Friday, April 23, 2021

it could be monumental


Why in the world had he said yes to dinner? Deano felt troubled. All he needed was to break up a girl fight. Well, more like a woman fight and one of them was pregnant. Sometimes, he was just too nice.

He did feel bad for Roman, trying to make up with Kyle who evidently would never reciprocate Roman's advances. He'd asked Roman from time to time why he was like that with people he wanted to be friends with, and Roman said he liked a challenge.

But it would be an awful challenge to go there with Caitlin. He suspected Bren did a thorough investigation about Caitlin and Brad. She probably even stalked Cait. He hoped not, but he could see it happening. There were some things Bren could not let go.

"Bro," he called Roman last minute, "I don't think we can go." He then told Roman. "You really need to find your own place." Bren was not the answer.

"As if I had no idea, dumbass." He shot back with a sigh. "Look man, I got all this food. Can't you please come and eat?"

"Oh, know I wanna," Deano told him he loved Roman's cooking, especially those ribs.

"Did I hear ribs?" Caitlin awoke from her sluggish clump on the couch. She was staring at the news but not really watching it. Possibly, asleep with her eyes open.

"OK, maybe." Deano hung up with a sigh.

"Roman makes really good ribs," Deano told her, "But there is a catch."

"What catch?" Caitlin looked too tired to go.

"Your ex's baby momma will be there."

Silence. Caitlin got back in her fetal position and stared at the TV. Deano sat at the other end of the couch and rubbed her feet ever so carefully.

He hoped this was a good sign. Maybe she would go to sleep. He could sneak over and get two plates of food from Roman. All would be well. Deano smiled with satisfaction.

Suddenly, Caitlin pulled away from him as if she might be a lion on the hunt. She stood there without emotion for the longest time, but then finally looked down at him. 

"We're going," she announced.

Deano was mute wondering how they'd ever get through this outing.

"But first sex." She grabbed him by both ears. The couch was fine with her.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

I can't see but I feel it


Hope still wasn't sure why Frankie hadn't confronted Tori. She kept telling herself she really didn't need to know, but when she practically saw him daily, either at the yoga studio or at home she felt she needed to know. After all, he couldn't help but talk of her.

"I don't even know if you know what you are doing it, but you talk about Tori an awful lot," Hope said, wishing she hadn't used the word awful. Of course, it was hard to relate because she didn't want to know anything about Kenny. A part of her hoped he was in jail, but her luck he was hiding out in Mexico with a toddler and had found someone new to help him take care of the kid with another on the way.

Yes, she sometimes had nightmares about this. Even worse, the idea of him showing up. She really wanted to get away, and Frankie might be the only one who could help.

"What?" He was of course, in the middle of stretching on his livingroom floor. She thought he might be doing a marathon of yoga even if he said it helped him to be a better yoga instructor because he hated his job at the hospital.

"Oh nothing," she went back to her What to expect... the last tri-master book. She would be quiet. It was true they lived in separate worlds and occasionally went out together. Usually, grocery shopping.

"If you're asking if Tori's baby is mine, it's not," he announced as if he thought she could figure that part out.

Hope nodded. 

"I don't know what Megan thinks," he asked if she'd said anything to her.

Hope shook her head no. Why did she suddenly want to meet someone who could take her away from all this, into some wild fantasy? Hope squinted then, remembering why she'd gotten mixed up with Kenny in the first place. Truly a dead end, but not really. She patted her stomach and it kicked her back.

A sad feeling consumed her. This was nothing like the life she imagined. Of course, she'd never really imagined one and now it was happening. Hell, it was practically May, she thought. It would be July before she knew it. And she really wanted to have her own place. Nothing was looking feasible these days.

"You don't look happy?" Frankie got up and went to sit on the couch.

"Oh, I'm fine." But she couldn't smile. It was hard to swallow her pride. "I put in a low-income housing application."

"What?" His expression was so how could you.

Even a lump emerged in her throat. Hope couldn't think how it might be. Alone with a baby waiting for a baby snatcher to find her. She nursed her bottom lip.

"I have to do it this way," but she knew any second she might be dripping with tears, and she was. Frankie gave her a hug and let her cry into his tracksuit.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Here comes the sun


Of course, Kyle was giving Roman the silent treatment, even if he text and told Roman everything was fine. Kyle didn't talk to him at work other than about orders or the supply list. It was really getting the best of Roman. After all, life at home was hell with Bren.

