|Such Is the Life of a Cabbie
Author: NewAgeRembrandt PM
...the life of a cabbie isn't all that bad. Sure, the pay is horrendous, the people are rude, and you have to put up with idiot drivers, but you do get to hear some interesting people along the way. oneshot, slashRated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - Words: 6,674 - Reviews: 26 - Favs: 68 - Follows: 6 - Published: 01-28-07 - Status: Complete - id: 2311741
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This is for Converse Tennis Shoes.
This was his challenge:
In as many words as you want, write a story about a driver who drives either a) a limo b) a taxi cab c) or is a pizza delivery boy, who falls for one of his usual customers. This usual customer that he falls for can be a) a popular celebrity (real or made up, you choose) b) a very rich and powerful business man/lawyer, or c) the heir to millions who's parents are famous celebs or powerful business people. One of the main character's coworkers or manager must be in love with the mc. There must be an animal of some sort in the story, wild or domesticated. You must include the words or phrases, 'idiot drivers' 'run-over pedestrians' 'buttery' and ' Timbuktu.' Someone must say at one time, "Is that a cell phone in your pocket?"
And this is my answer.
((There are a bunch of tense problems in this, but I didn't feel like fixing them all. Bleh.))
Such Is the Life of a Cabbie
A single thread in a tapestry, though its color brightly shines, can never see its purpose in the pattern of the grand design. And the stone that sits on the very top of the mountain's mighty face, does it think it's more important than the stones that form the base?
"Richard, seriously, you need to take that horrible little creature and have him put down before he kills somebody!"
"Mom, you're the only he doesn't like."
"Fine then, don't listen to your poor, frail mother. Don't think of all the things that she's done for you. Just think of that stupid Digg and how much more you love him than you love the woman who birthed you."
"Okay then, I will."
Maybe that was a little harsh, I was speaking to my mom after all. But her demands were preposterous. I would never in a million years kill my best friend, even if he does get a little pissy whenever mom comes around. That's not my fault. It's kind of hard to like her unless you grew up with her.
"Well, that was fun," I sighed, giving the black-and-white cat a scratch on the head before standing from the dumpy blue couch in my living room. "I have to go to work now Digg, hold up the fort while I'm away." I gave him a final pat before grabbing my keys and coat and leaving the worthless little shack that I called home.
I arrived at the station a minute or two past the time I was supposed to pick up my taxi. Make that three minutes because I sat in my car berating myself since being late meant having to put up with Milo, with his annoying blonde hair and pointy nose and the agitating sound of his nasally voice and the irritating way he swaggers when he walks. Milo with his truly unpleasant way of claiming to love me from the very depths of his every internal organ. Hopefully I would be able to make it through the five minutes it took to clock in and get my keys without having to see him.
"Hey Ricky baby!" No such luck, almost as soon as I stepped out of my beat-up '89 Cavalier, he was on the prowl.
"Hi Milo," I said, my tone bored. Any inflection of my voice could be taken wrong in his presence. Now, I promise I'm not being mean here. If I thought that Milo's love might've been genuine, I probably wouldn't have treated him as harshly as I do. But the fact is, Milo is one of the most buttery people I know.
He walked beside me, a few inches shorter, but standing out against the mediocrity that was me. He made sure that we were touching the whole time, standing so near to me that I could feel his bones working as he strutted. Milo doesn't walk. Milo struts.
"So baby," that pet name is disgusting, "is that a cell phone in your pocket…?" He nudged me and tried to get his stare to look seductive, but he really just looked like he'd been punched in the stomach.
"No, Milo, I'm just thrilled to see you," I drawled, snarling my lip at him. Yes. I snarled. Of course, Milo ignored my vileness to him and decided to go with context clues this time as we checked ourselves in.
"Oh, Ricky, I knew you'd come around one day. It was just a matter of time. After all, how long could you really resist me?" he giggled at this, playfully swinging the arm of my brown, faux-leather jacket after I hung it up on the coat rack. It'd be cold when I came back and my Cavalier's heat is broken.
