| The whiskey goes down so smooth now that I can barely feel it; my throat is ripped raw, and it feels good. I hold the bottle up and look at the remaining liquid in the dim streetlights. There isn't much left. I can barely remember drinking that much.
I lean back in the car seat and stretch. I've been sitting in my car for over an hour now, just waiting. But waiting for what? What's going to happen? Nothing, unless I want it to. And I think I want something to happen.
I crook my arm out the window and stare over at her house. I automatically look up at the bedroom window and my neck gets sore from being twisted in that position too much tonight, but the whiskey is working, and I just don't give a damn. I can see a faint light, flickering candlelight through the thin, white curtains. Fucking candlelight! I pound my fist against the door once, and then again, but it doesn't help, just pisses me off even more.
The song on my stereo ends again and again I hit the back button making it start over. I sing along with it, "I'm free now," letting the lyrics, the music, soak into me, "I'm really just a fuck-up and it's such a waste," and I breathe it in, "There's something going on that makes my guts ache," drink it down like the whiskey, "I got guilt, I got fear, I got regret," and it burns going down, "I'm just a panic stricken waste, I'm such a jerk," and I love it, "the last thing I want to do is ever cause you pain," and it lays on my chest like it could crush me under its weight, and I want it to. I want to feel it in my bones, feel it under my skin, writhing through my head, and I close my eyes to let it overwhelm me, pushing me to cry, pushing at me hard, but fuck it, I won't do it, I won't fucking cry.
I pour more whiskey down my throat and stare back at the window. The music plays on, repeating, leaching through my pores, and through the window I imagine that I can see them, I can see her, in the flickering candlelight I can see her dark chest, hidden in shadows, her breasts heaving, the light playing across her nipples, her breath comes intense and sharp, her lips parted, her eyes closed, and she smiles as she drops her head down, her dark hair, falling about her face, and her eyes open to look at him underneath her, and his hands rise up to touch her breasts, and I can't breathe, I'm breathing too fast, I'm hyperventilating, and I can't focus, I can't see the house, and I hit the fucking steering wheel, and I hit it again, and I throw the bottle out of the fucking window, and it hits the street with a loud shatter of glass that pierces through my enraged mind, and I slam the car door behind me as I step out of the car.
The world is fuzzy and I'm not connected to it. The house looms over me as I approach it. My boots are loud and hard on the sidewalk, seeming to boom in the quiet night. I lower my head to glower through my overgrown and unkempt hair and I feel good, my teeth pressed together, my fists in tight balls at my sides, my chest rising and falling in deep breaths, cold air blasting through my nostrils, and there's only me in this fucking world, nothing else matters, what I do doesn't matter, because it's all just nothing.
I skid to a halt at the front door, trying to think of what to do, glancing up and leaning back to try to see the bedroom window, and look back down at the door, barring my way, standing in front of me, rocking back and forth, and I stare at it and I can't remember what I should do here.
I see her, remember her, long ago, standing here at the door, rain pouring down, bags dangling in her hands as I held her purse in my arm and searched through it for the keys. She was laughing, telling me to hurry, we're getting soaked, but she we was laughing, and making me laugh, and I couldn't find anything in her purse, never could. She stepped closer, her face was right under mine, looking up at me, that smile, her lips turned up, her cheeks flushed, her dark hair wet and dripping, and she was beautiful. I kissed her. She kissed me. And we were laughing as we kissed, her purse smashed between us. As always it rose so quickly, the heat, the fire, burst to life, and her bags fell to the ground and I pressed her to the door and she was touching my chest, pulling my shirt open, and I was feeling her breasts through her dress, wanting to rip the dress from her, to feel her skin, wet and slick, wanting to lay her down in the rain and the mud. She pulled away, her eyes watching me, the smile gone, serious, her jaw set, because she wanted me, and she pulled her keys from her purse without looking. We pushed the door open and we fell on the living room floor, pulling clothes from our bodies, panting, hurrying because we couldn't get there fast enough, every second I wasn't inside of her was a second lost, and then she was grasping my cock, leading me into her, and as I slid into her we both moaned so loud and with such relief that we both laughed again.
I smile to myself, swaying on my feet, and I can feel her again. I stare at the door and she's not there. The door just stands in my way and it holds me back, and I take a breath and want to knock it down. I knock on the door loudly, pounding my knuckles into it, wanting to feel the door give under my fist, and I hit it harder.
