“Yeah, he promised me money too.” Jemma blushed.
“That’s insane! I’ve never been repelled by another human being this much before. Well, maybe, except for Tony here.”
“Thanks man,” Tony said, offering a complimentary hand raise to the crowd that had joined our little squabble, in case they had trouble understanding who I was referring to.
Jemma said before she turned to leave, “I’ve had enough.”
Her eyes had this new look in them, they possessed a deceptive-like charm, but I didn’t want to know of it any longer. Not her eyes, not her hair; not her sudden perfection, I was done. As she raised her arms in retaliation, I scoffed at the thought of her giving in to…something…anything in her line of claiming everything. I’ve been living off of Jemma’s savings and her father’s pulled money for weeks, so ironically I had nothing to live off of.
Five years later, I now lay in the empty bed of my own run-down Brooklyn apartment. The rent isn’t bad, the food is delivered, (by a rat-infested take out brawl, but regardless), I have a simple life. I play my half-capable jazz instruments at Prospect Park’s center and address strangers as beautiful and kind so to get my daily change. There is little in my plate, but thankfully lots in my heart. I acknowledge life from a learning curve and finally learn a thing or two each day.
For hard cash, I work the docks, no degree necessary, (even though I do have one in Fine Arts). I don’t do the ship work, whatever that may be, I just deliver what’s put in the trucks to the food vendors, various markets, and such. My job is stress free. I’ve gone to clinical depression meetings for the free donuts when in turn, they’ve helped me quit smoking.
I currently harbor an illegal roommate, my ferret. I call him Timber, by the way his oddly obese body knocks over my stacked coffee table books as he makes his way to his food plate. When I got him checked out by the vet, Dr. Povola recommended a steady diet for Timber, but he’s too cute to deny carbs. I occasionally treat myself to ice cream and baguettes, feeling like a girl on her period as I cry and wonder where my life went wrong. The pathetic part is that I already know where it went wrong and so that’s when denial and I become great friends.
Today, the sun is bright, nothing bleak on the outside is seen or heard, cheerful folks walk down my street as children’s laughter musically drives me to my window. It’s all beautiful and transfixing that I take my jacket and head out. The mailman greets me with a gentle pat on the back and hands me my mail. And then, I freeze. There, written in big bold letters on the upper right side are the words ‘From Tony’. I open the letter and there lay a check for 12, 500 dollars with an attached post-it noting, the other exact half went to Jem. I neatly fold the envelope and stick it into my jacket pocket.
The park is lovely today. I generously feel like standing atop a bench and proclaim reign over my life, a final acceptance as to who I transitioned from. But I don’t because I know what basking in your own limelight feels like and it’s nothing like what you mentally anticipate it to be.
She hushes in my ear, “Hello.”
I turn and nearly suffer a stroke. It’s Jemma…selling hotdogs alongside my bad jazz bid. She opens her hand and tells me her name.
I take her palm in mine, and reply back, “Hanson.”
“Bottom line. This time we don’t marry.”
“Deal,” I respond and anticipate nothing, no money and no tofu! And so I smile.
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