"Oh, Miley," I gushed in the most exaggerated way that I could. "I've been keeping it in this entire time, but I just can't any longer! I must tell you!" I drew him close and his face beamed with arrogant accomplishment. "I…I…"
"You can say it," smarmy Milo was about to explode.
"I…must go drive my taxi now. The people, they need me!" I held the back of my hand up to my forehead, let out a heavy sigh, and whisked off towards the yellow and black cabs. I could practically feel Milo glaring at my back.
"Better luck next time, M-dog!" Chris, a fellow driver, called from across the station. "Such is the life of a cabbie!"
Despite the truth in Chris's words, the life of a cabbie isn't all that bad. Sure, the pay is horrendous, the people are rude, and you have to put up with idiot drivers, but you do get to hear some interesting people along the way. There are three types of clients: the tourists, the one-timers, and the regulars. The tourists are probably the most annoying. They have no idea where they're going. I've had people be so specific, they've told me the room number they're staying in. I've had people be so vague, they just say "the Hilton" like I'm supposed to automatically know which one they're talking about. The one-timers are a bit easier and probably the most interesting of the three groups. You can get all kinds of one-timers, from hookers, to party-goers, to runaways. All of them have a different story and usually, they're all the more willing to share it. However, the last group has got to be my favorite. The regulars are those people that I know will be in a certain spot at a certain time.
For instance, Mrs. Henderson is always outside her apartment at 6:35. I take her to the grocery store and back again because she's too old to walk and she doesn't own a car. Dave is a large, pimply faced teenager who pays me to take him to clubs that he's probably not old enough to enter but gets by the bouncer anyway. Ms. Catherine is a single mother of two that I take to work every night. And then, last but definitely not least, there's Mr. Van Arden.
Mr. Van Arden is the son of one of the richest men in New York. His father owns a law firm and he's pretty much the heir to the grand Van Arden throne. He's quite young, only two years older than myself (making him twenty-three). His first name is Luka, but I think even his closest friends call him Mr. Van Arden. If you could call those guys in the backstabbing, power-holding world of money 'friends', that is. Not only is he rich beyond my wildest dreams, but he's also devilishly handsome. His black hair is cut short, showing off the sharp features of his countenance, like his strong jaw and dark blue eyes. For a business guy, he didn't have the wimpiest body I'd ever seen. I totally wanted him, in more ways than just one, and sometimes I liked to imagine that we had things in common. Of course, that was all just some fanciful dream. How could a lowlife, broke taxi driver who nobody will ever remember have anything in common with such a god among men, whose name will forever be imprinted in the books as something great?
Such is the life of a cabbie indeed.
A lake of gold in the desert sand is less than a cool, fresh spring. And to one lost sheep, a shepherd boy is greater than the richest king. If a man loses everything he owns, has he truly lost his worth? Or is it the beginning of a new and brighter birth?
"Oh… oh dear…"
"Is something the matter, Ms. Catherine?" I watched the pretty red-head searching through her purse in distress. We were stopped outside the little diner that was her place of employment and she was just about to give me her toll.
"I.. I can't seem to find my wallet," she said, almost in tears as she frantically sifted through all the tidbits inside of her purse. I glanced at the meter. $10.95. Grinning forgivingly, I looked back through the rearview mirror at the woman's reflection.
"Don't sweat it, Ms. Catherine. You can always pay me later. I know you're good for it," she looked up at my words, her expression one of great relief. Her tired eyes crinkled with early wrinkles as she smiled at me.
"Thanks a lot Ricky," she said, closing her purse. She leaned over the back of my seat and gave me a kiss on my shaggy brown hair before closing the door and rushing into the diner. I chuckled slightly, watching her for a second as she tied her hair into a messy contraption and grabbed her waitress's notepad off of a table. I wasn't going to let her pay me back, of course. She had bigger things to worry about than eleven dollars.
I drove off, glancing at the clock. Only one hour until I got to pick up Mr. Van Arden. That was always the highlight of my night. It was seldom that he talked, but he let me jabber on and on as he stared out the cab window. Sometimes he responded to the things I said and he would answer any questions I had, but they were always short answers. He wasn't the type of client to go off into long stories of his past or anything.
A dancer and two old men later, it was time.
