He smiled at the illusion, “Hey, that’s my job.”
When they got to the door of their bedroom, she said, “I was going for the wine.”
“I know.”

Another day, another cup of coffee. This cup was a mild blue. “So today we just get to relax with friends.”
“Yep.”
“Are you up for it?” he asked, sensing hesitation.
“Oh yes, of course, we’re going to have a great time.”
“Good.”
She went, dumped the coffee, and bounced back over to him. “You seem excited,” he mentioned.
“It’s a new day, and I’m determined to make it great.”
She grabbed his hand and led him out the door. In the distance you could hear the exuberance of Francie upon seeing the couple.

“That movie was deplorable.”
“Using big words, now are we Francie?”
“Oh, shush. I don’t know why you keep this guy anyway,” she said laughing. She took a long drag on her cigarette. “Yoohoo? You alive over there?”
“Oh yes, yes I’m fine,” she said.
“Thought we lost you there for a second! I said I don’t know what you keep this lug around.”
“Oh, I don’t know what I’d do without him.”
“I understand, I got to get me a guy like that,” she gave Harry a wink.
“You will” he chimed in, “There’s got to be someone out there for you.”
“I don’t know anymore,” Frances said, “Seems like all the good ones are taken,” she said poking him.
“There’s someone out there, I’m confident,” she added.
“Oh probably, I’m just too lazy at this point to go out looking.”
With another long drag, Harry mentioned, “Oh you can’t smoke in here. Landlord.”
“Oh, Jesus, why didn’t you tell me earlier I totally forgot and this is like my fifth one.”
“Just don’t do another I guess,” she gave a warning look to Francie that went unnoticed.

“Hey were you alright?”
“What do you mean,” she said washing dishes.
“You just seemed kinda out of it.”
“Well,” she said with a chuckle, “I’ve had a lot on my mind lately.”
“Like?”
She drops the dishes and whirls around. “Really?”
“It can’t still be that, can it?”
“No it’s not just that-“
“Then what? What could it be?”
“Just- a lot has been on my mind, okay?”
“But if it’s not that, then what?”
“Don’t push me.”
“You haven’t been answering my texts for past three days.”
“Sorry.”
“Why?”
“Because my phone was dead for one day, and then when I turned it on and saw your texts I thought you were mad at me.”
“Why did you stay with Francie?”
“Because I just felt overwhelmed, alright?”
“With what?”
“Nothing, okay? It’s probably just in my head. I just though you were mad it me.”
“I’m not at all.”
“Well it came off that way.”
“I’m not trying to,” he said a little softer and took a step closer to her.
Taking a step away from him to get a towel, to wipe off her hands. “Have you seen my sweater? I’ve been thinking about that all day and I can’t quite place where I put it-“
“Stop it.”
“Oh stop what?” she snapped.
“Stop this.” He replied. He marched over to her and grabbed her by the shoulders, “Listen, you need to stop.”
“Stop what?”
“Stop… this!”
“What?!”
“You’ve been through a lot, and I know it means a lot for you it succeed.”
“Yes?”
“But you need to move on.”
“Alright” I concede quickly.
A bit confused, he adds, “Please, just realize it’s not your fault. I don’t think any less of you.”
“Of course, I’m sorry,” I try to remedy, avoiding eye contact.
“Here,” he said raising my chin, so she could look right into his deep eyes, “I know you’ve been strong-“
“Thank you,” she broke away.
He laughed, she blushed. “That’s not what I was going for.”
“Oh.”
“You were strong. I want real.”
I blink at him in shock. “Oh.”
“That is what I fell in love with.”
“Okay.”
He hugged her, tightly. She breathed in his scent.
“Now, please, tell me what’s wrong.”
“We better sit down.”
“Okay, I’ll make coffee.”

“Listen you don’t need to look so goddamn disappointed.”
“What are you talking about now?”
“That attitude of yours! Isn’t f****** helping anything!”
“Can’t we just have a nice night, babe?”
“And you don’t think that I’m capable of that?”
“I didn’t say that!”
“Not in words”
“Listen-“
“I’m done listening to you go on about how you’re always right and I’m always wrong.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“Can’t you see that I’m just not in the mood?”
“You started it!”
“And that means you just go ahead and ignore all the signs?”
“What f****** signs?”
“Oh please!”
“No. It’s this s*** that I’m talking about, Jude. You expect me to read your f****** mind and I can’t.”
“I don’t know what you want from me!”
“A real answer!”
“I thought I could go through with it because you’ve been pissy all week about it-“
“Oh now it’s my fault?”
“Can I finish a sentence, Bruce?”
“Go ahead.”
“Well now you’re not listening.”
“No because I already know what you’re going to say.”
“You don’t know that!”
“Listen, babe, I’m tired of this on and off stuff. I just want to be happy with you and have you be happy too. I love you babe.”
“Whatever.”
“No, don’t give me that I want you to acknowledge me!”
“All I see in front of me is horny mess.”
“That’s it. I’m out.”
“Wait, Bruce-“
“No, you’re right, I don’t care about you at all. In fact, I doubt I ever did.”
“Stop it.”
“No, I get it.
“Bruce!”
“At the very least we need some time apart and we need mellow out.”
“Please, don’t.”
“Goodbye, Jude.”

“Not exactly the way I imagined it.”
“Well we were both thinking about it.”
“I still love you, Jude.”
“Don’t be desperate.”
“That’s not what-“
“Can we just make this as painless as possible.”
She handed him a box of clothes, knick-knacks, and a coffee mug.
“I just don’t know how I’m going to get over you.”
“We weren’t happy together.”
“I guess not.”
“We fought. I’m moody, crazy. We just weren’t meant for each other.”
“That doesn’t make me love you any less.”
“Stop it.”
“Well this is goodbye then.”
“I’ll miss you, Bruce. Really. I just can’t live like this.”
“Have a good life, Jude.”
“You too.”



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