Previous: Chapter 2 – Chloe: Izaak’s New Roommate
After safely arriving back home, I pushed open the door to our apartment, stumbling inside because I was much drunker than planned. The alcohol had knocked out my conscience, which had been pestering me about how terrible of a person I am for stealing money from my boyfriend and then fucking the bartender in the storage closet. But thanks to martinis, I hadn’t a care in the world.
Jason was sitting in the living room staring into space, lame crime show playing in the background. “I texted you,” I said.
He glanced at me, gave a slight smile before shaking his head. “You’re drunk. I haven’t even turned my phone on.”
“Guess it’s a good thing I’m not laid up in the hospital on my last breath waiting to hear from you.”
“If we’re going to do this, I’ll also need a drink.”
I shrugged. “Go ahead. You’ve made it clear you want nothing to do with me.”
“That’s not true,” he insisted, powering on his device and standing. He walked towards me without looking at the screen. “Obviously I love you, Violet, or I wouldn’t have put up with you all this time… since your dad died.”
It was probably supposed to have helped me feel better, but my eyes narrowed in rage. “Don’t bring him into this!” Before I could say more he grabbed my face and yanked me forward for a powerful kiss. I hadn’t wanted it, yet his assertion of dominance made me soften and tingle. Suddenly I yearned for him to boss me around and spank me. Why is my brain so bipolar??
As we pulled away, his blue eyes gazed at me. He loved my crazy personality. But why?
“You’re getting a good spanking tonight,” he said with a hint of humor in his voice. Then he glanced down at his phone and his entire expression changed. First, his eyebrow cocked in confusion and he moved the screen closer to get a better read. As the realization hit him, his nostrils flared, and he threw it aside, now pointing his finger inches from my nose. “You bought a two-thousand dollar plane ticket home?!” He shook his head and ran his fingers through his hair, then folded his arms.
“Well, you said…”
“Don’t turn this on me!!” His hand raised, and I suspected that he desired to slap me, which I wished he would. It’d give me an excuse to beat the shit out of him. But he’d never do that.
“If you hadn’t…”
Pointing again he shouted, “DON’T TURN THIS SHIT AROUND ON ME!!”
“YOU LEFT ME AT THE FUCKING AIRPORT!!!”
“THAT DOESN’T JUSTIFY YOU STEALING $2000 FROM ME!” The screaming match would continue until Jason backed down, and he knew it, so for once instead of trying to convince me to see his side, he just said, “Leave. I can’t look at you right now.”
Being kicked out was something I’d expected from the beginning. I was always evicted… first with my parents, next by my aunt and uncle, and later by Gabe… It was like my destiny. Either way, happening with Jason still pissed me off because he’d constantly been the forgiving type, and for some reason, I’d trusted him to get over all of my fuck-ups as he’d promised. Even if it was an unrealistic promise. But at that moment, I was again on the adrenaline auto-pilot, and I shoved him hard, enough to make him stumble, but he didn’t move or speak, just stood there with hands on his hips, waiting for me to leave.
“Fuck you,” I said, slamming the front door and probably rattling the entire fourth floor of our building. I didn’t have the patience to wait for the elevator so instead ran downstairs, then the 16 blocks to Molly’s apartment. Nevermind that it was almost midnight on a Sunday. She would be awake.
My red-haired friend answered in green shamrock pj pants and a tank top, her hair in braided pigtails, aqua-rimmed glasses sliding down her nose. A skunky odor greeted me as she stepped aside to let me pass. “Didn’t work out with Jason?”
“Of course not.”
We strolled in silence to her room, scent of weed getting stronger. I pushed aside her bead door to be greeted with chill music playing on her tv. The overhead light was on a soft green, giving the room a calm aura. It also got me craving drugs again. I’d only slipped up a few times in the last few years, but I knew with life being so lousy right now, if I fucked up I’d spiral to a dark place.
“You know what I’m going to say, don’t you?” Molly asked when we were sitting across from each other on the floor, 16″ standing glass bong between us. Her bloodshot eyes told me that she didn’t need more weed, which caused a twinge of envy to pull at my gut. I wished to be as tranquil as my friend.
“You’re gonna ask if I wanna glass of wine?”
She giggled. “No, I already know the answer to that, silly.” A chilled red bottle was shoved into my hand, and she placed a fancy-ish glass in front of me. The wine was cheap and not my style, but it would do. At least it was something. As I began to open it, Molly continued. “I’m going to tell you to write Gabe. C’mon, what’s stopping you?”
