The hand swiped across the face of the clock half heartedly – as if it too had little consideration for the time anymore. The light dimmed slowly as the sun dripped back down into the ocean for the day. Tim Franz stared out the window and watched the wind bat his flowers around sending their pollen, in his opinion, into a spiral directly into his eyes. He rubbed at them with both hands and pressed his fingers into the sockets. For a moment, he didn’t trust himself not to keep pressing. Pushing his eyes in and squishing them into pulp.
“You doing ok there, Timmy?”
Tim’s hands fell to his sides and his eyes opened slowly. He turned and looked to his unwanted guest.
She smiled like the village idiot and toyed with her black hair. Her outfit was surprisingly tame – a small skirt with nylons and a shirt that actually covered her completely. She leaned against the wall and sighed. “Wish I knew you were still sick. I would have brought you a roasted chicken or whatever it is.” She smirked.
“No need. I just need sleep, really. But, thanks. Did you need something?”
“If not, are you planning on sending me packing, Tim? Shove me back out into the night?” She smiled wide.
“I really need to get some sleep.” He sighed back and glanced at his watch. Only eight o’clock. Hardly grounds for dismissal alone. “And this cold and all. I have a big day tomorrow and need to just crash out.”
She looked around the apartment. “Drink for old time’s sake? I won’t stay long. I’m meeting someone and was just looking to kill some time.”
Kill some time. As long as that’s all it was. He fought a battle in his head and his brain and heart told him to shove her out, slam the door and lock it as fast as he could. Kick her first to ensure a proper seal on the door. He didn’t need a battle on his doorstep. Swift kick or push, door slams, locks, then he’d call the police as she yelled whatever she wanted outside. The neighbors would understand. He was sure of it.
“Guess one drink is ok.” He stepped backwards and was shocked at the words that had come from his own mouth.
“Good boy,” the woman purred as she strolled in and looked around. “You changed some things around. It looks nice.” The back of her shirt was open, her skin gleaming in the light from the outside hall lamp. She moved into the living area, spun on her heel, and dropped onto the sofa with a huff. “SUCH a day, Tim. You would NOT believe.” She rolled her eyes and looked in the direction of the kitchen. “Have any of that delicious Eagle Rare whiskey about? I could use a little to take the edge off.” She crossed her legs in a ladylike fashion, but managed to expose her panties in a most un-ladylike way.
Tim frowned as if thinking and averted his eyes. “I think I do have some left. I’ll pour a glass for us.” He smiled a large, fake smile and hurried past her and into the kitchen.
“So, you still liking the new arrangements? The new gig is still working well for you and keeping you out of trouble?” She fingered a magazine, flipping the pages harshly and managing to tear one on every fourth flip or so. She didn’t wait for an answer. “So glad you’re doing well there, really.”
“Thanks.” Tim dropped three cubes of ice into the two glasses on the counter, then poured a healthy amount of the whiskey over them. The ice popped and cracked and Tim thought of spines breaking.
“And besides this fictional cold, you have your health, which is nice.” She grinned and held out her hand for the proffered glass. She took it from Tim and let a nail slip over his wrist as she took it from him. “All’s well in Timlandia.” She winked and sipped at the whiskey, then purred again as she rolled the glass around slightly sending the ice spinning languidly in the glass.
“All good.” Tim sat across from her and gulped at the contents of his glass like a drowning man clutching the sides of a life raft.
“Why are you sitting so far away, Tim? Sit over here.” She patted the sofa.
“Cold.” He shrugged. “Don’t want to get you sick.”
“I can’t catch a fictional fucking cold, Tim.” She sighed and patted the sofa again looking agitated.
Tim stared at the sofa, then pried himself up out of his chair. He quavered, half stepping forward, then stopping himself in his tracks. “I really can’t do this right now. I think you should head out. I’m really not feeling-.” The sentence was stricken down from the air before he could finish it.
“Stop being such a pain in the arse, Timmy. You’re really starting to annoy me with all this scared bullshit.” She took another long draw on the glass, then let it drop to the end table roughly before standing up and facing Tim eye to eye. “You have gotten worse, not better. Telling me little lies, are you? You look like shite!”
Tim wanted to run. He wanted to bolt and fly out the door. Maybe tossing a match over his shoulder and setting the whole place on fire as he did. Taking her with it, of course. The blaze cutting off her means of escape. Oh bliss. “I think you should go.”
“Do you?” She stared into his face, her eyes blazing. “Do you, Tim?”
He felt sick. His head ached with each pulse. “I don’t want you in my life anymore. Just leave, please.”
“Whaa.” She giggled. “Timmy, you really need to come to grips with just who you are.” She touched his chest lightly. “And, just who I am.” She withdrew her hand and brought it to her chest. Her red nails slid over the material of her blouse and she drew her ruby red lips back into a wicked smile.
Tim stared at her and blinked hard as he watched her eyes go all crazy like they used to. He shuddered.
“Tim, if you really didn’t want me back in your life again, why on Earth did you open the God damn door?” Her slight English accent slithered across the surface of her words like a snake. “I mean, why didn’t you just keep the door shut tight? Leave me outside and let me scream my head off? Call the police on me? Anything but open that door.” She sighed and turned to face the window. “Your decision making is complete shit, you know?” She laughed and patted his cheek.
Tim backed away from her. “Look, I really just wanted things to be peaceful. Quiet. I don’t want trouble and I thought the easiest way would be to just…let you in and be done with it.” He swallowed hard. “Now, if you don’t mind, I think you should-“
“Shut up, Tim, you spineless twat,” she sneered and moved around the corner and into the kitchen.
Tim blinked and his mouth went slack for a moment before he blurted out, “What are you doing?!” He heard drawers opening and closing. He heard the last drawer opened and slammed shut hard after something was removed from it. He glanced around the room for some weapon. Something to defend himself. “Oh Gawd,” he mutterd. He made a move towards the door, but she blocked him and smiled wide. Her arm was twisted back behind her back.
“Where you going? Out? You have that dreadful cold, Timmy. You should stay in or you’ll catch your DEATH!” She moved towards him. “You need rest. A long rest.”
Tim’s arms rose before him and he whimpered, “Stay back?” It sounded like more of a question than a demand.
“You’re sick. A poor, sick soul in need of something.” She brought her hand forward with a rush and flicked her wrist out in a sharp, quick snapping motion in Tim’s direction.
The towel in her hand caught him in the scrotum and he doubled over. “SHIT!”
“To bed with you, you little bitch!” She spun the towel and sent it whipping out again. “OFF with you!” The towel snapped his leg and another whipping caught his left butt cheek as he turned to try and avoid her.
“Damn it, Sissy!” Tim ran for his room.
“Don’t give me any lip. I’ll cancel my plans and make you some tea. Shoo!” She flipped the towel up and onto her shoulder as she watched him retreat into his room. She kicked her heels off and slid them towards the wall as she reached into her purse and withdrew her phone.
“Hey, Dani, it’s me. Yeah, I’m not going to make it over after all. I’m going to take care of Tim. Yeah, he’s still no better. I’m gonna make him some tea and maybe order in for the night.” She listened and smiled. “Yeah yeah…I’m such a sweet sister, I know.” She giggled. “Fine then – cheers.” She hung up and moved to the refrigerator. Her eyes scanned the menus until she found what she was looking for and dialed.
"Golden Flower - delivery or pick up?"
“Hey there. Delivery, please. What’s a good soup for a cold?” She snatched up the teapot with her free hand and wondered what was on the tube.