"I'm coming," I hear her yell inside the house.
I stop pounding on the door and I stand still, swaying back and forth slightly, numb, ready to see her, I won't feel a thing, she's nothing to me now.
"Jude?" I hear her exclaim through the door.
I look at the peephole, knowing that she's looking back at me. I hear the deadbolt turn, hear the chain being slid back, and the door opens.
She's stand in front of me again. And she's beautiful. I hold my breath and just stare at her. The sight of her, her silky black hair drifting to her shoulders, her hands clutching a robe about her body, her eyes a tender brown, twists through me like a knife, wrenching and tearing, and I want to fall on my knees and beg with her, plead with her, oh God Elena take me back, just take me back, and I didn't know what I was doing, I didn't mean it, I didn't, I could never hurt you, never, but I rise up, pulling in a breath, and I push it back down.
"Jude?" she says, glaring out at me, her eyes dark and questioning. "What are you doing here? It's late."
"I wanted to see you," I say, trying to keep my voice flat, emotionless, and I force my lips back into a smile.
"Jude, we can't talk right now," she says, stepping forward, holding the door tight against her so I can't see into her house. "It's late." She peers me at me, her eyes searching my face. "And you're drunk, aren't you?" she says disgusted.
I smile back at her and chuckle. "Just a bit, baby," I say.
I take a step towards her and I look down her body, look down where the robe stops at her knees, look down and see stockings on her lower legs, high heels on her feet, and I look back up at her, at her face made up, her hair like it had been fixed, but has since been messed up, and I glare back at her.
"Are those the stockings and heels you used to wear for me?" I ask her.
She sets her jaw, just like she always used to, not when she wants me, no, when she's mad at me, angry, sets her jaw, sets her mind, and she's a fucking brick wall.
"It's none of your business, Jude. Now, just go home," she yells.
She steps back and starts to close the door, but I reach out and stop it. She looks up at me, glaring at me, her eyes flickering with that fire, and a bit of fear, just a tinge, and she steps back as I push the door open and step inside. I stare at her as I close the door behind me, feeling wound up, everything, every emotion and thought wound inside of me, and I hold onto it, not wanting to let it go, trying to stay calm, and looking into her eyes, seeing that fear, I'm glad, just to see something, something besides that old disgust.
"Jude," she says, crossing her arms over her chest. "You have to leave. You can't just barge in here."
"I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" I ask her.
She sighs and her eyes melt into anger again. She sets her hip, that look that has always been so goddamn sexy, and she glares at me.
"It's none of your business," she says. "Now get out or I'll call the police."
"You won't do that," I say, and turn away from her. I look around her house, looking for changes, looking for something different, but it's all the same. "You wouldn't call the police on me, Elena."
"Yes, I would and I will if you don't get out now," she says.
I ignore her and step further down the hallway, glancing around me, looking for signs of him, of Eric, knowing he's there, knowing he's upstairs, but wanting to confirm it, see that he was there, throw it in her face.
"What are you doing?" she asks, walking behind me.
"Just looking around," I say and I stop in the dining room.
I look at the plates sitting on the table, candles extinguished, two glasses of wine, two place settings with barely eaten food, the scent of it lingering in the air.
I remember sitting there, the candles lit, waiting, drinking a glass of bourbon because I didn't drink wine, then the door to the kitchen opened and she came out, carrying the last plate of food in her hand. She laid the last plate on the table and stood before me, wearing that short dress, so short that I could see the top of her stockings, see the garters, the dress cut so low I could see the black bra underneath, and I didn't care about the food. But she made me eat, she sat across from me, her stocking foot rubbing my crotch under the table, smiling at me, telling me what we would do after we were done eating, and then I couldn't take it anymore, she always drove me so wild, and I lifted her from her chair, and she protested, but kissed me back, her arms around my shoulders, and I laid her on the table, pushing the food to the side, and I pulled the dress over her hips, and she wasn't wearing underwear, and I ate again, I licked her pussy until she was dripping wet and begging for me, her hands wrapped in my hair, pulling me towards her, and I dropped my pants, staring at her lying on the table, as she stared up at me, and I thrust into her hard and the table shook, and when she came she screamed, but I hadn't had enough and I pulled her from the table and bent her over it and I fucked her again, my stomach curled around her round ass and as I came inside of her she said she loved me.