“Ummmm… last time I saw him he told me to lose his number and never contact him again.”
“You’ve seen him since then.”
“Yeah because you made it happen. He did it for you, not me.” I popped the cork out and set it aside, tilting the wine bottle up and letting it pour into my glass.
“He also said he’ll be there if you need him because you’ve always done the same for him.”
I swirled the red liquid around in the glass before taking a sip, glaring at Molly. She was too high to notice it like that, though.
“VyVy… please. He can help.” Her lower lip poked out, and she offered me the bong, green eyes filling up with tears.
“Fine. I’ll message him,” I answered, snatching the pipe from her, gently as possible. She was too excited about my response to care that I was being petty about it. “Just… ugh. It’s gonna suck for a while.”
“Yeah, it is.”
I blew the smoke at her. “Thanks for your support.”
“Well, you don’t want me to lie, right?”
Instead of responding, I took another hit off her bong, eyeing the trippy music video on tv. My mind raced with images of Gabe. What will he say to my message? Will he even respond? Will he consider being my Dom again? He’s gonna beat my ass so much… Am I ready for that?
By my third glass of wine, I decided I was, and opened up a blank text, composing several drafts before settling on one and holding my breath as I clicked send.
“You did it?!” Molly applauded and handed me the bong again to celebrate.
I could’ve obsessed over whether he’d answer, but left my phone in Molly’s room and dragged her to Vic’s. We played video games and gossiped all night, singing along to 90s pop music, and of course, smoking weed. I toked more than I had in a while which alleviated a ton of stress. And sometime after 4:20am we passed out in giggles on my brother’s heavenly bed, successfully escaped from reality, not a care in the world.
“Fuck! Molly! I missed work!” It was already half-past noon when I woke, bolting from the bed. I ran to Molly’s room and found my phone. It was dead and refusing to turn on, even after I plugged it in, and felt like hours before my protest wallpaper photo popped up. I ignored the thousands of text messages (including one from Gabe) and checked my email. “Fuck fuck fuck…” I muttered seeing the disappointed words from my boss. He was not pleased that I didn’t call or show up for work.
I didn’t bother showering, just hurriedly dressed in some of Molly’s clothes and hailed a cab to my office (thanks Jason’s credit card!). During my commute, I re-connected my phone to charge and responded to my boss’s email: Overslept, on my way now, then checked the message I’d received from Gabe, short and simple: Let’s set up a time to meet. I didn’t have the chance to think of a response when the car pulled up to my workplace and I ran through the door with only apologies spilling from my mouth.
My boss and supervisor called me into the conference room. “It isn’t the first time this has happened,” my boss scolded as I sat across from the two balding white men.
“Our flight arrived later than expected, so we had a late night… I don’t control plane delays.”
“Always one for excuses,” my supervisor muttered. He never liked me much. “And is that alcohol I smell on your breath?”
Lips pressed together I shot him a glare (also, fuck me for not chewing gum before work).
My boss sat up in his seat and frowned at me. “The point is that you missed the board meeting today, and we’ve done a good job emphasizing the importance of both your attendance and your presentation.”
“Bro, I wanted to be there but…”
Instead of letting me ramble, the supervisor cut me off. “Your piece about social media and investigations was crucial to getting the funding for your position. Since you weren’t there, the meeting was a disaster and frankly, the board isn’t convinced we should continue to cover your salary.”
“That’s bullshit!” I looked back towards my boss in hopes he would tell me this was all a joke.
“I’m sorry, Violet, we tried to explain your importance, but unfortunately there was nothing we could do to convince them otherwise.”
His words hit me like a ton of bricks. “W-what are you saying?” I stammered, clearing my throat to appear more confident, even though inside, I was panicking. “You can’t fire me, that isn’t fair! I’ve given so much to this clinic.”
“It’s not only this one occurrence,” my boss began.
The asshole chimed in: “It’s the law-breaking, the hair, the clothes… and I don’t think they ever got over the Hernandez incident.”
“Ughhh but that was months ago!” I groaned and slammed my fist against the conference table. “It wasn’t even that big of a deal and ended up getting dropped!” It was also the last time I’d seen Gabe — he was the one who pulled the strings to get me off with only probation after I’d blackmailed the DA to free a sorta-innocent man, which had probably saved my job. Too bad they were firing me now.
“We know you will succeed wherever you end up. I’m happy to give you a glowing recommendation.”
