I love my girlfriend. I really do. I think all the preparations show my love. I made an exquisite dinner of lamb chops, extra rare, sliced potatoes marinated in oil and garlic, fresh biscuits for strawberry shortcake and an expensive bottle of wine the man at the liquor store said would accentuate the taste of the lamb. There are flowers everywhere, all her favorite kinds. There are Carnations, white and yellow roses, and daisies. Five vases of daisies. Daisies are her favorite. She'll love the daisies.
Besides the flowers and the food, I bought a few presents for her. There's a gold necklace waiting on her dresser upstairs. It cost me two bills, but she is worth the money. I also bought a journal for her. She always tells me she wants a journal like mine. I bought her one with a pink satin cover and a lock on the front, to keep me out. Although, I can't think what she would keep from me. And finally, I bought a box of chocolates for her. I bought a small one; in hopes she wouldn't complain about me trying to turn her into a blimp. I hope she doesn't ruin the night over the chocolates. That might cause a problem. I hate problems. Bad things happen as a result. There are moments I can't control myself, which I almost feel as if somebody else is inside my body. I see red and reason flows away from me in waves, spreading outward and resting, waiting in dark corners for me to calm my nerves. The moments between are scary, moments in which anything can and usually does happen. I'll tell you about an incident.
I came home from work late. It was after 11:30, or 11:40, or later. In any case, it was after 11, I remember, because the liquor store next to our apartment was closed and that closes at 11. I came in; saw her on the couch and talking on the phone while she flipped through a magazine. She had slippers on her feet and her feet up on the coffee table. You know the little pink bunny slippers? She just loves the color pink. I can't stand it personally. I said hello and she waved.
She looked sexy, her brown hair neat over her white silk pajamas, a gift from me to her last valentine's day, and a little bit of smooth leg showing with her feet up. I walked into the kitchen for a beer; sure I would get some love from her. She doesn't wear silk unless she is in the mood. The smile on my face vanished when I opened the refrigerator. It was empty. I slammed it closed and stood there for a moment. I opened it again, just to check. It was still empty.
"JEN-NI-FER," I said. Why is it we call people by their full names only when we are mad? When I'm not mad at her, she is Jen. When we are making love, she is my little Jennie girl. I have no idea why this is the case.
"What?" she yelled. "Where is my beer?" I asked calmly. "What, I can't hear you. I'm on the phone."
There is silence for some moments and I wait for her to speak again.
"Can't this wait?" "No. Where is my beer?" "Wait a minute. I'll tell Deb I'll call her back." "Wait?" I said to myself. "Bullshit I'm going to wait. I worked 12 hours today. I want a fucking beer." I marched straight to the phone jack and pulled the wire out of the wall. "Hey!" she screamed.
She ran into the kitchen and grabbed the wire out of my hand. Her hair was in her face and her eyes were blazing.
"Don't ever do that to me again." She screamed every word. "Ever!"
I waited for a few moments for her to calm, then I put my hand on her shoulder.
"I'm sorry." "Fuck off." She threw my hand off.
I hate being brushed off.
"What happened to my beer?" "Screw your beer." "Did you pour it down the drain again?" "Ugh." She turned and walked away. I followed close behind. "What?" "If you must know, I didn't pour the fucking beer down the drain. Your friends stopped by and drank it all. "Who?" "You know, your band friends. They ate all our cold cuts while they were at it. Lazy fucking leeches if you ask me." "My friends are not lazy." "Whatever."
She walked into the bedroom, avoiding me.
"Why didn't you buy beer?" I asked. "I was BUSY!" "What? Talking to that Bitch Deb? "Don't you call her that."
She turned to me and slapped me, hard, across the cheek. There was a brief pause between the sound of her hand against my face and the sound of my fist against hers. She left a red mark on my face. I broke her nose. She fell in a heap at my feet, clutching at her nose, trying to keep the blood in her hands.
"See what you made me do?" I yelled down into her ear. "You stupid bitch." "Don't call me that."
She was crying then. And mad. She jumped up and started swinging at me with all she had in her. I blocked most of them, but she caught me with a solid right hook on the chin. It dazed me for a second, but not for long. I caught her kick, which was aimed straight at my balls, and threw her foot back down. My hand formed a fist and smashed her, twice, quick before I could stop myself. I am amazed she didn't fall.
She stopped punching though and just covered her face with her hands. I hit her a few more times and then threw her onto the bed. She turned onto her stomach to hide from me. I got on top of her and waited for her to stop. I put my face against hers and kissed her cheeks, blood and tears. She finally stopped crying after an hour.
"I'm sorry." "You can't do that to me." "I'm sorry." "You say that every time." "I'll get help." "No you won’t." "I will. I promise." "Stop lying please. Just stop."
I stopped. The rest of the night was silence.
I am hoping this dinner will help. I spent a lot on the lamb. Lamb costs money. It is just too bad I hit her. I mean, I don't ask much of her. Really, I don't. I give her everything I have and expect only a few things in return. Having beer in the fridge is one of them. Doesn't a working man deserve at least that much? If I only hadn't hit her all those times.
I'll tell you something though. If Jen doesn't show up soon, the lamb will be cold.
PURCHASE BOOKS BY STEPHEN MORAN CLICK THE COVER IMAGES