She was a miserable sort and he couldn't think it would get much better after the baby arrived. If that wasn't enough, LaLa turned up. She was Bren's cousin from Kansas City. Sassy and pretty, she made Roman all the more nervous. As it was, he'd moved to the couch. There were just too many women in that apartment. He hoped Bren's baby was a boy like she said it was. 

"If you're fine with everything, should come over for dinner tonight," Roman decided. It was warmer weather and he could make ribs even in an oven.

"Dinner?" Naturally, Kyle looked at him as if he didn't like the sound of that.

"Oh come on, you won't be alone with me," Roman told him. "You can meet LaLa."

"LaLa?" Kyle looked at him as if he didn't know what he was talking about.

"My roommate's cousin," Roman explained she was here for the birth of Bren's baby. "I reckon it'll be a while before she leaves." If only he had a plan to getaway. He'd be waiting on both of them for the next few months. Neither did housework and they expected him to do everything. He wanted to tell Kyle how sad his life was, but he doubted Kyle would believe him.

Kyle acted indifferently. Roman knew he hadn't forgiven him and he didn't know if they could ever get back to being the friends they were. "It'll be a good meal," Roman said he'd roast corn and there would be deviled eggs and lots of cold salads. "I won't let you down." Besides, maybe LaLa would take to Kyle and all would be forgiven.

Still, Roman knew he was an outsider. He always had been, even to his family. He'd never graduated from the University. It didn't seem possible he'd ever start a family and lord forbid how he might be treated if they knew about Levi.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

What is it about Caitlin's boyfriend?

 "He seems sweet, Caitlin's boyfriend," Tori decided after playing around with the sewing machine he brought her. It was nice to have something of her own. She couldn't ask for a better stitch, even Dylan had to admit that. Naturally, he was being a stinker about this Deano who he immediately said he didn't want to meet.

"Why?" she'd asked then but didn't have the nerve to start a spat. It was like walking on rocks in a bad current of some sort. She was still on edge, but the babe was growing and she was healthy. Actually, Tori slept a lot. Perhaps she could sleep through the whole ordeal. There was no word of Melvin's condition improving. Of course, Dylan said nothing more about the Deano matter. She still worried that he hated the idea that she needed her own sewing machine. 

Dylan had two of his own. Of course, she knew he wouldn't let her touch them. They were for his creative endeavors. Although, as of late he kept busy with his electrician job. He was away more than she liked him to be, but she'd managed to keep busy.

Tori did her best with making baby blankets. Although, she stopped and started a lot. As if some days she liked the baby more than other days. It broke her heart to feel this way. Yet, she wanted to have good vibes, for the baby's sake. She needed to keep believing this was a blessing, not a curse. Of course, sometimes, she couldn't help but cry until she couldn't. Usually, this happened when Dylan wasn't around.

"I think we should invite them over," she finally got to say what she'd meant to all along. They needed company, in spite of all the social distancing. 

"Seriously?" Dylan drew a tight face as if he'd never agree to it.

"But, but Caitlin is your oldest friend, don't you want to know who she's with?" Tori pouted back as if he was keeping her hostage here and she'd been so alone these weeks.

"Does it matter?" Dylan made things worse, she felt. He was being such a poop about this.

"But, but I texted Deano and said they should come, some Sunday afternoon for supper." She didn't care if Dylan approved or not.

"Really? Those two?" He shook his head.

"Then I'll make dinner." She didn't want to be in a row with him, but it was possible. She could cook without his help. Sometimes, it felt he didn't want her to do anything.

Dylan hugged himself and tilted his head so he could get a good look at her. Silence.

"If we must," he said, but Tori knew he didn't like it. Maybe he was right, but she wanted to be nice. Deano was really a good guy, she felt from the moment she looked into his eyes.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

never again


Truly, Kyle wasn't sure he could face anyone. Especially Roman and there was Megan too.

He had a headache and he hadn't even drank during his gaming night with Roman. Where was this all leading? 

Yes, he needed a friend, but not this. No, Roman would get no benefits from him. It was so insane to Kyle. One minute they were the best of friends and then it exploded into something else. It was as if he was in his own horror movie and he didn't know if he could ever get out of it if he saw Roman again. 

