Wednesday, October 21, 2020

what lovers do

 Melvin took Caitlin's text to mean she did want him after all. He did his best not to be a laughing hyena, yet he couldn't help but laugh multiple times when he got her text. If only she knew what she could do for his soul or was that ego?

But he kept his cool. Yes, it was true they did need a drummer even if Tommy the guitarist had not said so. Melvin had a good mind to see what Cori could do on a guitar. That boy learned anything quick. He had a good mind to break off all connections with Tommy who was a bit more of a scene-stealer than people knew. Not that Melvin felt he was a born rocker, but did they really need all those instrumental solos of Tommy's.

Yeah, he wouldn't go there. Maybe he was thankful for Tommy but he didn't always like him, especially with Cori around.

And now this opportunity, it thrilled him to have Caitlin. Why did he find her pout so sexy? Of course, he almost choked on the hot salsa and chip when she pushed it in his mouth. He wanted to be mad, but he couldn't. He drank more tequila instead.

So Caitlin took another shot of tequila. Megan and Cori watched from the sidelines. Neither drank. Both shook their heads no which only made Melvin laugh and then Caitlin laughed. It was really a fun night. 

Megan and Cori cleaned up. It was finally settled. Cori would meet with Tommy and practice would begin in the old basement under the pizzeria. Of course, Melvin hadn't been down there since COVID started. It was probably last year. There was a drumset and some music equipment. At least the business of discussing the band was over. It was all good for Melvin, but he wanted to be alone with Caitlin. 

Only she was feisty as if she might pull his hair if he got too close. It was hard to say if they were more like dogs or cats. Well, they were animals and maybe they would do what animals do. 

Of course, it was an adrenaline rush to finally get to her room. Maybe she was just as troubling as he was. He was certain they were the perfect match.

Monday, October 19, 2020

oh it's a show all right

 "Melvin's got a show," Caitlin did her best as if she was happy about it, but not really. Why did she care? She was indifferent about her whole status with him. Were they even really friends? But for Cori's sake she went on to say, "and it's gonna be big. And Cori is the drummer."

"Really?" Megan's eyes lit like he might be the next big thing since BTS. She hugged Cori from behind while he was trying to get the chicken and veg evened out in the sizzling skillet. He gritted a smile as she jumped for joy. "I'm so excited!" She was all grins.

Caitlin smirked as she rolled her eyes. It would be a dud, she was certain of it, but oh well.

Cori finally turned to Megan who hadn't let go of him. He went with her straddling him as if he would cook dinner without any interruption. "Nobody has asked me anything," Cori blurted. "I'm pretty sure that Tommy guy has it all worked out. Maybe they don't even need a drummer. He can probably set his own baseline." He sounded as if music was full of shortcuts.

"I know you could do that too." Caitlin chimed in as she texted Melvin demanding him he better put Cori in the show.

"Brilliant!" He texted back which disgusted Caitlin evev more. He really did think he was Harry Styles after all. She snarled her nose for a moment, but finally faked a smile when she turned back to Cori still hard at work in the kitchen with his girlfriend hugging him from the backside. Caitlin showed Cori what he texted. Next thing she knew Melvin texted he was coming over.

She snarled her nose again wondering who was more demanding.

So there Melvin was just in time for dinner. Like old times. There was only one time, thought Caitlin. Okay, maybe second since the first was a bit of a blur now. She didn't want to reason that she'd done anything wrong with Melvin other than partaking a substance and hanging out with him. Instead of a lot more touchy-feely stuff than she wanted to admit which she might have started. It might have been good, but NOT GREAT, she kept reminding herself all through dinner.

Of course, Megan was so naive, grinning like an idiot as if Melvin was somehow the beacon of joy to Cori's future rock life. It was totally useless to dream so big, but Caitlin kept quiet and filled up one more tortilla of Cori's fajita goodness. At least, she wanted to keep Cori here to cook for them if nothing else.

And she would stand her ground with Melvin. Silent as the iron maiden who might kick him where it hurt if he came close. But he was ignoring her, which she couldn't stand even if that was not a bad thing.

