Patchwhore(8)By: Kim Jones
Beneath all his rage and anger, I hope there’s some pain. I hope he feels as empty as I did. I hope he’s curled in the fetal position, crying over losing the greatest thing he’s ever had. But more than that, I hope he’s talking to Mr. Delicious…
Close enough to smell me on his lips.
A Number And A Name
“You heard anything yet?”
I let out an exasperated breath at Emily’s question—the same one she’s been asking for three weeks.
“Not a peep.” I slam the door on the dish washer, taking my frustration of Jud’s silence out on the piece of crap machine that refuses to clean the dishes the first time. Damn Waffle House. Surely they could afford a decent dishwasher. I mean, it’s not like paying me is breaking the bank. I make less than three bucks an hour.
“Well … you’re just going to have to do it again.” Her suggestion seems so simple. Maybe because I made that night sound so simple when I called her on my way home. But that empowering moment quickly faded. And when it did, regret started to sink in. I’ve told her this, but she still just doesn’t get it.
“Boss is here. Got to go,” I lie, stabbing the screen on my phone to end the call. I check the time before shoving it in my apron. 5:28p.m. Thirty-two more minutes before my grades are posted. The semester is finally over and I’ve never looked more forward to summer. Between work and finals, I’m exhausted.
I’m pretty sure I passed all of my classes with flying colors—maintaining that 4.0GPA I’ve had my entire life. But I refuse to, as my Daddy says, “Count my chickens before they hatch.” And the not knowing is stressing me out. Along with everything else in my life.
Like the apartment I can’t afford to properly furnish. The job where I work crappy hours for crappy pay. My ex-boyfriend who’s yet to send a text or call telling me how much that night three weeks ago bothered him. And thoughts of that night, Jud, Clarissa, bathrooms … pretty much every thought, reminds me of him.
“Customer!” Jeannie, my co-worker, yells from the dining room—breaking through the memory just as I start to relive it.
I rinse my hands and peek out the window as I straighten my apron, making myself a little more presentable for the customer sitting alone in my section. Pushing open the swinging door that leads to the dining room, I plaster a smile on my face, but it falters when I see it’s him. I blink a few times and shake my head, making sure I’m not dreaming. How strange that I was just thinking of him, and now here he sits. But you’re always thinking of him…
“Psst!!!” I hiss, catching the door and hiding behind it as I wave my hands to Jeannie. Confused, she quickly makes her way over.
I pull her into the back, letting the door swing closed behind us. “It’s him.” The crease in her brow deepens as she stares at him through the dirty window. Fingerprints, smudges and last millennium’s grime obstructs her view. She starts to crack the door and I nearly throw myself in front of her.
She narrows her eyes. “Dude … chill out.”
“You don’t understand, Jeannie.” I jerk my head toward the dining room. “That’s him.”
“Oh my god … Is that Mr. Delicious?” I nod. “As in your cunt tastes fuckin’ delicious, Mr. Delicious?”
She pushes me aside before scrubbing at the window to get a better view. Meanwhile, I’m trying not to die from her words. I knew I’d regret telling her. But after a long shift and a cheap bottle of wine last week, it felt right.
“You swore to never repeat that.”
She waves me off. “I don’t know why it bothers you so much. You sure didn’t mind when he said it.”
“That was different. It sounded better coming out of his mouth.”
Clutching her chest, she turns to me. “Carmen, you wound me.”
“Will you please just wait on him?” I ask, having zero time for her dramatics. The cook had already called for us twice.
“Fine.” She walks out, and I take her place at the window.
My appreciation of her morphs to horror as she tells him I’ll be with him in a moment. Widening my eyes, I shake my head. She only smiles at me before mouthing, “You’re welcome.” When he turns to follow her gaze, I duck behind the door—cursing her under my breath.