"So you made him dinner, too?" I ask her, leaning against the doorway, trying not let the depression overwhelm me, but knowing I can't, I can't stop it.
"Jude...," she starts.
"What else did you do for him?" I ask, turning around, putting the dining room behind me.
"You don't own me, Jude," she says, suddenly.
"Did you fuck him?" I ask, keeping my voice calm, oh so fucking calm.
She glares back at me and I see the anger rising in her eyes and know what she'll say before she says it. "Yes, I did. Just you like you fucked that... that other girl... what was her name? Or do you even remember?"
"I remember," I say.
I walk past her, towards the stairs, and start walking up.
"Jude?" she says, walking after me. "Where are you going, Jude?"
I don't say anything. I'm done talking to her. She always just throws it back in my face. I could never make her understand. I didn't love that other woman. I loved Elena. But she made me mad, she wouldn't commit to me. She said she would date only me, be monogamous with me, but she didn't want to move in, didn't want to marry, why couldn't I understand, that would all just destroy it, we were perfect the way we were, but I knew it just meant she didn't want me, didn't love me. So, I got bitter. I got angry. I didn't call her, didn't visit her, and neither did she, and finally I gave into it. I fucked that other woman. I had fucked that woman I had just picked up at a bar. And I don't remember her name. She had just been there and Elena wasn't, and Elena had called and the woman had answered, and I had lain there letting the woman tell her yeah, he's here, I just fucked him, and I had laughed because I was drunk and I wanted Elena to hurt, to hurt like I did, but it died away so quickly, there was no relief, no happiness, just a crushing sadness that I had broken something that I couldn't fix.
"Jude? Don't go up there!" she says as she runs after me.
I don't pay her any attention. I start up the stairs, peering to the top, hoping to see Eric, wondering if he's hiding from me. I don't know why, but I feel I need to see him, to confront him, to look him in the eye, and let him know I know he's fucking my girlfriend. Eric and I were supposed to be friends, but this isn't how friends act, this is how a fucking asshole for a friend acts, and I want him to learn that.
"Jude," she says. "Stop."
She clutches at me, but I pull away as I reach the top. Her bedroom door is closed, but in the dark hallway I can see the flickering candlelight under her bedroom door. I can hear music, jazz music, playing through the door. It's a CD I bought her. I remember it. I remember how much she loves jazz, how she loves to fuck to jazz, how she loves to dance to it, strip to it. I remember giving her that CD, and she immediately put it on. As the music started she danced over to me, gave me a lap dance, pulled my zipper down, and hummed to the music as she sucked on my cock, until she straddled me, lifting her dress to her hips. I remember it vividly.
I clench my teeth. My head hurts; the pounding in my head just keeps getting louder. I squeeze my eyes shut as I approach the door, and open them again.
"Jude!" she yells as I kick the door open, wood splintering away from the doorjamb.
"What the fuck!" Eric yells.
As I step into the room, he jumps up from the bed. He's wearing just a pair of briefs, just his underwear. He stares at me, his skinny, pale chest rising and falling with hectic breaths, his eyes like large saucers staring at me. The room is dimly lit by the candles and a lamp with a red silk handkerchief thrown over it. The jazz music plays softly from the small stereo, the stereo that I bought her.
"Jude!" he says, a weak smile, playing on his lip. He reaches down to pick up a shirt and clutches it to his chest. "What are you doing, man?"
"What the fuck are you doing?" I say, moving towards him, looking down a tunnel that ends with him.
"Jude, don't!" she yells from behind me.
"Hey, man, come on, it's nothing, you know... I just... Hey man," he stutters, his eyes flashing from me to her grabbing at my shirt. I pull her with me, moving towards him.
The rage is so intense, so high, I feel like I could cry, I feel like my whole body could be ripped apart, and I wouldn't mind, I revel in it, revel in the rending of flesh and bone, the tearing, the cracking, and the rushing in my head is louder, and I want to cover my ears to block it out, but I can't think, all I see is him, his lips move, but I don't hear him, I just see him standing there, see him scared, knowing that he was fucking her, seeing it in my mind, seeing him touching her, kissing her, whispering to her, sliding inside of her as she hums to him and sighs, biting her lip, and my head feels like it has swelled to twice its size, my heart pounds in my chest, and I'm breathing hard, sucking air into my lungs just to feed the rage.