All he talked about was the practice. They didn't even have a place to practice and the whole show would be in some abandoned park in the back of somebody's flatbed truck. It didn't seem feasible to Caitlin but she kept reminding herself, what did she know.

It was as if he might as well be selling life insurance, rocker style. Megan and Cori were buying it lock stock and barrel. Caitlin sighed wondering what sort of novel chaos had she started. 

Melvin turned to say something to her. Caitlin stuck a chip in his mouth with hot salsa.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

from one trouble to another


It was a surprise to hear from Hope who never called. Usually, Megan had to be the one who got a hold of her old roommate. Naturally, she was curious to see how the family unit was going these days. She was certain Hope was awfully busy with a toddler.

"Did you really find a roommate," Hope asked as Megan shut the door behind her to her room? She plopped in the middle of her bed and practically laid back as if she was in for a long phone conversation.

"Yes, we did. It's working out," Megan was possibly vague but she didn't want to say how things really were with the new roommate situation. Hope would give her an earful and yet her old roommate was living with her ex in a remote area in a tiny camper trailer.

"Good," but Hope sounded sad to stay it.

"Really? Are you doing all right out there in Colorado?" Megan was sure she couldn't suffice, but then again her only human contact, for the most part, was with Cori while Caitlin was snubbing every move they made.

"It's getting colder but we are doing OK. It's cozy," Hope said as if she might be having more fun than anyone knew, but Megan found that doubtful, especially with all the wildfires around, but Hope said they were safe.

"What is he? A mountain man or something?" Megan let slip. She never liked Kent, even if he thought he was a professor of some kind.

"Well, he doesn't have a beard," Hope said he barely managed a grungy look staying out in the wilderness.

"But, you say he's working?" Megan winced wondering what kind of life it could be.

Hope explained it was research. Hope typed most of the information for him and still had to take care of the baby and him. She did all the cooking and cleaning. It sounded like slavery.

"So you're not coming back?" Megan felt a little sad at the thought. She'd hoped her old roommate would come to her senses and head back. There were many nights Megan would awake thinking Hope would show up with Kent's toddler. 

"Oh, this research takes some time," Hope said, but in Megan's head, all she could think was that it would take even longer for Kent to figure out he couldn't raise a family in the wilderness.

When Megan got back to Cori and Caitlin, she was in shock that Cori was letting Caitlin cook.

"What did I miss?"

Thursday, October 15, 2020

taking it to the limit

 Cori knew he was no help to Melvin these days. Except, he did show up for work and put in more hours than he should have to keep the pizzeria going. Melvin was low-key and he never asked about Caitin.

Perhaps Megan was Cori's weakness, but how come he felt she was a life-line, too. Waking up as if every day was a fresh start. Only he hadn't spoken to Caitlin recently about Melvin. A part of him knew he was definitely the worst friend possibly.

But there was Megan to make everything better with a smile, a hug, a kiss, he hardly felt he was even studying these days. He was certain his mother wouldn't like it if she knew he was with Megan. She would find it foolish and certainly no way the correct thing to do, but he hadn't contacted her in months and it had been weeks since he'd said anything to his brother.

Of course, there was a time he'd been waiting for his brother to call him when he left. After all, he was in his brother's care, and at the moment he knew his brother could care less about what happened to him. His brother's girlfriend was expecting and priorities were different now. His brother needed room and was long overdue enjoying his own life. 

Maybe Cori didn't want Meg to know. Yes, he'd looked different from his own family and he didn't want her to feel he was anything less. Perhaps this was the best journey to take and let the past be the past.

And finally, he was alone with Caitlin while making dinner. Meg was off on a phone call with an old roommate.

"You know, Melvin's in a band," he started.

"So I guess you must be playing the drums," she shrugged.

"No," he winced thinking he wasn't any part of the band. He went back to his slicing and dicing for the stir-fry of fajitas. 

"But, he seems to think you're the best," Caitlin made it sound Cori would be the one to save Melvin's life not her.

"Oh, well.." Cori was puzzled as to say anything more.