"Hey, Mr. Van Arden, what's on the up and up?" I asked as his perfectly sculpted body slid gracefully into the backseat of the cab. He was dressed in his usual high-class business suit with that permanent hard look on his face. As I drove off, he glanced at my face in the mirror.
"Nothing new, Richard," he said, his eyes training to the window.
"I've told you time and time again, call me Ricky," I said, passing a blue Ford who didn't have any idea what they were doing.
"I apologize, Ricky," he replied, though I knew he'd forget and call me Richard again. Our relationship was too impersonal for my liking. Granted, it was technically a business relationship and Mr. Van Arden was probably in the right with how he treated it, but I liked to think that if we had met under different circumstances, then maybe I could be Ricky and he could be Luka. But we didn't meet under any circumstance except a cabbie and his client, so I'd just have to make the gears turn myself.
"Richard, please drive a bit faster, I must get home post-haste," he said after a minute or so, looking fidgety in his seat. As fidgety as he could be, anyway, which was pretty much just the twitch of a finger.
"If I drove any faster, Mr. Van Arden, we'd plow straight into that truck up there," I took a hand off the wheel to gesture towards a tall, white delivery truck.
"You can run over pedestrians for all I care, just please get me there before eleven," he asked. It may look rude down on paper, but I swear he said it in the nicest way possible. My eyes worked around all the other vehicles before me, looking for a maneuver I could use to get to Mr. Van Arden's penthouse at his desired time. I spotted a way up to the next light when an idea struck me. I wanted to cackle with mischief, but I thought that might be pushing it.
"I'll cut you a deal," I said, my sight still on that escape path. Mr. Van Arden looked at me curiously. "I'll get you to your place before eleven if you promise to call me Ricky." He shrugged.
"That's simple enough, Rich-- Ricky."
"Okay, well, you also have to let me call you Luka." At this, he looked a bit confused. It was as if no one had ever brought up the idea of using his first name before. He turned his head towards the window again.
"I could get a different cab," he said, causing a pang of hurt and disaster in my stomach. I hadn't wanted that. That was bad. Hopefully I'd be able to play it off cool and make sure he still used my cab.
"Yeah, but you'd miss me," I smirked, veiling my true feelings of utter nervousness. It stayed silent for longer than I was comfortable with after I made the statement and I was just about to profusely offer my apologies, when he spoke again.
"Okay, Ricky. But if I'm in this cab at 11:01, it's off with your head," he cracked a small smile up towards me. Did he really just make a joke? And he's smiling at me and calling me Ricky? A great alleviation washed over me, the worry of losing my favorite client gone. I swear, he must be drunk.
At 10:57, we rolled up in front of his place. With one glance at his watch, he pulled some money from his wallet and handed it to me. I managed to brush his hand with mine when I took the neatly folded up money. Inside, I gushed. I'm such a girl.
"Nice job, Ricky," he said as he stepped out of my cab.
"Until tomorrow, Luka!" I called back. Driving back to the station that night, I swear I'd never been more ecstatic. Luka had been a few obnoxious clients back, but the initial happiness at the step in our business relationship was still there. When you live in a beaten-down house and your only friends are fellow cabbies and your cat, you really learn to appreciate the little blessings in life. You could think about how you dropped out of college to be a singer but never made it. You could think about the disappointment in your mother's eyes when you first told her you got the job at the taxi company. You could think about annoying co-workers who just wouldn't leave you the hell alone. But why think of all that when there was a rich, handsome, amazing man you hardly knew who let you call him by his first name?
Yeah, the sweet joys in life were what made it okay.
So how do you measure the worth of a man… in wealth, or strength, or size? In how much he gained or how much he gave?
"You look real happy," Chris said as we sat playing cards with Milo and Patrick, another of the cabbies, at the station. It was a week after the Luka incident and life was going great. Life in the Luka-lane anyway. I was still broke as shit, but sometimes you've just got to ignore that little hindrance. "Who crawled up your pants?"
At these words, Milo instantly looked at me over his hand. He stared at me like an FBI agent watching someone who was beginning to look really suspicious. "You have such a way with words," I laughed, trading in a Three of Spades for a Two of Hearts. "Fuck, I'm bad at this."