I glared at him, growing more irritated by the second. “Fuck you and your recommendations.” Then I pushed myself up. “Anything else?” Without even waiting for their response, I turned and jerked the door open, letting it crash against the wall with a loud BAM!
The supervisor followed as I went to clean out my desk and turn in my keys, then I was left on the street corner with a half-empty cardboard box that held reminders of the last 3 years: photos of Jason and me, my framed diploma in political science, a Zapatista flag my dad sent me from his hometown in Chiapas, Mexico, the handcuffs my co-worker had used to teach me how to pick a lock. There were newspaper clippings from the various protests I’d gone to, and one headline that read “Young Activist Reveals Truth About District Attorney.” All these memories and hard work. All for nothing.
Tears threatened to spill, and I had a fierce headache from the stress and hangover. The idea of going back to Jason’s was making my stomach churn — he was already pissed, it was unlikely he’d offer sympathy for my getting fired, especially after our fight last night. In fact, I prepared myself for him to throw me out for good. Not like I was providing his life with anything positive.
The thought of being homeless bummed me out, and my energy wasn’t sufficient to deal with public transit, so I took a cab home, spending more money that I didn’t have (at least I used my own credit card that time). It gave me a few minutes to message Vic to ask if I could stay in his room while he was away. No way I’d be able to afford a place alone yet.
As I sent the text to my brother, my taxi pulled up to the apartment building. It only took a minute to swipe my credit card, and I climbed out to see Jason also arriving, but on foot. Shit, just my luck! I tried to turn so he wouldn’t notice me, but obviously, that didn’t work. He shot me the meanest look and sneered, “Did I pay for that ride, too? Or did you suddenly run into a large sum of money and…” He broke off as he noticed the box in my arms. “Fired?” then shook his head with a sarcastic laugh and turned to storm towards the building door.
“Jace, wait!” I rushed after him but he ignored me, fumbling with his keys and so angry that he missed the lock when trying to jam them inside. “I overslept, my phone died.”
The lock finally popped, and he shoved the glass door open, not bothering to hold it for me. “Excuses,” he muttered.
“Grrrrrrr! Not excuses, facts.” I needed to jog to keep up with him, his legs much longer than mine and he was so angry that his pace was twice normal speed. “I didn’t sleep well last night, you were mad at me.”
He shook his head, taking the stairs two at a time.
“Would you fucking slow down and listen to me!” I screeched, stomping my foot.
He still ignored me, already to the third floor when I was only reaching the second. Fuck. I hadn’t considered that I’d have the box while walking, and the extra weight tired me out quicker than normal.
Jason was long inside the apartment when I arrived. In fact, he was in our room, standing there with my suitcase lying on the bed, wide open. “You need to leave,” he said simply. “We’re done.”
Mouth dropped, I stared at the empty luggage, millions of emotions flowing through me. I’d known it was coming but had been in denial until that moment. “Are you serious?!” I shouted. “How can you do this to me? What the fuck did I ever do to you besides give you EVERYTHING? And to dump me when I’m at my weakest? Aren’t we supposed to be there for each other? How dare you! Fuck you!” I stormed towards my dresser, banging open the drawers. “Damn right we’re done,” I hissed. I tore my clothes out, dunking them into the suitcase in a chaotic mess, continuing to shout at him how I felt about this break-up. I didn’t even bother packing it all because if I stayed in that apartment much longer I’d end up bashing Jason’s face in.
When we finished, I stood on the street corner (again) with my panda backpack over my shoulders, two gigantic suitcases in tow, mascara running. Fuck. All I wanted was some blow. There was no use fighting the urge. Fuck this life. Fuck these people. Fuck everything. No job, no money, no boyfriend. Just me. And I hated me.
Third taxi of the day carried me back to Molly and Vic’s place as the sun was setting. I used the spare key they’d given me, opening the door to an eerily quiet apartment. After I stowed away my shit in Vic’s room, I dug through Molly’s room for her weed stash. I couldn’t deal with all the shit on my mind at that moment, especially with nobody there to keep me from overthinking. So I smoked a joint, then showered and changed into fresh clothes.
I tried to settle into Vic’s recliner to play video games, but my brain was racing, getting me killed every few minutes. I needed to be around people… this alone time wasn’t doing me any good.
Maybe I can check out my old neighborhood bar… Maybe I’ll see a familiar face. Maybe someone will sell me coke.
All likes. ratings and comments are greatly appreciated! 🙂
Chapter 4 – Chloe’s New Life