Monday, July 05, 2010

Harter Union: Part Five; Chapters 4 & 5

Jason and Chrissy sat in my office and seemed to try and avoid any eye contact. Jason twiddled his thumbs while Chrissy’s hands fidgeted around.

“So you found someone else?” Jason asked.

“Yes, his name is Jesse and he makes me feel something I haven’t felt in a really long time…” Chrissy explained. “Something since before the abortion.”

“Why did we have that abortion? It caused nothing but problems,” Jason said angrily.

“Or maybe it helped us realize that we are not supposed to be together. Understand?” Chrissy tried to be sweet.

“I do, I guess. So have we officially broken up?”

“Yeah, I guess we have. Are you okay?” asked Chrissy.

“Of course. I just want you to be happy. You are happy, right?” Jason asked, trying to smile.

“Yes, for the first time in a long time,” Chrissy smiled as her eyes began to tear up. “We need to get to work.”

Jason and Chrissy got up and left the office, going their separate way: Jason to the Dish Room and Chrissy to the Line. Jason tied a red apron around him and entered the Dish Room. Also in the Dish Room were Nathan, Kepler, and Heather.

“What did Chrissy want to talk to you about?” Heather asked.

“Nothing much. She just broke up with me, that’s all,” Jason said. “She met someone else and he makes her feel things she hasn’t felt in a while so I understand.”

“You look kind of down. Are you sure you’re okay?” Nathan asked walking over to his brother. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“No…not right now. And especially not to you,” Jason exclaimed.

“Why not? I am your brother you douche bag!”

“You’d spread it to that flabby, bleach blond bimbo you call a fiancée and I don’t want her to know my personal secrets,” Jason explained.

“Maybe she could offer some feminine insight to your troubles.”

“Just because she has a hole between her legs does not make her feminine. Now can we just get these dishes washed so I can continue to wallow in the mess I’ve made?”

“Aw, he’s wallowing,” Heather cooed.

Everybody began working with Jason in the Pots & Pans area. As he was nearing the last pan, Kepler came over to him and looked at him. “What?” Jason snapped.

“You have the most beautiful green bloodshot eyes,” Kepler remarked.

“Are you high?” Jason shouted.

“Possibly,” Kepler took the last pan from Jason and walked back to the dish machine.

Wendy was folding laundry in the bakery area and listening to the radio when Wanda and Alyson came up to her. “Hey, Dee how was your date with Jeff?” asked Alyson.

“It was good. We went to this restaurant and got drunk on wine, and then we went back to my place,” Wendy revealed.

“Ooh and then what happened?” Wanda asked suggestively.

“Heather called and Jeff went over to Melissa’s place,” Wendy said.

“Nuh-uh!” Wanda exclaimed.

“You bet, ask Heather.”

“So nothing happened?” both girls were amazed but Alyson seemed angry. “He went to Melissa’s?”

“Apparently. I don’t know why he’s not here today But he did leave me to go over to his ex-fiancée’s. It was a good night up to that point,” Wendy laughed softly.

“That jerk!” Alyson yelled.

“He’s not a jerk,” Wendy rebounded. “He didn’t want to leave but you know he still cares about Melissa and would do anything for her.”

“Even leave his date alone,” Alyson injected.

“I didn’t mind. Anyway, it sounded important and we weren’t doing anything anyhow,” Wendy admitted.

“Well, Heather and I are going out tonight and you are more than welcome to join us but I have to warn you that we plan on definitely getting laid by any means necessary,” Wanda invited.

“I might do that. I’ll let you know later,” Wendy finished folding the last of the laundry, stacked it all in the basket and carried it off to put it away.

In the Dish Room, Nathan was cleaning the dish machine baskets as Kepler was sweeping the floor. Jason was in the mop room filling one of the mop buckets. “We need to ask Jeff if we can have a radio in here,” Nathan said.

“He’d probably let us. He seems kind of cool as long we get our work done,” Kepler replied.

“Our first night with it, it’d probably fall in a sink full of water.”

“Probably,” Kepler grabbed the dustpan and swept the garbage into it. Jason came in with a mop and bucket.

“Since when is the mop water hot?” Jason asked. “I went to wash some goop off and it gave me third degree burns.”

“Jeff called somebody and it turns out that those sinks weren’t connected to the water heater or something like that so he made them fix it,” Nathan explained.

“Cool,” and Jason began mopping in the Pots & Pans area.

“We were just talking about how we need a radio in here,” Nathan said to Jason.

“On our first night, it would probably fall in a sink full of water.”

Chapter Five
I was sitting in McDonald’s with Aaron and Heather. They were the only ones I told about Melissa and I was bringing her home from the hospital because she didn’t want her family to know.

“Have you ever just sat and people-watched?” I asked holding my egg and sausage biscuit to my mouth.

“Sometimes,” Heather answered.

“It’s amazing. Peoples little foibles…”

“Foibles?” questioned Aaron.