She pulls at my arm, yelling my name, and I push her away, throw her away as she did me, and she's gone. It's just him, and I'm on him. I shove him against the wall and I'm looking into his eyes, he's pushing on me, yelling at me, but it's nothing, it doesn't mean anything to me, I just want to see him hurt, and I grab his head, my arms straining, my hands clutching his face, pushing on his skull, and I look him in the eyes, my face tight, sneering, and I smack his head against the wall. He pushes on me and I stumble back, but reach out and grab him, and he's grabbing at me, his fingers slipping off of me, but I have a hand around his neck, and I throw him to the ground hard, with such force I fall on top of him, but I don't let go, I'll never let go. I hear her scream, far in the distance, and it means nothing, all I see is him. My fist smashes into his face before I know I'm going to throw it and it feels good, so I do it again, and I kneel over him, grinding my knee into his stomach, and he squirms and fights, his hands bouncing off of me, his legs kicking, but I hit him again, trying to hit through him and I feel it give, feel his face give in, broken, and he screams, and I hit him again and he stops screaming, and I tighten my grip on his throat, and I hit him, and I push my knee into him, and there are no thoughts, only actions, repetitive actions, again and again, tightening, smashing, dark red blood pooling on his face, covering my fist, and his hands slide off of me, and his body falls limp.
Then she screams, a scream so loud, I look up to see her standing over me, yelling, her face red and swollen with tears and rage, the large candlestick held high over her head, and I raise my arm. The candlestick crashes into my arm and falls to the floor. I stand up and she rushes at me, grabbing me, pushing at me, her fists glancing off of my chest and stomach. I grab her shoulders, and she twists in my hold, and I look at her face, twisted and red, filled with anger and disgust, and I like it, it's what I wanted to see, that pure hatred for me that I know she'll never want me, that there's no hope, and all is lost.
I grab her tighter as she pulls away, twists in my hands and I lose her as she slips out of the robe, leaving it in my hands. I stumble after her, dropping the robe to the floor, as she backs away from me.
I smile, feeling good now, feeling alive, my blood boiling, my heart racing, and I leer at her as she stops in front of me, dressed in black panties, a black garter and stockings, high heels, her breasts bare, her dark, silky hair falling roughly about her face and bare shoulders, and I step towards her, staring at her full breasts, rising and falling, her stomach gasping, the panties wrapped around her flaring hips, her skin so dark in the dim light, but shining with sweat, and I remember her like that, remember her body so enflamed, her body consumed by lust for me, and now she stands before me, and all I see is a whore.
"Jude...," she mumbles as I stop in front of her, my eyes moving down her body and back to her face.
I reach out and touch her cheek and she flinches back, trying to move away from me, so I step in quickly and wrap my arms around her and pull her to me.
"Jude!" she screams. "Let me go!"
Each time she hits, scrapes, punches me I become all the more enraged, feeling her body writhing against me, and I shove her against the wall hard and she shrieks, her head twisted back in pain. I dive in to suck at her straining neck and she tastes so sweet, so much like her, and I lick her skin, and her hands grab my hair, pulling my head away.
"Jude, don't," she screams.
I press my body against her, hold her against the wall, and grab her arms, pulling her hands out of my hair, and she strains against me, kicks and fights, trying to pull her arms free, and I breathe deeply, enjoying seeing her struggling, seeing emotions, raw and painful, I want to know she hurts, I want to make her hurt.
I pull away from her and she falls to the ground, twisting on her heels and almost falling. I hold onto her arms and yank her with me as I walk towards the bed. She falls to the ground on her butt, her feet kicking, her heels scraping on the floor, shrieking and wailing. Her arms twist in my hands and I yank her hard and she screams, and her arms slip out of my sweaty hands. I stumble and catch myself on the bed. She rolls to her side and I fall on her as she tries to raise to her knees.
"Jude! Stop it!" she yells in my ear. She yells my name and I remember how she used to say it, how she used to say my name like it was a dirty word, how it used to resonate from her lips, instantly making me hard.