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Morning coffee
by Katerina Charisi
2016-02-28 11:50:31
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After waking up and walking downstairs to find the front door locked, I heard movement on the upper floor and went back to the kitchen where Marianne was still there smoking. She had made coffee for both of us and we sat chatting, waiting for the sun to rise and the rest of the Myers to wake up.

“How old are you now, Marianne?” I asked. I was thinking about what she had said earlier, being here for too long and all that. There was something odd about her. She looked tired, fed up, not something normal for such a young woman. But I couldn’t guess then what was her problem.

“I am 23”.

23. Too young. And five of these years with the Myers, that is a long time.

“So, it must have been longer than you thought, right?” She lowered her eyes and nodded, then took a cigarette out of the packet she kept under her shirt. The packet was squeezed from the rubber on her sports trousers and the cigarette was bent. She tried to fix it with her long fat fingers and I noticed how badly bitten her nails were.

my01_400“That’s right. It wouldn’t be that long if the roof hadn’t collapsed, now it costs way too much to repair the place”, she replied and lit the cigarette. Then kept the smoke in her mouth, until she went to the window again and exhaled deeply. Funny girl. “But it’s okay. We’ll manage... eventually.” We both didn’t know it back then, but Marianne and Bradford never managed to repair that house... “eventually”. Her movements gave me an impression of stillness, like a routine kept for years and years. I remembered when Michael and I first met, a year before, and while I was working at the Muses, a billiard center.

It was December, 23rd. Christmas ahead and I had no plans. For the first time I wouldn’t go at my mother’s place. I never was close to my mother anyway, but going back home for Christmas was a silent agreement I kept since I moved out and started my own life. Now that I thought about it, I think I did it because every time I hoped I could have some good family memories to share. After all, she was my only family left. My father was lost for good this time, we hadn’t seen him for years. I never had thought of changing this routine until that year. Even though every single Christmas had nothing good about them and all ended up with me swearing that this was going to be the last time.

That was a weird year’s ending. I was tired of working in that place, I was tired of working at nights, having to be dressed well, purring drinks in thick glasses and watch men playing pool, making thick jokes and get drunk. Money was too good to deny the offer though, I already had saved some money, planning to start a better life, but every time a new year came ahead and found me stuck in the same old stuff.

I was planning to quit my job after new year’s eve and leave the city. I didn’t know what I would do next. But I needed a change, a big change, something to get me out of that muddy routine that seemed to drag me in its depths every day. And then Michael showed up and it was the first time he ever came to that place. I remember him sitting at the bar, trying awkwardly to start a conversation with me, shy, modest and kind, and I was so fed up of men talking and flirting stupidly with me with fat words and show offs, puffing smoke clouds on my face, that when he shyly asked me if I liked horses, I shouted “NO! I HATE THEM!” and his face flashed red.

I think I never felt so bad before.

my02_400And look at us now. Starting a new life at a new place, having the chance to finally do something good with my life next to an amazing man, still there was something that kept me feeling insecure for that choice. I wanted to ask more, I felt Marianne easier to talk to, or maybe it was my need of having a friend, but we heard noises downstairs and the heavy front door unlocking, so again she stood up frightened, went to the small bathroom and threw her smoke in the toilet, then flushed.

“I should better go and wake up Bradford”, she said. “You should go and wake up Michael too. I don’t want Frances to come up here and put her nose everywhere”.

I went back to our room and found Michael awake in bed, smiling and stretching like a cat. Lucky you, I thought, you slept well. He looked happy. Happier than when we slept over my apartment in New Orleans. Oh, he wasn’t a city boy at all. Everything will be just fine, stop ruining every good moment with your stupid fears and anxiety, I ordered myself.

“Hey there, beautiful”, he said and tapped the mattress next to him.

“Oh, no, no mister, I am not coming back to bed. I have been awake for too long already, I want to go out, it’s going to be a lovely day, and I’m guessing there are not going to be much of them left. It’s September already. You get yourself up”. He frowned and made a sad face.

“Come on, just for a little cuddling, only for a few minutes. I missed you already, where did you go?”

I looked outside the window and at the door behind me, I closed the door and a little frustrated I noticed there was no key, then I took my shoes off and went to bed. His body was warm.

“I woke up and tried to get out, but the door was locked, so I came back up to make some coffee. I had a coffee with Marianne. Don’t you have keys? I messed a little with the keys on the chiffonier, but had no luck. I had no clue which one to use, and God, everything creaks so badly!”

He giggled. “Of course I have keys. And we can make a set for you too. There are so many doors around here. I’m sorry, I forgot to tell you where to find them, but I couldn’t guess that you would wake up so early. It’s the front door, always locked at nights, not that anyone would ever try to come here, but still. So,” he added and quickly changed the subject, “what do you think about your first night with the Myers, future miss Myers?”

I wanted to point out that despite the many doors with locks in the house, our room didn’t have a key, but I didn’t want to ruin the moment.

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