Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday Prompt

"Who knew?"


  1. My voice was caught in my throat as I stood there, holding onto the railing of the staircase staring up at them.

    Kline was there in front of his apartment door, his back to me. But I knew his shaggy blond hair, his loose fitting jeans. I knew his body.

    But it was the girl he was with that made me silent. Her face was partially blocked by his as they made out against his door, but her spiraling black curls gave her away.

    I clutched the railing, trying to get my strength as I climbed the last few stairs to his floor.

    When my heel clicked on the tile, they jumped apart, both spinning to look at me. Her lipstick was smeared across my boyfriend's mouth.

    "Lilah?" she said, her voice choked off. "What..." She didn't finish and I wondered for a moment if I was turning green like the Hulk. I wondered if I was morphing into an angry giant.

    "Baby," Kline said, reaching for me but I slapped his hand away. Hard.

    My mind ran through all the times they could have been together and I felt my emotions drain from me to puddle on the floor at my feet. I felt the feelings escape me, replaced with something cold.

    "Shana," I said, my voice like ice. "You have a half an hour to get your stuff out of our apartment before I call the police. It's not like you've been paying rent." Her eyes water, but she doesn't cry. I had hoped she would.

    "And you," I turned to Kline, narrowing my eyes, "can drop dead."

    With that I turned away, not wanting to fight with them. They didn't deserve my time. Hell, they deserved each other.

    My boyfriend and my best friend. Who knew?

  2. Old Mrs. Draykosh was humming softly as she swept the front steps of her brownstone. Mr. Steinbach ambled by. His left hand grasped a four-legged cane. With the other, free hand, he tipped his hat to Mrs. Draykosh and continued on his way to the corner deli. Eight o’clock. Like clockwork, it was time for Mr. Steinbach’s morning tea and cheese danish.

    About twenty minutes later, Mr. Steinbach headed back up the street, still clutching his cane with his left hand. The New York Post was tucked neatly under the other arm. Mrs. Draykosh was still out on the front stoop, still humming and still sweeping what had to be imaginary dust by that time.

    “Ah, Mrs. Draykosh,” said Mr. Steinbach, “You have heard the news, of course?”

    “And which news is that, Mr. Steinbach?” Mrs. Draykosh leaned the broom again the doorframe and turned her attention to the elderly man. “Is it the economy? The president - may he live long and be healthy - or is it another silliness about another pampered, spoiled movie star – may he – or she – finally get some common sense!?”

    Mr. Steinbach smiled. “All of them are indeed newsworthy stories of course, Mrs. Draykosh, but that was not the news of which I speak.”

    “So then?”

    “You know Karl Sanders?”

    “Who doesn’t know Karl Sanders?”

    “It’s his grandson.”

    “I also know of his grandson, yes,” said Mrs. Draykosh.

    “And you know the cute little waitress who works at the corner deli?”

    “Indeed.” Mrs. Draykosh nodded. “I know of the cute little waitress at the corner deli, too. I know that her name is Lila.”

    “Lila. Yes, that’s her name. Well, you know they had the eyes for each other.”

    “So?” Mrs. Draykosh shook her head. “I knew that. Who on this street does not know about that? Lila and the Sanders’ grandson. So?”

    “Then you know what Karl Sanders and his family think of such things.”

    “Of course. But they are young. They’re children. And also, everyone here knows the grandson is to go away to Harvard in the fall. So?”

    “So what do you know about Lila the waitress?”

    Mrs. Draykosh shrugged.

    “Well, I know something!” Mr. Steinbach looked pleased with himself.

    Ah! I am at last one up on Mrs. Draykosh - finally. I know something Mrs. Draykosh couldn’t possibly know yet, since I’ve only just heard this piece of news myself at the deli this morning.

    “So tell me then,” said Mrs. Draykosh, “What is this big news about Sanders’ grandson and Lila the little waitress at the deli?”

    “They ran off this past weekend to get married.”