"We all know you have no skill," Patrick teased as he swiped up two cards from the deck, "but you're avoiding his question. Brothers don't like it when you avoid their questions."
"Damn right," Chris said, giving me a friendly slap on the head.
"Isn't that a bit stereotypical?" I asked, grumbling as I tried to position my cards in every way possible to get something good. Milo leaned over, trying to peer at them. I quickly folded them inward, glaring at his cheating self. He, of course, played it off like he was merely trying to help.
"I'm black, I can stereotype myself if I want," Chris flipped over his hand and we all followed his lead. Patrick, also known as the supreme ruler of all things Poker, won with a Full House.
"I'll have you know, nobody has crawled up my pants. I haven't gotten any in…"
"Forever," Patrick skillfully hid the word through a cough. I rolled my eyes, shuffling the deck as it was my turn to be dealer.
"No, but pretty much," I replied.
"I could help you with that," Milo said, scooting nearer to me and flashing me his pearly whites.
"I'd rather have sex with myself for the rest of my life," I said, tossing a card in his direction. He scowled as the others laughed and began to rag on him. All thought of Chris's antecedent question was forgotten.
My drive that night went quickly and I was almost surprised when it was time to pick up Luka. I prayed that maybe my time with him would go by slower, though I knew it'd probably be the quickest of all.
"Hey Ricky, what's on the up and up?" Luka was all grins as he slid into the backseat. It was quite unusual because despite our growing relationship, he still wasn't the most chipper person in the world.
"Well, somebody's happy tonight," I said, pulling off of the curb and into traffic.
"Nervous," he said, laughing slightly. Now that he mentioned it, I could see his nerves all over. The way his leg tapped and his fingers continuously found themselves straightening his tie or patting down his hair. His eyes wouldn't stop darting from the window to me to the opposite window. I'd never seen him so jumpy, it was almost unsettling.
"What's up?" I asked, filled to the brim with curiosity. What could make such a normally stoic man so jittery?
"Nothing, it's nothing," he shook his head and changed the subject to a joke someone had told at work that day. It must've been some important 'nothing' if it drove him to talking like he was. I could hardly get him to shut up. I wasn't complaining, but it was odd behavior and I just didn't want anything bad to happen to my Luka. Yeah, my Luka. At least in my dreams.
A couple stories from Luka later and we were at our destination. "Alright, my man. We have arrived." He nodded, his shaking getting worse as he gazed up to the grand building that he called home. He thanked me and paid me, straightening his suit one last time, and he left the cab with a smile.
It was only until I got back to the station that I realized he had given me a twenty dollar tip.
"Digg, I just don't know what to do," I told my cat the next day as we sat together watching a rerun of Family Feud from the seventies. His skinny body stretched out across my lap as he yawned, pawing gently at my knee. I knew how he felt, I was exhausted too. I had stayed up all night watching some cheesy romance flick. I wondered how much my life would change if only Luka realized we were destined to be together. Sure, we probably weren't and these were all just the dreams of a desperate and rather obsessed loser, but it was nice to think that maybe one day I could leave this shit hole. With Luka, I could do everything I'd ever dreamed of doing. I'd have a nice house that didn't smell like cat piss, clothes that weren't faded and torn, food that didn't expire two days ago… I'd have enough money to get a better job, maybe even go back to college. My mom would be proud of me, my friends would be jealous, and I'd be away from all of the constant cycle of bills and driving and monotony.
If only fairy tales could come true. Then Luka, my knight in shining armor, would open the driver's side door of my cab and pull me into his arms, taking me away to a life where I'd not be forgotten.
"Maybe one day," I whimsically pondered aloud to Digg. Digg responded by curling up in my lap and falling asleep. Deciding he had the right idea, I leaned my head against the back of the couch and fell into a sleep full of knights and happiness.
And that's why we share all we have with you, though there's little to be found. When all you've got is nothing, there's a lot to go around.
It was the next night and, reliable as ever, Luka was standing on the curb waiting for my cab. But there was something different. It could've been something I had eaten, the way the rain made everything look, or just some inexplicable sense of foreboding, but I could tell that tonight wasn't the same. Either something was going to happen or something already had.
