I’ve owned a tiny futon store in a small mall in the downtown area of a rather bantam city. This little hole in the wall had been my peaceful, get-away for nearly ten years. I rarely received attention from tourists, let alone the other business owners. I didn’t bother anyone, and no one really bothered me. I kind of liked it like that.
Then, of course, it had to change.
Things always have a way of being good for a long time?. and then not being so good. I suppose I may be overexaggerating over what happened on that silly Monday afternoon. But then again, I may not be.
I was sitting at my slightly hidden desk, the same way I had done for the past ten years or so without being bothered. I wasn’t really working on anything because there wasn’t really anything to work on, but I sat there anyway and did my best to appear to be busy.
Then it happened. Like a drip of black ink on a sunset canvas, they entered the store. A young man and woman of about twenty years of age, both of whom I had never seen before, unknowingly changed my life forever.
“Do you mind if we argue on your couch?” the woman asked as she sat herself down on the dark purple double flexifold futon. She was strangely beautiful and I found myself quickly looking away from her, as to avoid the hint that she had intrigued me.
“No,” I mumbled, “Go ahead.” I don’t even think she acknowledged my response because she had already assumed that it was alright. She tugged sharply on the young man’s sweatshirt sleeve and he sat.
At first, I had sort of assumed that the young man that she was angry with had been her brother?. twin perhaps. They stood at about the same height, both with straight blonde hair and somber brown eyes?. hers were much more striking as his seemed to be squinted.
But as the conversation continued, I thought twice about the two being siblings.
“No, she’s not?.”
James’ simple response filled the woman with even more rage. I caught the look in her eyes and I felt the glow that was coming off of her. She was so insanely upset that the whole world was about to explode inside of her. This look scared me.
She began a few stuttered sentences but soon realized that her emotions were not being understood by James, the “lame-ass bastard” as she called him. “How can feel something for her?” she asked softly.
He had hurt her. Even I knew he had. I, who had never kept a relationship for longer than 4 months since middle school, knew he had hurt her. I, who felt trampled and completely lost in the field of women and all that they?. do, knew she was sad.
“I don’t know, Sara?.” The man began. “I like her. She is—”
“—a bitch!” Sara filled in. “She is a bitch and when I see her, I’m going to beat her down! How dare she pretend to be my friend! How dare she pretend to be my friend for three years, James, three years!” She was leaning towards him to help make her voice be louder in his little ears.
Her rage was amazing. I found it harder and harder to pretend to be a non-interested party. I hoped they didn’t notice that I had set my pencil down and that I was forcing myself to stare at my stapler. Oh, how I wanted to see her. How I wanted to watch her.
“I don’t really think she was pretending,” James said, more to himself than to the acrimonious girl beside him.
“Well, she must have been,” Sara assured him, “But that is beyond the point that you, you crude bastard you, are dating this bitch that you don’t even really like?. after I told you that it would injure me more than anything in the world?.”
“I’m sorry,” James said lamely, “I don’t really like her that much. It wasn’t worth it to hurt you like this.”
I wanted to shake James’ hand.
“So are you going to dump her?”
I wanted to punch James in the teeth. But Sara was already fulfilling that desire. She had grabbed one of the dark purple cylindrical pillows and began to slam him over the head with it repeatedly. “You *censored*ing bastard!” she yelled.
It was at about this time that I realized that I wasn’t the only member of the hidden audience as I heard of few “You get ‘em, girl”’s and a couple “Whoa, sista, take it easy!”’s coming from the main hallway. I was about to say something like “Please don’t” or something when Sara dropped the weapon and stood up, leaving James in a mushy pile of sweatshirt and jeans on the futon.
She turned to me and flashed an unbelievably gorgeous smile. “Sorry about this whole thing,” she said, turned and then walked away.
I wanted to jump out of my hole and scream how much I loved her?. or how much I could love her?. if she’d let me. I wanted to hold her and let her cry about that lame-ass bastard in my arms. I wanted to feel her eyes inside of mine. I wanted to kiss her cute little, soon-to-be tear stained nose and make her smile at me again.
All these urges came bleeding out in a huge surge. But before I could kick my self-consciousness, James had scrambled to his feet and was chasing after her. He called out, “Sara! Wait!”
I closed the store early that day so I could go home and cry.