But then again, maybe Roman forgot it. Still,  it was an unpleasant thought, thinking he'd have to see Roman in the workplace.

Kyle thought he was alone as he rummaged through the fridge. As it was, he'd called in sick and his boss was OK with it. Now he was famished and didn't know if he even deserved to eat.

"I heard you had a rough night," Cori said sipping on a cup of coffee. 

Cori's words made him jump and Kyle shivered away from the cold chill down his back.

"Oh," Kyle turned to see Cori in the shadows of the dining room. "So you heard about that?"

"Megan was concerned," Cori told him. "She's afraid for you. She's not sure she wants you to invite Roman over again."

Kyle nodded. Maybe she was right. 

"I mean, if..if you two need to be together then maybe you should stay at his place."

Kyle shook his head, no, and told him it wasn't like that. "He was a little drunk," Kyle said Roman was staying with his friend's pregnant girlfriend. "I don't think they get along all that well. And..and he just needed to get away."

Kyle winced hard wondering why in the hell he'd stand up for his so-called friend. The trouble was they were friends. He wouldn't want to work with anyone else. He knew Roman had his troubles, but they would not be lovers.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

You are not alone

 "I think Kyle might be into...guys," Megan said to Cori with a quick kiss while she was getting ready for work.

Cori only looked at her with one eye. The other needed desperate sleep. The work at the pizzeria was making him an old man.


"You heard me." She remained closed-lipped, but then let slip. "There was guy sex coming from Kyle's room."

Cori only sighed and rolled away from her. The less he knew the better.

"Please, spare me the details," he said, but of course Megan went on.

"I swear, I thought they were going to kill themselves. Is it always like that?" She asked.

"As if I would know," he fretted then and looked back at her. "Don't say anything to him about it."

"Why?" She looked so tiny and immature, even in her jumper and knee-high socks.

"We don't know," Cori winced. "Just let it go."

"I want you to talk to him," she said.

"But..but you're the school teacher." He winced a face of disgust. No way did he want to talk to his new roommate about his sex life.

"I can't talk to him about this." She gave him a look that he needed to tend to this. 

"Can't you just let it go?" He didn't want to argue about it. All he really wanted was to have the warm bed to himself. Of course, with what she said..he didn't want to be alone with Kyle either.

"Talk to him." She was on her way to school, holding her pop tart as if it was the quickest way to have breakfast.

Cori shook his head in bed. Seriously, he did not want to talk to Kyle.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Bet your bottom dollar

 Roman knew he was in the wrong. He walked the streets for a long time afterward, trying to think it through. Finally, at three in the morning, he called his friend Deano.

"What is it this time?" Deano's voice sounded scratchy. Roman knew he awoke him.

"Sorry, bro," it was the best Roman could do. "I didn't mean-"

"What is it?" Deano wanted to know.

"I dunno. Shit man, I'm a mess." When did he not do inappropriate things? He sighed. "I dunno how to stop myself, sometimes." He didn't mean to sound so miserable. He knew he knew better. 

"What did you do?" 

Roman knew his old friend was up now. Probably having a glass of water. Maybe taking a pee.

"Just misbehaving." He shook his head and looked at the moon clearly in the sky. Shit, it might as well be January on this cold night. He squinted hard trying not to believe it. "It was just a handjob."


Roman thought he might have heard Deano laugh. 

"What the fuck?" Deano was surely laughing. "Are you crazy?"

"Yeah man, so crazy." He laughed too. Wanting to believe it was funny, but he doubted Kyle believed it. "I am..having this miserable dry spell, you know what I mean?"

"I guess."

"No you wouldn't," Roman knew. "You got yourself a lady friend and I know you make the most of it, don't you?"

"Sometimes," Oh, he was chuckling now. "But she's asleep. You should be asleep. Why aren't you asleep? Do I need to come and get you?"

"No man," Roman said. "It's cool." He had to keep believing it was cool because he needed to get in good with Kyle. Roman didn't want to mess it up.

"Remember friend, the only guy you have ever loved was Levi Chandler. He gave you the best Hanuka present ever." Deano reminded him a love like that was worth waiting for. Wasn't he still waiting for Levi?

"Yeah, man." Roman nodded. He wanted to believe it, but of course, he'd practically forgotten the guy's face who gave him the crocheted slouchy hat that his grandma made.