My point was proven when Luka slid into the car, his eyes bloodshot and his suit replaced with a sweatshirt and khakis. He closed the door, but I didn't drive off just yet.
"Are you… are you alright?" I asked softly, actually turning around in my seat to look at him. His eyes watered a bit more, but he tried to regain the composure that he had always had. It worked to a certain degree, but after a split second, his shoulders just collapsed again and he gave a curt shake of the head in response to my question. "What happened?" I reached out my hand slowly, probably to touch him. I knew it was a ridiculous move when I started and halfway to his body, I retracted. He looked up.
"Just drive please."
I nodded, turning around and hesitating slightly before pulling off the curb. Our trip was made in complete and awkward silence. At least, it was awkward for me, but then again, I'm a cab driver and on most days, you can never shut me up. I even talk to my cat. But this drive was a bizarre one. If the situation hadn't been so tense and horrible, I would've been thankful for the change in Luka because it proved he was human. I couldn't be thankful, however, when the secret object of my passion was sitting behind me crying for reasons unbeknownst to me. We turned the corner and were about a block away from his home when he spoke finally.
"No. Not here," he said this sharply, but he wasn't looking at me. He was staring with some twist of inner hatred and longing at his building.
"Then where?" I asked, driving down the street and stopping at a red light. I furrowed my eyebrows, the night getting a bit more weird.
"I don't know," his voice was quieter as he turned away from the window. He looked like a scared child and I wanted to jump back there and hold the hell out of him. "Japan…Mars…Timbuktu… just take me somewhere that's not here."
I nodded, taking a right down the street and thinking of where I could possibly take him. Maybe I could drop him off at a coffee shop where he could calm himself down. Or at a hotel so he could stay the night. Or…
Wait! This was my chance! I had been waiting for so very long to get Luka out of this damn cab and now here it was, staring me straight in the face.
"Well, no matter how trustworthy she is, this gal still can't swim or fly so, uh…" I bit down on my lip. This was my chance. "How about my place? You can crash there if you want. 'Sides, I've seen yours so many times, it's only polite." My eyes weren't on the road at all as I waited for his response. His depressed eyes found mine in the rearview mirror and he gave a weak nod. He had no idea that his simple nod had just filled me like a balloon with the most excitement and anticipation I had felt in years. I almost felt guilty, having all this elation while he was obviously suffering. But come on, how was I supposed to feel?
"My car is the Cavalier," I said as I pulled into the parking lot of the station. He got out, not forgetting to pay me the money he owed (I had insisted that he didn't need to pay, but he wouldn't have any of it), and walking over towards my rusty old bucket of a car. I drove into the station, hurrying as fast as I could to sign the car back in and check out. But of course, things were never that easy.
"Why in such a rush, baby? You just got here," Milo said, wrapping one snaky arm around me and smiling like the little twat that he was.
"Look, Milo, I don't have time for this. I have to go," I twisted out of his arm and worked faster towards the exit.
"Well then give me your number so I can call you," he insisted, grabbing onto the hem of my jacket. I halted, furious that he was taking up my time with my fantasy-lover. In no time, I ripped a notice off of the wall and wrote the number to my house phone on the back of it. I shoved it into his greedy hands and stalked off, all but jogging towards my car.
"Sorry it took me a while, I got sidetracked," I apologized, starting the engine and clicking my seat belt.
"Don't worry about it," Luka's stuffed-up voice came from beside me. I was about to respond, but I realized something that almost made me pop with bliss. He was sitting beside me. Not behind me, not in the backseat of my cab. He was sitting beside me. If I moved my arm just a little to the right, I could feel him. I was so close to touching the subject of my every desire, but I knew I couldn't. This was far from the time.
"Yeah, well, it's not that long of a drive to my house. Cool?" I asked, backing out of the parking lot and heading down the road. Luka was looking out the window again, but a miniscule smile appeared on his face.
"Yeah," he croaked. "Cool."
I've never in my entire life driven as fast as I did then. We swung around corners and down roads and I think Luka really wanted to hold onto something, but we got there safely. I knew what I was doing. After all, I drove for a living. And, of course, I'd never jeopardize the life of Luka.
