Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Short Story (part 4 of 5)

[Don't worry, folks, this story's almost done. Here are the first three parts in case you need a nap.]

“So why haven’t you called?” I asked with a smile while throwing my pack of cigarettes to Kent.

“Oh, I’ve been busy with school,” he fumbled, obviously lying.

After lighting his cigarette, Kent tossed the burning log back into the fire. The embers were like fireflies popping out of the fire pit and disappearing as they slowed through the air. Sometimes they wouldn’t go out and we’d have to move our legs to dodge them. We took another shot while Vin’s girlfriend sat next to him playing on her cell phone. At first it was annoying as we felt we had to accommodate her, but it didn’t matter after our third drink. The nostalgia was powerful and all that mattered was contained within the light of the fire. Then, jealous and unable to handle her boyfriend having fun:

“So, have you gotten a job yet,” she asked me.

“No.” The smile on my face disappeared and everything was quiet except the popping fire.

“When do you plan to look for one?” She gave me an insidious smirk and looked back to her phone, thumbing it quickly.

“I will soon.” My face was hot with embarrassment.

“Really? That’s what you said last time. Why haven’t you gotten a job yet?”

“Well, I’m an anxiety prone alcoholic. Remind you of anyone?” I thought I’d gone too far with that last comment but it didn’t even phase her. I filled my cup of gin with tonic, began sipping it and said to her with the most spiteful sarcasm I could muster, “How’s your acting going? I heard you had an audition, for a commercial was it?” Her face lifted and her gaze turned from her phone to me. “I mean, that is going strong, right? You’ve been actively looking for and attending auditions, haven’t you? That was, after all, your intention. That’s why you abandoned everything up north and moved to LA, right? For your acting?”

“She’s actually been going to a few auditions lately. Will you pour me another?” Vin said trying to defuse the situation.

“I’m sure you’ve landed several lead roles in a couple future blockbusters! How’s your job going, then,” I continued while pouring Vin another drink, “still hate it?”

“Frank,” Han told me in the way an older brother advises his younger sibling to shut his mouth.

Kent dropped another log into the fire and embers began popping violently into the air. The fire grew and I wasn’t able to see her face through it.

“Frank, pour me another shot, yeah?” Han decided to break the silent tension. I decided to pour everyone a shot. My face was red with heat and embarrassment and my pouring hand was trembling a bit and I stumbled as I handed the cup to Vin, spilling a bit of gin onto his pants. I apologized and Vin said it was no problem. His girlfriend said something in an antagonizing tone under her breath but I couldn’t make it out.

“Let’s drink to good friends this time. We rarely do that,” I offered.


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