"You know, you will. You have too." Caitlin told him he was a far better musician than he knew.

"I'm..not that good." He winced he'd been warned long ago by his mother that he had no talent and did he want to starve his life away. Of course, she'd been the one to make him take all those piano lessons like some punishment. His music teacher practically tortured his fingers from time to time, but he'd always played music in his head when there was nothing else to do.

"I doubt Melvin's that good of a singer," Caitlin remained indifferent as she stole a slice of hot pepper on the counter. Naturally, the heat of the pepper didn't bother Caitlin. "But you'll do it, because you know he needs you."

Cori put the onion in the hot oil then and he watched it sizzle. Honestly, he didn't think of himself that way. He was just here wanting to see what Megan might want next. Now Caitlin made him feel he was Melvin's better half.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Most people really don't get me

 Truly, it was hard to keep a straight face around Cori, or so Megan was finding herself filled with laughter. Possibly, they danced around a lot and never said anything to each other.

Naturally, they cooked together, read together, and of course, slept together. It was obvious Caitlin was sick of watching them, but Megan didn't seem to care. It felt good to be together. Work wasn't such a chore from home. And she quite possibly smiled more than she had in the past year. 

"Do you think she's OK?" Cori asked sitting there on the bed cross-legged across from Megan looking her straight in the eye who mirrored his pose. Both in their fox pajamas.


Of course, they both laughed, but then his hands held the sides of her heart-shaped face. He was serious after all. Especially when he kissed her. And it about took her breath away. Yes, the kissing was something to get used too. She'd started out with the little kisses on his cheek, then his eyelids.. being playful, but it somehow advanced as the days passed. Although, he never kissed her unless they were alone. It was as if he knew it would annoy Caitlin.

"We're not torturing her, are we?" He winced a smile and she winced back a laugh.

"She goes out more," Megan shrugged. Cori nodded but said he didn't think Caitlin was seeing Melvin these days.

"She's got this friend Dylan. They work together. Maybe it's best, they hang out, you know," Megan sighed happily and took his hands in hers.

"Is there anything else you want to tell me?" Cori was serious. She shook her head, no. He shook his head as if they agreed not to talk about the thing that was troubling Caitlin the most.

"She does know," Cori looked down at Megan's small hands in his. "I do care about you."

Megan nodded. Maybe he wanted to talk about their sex life too, but it felt like a subject she'd locked away and lost the key. She didn't want too. What every discovery might come their way would be discovered together, not some ordeal of strange questions and answers.

She liked being a mystery to him. Was that so awful? She knew he'd find it sad. Maybe even make him mad. And to lose that now would be just silly..or worse.

Megan kissed him back then as if she did appreciate every little thing he did.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

All we ever wanted was to feel like this

 Caitlin didn't get it. How could Megan be such a free spirit with Cori? Not a worry in the world that she might be pregnant while Caitlin felt she was the one who needed to worry for both of them. 

Their lives would drastically change if...

Well, Caitlin guessed she was depressed already. It was even depressing to watch the news. Especially, seeing the president being such an idiot with COVID (to say the least). She found herself hiding in her room more with her mask on while her roommates frolicked about with no troubles. Their laughter made her all the more uneasy.

And then the boxes started arriving from Amazon. Matching slippers, and the onsies pajamas. They were foxes no less. 

Caitlin finally had enough, so one Friday night she called someone.

"What are you doing?" She needed a way to get out, but she was not going to Melvin's.



"I'm sipping on iced coffee and probably won't go to bed until four in the morning," Dylan finally fessed up.

"And that's all you're doing?"

"There is nothing good on Disney," he said he'd watched all he wanted to see. Caitlin didn't feel like vegging on Disney either. 

"How about I meet you half-way," Dylan said. "There's the all-night diner. Let's have pie and see if that art gallery we used to go to is open." It was actually opened to the public at all hours.

Caitlin liked the plan. She knew he wanted them to go out. Although, there was a fall chill in the air. She was definitely ready for pie and coffee.

So it wasn't long until they met up and Caitlin wanted to say it felt like old times, but it didn't. She'd never gone out with Dylan, just when he used to be Hannah and they always found something to laugh about, even at the art gallery who they thought was run privately by a ghost.

