Chapter 2: Part 2
He threw the last beer bottle into the forget-me-not box he found under the bed that Joe had left when they broke up four months ago. He heard the glass break and fall into the nooks and crannies of what would be trash as soon has he had the incentive to bring it to the dumpster. The sound of breaking glass didn’t hold as much impact as it once did earlier that morning, his prior headache gone. All that remained were the ones from his hands, ankle, foot, for some reason three or four of his ribs, and the nagging memory of Joe.
After what seemed like hours of cleaning, Quinn was finally finished doing damage control in his room. Just some books and magazines to pick up, and his room would look decent once again. In the meantime, he was searching for his wallet, keys, and phone. Kneeling down to check under the bed again, he wondered if his stack of porno mags would still be there for him.
“Ah shit,” Quinn whispered under his breath as removed the only framed photo of he and Joe from under the bed. It was all coming back to him. Last night at Uncle Wei’s; dinner, the party, the banner, and her.
“Oh my God! That’s why,” Molly exclaimed. Quinn threw the photo into the forget-me-nots box, the brushed silver breaking one of the beer bottles. “What the fuck?”
“Don’t look so damn perplexed, Molly,” Quinn spat. “You know as much as I do.”
“Are you fuckin’ kidding me? That was her engagement party?” Quinn nodded and continued cleaning the room, as if to look jaded by the sudden realization. “Isn’t that the reason why she broke up with you?”
“Yeah.” Quinn mustered. “Good for her.”
“I thought she had only dated that guy for a month.”
“You get your passport in a month. Not an engagement.”
“Yeah.” Quinn could feel it. His heart rate quickened, his muscles tensed, and the frown that hadn’t been in use for three months had occupied his face once again.
“I never approved of that bitch of a dental assistant anyway,” Molly continued. “She always had you under her thumb.”
“What is that suppose to mean,” Quinn asked offended, yet thankful for the slight distraction.
“I mean that you are a slave to the mighty V,” she laughed. “She got you to do some of the dumbest shit.”
“Come one! Give me some credit. I was not—.”
“Pussy whipped,” she interrupted. “And easy manipulated.”
“I am not easily manipulated to do stupid—.” Things like streaking through Paul’s company soccer game, accusing the policeman that had caught Joe urinating in public of being a pervert, and getting him drunk before his grandfather’s funeral to mitigate the pain were all of her ideas. He had told his grandmother in a drunken stupor that her “fun bugs” were perky enough to still attract a man half her age. It was safe to say that Quinn is not the favorite grandson.
“Yeah. Proves my point. Joe is caddy, manipulative, and only wanted to change you. I mean you’re a smart, attractive, amusing guy. Was she ever appreciative of that?”
“No she wasn’t.”
“’Cause she was a lame ass! You shouldn’t be lamenting over that cunt bag anyway.”
“I’m not! Look, I’m fine,” he said, trying to amuse her with a smile.
“Really? You’re trying to pull that shit? With me? Fine is not an emotion, my friend.”
“Eh, who gives a shit,” he answered as he threw the books from the floor onto his bed.
“Apparently you still do!”
“I mean, can you blame me?” As much as Quinn had wanted nothing but to avoid the subject, Molly always knew exactly how to force the issue to resurface. “You date a girl for a couple of years, you know that you love her, ask her to marry you, and then she decided to call it quits. And then agrees to marry someone else?”
“I can’t answer for her Quinn, but I can make conclusions based off of the characteristics I listed earlier.”
She stood in the middle of the doorway, her left hip gravitating toward the wall into a position often used in the past to coax him into bed with her. With crossed arm, a tote back spilling with clothing, and a displeased expression on her face, he knew he wouldn’t be as lucky this morning. Quinn sat up from the pool of saliva that resulted from an open mouth and much needed sleep after a night of post break up sex. He ran his fingers through his hair, pressing firmly against his scalp, and found strands of her hair with his. Joe cleared her throat and he looked in her direction.
“What,” he shrugged as he pulled his shorts on. Earlier that sedentary morning, he heard her deconstruction of the rooms they once knew as “ours”. Rummaging for her toothbrush and leaving her belongings scattered around the apartment demonstrated how much more of a sentimental girlfriend she was than a considerate one. Their dates were compartmentalized into specific places in his room and the ones that meant the most were the noisiest. From the rustling of stale flowers she had kept since Valentine’s Day to the crunching of the wrapping paper of last Christmas, the noise continued the whole morning and he was awake for it all.
“I’m done and I’m going now,” she said. He didn’t have to ask. Quinn knew her long enough to know that the sentimentalist wanted a goodbye. He had hoped that the events of last night would negate her desire to break up. He had hoped that she would wait until they finished their discussion on the matter, or at least until after breakfast. He put on a shirt, walked her to the door for her tearful goodbye, and had a pop tart.
Bvvvvvt. Bvvvvvt. A pause. Bvvvvvt. Bvvvvvt.
Quinn scrambled to his feet, finding the vibrating coming from under James Joyce’s Dubliners. “GOD DAMN! That’s where it was!”
“If there was any other book that could be your biography,” Molly commented. Quinn sneered and checked who it was. It continued to buzz and the screen lit up with Mark’s name.
“Hello,” Quinn answered.
“Quinn, ye fuckin slag! Glad tae hear the drink hudn’t kilt ye,” sprang Mark’s voice. “How’d list nigh go?”
“Man I can’t find my wallet or my keys.”
“Sounds like it was gud nigh. Ah could hiv dun withoot aw the fuckin calls though,” Mark chuckled. “What the fuck happened tae ye?.”
“I’m sorry. Things got out of hand.”
“Ah’m sure thay did. Ah got a call three in the fuckin morning. Wir yuh oan somethin?”
“Whit is it aboat you American slag thit ye hiv tae tell others thit yir fuckin pissed? Gaen on aboot coat rooms an how yuh wanted to clock someone by the names of Jason. Who the fuck is thit cunt?”
Quinn paused. The last thing he wanted to admit was that he had a menopausal tantrum over the phone because of some jealous tiff. “Joe’s fiancé.”
“The bird got hersef a new wanker, aye?”
“She sure did.”
“Well, thin aw thit shite you wir spewin makes sense. Dinnae understand why you sid all thit shite aboot Tess. Granted she introduced yer arse tae Joe, but thit’s no excuse tae blame her, likesay?”
Quinn couldn’t recall that conversation. He apologized anyway. “I do need to ask you a favor.”
“Well seeing that my car keys and my wallet are missing, I was wondering if you can give me a ride to Uncle Wei’s today.”
“Ah’m such a good friend,” Mark laughed. “Ah’ll be thir in thirty.”
“Thanks, man. I owe you one.”
need editor approval to submit