>> Saturday, January 30, 2010
She woke up thinking about her sister, Bella.
Dragging herself to the edge of the bed, she sat up, planted her feet firmly on the ground and then stopped. Rain drops tapped at her window. She peeked out the window at the rest of the small city. The gray sky desaturated everything that had any hint of color.
Samantha finally stood, gathering the clothes that were spilling out of her suitcase which she had somehow managed to never unpack in three months. She took some over to the bed and started folding them, the events of last night heavy on her mind.
Things had started out normally last night. Water had taken a break and sat down at her counter with a smile. It was a different smile, a genuinely happy smile.
"The usual?" Samantha asked returning his smile, happy to see such sincerity on his face.
He didn't even get a chance to take a sip. Samantha placed the drink in front of him. Over his head, she could see someone coming up to the counter, but she thought nothing of it. People often came up to Water. He was really the only celebrity in town. And they all wanted a small piece of him. Usually it was ladies who Water would often smile for and offer cooking tips. Samantha imagined that these ladies just wanted to be able to tell the headmaster that their Lobster Thermadore recipie had come from Water Mellon himself.
But this girl stopped right behind him placing a hand on her hip and a cooked smile on her little mouth. "You must have missed me."
Water hopped up, his genuine smile replaced by surprise.
She could see it happening again. The girl was cute. Pretty. Bubbly. Nineteen. Blond. Everything she wasn't. The blond girl, with a smile and a twirl of her hair, was sneaking between the two of them and making her way straight to Water. Samantha could see his defenses going down, his sincere smile of only a second ago being replaced with a special smile just for this girl.
Water left his drink on the counter to hop up and hug her. "It's good to see you. Aren't you visiting with your parents?"
"I was but they went to sleep already. Can you believe it? They should be celebrating my return and instead they tell me good night and they'll see me in the morning."
The smile on her face made it clear to Samantha that for these two people right now, there was no one else in the room.
Samantha picked up the drink Water had left on the counter. She stepped away towards the end of the bar and took a good sip.
"Hey!" A patron she hadn't previously noticed said from her seat at the counter. "You aren't supposed to be drinking. I'm supposed to be drinking."
Samantha handed the woman the drink in her hand. "Here. On the house."
She watched them sitting together the rest of the night, her insides quaking like jello as she moved up and down gathering glasses and ingredients to make drinks.
What did Samantha care? She knew that easily from their first time in the photo booth that he was clearly too well practiced. It was a photo booth with only one stool that she and Samantha had nearly fallen off of to take their stupid little pictures. And he'd directed her easily, pulled her hips to where he needed her to be exactly as if he'd done it enough times before that he knew the trick.
Samantha called Water first. It was 10am. She knew he'd still be asleep. She imagined that he'd be asleep with his arm around the young blond girl from last night. The girl had stayed until closing, sitting in a booth with Water when he wasn't needed in the kitchen. And then Water had driven her home.
The answering machine picked up and she left a message saying that she had a family emergency. Something with her sister. She had to go. Samantha didn't feel too bad. Tonight was her night off for the next two nights, so he had time to find a replacement if he needed it.
But she had the feeling he didn't. The time he spent at the bar chatting with her had probably been the time he'd spent at the bar making drinks and greeting patrons. For whatever reason he'd given the position to her, she knew it wasn't out of necessity.
But she did feel guilty as she looked at the phone. Her suitcase repacked neatly, the photos from Samantha safely tucked away in a front pocket.
"Samantha, what is going on?" Sam pulled her close. "Is everything all right?"
They met at the corner market near the train tracks that lead out of the city. It was 1pm and the sky had finally cleared. There wasn't even a cloud in the sky. Samantha had her bag on the ground by her feet and her train ticket in her jacket pocket.
"Yes. It's fine. Just an emergency at home. I have to leave, but I didn't want to leave without saying good bye first. And... thank you."
Sam smiled at her. "Oh you're not still on about that night with Bonnie, are you? We could have gotten into more trouble if you'd have moved in next door to me like I'd planned."
There wasn't much more to be said. In the middle of the grocery store they hugged like two lovers who were never going to see each other again. It garnered strange looks, but neither of them cared.
Sam turned away at the sound of an approaching train. "That's probably your train, you know."
"I know." Samantha bent down and picked up her suitcase and pulled her ticket from her pocket. "Take care, Sam."
"You too Samantha."
Samantha knew exactly when she went wrong. It was not that night at the club down town. That was certainly a point of no return, but that hadn't been the mistake. It wasn't even really that night after work she actually went home with Water and took the "tour" of his home that she was sure he had given to other girls.
It was the moment that she had mistakenly leaned in for the kiss. It had surprised her and him both. They'd had an unspoken understanding that they were no more than the physical support group for loneliness. So what had possessed her in that one instant to lean forward and kiss him? And why had he kissed her back? Why had he even offered her a job for a position that he didn't even need to be filled in the first place?
Expectations and obligations were suffocating. They pressed on her, cutting off her freedom, dragging her back to that place from months ago. People never acted the way you wanted them to. Things always unexpectedly stepped into the picture, distorting it or changing it completely.
And in that moment, when Samantha had watched that little blond girl with Water, she'd felt it, a wound recently sutured being ripped apart to bleed on her insides.
She had to go. She had no other choice. She'd made a mistake, and she'd have to hope that in the next place she didn't make the same mistake again.
*sniff* Bye Samantha! Oh the trouble you could have caused with Sam if only you'd been ready to settle. But of course, she's not ready to settle yet.
So I'll just link to the last post to make it easy to find the pictures I made as a gift for poor Samantha. (Gift is at the bottom of the post.) I hope someone uses that, lol. It will probably be the only mention we get is in the background because I imagine that Samantha is going to want to forget this whole thing completely. Because ouch. I know I would if I were her.
As for Ily, for those who don't know her, here is her last entry. She worked for Water in high school as a hostess, and I always imagined that she had a huge crush on him. She keeps in constant contact with him, emailing him and calling him sometimes. And sometimes he actually calls her.