Now Caitlin felt more serious even if Dylan wasn't always serious. Of course, it didn't take long to get in their co-worker mode and gossip about everyone at work, like the manager who kept hiring back people who walked off the job because she didn't like hiring new people.

Yes, this was just what Caitlin needed. Someone to laugh with, walk in the cold with and find some fun in the night even if it meant looking through glass windows now of a place they used to love to explore.

Friday, October 9, 2020

all I need is a quiet riot

 Melvin didn't know when Caitlin left. She probably needed to be in her own bed so she could actually sleep. After all, he'd had a fitful night. Actually, he hated himself more. It was one embarrassment after another with Caitlin.

And she'd cleaned his apartment too. What was wrong with her?

When Cori showed up with food, he couldn't turn him away. Actually, Cori was there to report everything about the pizzeria to him.

"Sorry, about today," Melvin promised he'd be there tomorrow.

"We all need a day off," Cori said he didn't think Melvin rested enough. "You drink way too  much caffeine."

"So that's what this is," Melvin did his best to eat the sandwich and soup Cori prepared for him.

Melvin felt numb and ancient. Maybe he was truly sick or just sick in the head.

"Caitlin hates me," Melvin stated as if it were a fact.

"Are you sure?" Cori wanted to be hopeful, "She didn't beat you up, or anything, right?"

"So." Melvin was down. Nothing could make him feel any better, not even Cori's kindness. "You know, I didn't come all the way out here to Nebraska because I wanted too."

"hmm, I just always thought you were from here," Cori went to make hot tea as if Melvin needed some. That's when Melvin told him he was from New Jersey.

"The garden state?" Cori cut a lemon and plopped it in to Melvin's hot sweet tea.

Melvin shrugged back, wishing he had someone who enjoyed making tea for him like Cori did.

"It's kind of a long story," Melvin was straight lipped as if he didn't really want to tell it.

Cori made himself at home at the little dining table where Melvin took another bite of the sandwich. It amazed him that Cori somehow made bread at his pizza place.

"How long of a story is it?" Cori grinned as he took a sip of tea. He said nothing about Megan.

"I..I guess it would be boring," Melvin sipped his tea. "I mean, you and Megan seem to have it all."

"We're friends," Cori looked at him blankly.

"Caitlin says she wants to be friends," although, it didn't really feel that way to Melvin.

Cori scratched the back of his neck as if he was waiting for him to get on with the long story. Melvin was certain Cori wanted to get back to Megan even if they were just friends.

Melvin sighed, not wanting to think about how it all began back home with his family. "I..I was supposed to marry this girl from Cicily."


"Yeah, daughters of Cicily..something like that." Melvin shrugged as he went back to nurse his hot tea.

"You're Sicilian?" Cori looked at him blankly.

"Supposedly," Melvin told him he'd never been there and didn't speak the language. "No way was I gonna marry just some girl, like that. I mean.. she's pretty and all but I..I couldn't." He shook his head. He nursed his bottom lip as if that was the beginning of the end. 

"Huh." Cori leaned back in his chair and winced as if this would take a while to digest. "People still do stuff like that?"

"Hell yeah." Melvin squinted as if no one was going to mess up his world. But they had. He was here now. "I wanted to leave there, anyhow."

"Oh." Cori nodded.

"I mean, I..I was never a good student, but I  helped out at my uncle's pizzeria even if I didn't like it. I just..well, he knew of a friend and well.." he sighed ever so deeply. "This is like a last chance or something. I just wanted to meet somebody like Caitlin, you know. She's different. She's not like one of those groupies you meet at a show or a bar. She's...well, cool in her own way."

"Look, you gotta stop bringing yourself down," Cori mentioned Tommy and how people were asking for his punk rock stuff.

"But..but that's not really  original, is it?" Melvin didn't want to get his hopes up.

"Who knows, I bet Caitlin might like hearing about it," Cori smiled as if he was the connection Melvin needed. He'd fix this with his roommate. Some way.