“Why Nick? Why? It has been nine months, nine freakin months without a word from you, without a call, not even an email or text message. Nine months, and now, now here in this coffee shop, you want to talk. Now after nine months you come up to me just as if time had not passed, like I just dropped you off at your house yesterday and we parted ways with a “see ya later”. Nine months Nick, nine months, and all you have to say to me is “How are you doing?” I mean who are you, Joey from Friends?? Nine months! And….. you do not even like this coffee, why are you here?”
I am frazzled, I am mad, I have questions that I want answered yet…… I cannot stand the sight of him right now. My day of last minute Christmas shopping, enjoying good coffee, Christmas carols,Santa at the mall,all of that is ruined. I cannot even think straight,I need to sit down, yet I wont dare give him the pleasure. Oh no, if we are to have this conversation now, I will remain calm, no matter how mad I am, and I am livid……and hurt, I will not let him see my hurt.
Nick, a ghost from my past, the one person who I mistakenly thought I would marry, we were in business together, we did everything together, and not in that annoying attached at the hip kind of way, more of like, this person makes me want to do better kind of way. Nick. Well, Nick still looks like Nick. His dark hair is a little bit longer, still in need of a shave, eyes that would put an emerald to shame. An air of confidence about him, which at this point, I really do not need to see, I will take whatever confidence he has and smash it. I am that mad! I can handle this, I can do this. I will be calm.
“I wanted hot chocolate”
What the hell is he talking about? Is he really talking about hot chocolate now?
“I wanted hot chocolate, I was on my way to Mulligans,you remember, the usual steak and scotch, they still have the Sunday special, and I was walking along, remembered this place and…..we…. I just wanted some hot chocolate first”
“Oh for god-sakes Nick, I do not mean why are you here, in the coffee shop, I mean why are you here in WA? You’re suppose to be in Chicago, at least nine months ago you were suppose to be in Chicago, but you know, a lot changes in nine months, so for all I know you were only in Chicago for a month or so and then came back…..I don’t know Nick, help me out. Why are you here…in WA state?”
Why is he so calm, why is he not as put off as I am? Does he not see how intense this situation is? He left WA, he left me nine months ago, with the promise that he would call as soon as he could. He never called, never. Never a letter, never a simple email, nothing, nothing, nothing…..and here he is talking about hot chocolate?!?!
“Look, I know you’re mad, I had planned this a little differently in my head, you have to understand, I had just lost mom. I had to settle her estate,I had to tie up loose ends,I know I should have called,I wanted to call, but I couldn’t, there is so much I need to tell you, there is so much I do not even know where to begin, kinda thrown off track here”
“Really Nick? You are thrown off track? And why is that? Did you forget my number? Did you forget the restaurants number? Was I just a game to you? Are you just grasping for something right now because I am the last person you expected to run into? What,answer me dammit…. I deserve something more than an “I had to tie up loose ends”
I can feel my adrenaline going. I have played this very conversation in my head for the past 8 months, never fully expecting it to take place, and surely not here in the coffee shop one week before Christmas. Now, I cannot even think. I feel as if I have seen a ghost, a ghost who is standing right in front of me waiting on some freakin hot chocolate. A ghost who is as calm as can be. Why did he not give me a hug? After everything, would a hug not have been sufficient? Of course I would have pushed him away, but that’s not the point. I wanted to see the effort, I wanted to see emotion, and I do not care one single bit that Nick is not good with emotions, get over it.
“Look, can we go somewhere a little more private to talk? It will be easier to explain things once you have calmed down”
My mouth dropped….. Once I calm down? Did he really just say once I calm down? Okay, am I being punked, am I in the Twilight Zone? I look around at the few tables filled with patrons. Some are looking, some are pretending not to notice the yelling from the crazy girl in the corner. Frank Sinatra’s “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” is playing in the background, ironic in a weird kind of way. The coffee shop is beautifully decorated. Red and gold Christmas trees, clear Christmas lights, and he we are….. Here we are.
“Look Nick, right now, I do not feel like going any damn place with you. Oh you better believe I have questions, and I want my answers. You owe it to me, after everything, after everything we have been through, I deserved more than…more than nothing. And now nine months later here we are and you’re making me sound like I am some damn Hallmark card in the middle of the coffee shop. You have this blazay attitude and meanwhile I am thinking to myself, what the hell is going on. This is not fair. You hurt me and you hurt me bad. And it took awhile to get over that kind of hurt, but I did. Slowly, but I did. I felt it was me, I blamed myself, so now you cannot just expect me to drop everything so we can go talk in private. Say what you have to say now, own it.”
Yes, my voice was an octave or two louder than it probably should have been in such a small setting, yes, I knew what was about to happen any second now, yes, I’m going to have to apologize to Mr. Rossi in the morning, assuming I am still allowed in his shop, and yes, I realize that I can very well be making a fool out of myself, but none of that mattered, not now.
“Dammit Gina! Do you think it was so easy for me back home? I had to bury my mother. Do you get that, I had to bury my mother! She was sick, I had to care for her, I had to bathe her, I had to change her, I had to pack everything up, the cancer spread to her brain, have you ever seen what cancer does to a person? Well I hope you don’t. Hospice came in, it was not good and it messed me up, messed me up bad. Yeah I should have called, I wanted to call, but I was broken, and I needed to heal and forgive me, but the last thing on my mind was making a phone call only to hear more excuses of why you did not want to get married. I know you needed me, but I needed you too and you failed me Gina, I may have failed you, but you failed me too. All I asked of you was to trust me that I would call when it was right,I am sorry it took me longer that we had planned, I am sorry, Jesus Christ Gina, it is not always about you!”
I felt the tears coming, I tried to do everything I could to hold them back. I will not cry, I will not cry, I will not cry. I do not want to cry anymore,I just want to move on. I am drained.
And then, just like I was expecting, but had forgotten about, I felt a hand on the small off my back. I did not even need to turn around.
“Everything alright over here”
I nodded my head, the words would not come out. I was frozen, I was stuck, stuck between the past and present. Nick did not take his eyes of me.
“Yeah man we’re fine”
and now it was time.
“Nick, this is Jack, my fiance.”
This was a fictional piece (or was it??) from a writing prompt from The Red Dress Club,Red Writing Hood. Our task, to write a piece about a fight. This is my first time writing a fictional piece and sharing it publicly. I’m ready for it….critique me!