"Home sweet home," I said, pulling up to my house. I inspected Luka's face as he eyed the shabby building. I knew he would think it was disgusting and barely livable, but hell, it was. I didn't blame him for looking down on me. He said no words of scorn, however, and merely stepped up to the door with me in silence.
"Who are those people?" Luka asked, pointing to a picture hanging on the wall of my living room. I took off my jacket, hanging it on the back of a chair before going to inspect the portrait with him. I was thankful that he wasn't looking too bothered by the fact that my home was so distasteful. He was a rich boy, but he wasn't a snob. Or maybe he was just too polite to say anything. Whatever it was, it made me love him that much more.
"Oh, that's my mom, my dad, and me," I said in regards to the photograph. It was an old family picture of when I was ten. "Christmas, before my dad died." I walked over to the kitchen, putting on a pot of coffee.
"I apologize," he said softly, still staring at the photograph. I told him it was no problem and it really wasn't. I missed my dad something terrible, but I had learned a long time ago how not to let past things bother me.
"How much sugar?" I asked him. He held two fingers up and I nodded. He walked around the living room as I made the coffee, looking at every last tidbit of the space. He touched books and magazines that were scattered around, dusted knick-knacks with his fingers, stared at photographs as if he remembered the time when they were taken…
"I like your home," he commented, sitting next to me on the couch as I handed him his coffee. I stared at the stained carpet and the couch littered with cat hair. How could he possibly like a garbage dump like this?
"I'm sure your place is much better," I laughed, sipping at my coffee. He didn't say anything and our attentions were shifted when Digg came lounging up towards us, jumping into Luka's lap. He seemed startled for a second, but he relaxed. If it wasn't blatantly clear that I had a cat when he walked in, then he wasn't as intelligent as I thought he was. But I could tell that he had been expecting the feline at some point.
"Name?" he asked as Digg began purring under his long fingers. For a naughty second, I wished it was me purring under those fingers, but I shook that thought away.
"Digg, two g's," I said, watching as said cat fondly waved his tail around. My mother would be so jealous.
"Hello Digg. I am Luka, one a," he tickled my cat under the chin and Digg immediately fell head over heels for him. Yeah, he was sure soaking it up, the bastard.
"So…" I took another sip of my coffee. "D'you want to watch TV or somethin'?" Luka looked up at me and nodded.
"That'd be nice," he smiled. He seemed to be a lot more relaxed than he was in the cab and I was glad for that. His eyes were beginning to clear and his voice was thinner. It was refreshing. I grabbed the remote and flicked it onto one of the three channels that I got. Some late night guy was on, interviewing a random celebrity that I didn't really care about. But it was a subject for conversation, so I left it on and started my regular social routine of talking until my lips fell off. Luka didn't mind, he actually looked quite serene with his face glowing under the bluish light of the television.
It wasn't long until I was too tired to keep talking at my normal rate. Luka didn't mind that either. In fact, we sat in a comfortable silence while we watched the host on television tell some old, retired jokes.
"Thank you," Luka said so quietly during a Charmin commercial that I scarcely heard him. I turned my head towards him and gave him a shrug.
"It's no problem," I smiled. "Thank you for not mentioning the fact that my house smells like a litter box." Luka snorted and closed his eyes for a minute. When he opened them back up, they were looking at me. The smile slowly fell off of his face and he became serious again, his look scrutinizing and almost fearful.
"I think I'd pay you a million dollars just so I could live here," he said, his eyes watering slightly as they drifted across the living room and the kitchen. I raised one eyebrow.
"Yeah, cab driver's luxury," I said sarcastically but he shook his head.
"No," he let out a wry laugh. "You have a home. That's worth everything."
"You have quite a nice home yourself," I replied, still not getting his point. Perhaps I was dense, but his home was a lot better than mine was. If I had a million dollars, I'd run away from this sewer as quickly as I could.
"No," he repeated. "Home is where they understand you. I don't have that." He shook his head and I watched him closely, coming to the realization that he was telling me why he had been so distressed that night. "I thought I did. I thought I was like them. But I'm not and I'm never going to be."
