“Maya, don’t ignore me,” Sam said, words mixing up with the dust and disappearing. The air was tense; a mind-warping tension that sent shivers through his spine. He could tell that she didn’t like this. It didn’t used to be like this. They used to be friends, but now it was like they were two strangers staring at each other from opposite sides of a large cliff. He knew she was desperate to keep him. If she couldn’t hold onto him, she would do everything in her power to keep him on a leash. He was not allowed to leave her. Only she could leave him, and he knew she didn’t plan on letting him go any time soon.
“It’s not that big of a deal. I got a little drunk last night. So what,” she finally replied.
Sam crossed his arms across his chest. “It is a big deal. This is serious. You’ve been drinking like this every night. You were completely out of control last night. You attacked some guy in a bar because he looked at you. I got my ass kicked last night. Look at the fucking bruises I got on my face. I have a fucking black-eye. Did you see his friends? They were huge; they could’ve killed me. Then there’s work. I don’t know how you function. I can’t keep covering for you. This affects my job, too. I can’t keep living like this. This is just like when we were kids. I always had to take care of you. I can’t do this anymore.”
He stared back at her in frustration. Eyebrows furrowed and lips pursed. He looked like he had to use the bathroom. The thought sent a giggle spilling from her mouth, and it only made him looked more pissed. Sam sat on the opposite couch, staring at her. “This isn’t funny,” he said. His brown skin seemed to glow from the sunlight, burrowing through the curtains. She stumbled from the couch, bumping into an end table. A picture frame crashed to the floor.
Sam sighed and got up from the couch; he bent down and picked up the cracked frame. It was a picture of Maya’s tenth birthday party, the one with clowns. She had decided it would be a good idea to destroy the clown’s bag of tricks by throwing them in the pool. He had taken the blame, so she wouldn’t get in trouble, all because she asked. He placed the picture back on the table and walked into the kitchen, leaning against the counter.
Maya turned from the cabinet and stood there, dressed in old pajamas, short black hair sticking up in the air with her head cocked to the side. She had poured herself a cup of coffee. She took a sip and continued to stare at him. “Will you shut up? Jesus, I get so tired of listening to you sometimes. I’m a grown woman. I don’t need you lecturing me. Have you forgotten? I’m the reason you made it through high school alive. Those assholes would’ve beaten you up every day. And, the only reason you have your job now is because of me. I did it. I did everything for you, so you’re going to stop fucking complaining and do what I say.” She slammed the mug on the counter and stalked towards him. She put her hands on his shoulders, fingernails digging into his skin, like she dared him to try and escape her clutches.
“Face it, Sam. You’re nothing without me.”
Sam’s eyes rose from the floor and looked into hers. He sighed and glanced around the messy apartment. “I hate you, sometimes.” Maya backed away from him and started laughing a little hysterically. Tears of mirth slid down her face but her eyes seemed glazed over. “You don’t mean that. Could you go to the cleaners now and pick up my suit for work on Monday? I’d go but I have a hair appointment today, and I have plans for tomorrow.” She finished her coffee and headed toward her bedroom. She saw the muscle twitch in his jaw and knew she had gotten to him. His hands clenched into fists.
“Fine,” he spat out, “I was only trying to look out for you.” A smile curled her lips.
“Run along now,” she replied, practically twirling into her bedroom.
Sam crumpled in on himself like a balled up piece of paper. He could never win against her; she knew too much and would surely use it against him. There was no use. They were friends after all, the best of friends. She had kept his secret and gotten him a job. The least he could do was put up with her bullshit. He really did need her. If he let her go, who would he have then? No one. He strode to the door and left to pick her suit up, slamming the door behind him.
His feet trudged through the streets with his coat wrapped firmly around him. The hard splatter of rain surrounded him and the somber, cloudy day seemed to fit his mood. He often wondered if Maya cared about him at all, or even if she loved him. Once upon a time, she probably did, but those days were long gone. Maya had turned into a fierce, unapologetic, and manipulative bitch. This made him feel even worse because he was pretty sure that he loved her. Although there were no excuses for Maya’s obvious desire to make his life a living hell, he wanted to make excuses for her, wanted to make it seem like it wasn’t that bad, that at least he wasn’t going through this hell of a life alone, but it no longer bought him comfort, instead it made him feel cold and empty.
Lost in his thoughts, he almost passed the dry cleaning store. He quickly ducked in, shaking the rain off his coat. The line wasn’t long, so he stepped into line to get her suit. When he had succeeded in getting her dry cleaning, he headed back to her apartment with a fissure in his heart. There was no way he could continue living like this. It needed to stop. It had to stop.
Notes: I figured I would go ahead and post this one. I don’t particularly care for it. It needs a lot of work, but I don’t think I will take the time out for it. I think this is one of those stories that I completely scrap.
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