    “I know,” said Mrs. Draykosh. Her wrinkled, ancient face suddenly displayed a wicked grin.

    “You know???” Mr. Steinbach looked astonished as Mrs. Draykosh nodded. Mr. Steinbach continued, “But they ran off to get married because she is expecting his baby!”

    ‘I know that too.”

    “How? How can you possibly know all of this already?”

    “Because Tomas from the deli came by here earlier this morning to give me some bagels. Before you even came by here. He told me. That’s how I knew.”

    Mr. Steinbach sighed. “Dratted deli boy! I thought I’d be the first to tell this news. Who knew?”

    “I did.” Mrs. Draykosh hid her smile this time. Instead, she picked up her broom and humming, began sweeping the steps once again.

  3. Argggh! I hate typos! She leaned the broom against the doorframe!

  4. Wow Suzanne - Lila (Lilah?) really gets around!

    (Great story!)

  5. Loved these stories, Suzanne and Lightverse!

    I noticed you both used a Lilah (Lila), too!

    Funny how that happens.

  6. I rested my head against the door. Sure that if I stood there long enough he'd just go away.

    Three more knocks.

    "Go away. Go away. Go away." I whispered in unison with each beat.

    I looked through the peephole again, careful to keep my feet from getting too close to the door frame. I didn't want to give anything away.

    Grr. Doesn't he get it? I'm not home. I'm incognito. I'm sleeping. I'm indisposed. I moved away. Anything.

    He tried one more time, giving a very determined, firm pound on the door. Still, I waited.

    A moment later, a small package slid beneath the door. I stood frozen for a minute and checked the door again before I picked it up. I wanted to be certain he was gone first.

    I ripped open the butcher paper wrapping to reveal a brand new CD. I recognized it immediately, Kings of Leon, my favorite band.

    Why in the hell would he give me a copy of a CD he knows I already have? I told him I loved it over our disastrous date, right before he spilled hot coffee on my brand new skirt. Without thinking, I touch the spot on my right leg that still bore the evidence of that horrible night.

    "Idiot." I muttered to myself and headed into the living room, throwing the CD across the couch.

    I checked the coffee table for the remote control. Where could it be? I dug through the couch next, first checking under the cushion where I'd been sitting. No go.

    I moved down the couch checking the second, nothing, and then finally the third cuhsion where the laughable gift now sat.

    I reached for the CD to move it out of the way and paused. What was that on the front cover?

    I picked it up to take a closer look.

    It can't be...the band's signatures. He got me the entire band's signature? Who knew?

    "Are you kidding me, right now?" I asked outloud in disbelief, which was immediately replaced by elation.

    "Holy shit!" I jumped up and down, screaming like a teenage girl.

    And then it hit me, he brought me a signed copy of my favorite bands CD and I totally blew him off.

    "Crap!" I yelled running to grab my phone from my purse. I scrolled through the recent calls, quickly finding his number and pressed 'send.'

    I waited, anxious for him to pick up. I can't believe he got me that CD. I wonder how he did it? Did he get to meet them? I had a million questions I wanted to ask, but after three rings it went to voicemail. Weird, I thought. I mean he was just here. The phone beeped, pulling back my focus.

    "Hey Justin, it's Becca. I just wanted to thank you for the CD. It's amazing. Hey maybe if you're not doing anything tonight we could hang out. Let me know. Bye."

    I retuned to the living room again and dug the remote out of the last cushion before flipping on the tv. Four hours later, I'd watched three episodes of "The Hills" and a rather depressing Lifetime movie about a girl who has cancer. Still no call from Justin.

    At 11 o'clock I gave up and finally crawled into bed. As I lay there, trying to sleep, a thought crossed my mind, I sat up with a start.

    Oh no, I thought, I wonder if he's blowing ME off!

  7. Suz - You always manaage to say what we all wish we could in those moments.

    lightverse - I could so see the whole thing in my head. Great job!

    Also, notice everyone's story takes place at a doorway. Crazy how an idea gets stuck in your head.