“…and they don’t try to hide them. Like that guy,” I pointed across the dining room to a man who was drinking a Coke and eating biscuits and gravy while reading the paper. “He needs to scratch his nose.”

Heather and Aaron quickly turned around to look at the man. “How can you tell?” Aaron wondered.

“You can hear him sniffing. Hell, you could hear it on Mars. Anyway, he could also have a runny nose caused by the gravy but he has a stack of napkins so why doesn’t he blow his nose? He is obviously one of those that don’t scratch his nose until the feeling becomes unbearable,” I explained.

“That’s amazing,” Heather said, astonished.

“Old people are the best because they either don’t care about what they do or they are embarrassed by everything they do. Same with middle-aged women. Sometimes they won’t even blink without an ‘excuse me.’ One time I was in this diner and this woman must’ve had a cold or something in her throat or lungs because she kept coughing. Nothing big but just cough…cough…cough. Something your average person wouldn’t notice.”

“But you did?” smiled Heather, who looked at Aaron.

“Yes. But hers was consistently cough…excuse me. Cough…excuse me. Cough…excuse me.”

“She was just being courteous,” Heather argued.

“No, but this was, like, every 45 seconds. Cough…excuse me,” I held up my hand a little from the table and waited exactly 45 seconds and then, “cough…excuse me.”

“Yeah, but still you have to take into consideration that she may just be a polite woman and you shouldn’t judge her just based on that one…”

“Cough…excuse me,” I said, interrupting Heather.

Aaron spoke up. “Well, now I see how it could get a little annoying.”

I looked over to my left into the corner and saw a woman eating and reading a romance novel. “Another thing I want to know is about women who read romance novels.”

“What about them?” Heather asked, not looking at me.

“Do the women masturbate to them?”

The question was caught off-guard by Aaron who nearly spit out his drink. “What?!”

“It’s a valid question! It’s nearly the same as an erotic novel only change the words ‘sucked my rock hard nipples’ to ‘tongue caressed my tender nipple buds.’” I explained.

“Oh my God!” Heather shielded her face from the passers-by.

“Stop being such a schoolmarm. Think about it. Inquiring minds want to know.”

“Schoolmarm?” she whispered.

“It would probably vary from person to person but I think a majority of them read them to think about relationships they were never able to achieve themselves,” Aaron explained.

“That’s what I thought until I wanted to know if they masturbate to them.”

“Jefferson!” Heather snapped.

“Oh, stop it! You sound like my mom.”

“Here’s a question,” began Aaron. “How come you don’t call him Jeff like everybody else?”

“I got the name from his office door and he’s never corrected me,” Heather explained.

“That’s cool. Can I start calling you Jefferson?”

“You’re fired, Aaron,” I said, standing up with my tray to dump it.

“Okay, I’ll go back to calling you Jeff,” Aaron said.

Melissa had just finished packing when Heather, Aaron and me arrived. “You ready?” I asked.

“Almost. The doctor wants to look me over and give me some last minute instructions,” she answered.

As soon as she finished, the doctor walked in. “Ms. Girard? You all set to go?”


“Is this your ride?” the doctor asked, looking at us.

“Yeah, and Jeff is the one who’ll be staying with me,” Melissa said.

“Ah, boyfriend?”

And before I could correct the doctor, Melissa answered “yes.” I looked at her questioningly.

“Well, just do everything I told you. Since you have someone who knows you intimately, I assume, it should be an easy transition and if you ever need again, call a psychiatrist or 1-800-SUICIDE and they can help. It also looks like you have good friends and you can always talk to them,” the doctor said. “Any questions?”

Everyone shook their heads.

“Alright, well, come back in two weeks and we’ll remove those stitches,” the doctor said pointing to Melissa’s right hand. “Have a good day, all.” And the doctor left.

I dropped Aaron off at work and Heather off at our apartment and went back to Melissa’s apartment. “I want to thank you for doing all this for me. I really appreciate it,” Melissa said. “And I’m sorry you had to see me in that state.”

“It’s okay. Anything for you, remember that,” I said. “However I do want to know what happened that caused you to do that.”

“I found out that Mike was married and you seemed to disappear whenever I needed to talk so I…”

“Mike was married?” I asked. Melissa nodded her head. “I knew something wasn’t right about that guy. And what did you mean by telling the doctor I was your boyfriend?”

“Hopeful wishing. I never really wanted to be with Mike. I always wanted you but you were either with Maggie or getting close to Heather and I didn’t want to disrupt your life again.”

“Melissa…Pussycat, if you are wanting to give you and me a serious chance, all you have to do is ask,” I said, stepping closer to her.

“Jeff, I want another chance. Please?” Melissa, too, stepped closer.

“Mmm, I don’t know. I’m gonna need some convincing…” Melissa pressed her body to mine, wrapped her arms around my neck and leaned up to kiss me. When our lips unlocked, I looked down at her, smiling. “I think I could.”

And we kissed again.

Jeff has a speech and Mike confronts Melissa.