“New York” effortlessly flowed out of my hot pink painted lips, fluttering my black eyelashes. My right dimple appearing only helped encourage the vomit coming up your throat. Two words that haunted you, taunted you. I said I would stay for you, but you surrendered in pride immediately. Told me to go. To leave.
Slammed car door. Salty tears. Mascara rivers. Missed surgeries. Missed holidays. Missed birthdays.
Open bar door. You finally got my martini right, waiting for me. Mascara delicately in place. Healed. You’ve heard rumors of someone new I am spending holidays and birthdays with.
And all that you thought didn’t glitter is now gold. And the bags you assumed were on the next flight to NYC are now in his master bedroom. And the martinis in Waterford and 60s records playing on my Victrola seem like a dream you will now only experience once. And you even miss counting my exchanges, making sure I’m eating enough, and my nearly empty cottage cheese plastic containers in the back of your fridge.
And just as I quit pushing my cuticles back and you stop tearing up your napkin and wrapping it around your shaking fingers, just as you heard my giggle and I saw that tempting half-smile, the stranger that you hoped would only ever be a ghost walked up to me and kissed me on the cheek. And you saw my hot pink lipstick, fluttering black eyelashes, and my deep right dimple and remembered a time they would have stayed with you.
And you leave some cash on the bar and briefly meet him, trying not to take in too many details, realizing that while you were stubbornly hiding in your studio with smoke coming out of your bleeding lips, you left your car unlocked when it had the most valuable thing to you inside.