Thursday, June 4, 2009

Love Lost

Below is my entry for the latest Patti/Gerald/Aldo Flash Fiction Challenge. I hope you enjoy it.

There was something innately wrong about hotel bars. The lights were too bright. They were too nicely decorated. There was no reason to be bright and cheery when your primary clientele was traveling salesmen in cheap suits who smelled of desperation and women with dead eyes and inch thick makeup.

Kyle smiled and chuckled to himself as he polished off his third Sapphire tonic and ordered another. He was one of them now. He was King of the Losers. All because he lost Adrianna.

They met at a party in the fall. He found out later she had crashed the party. She had a habit of crashing parties. Kyle was grabbing an MGD from the fridge when she walked in. Adrianna was the kind of girl who when she walked into a room, you could feel it.

Kyle turned. Short black skirt. Spaghetti straps. Clasp bag in her left hand. They locked eyes. She crossed the room and jammed her tongue down his throat. She then whispered into his ear the two words that would change his life. Her ragged breath tickling his earlobe, sending shock waves through his body as she spoke that one simple sentence.

“Let’s dance.”

They spent the night bumping and grinding to the DJ’s beats. They spent the next two days in a hotel room bumping and grinding. Without music. And without clothes.

The things he would to for Adrianna just for the things he would do to Adrianna. Their second date ended with a night in jail. Their fourth, a trip to the burn ward. But, like a junkie, he rationalized that it was worth it. After a while, he recognized that continuing the relationship would be hazardous to his health, but her phone calls always had him jonesing for another fix.

Kyle surrendered himself to her. But then she stopped calling. She stopped returning his calls. He went to her apartment, but Adrianna had moved out. He broke in, just to get a faint reminder of her scent, but that was gone too. He cruised all their old haunts, hoping to catch a glimpse of her. The places they loved were all dull and boring without her by his side.

But then he found her. She had moved to another part of the state. She was now engaged to some mope named Scott. A weenie in khakis and shirts from Kohls.

Kyle finished his Sapphire tonic and walked upstairs to Ballroom B. The placard outside read “Wedding Reception for Scott and Adrianna Anderson”. He pushed the door open and and saw a room full of wedding guests. Buffet tables lined the one wall, leading to a four layer wedding cake by the large plate glass window. The evening sun was slowly setting over the lake.

Kyle saw the newly married couple dancing to Peter Gabriel’s “The Book of Love” in the center of the ballroom. The wedding dress what low cut and tight in all the right places. She wore her hair up. Why do they always wear their hair up?

She stopped dancing when she saw him. “What are you doing here?” she hissed.

“I’m crashing,” Kyle said with a grin.

“Please leave. You’re causing a scene.”

“A scene?” he said. “A scene? Look who’s worried about causing a scene all of a sudden. You never used to be worried about causing a scene. Remember the time you stripped naked and jumped in Ryan Thomas’s pool? Now that was a scene.”

Adrianna quickly walked over. “Stop it. Kyle, it’s over. It’s been over between us for a long time. Why can’t you just let it go?”

“Let it go? Let it go?” Kyle said. “How can you say that? All the good times we had together? We belong with each other”

Kyle pulled up his shirt to reveal a “Property of Adrianna” tattoo across his stomach. Adrianna’s hand shot up to her mouth. She said, “My God, Kyle. What did you do to yourself?”

“Nothing you yourself wouldn't do. Didn't you say it would be hot to have each other's names on our bodies when we were in the sack? That's right, Scott. I fucked your wife.”

“You need help, Kyle.”

Kyle said, “Oh, come on. This is just some elaborate prank, right. You're having a fake wedding to show how lame the whole concept is.”

Adrianna said, “No, Kyle. It's real. I love Scott and he loves me. I've grown up and so should you.”

“We belong together. You and I are the same.”

Kyle looked at all the faces staring at him. Shock, disgust, loathing. Then he looked at Adrianna. Was that pity he saw in her eyes? She was pitying him? He pitied her. Marrying a worthless schlub like Scott. He had to save her.

“If that’s the way you want to play it, fine. Just remember, you can’t have a wedding without a cake.”

Kyle broke into a run. His heard neither the yelling nor felt the people lunging or him. His whole world now was the cake and the window. His hands grasped the cold metal of the cake cart. He watched the cake smash through the window. The miniature couple on top of the cake wobbled, but didn’t fall.

Kyle felt more alive than he had in ages. He embraced the freedom of the skies until he felt a sickening crunch, bouncing off the cake cart that had fallen the two stories before he did.

The cake landed right side up in the center of the road – a pile of confectionery carnage.

With cracked and bloodied lips, Kyle smiled. “Fuck that bitch.”


sandra seamans said...

Nothing worse than being that "last fling" before the wedding. Great story!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Great line, Sandra.
And a really sad story. Reminded me of The Graduate but with the opposite ending. This read so well.

Dana King said...

"Their second date ended with a night in jail. Their fourth, a trip to the burn ward."

Classic. You've come up with a classic loser in less than 1,000 words. Harder to do than it looks. I know.

WellesFan said...

Thanks for the kind words.

r2 said...

"The things he would to for Adrianna just for the things he would do to Adrianna."

Fantastic line.

And the fourth date ended up in a burn ward? Wow. What isn't said causes the imagination to go wild.

Classic tale of obsession. Great one.

Cormac Brown said...

Nice story, and...

"A weenie in khakis and shirts from Kohls."

...I guess I'll have to do my summer shopping somewhere else.

WellesFan said...

r2 - thanks. I like leaving things to the readers' imagination. You guys probably fill in the blanks better than I ever could.

Cormac - ha. Yeah, I excoriated myself with that line too.

Paul Brazill said...

So many great lines. What a torch song!