-~-~-~-~-~- writing sins and tragedies

I want to leave this room. I want to leave it right now. I need out. I need to not be here right now. But my feet won't move. My brain has almost completely stopped functioning and given way to my instincts.

I'm sitting on the bed and drowning in memories. The time at the county fair. The first stolen kiss behind the old warehouse. His fingers captivating mine like chains but still remaining wonderfully languid as he led me down the hallway to that room for the first time.

No. I will not think of that room.

I'm on my feet, suddenly. My brain screams for them to lead me out of this room, out of this house, far away from here. But my feet are stubborn. They take me across the room to the open closet. My hands run over the fabrics of their own accord; they stop at the last piece of material, the one I has shoved into three dry cleaning bags and pushed into the back of my closet so I could avoid seeing it.

No, no, what are you doing? Put that back! Put it back right now!

But my hands won't listen. My dull eyes guide my hands slowly to the zippers of the bags. Three layers of covering drop to the calico carpet.

Tears fill my eyes. I remember how he used to say that my eyes were striking when I cried, that he could see the hurt in them, that he would kill to make me feel better. Angrily, I toss that memory aside.

Little wet spots appear on the material. I know I'm ruining the fabric, but right now, that's not the first thing on my mind. I run my hands over the satin, as if trying to absorb all the feeling I can from the light pink threads.

Organ music. White silk. Baby's breath and calla lily petals rain from the sky. Seven cloud-white doves twitter gaily as they are released. I sit in the uncomfortable chair, trying my best to listen to what is being said. The silence attacks my ears as I stare fixedly at the two bright green crystals of his eyes. I can tell it's almost over. One last question; and the green finally meets my eyes. There is one last lingering look. My heart sinks. I try to communicate "no, no, no..." But it's no use.

"I do."

These are the first words I've heard clearly all day.
To this day, I don't know who he said them to.

I realize I'm on my knees. I'm clutching the pink dress to my face, letting the material absorb my tears. It still smells like the park, our park. Hell, I can even smell him on it.

I'm a mess. Physically, I'm fine, but on the inside, I'm falling apart. And it's my fault, I think. I knew this was going to happen. But maybe it's not my fault... maybe it's his. I am so lost in my own head. I didn't know it was even possible. I only have one consolation in this tangled web of confusion... at least it was a beautiful wedding.

-~-~-~-~-~- two for one

I'm sitting with Jen in the coffee house outside her work. She's actually sober today, and I thought I'd pick her up early and the two of us would have a girls' afternoon. She sips her latte thoughtfully as she looks out the window.

"You know, Callie, it's been a while since we've done this. Just sat down together and talked."

I nod my agreement. Jen was my best friend in high school, roommate in college, and is still my best friend today. She's a huge partier, and I'm relatively certain she's slept with the patrons of every bar and club in this city, but she's wildly intelligent, a powerful businesswoman, and most importantly, my conscience. She tucks a piece of dark blonde hair behind her ear and giggles slightly.

"So... I met this guy the other day..." I grin. Jen is always meeting 'this guy the other day', and usually their second meeting is a wild night between the sheets. Jen has always had amazing self-respect despite how much she sleeps around, and I've always admired her for that. Sure, she knows she is fully capable of operating in a functioning relationship and she is able to get one, but Jen likes her fun.

I humor her anyway. "So which guy is it this time, which seedy bar did you meet him at, and how long did it take him to get off?" I ask jokingly.

"You know me too well," Jen laughs. "To answer your question, his name is Jeff, it was Sadie's, and it took him about an hour."

"That's better than last week's one-minute wonder," I say, laughing out loud at the memory of Jen's face as she'd said the words "one-minute wonder." Jen bursts out laughing with me.

Her voice becomes serious. "Honestly, Callie, when are you going to start pretending to notice the manly sex again?

"I don't need a man," I smile. I'd just gotten out of a relationship with Derreck, a former football star in college and easily the most alcoholic person I'd ever met. After three years and one awful encounter with the other girl he was fucking, I gave him up for good. It's wonderful to be single again, and I'm not ready to relinquish my freedom quite yet.

"You don't need to be in a relationship," Jen drawls, as if the idea were boring and stupid. "Just a couple good lays."

"I don't need a good lay," I say with an air of finality that makes Jen decide to drop the subject for now. So now she just shrugs and goes back to her latte.

"Ms. Watson!" comes a shriek from across the street. Jen's assistant, Miranda, is sticking her head out the front door. Jen sighs and motions for Miranda to come join us. Miranda teeters across the street in her five-inch pumps.

"Honestly," Jen sighs under her breath, "I tell her at least once a week not to wear those damn things. They're going to do terrible things to her arches and they make her walk like a penguin."

I stifle a giggle as Miranda approaches the table.

"Ms. Watson?" she addresses Jen breathlessly, clutching slim briefcase in her hand as if afraid she was going to drop it. Miranda is a junior in college and is working at Jen's marketing firm as part of an internship. She hero-worships Jen, which Jen tends to take advantage of. Miranda has practically memorized Jen's coffee order.

"Yes?" Jen smiles. As much as she complains about Miranda ("If that girl idolized me any more, she would follow me into the bathroom and ask if she can help me take a shit!") I know Jen really does care for her.

"Um, I have the newest line from Mia Gina that they want you to review," Miranda says quickly. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything, I know you signed out early, I only want to-"

"No matter, no matter," Jen waves away her chatter with a hand motion. "I can take them." She motions for the briefcase, which undoubtedly holds sketches of all of the new footwear and accessories from one of Jen's biggest clients. Miranda carefully sets it down next to Jen before giving a silly little curtsy, nodding politely at me, and returning to the front door of the building.

"Ugh… Mia Gina designs almost faster than we can advertise," Jen says, eyeing the briefcase grumpily. "And I can't half-ass this because they actually scrutinize every marketing scheme we throw at them."

"Need my help?" I joke, knowing full well that my skills as a kindergarten teacher won't be of much use to her.

"Nah, I'll just skip my outing tonight." Jen grimaces. "Ugh. I'm gonna need a drink."

"Well, if you've got work to do, we can save the girls' afternoon for a different day," I reason.

Jen makes a face. "I guess we'll have to. Thanks for the coffee, Callie."

We leave the coffee house and Jen follows me to where Marshall is parked on the street in front of her office. I'm about to unlock the door when-

"Ouch!"

Someone runs headlong into me. A cell phone goes sprawling onto the sidewalk.

"Oh my God, I'm sorry," I gasp, winded. I kneel to retrieve the fallen phone.

"No, no, don't be," a calm male voice replies. I look up. The speaker is a man in a blue flannel shirt and a black ball cap that lies, bill pointed backwards, over shaggy brown hair. Stubble accentuates his lopsided, apologetic smile. I can't place him, but he definitely looks familiar.

I hand him the phone, nod, and he continues on his way.

Jen watches him leave, eyebrows raised. "He has a very nice-"

"Jen!" I exclaim as I turn a little red.

"-smile," she giggles. "Oh, come on, Callie. You two totally just had a moment. And don't even try to deny he was attractive."

"Am I denying?" I laugh. "Yes, he was attractive, but we did not have a 'moment'. He's just some guy who walked into me."

"Hey, I've fucked people who have said less words to me than he did," Jen said reasonably.

"Yeah, but you're you," I roll my eyes good-naturedly. We get into the truck and drive away.