The sidewalk café on Water Street was busy, bustling on this gorgeous, sunny Saturday June afternoon, with the temperature right at 69 degrees Farenheit, even though it was just the beginning of tourist season, with only the most dedicated "summer people" in evidence. It would have been a great day for a margarita, but for some reason, he had chosen a tequila sunrise, and it was going down very smooth, when he heard the clicketty-clicketty sound on the cobblestones, announcing the arrival of her stilettos. Ordinarily, he would never sit with his back to the door, or in this case, the street, but it had been the only table available. Just as well though, because when she wheeled around the table and sat in her chair with more than a small huff, he could see the daggers leaving her eyes, even though she was wearing those big brown and gold shades. The sundress showed enough of her, but not too much, merely a promise.
"Hi. You seem agitated," he said.
"Hi yourself, you dickwad," she whispered softly, followed by her usual wry smile, "I am so royally fucking pissed at you right now that if I had a piece in my purse, I might put a cap or two into that big fat head of yours."
"Um, okay. But you always have that little .22 in your purse, baby. So, I guess I can count good luck as part of my portfolio today."
"You can count luck however you want to, you sonovabitch. Here's what you really need to count though, gringo: you steal my work again, and I'm going to rip your balls off and wear them on a charm bracelet. Order me a drink before I lose my temper completely."
He motioned for the waiter, and ordered her a sunrise as well. She sat immobile, not even removing the shades. "Yet again, I find out after the fact that you have sold yet another story, filled with my ideas, and my words, and yet there is no check filling my mailbox. Are you just trying to piss me off, or what? I can't wait for your bullshit excuse this time," she seethed.
"Baby, you know your check will be there as soon as I get paid, which has not yet happened. Hell, they publish, and a month later, they send a check. You know how this works," he offered, sure that she would not be satisfied by such a lame excuse.
"I don't buy that for a second. And here's the thing: we are supposed to be writing partners. Partners. P-a-r-t-n-e-r-s. You keep me like a fucking mushroom: wet and in the dark. This shit has got to stop before I dismember your member, dude."
He looked into her eyes, still shielded by the shades. He needed to get inside there. "Baby, let me see those beautiful browns, please," he cooed, "let me look into your eyes and reassure you." Her mood seemed to soften slightly, and she shifted in her chair as she took a long sip of her drink.
"Maybe they should stay on, dude. Maybe that way I will not fall prey to those killer electric blues you have. Maybe then, I will keep my composure, and get what I came here for today."
"You might be right about that, baby," he offered, "I would not want to take advantage of you right here in the middle of town. It would be a crime to do something like that, here in front of dozens of people." The words had barely left his mouth, when her hand was moving to the shades, and they were coming off in a fluid motion straight down to the surface of the table.
"What makes you so sure that you could take advantage of me right here in the middle of town," she asked, again with the wry smile.
"I am hoping that I will get lucky, and that your anger has gone away, baby. I am hoping that history will once again save me, and that my wrongs can somehow be forgiven, that you can redeem me, save me from a life as a beast, a dog," he whispered, his eyes never leaving hers.
Her edge had left her face, and those unbelievable browns glowed with a familiar fire, a fire he had visited so many times that he should bear at least a few scars. "Eh, dude, once again, you charm me like no one on this planet can," she murmured, "so let's leave this pop stand, and go for a walk on the beach, and talk about your wrongs." All at once, she stood, towering over him, still sitting, looking into her eyes. He was lost in her eyes, lost like a little boy far from home. He hesitated for a moment before getting up from his chair, and she crooked her finger in that familiar way, and said "Eh, get up and come here, dude. Get up and come with me."
June 13, 2009.
Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.