Her nose twitches. It’s her only indication that I’ve royally pissed her off. I tap my foot on the linoleum as she pages the director of the daycare. I take a look around while I wait. Pale yellow walls, bright orange suns painted across them, a stained blue carpet scattered with this morning’s Cheerios. The Director emerges minutes later. She is a mid-life crisis blonde wearing a Tickle me Elmo t-shirt, scuffed pink Keds and two melon-sized breast implants. I eye her in disgust and paste on a smile.
A framed picture of Leah sits strategically placed, probably by her, next to his computer monitor. I glare at it. It’s one of those posed studio pictures that the photographer painstakingly tried to make look natural. Leah was looking slightly to the left of the camera, and her mouth was pouty and slightly open. Kiss me, I’m a beautiful whore, it says in black and white.I want to have a huge office one day, he says, following my eyes to a picture of Leah. More books-that I don’t read- a fireplace, and one of those big, arched doorways with the heavy knockers.
Are you going to hang that picture up in your new office? I ask. It hurts to see her there, so fixated in his life.Caleb shrugs and looks at me in interest.Depends. The girl in the frame might be different. I do have a thing for brunettes.
I pull a face at him.And my bedroom…
His sheets are black silk and they lay rumpled and unmade. It makes me sick to think of all the women that have rolled around in his sheets.
Where’s the bathroom? I say in weak voice. He leads me to through the bedroom and watches me stare. There is a shower with six different shower heads and sunken bath that could easily fit five people. There is even a small wine bar built in the corner. He laughs at my expression.Um … are you still friends with her?
Dani? No. She didn’t want anything to do with me when she found out.Darius cleared his throat while Jolene downed her wine. So much back story I was missing. Dani … Danielle? Dannika? Daniella? I wanted to be able to go home and look her up.
Well, I guess it all worked out in the end, I said. You two are together, and I’d say that trumps friendship, yeah?Darius raised his glass to that. Then he leaned forward and said, I would have left her for Jo five years sooner, but it took a little Hootie and three beers to throw me some courage.