"What… what happened?" I asked, cautiously touching his leg. This was the first official physical contact we had ever had and sparks must've shot up through my arm because a burning went through my entire body. He gave a glance down to my hand, but he made no move to shove it away, so I kept it there.
"My father disconnected me from the business and the family," he muttered, frowning slightly as his eyes gazed at the rising and lowering body of Digg.
"What?" I whispered because it kind of felt like the right thing to do even if we were the only ones in the house. Why would his father do something like that? Everyone knew that the Van Arden son had talent and was going to inherit everything. It'd practically been household knowledge since Luka was born. So why now? What had happened?
"I went against his wishes," Luka shrugged. "I told him that I wouldn't marry the daughter of one of his business partners. When he asked me why, I told him the truth. I just don't like women," he stiffened at this and glanced anxiously my way. When I didn't say anything, he eased again.
"So just like that…he let you go?" I asked, my eyebrows furrowed. Suddenly, I didn't feel so happy. Okay, I was touching the man of my dreams on my couch, but I just couldn't find the audacity to feel good. Not this time. In a way, I felt angry. What kind of father could possibly do that? I looked at the old family portrait on the wall and swiftly felt a lot of gratitude not only for my late father but for my mother as well, no matter how bitchy she was.
Luka nodded. "All in the good family name of Van Arden," he said sardonically. I felt a burn in the back of my throat at the look on his face. It wasn't as teary and sad as before, but it was lost. I sighed, leaning back against the couch and shutting my eyelids.
"What good is a family name if family doesn't even matter?" I asked the air. We said nothing and I simply listened to the end of the late night show and the start of late night news. Abruptly, the sound was gone and the familiar buzz of my television being shut off came to my ears. Not opening my eyes, I curled into the side of the couch much like Digg had done many nights. My eyes did open though when a weight gently fell against me and the smell of shampoo wafted into my nostrils.
Luka was laying on me. Holy bloody shit if my heart wasn't racing at that moment. I had dreamed of this contact so many times it was almost scary. I wasn't sure if I was dreaming, but god if I was, I didn't ever want to wake up. I could feel him and smell his classic cologne that he put on even when in shambles. Shaking slightly, I shifted so that I was in a semi-laying position under him and wrapped an arm around his chest.
Then, of course, the phone rang. I groaned, banging my head on the couch armrest as Luka sat up off of me. He was blushing and looked as adorable as an Adonis could look. I wanted to ignore the phone and just cuddle up with him, but I knew that if the call was my mother, she'd have my head.
"What do you want?" I asked rudely into the phone. Luka chuckled slightly, which made me calm down a little bit. A little bit.
"Gee, baby, I thought you would've got that by now," Milo's annoying voice annoyingly annoyed me from across the annoying phone.
"Hey Milo?" I said in my sweetest voice possible. He pretty much sent waves of perkiness through the phone as my words petted his ego.
"Yeah baby?" he asked back in the same sickly sweet tone.
"Fuck. Off." I said, slamming the phone back down into its holder. Smiling, I waltzed back over to Luka, who was shaking with laughter.
"Friend of yours?" he asked through his laughs.
"Oh, we're quite close," I replied, sitting back down on the couch. It was almost automatic and no words or instructions were spoken as we both stretched out together. It was like we both knew that at some point, we were destined to be in this spot at this time. Digg didn't even mind that he had lost his comfy pillow of Luka's lap. Luka was the one who laid down first and I laid down with my back against his stomach. His arms wrapped around me and his lips fell softly against the skin under my ear.
I didn't know what was going to happen in the morning, but I honestly didn't care. I was laying in the arms of the person I had longed for ever since the first time I picked him up in my cab. I had always thought that I'd love to be screwing his brains out on a bed of money in a lush, fabulous suite. But the truth is, that's not what I was doing. I was laying in his arms on a couch covered in cat hair after he had just lost everything he owned. And by god, I couldn't have wanted anything else.
Ah well, such is the life of a cabbie.
No life can escape being blown about by the winds of change and chance. And though you never know all the steps, you must learn to join the dance.