My feet moved quickly and loud in my head as I walked down the hot, damp midtown streets, but to everyone around me, they were soft against the milky hum of late night traffic. I felt my pale pink silk dress clinging to my body. I should’ve brought a wrap with me, but even if I did, I probably would’ve forgotten it on the way out. Besides, I kind of liked the way the skimpy fabric stuck to my body. It made me feel… empowered.
It was late by the time I got back to the apartment, but I didn’t feel like sleeping. Going out with Dee was always a little too much for me, but now, like Darci said would happen if I left, I felt a small bit of regret welling inside my stomach. I walked through my main room and to the window. I always envisioned myself living in the city in a cute apartment with a nice rug, a bed on the floor, a small cactus, and a fire escape where I could drink cheap wine from the bottle as I listened to the neighboring couple fight over whose turn it was to walk the dog.
And it was my life… Until Darci showed up.
When I pictured myself, I never envisioned myself with a roommate, especially one that landed at my door at two in the morning. I sort of felt bad for Dee when her “relationship” ended because she really liked Him, but I told her from the start it was a bad idea. I tried telling her that this was a blessing; a new beginning, but now I disagree with all of that. To be completely honest, I wanted her gone. She was such a nuisance. I hated to say it, but it was undeniably true.
Her whole lifestyle made me sick and even more lonely than I was before she arrived. Seeing her bring randoms back at least three nights a week for god knows how long now has really taken its toll on me. You would think that the girl would fall in love with at least one of them, but no. She hasn’t. I feel kind of guilty. After the seventh guy I stopped asking their names and started to call them all Rich for two reasons: 1) they were all extremely wealthy and 2) Richards could all be called Dick, which is what they all were besides wealthy. It didn’t matter if it was Brad, Nick, Leo, or any other name for that matter. I called them all Dick.
The pathetic thing was, some of them actually thought they had a chance with her. But that was no surprise. Darci was beautiful. She had golden hair with streaks of copper that just grazed the bottom of her breasts, grey eyes that could pierce diamonds like it’s nothing, and a long thin body that was so delicate you were afraid if you looked for a second too long it would break, yet, you couldn’t take your eyes off of it.
You have no idea how many times a vase of flowers has been left at the door. I started leaving them in front of our neighbors’ doors because I was so sick of the smell of roses. After a while, I didn’t even remove the “Darci” card. Her beauty was exhausting for me; I couldn’t imagine how she could possibly do it all the time--the whole being beautiful thing. But she loved it.
I looked down at the street. I wondered what time Dee would get home. Not that it mattered or anything, but still, I was allowed to care about the girl. I peeled off the straps of my dress and let it fall to pool around my ankles in a dreamy pink cloud. I stepped out of dress, took off my black heels, and softly stepped onto the cold wood floor. It was so nice to be home. I let out a long breath that I didn’t realize I was holding in. I stared at the window waiting for it to fog from my hot breath, but it didn’t. I felt so incredibly lonely. I sadly found myself wishing for a Rich that would think that he had a chance. Just one instead of the other way around for once.
I walked over to my bed and climbed in. The crisp linen cotton felt so nice again my skin. I let the feeling caress me in a deep, peaceful sleep.
I woke up to the smell of Dee’s world famous bacon waffle tacos. I wiped the crusting drool from the side of my mouth and sat up. The sun was just beginning to rise; that’s odd because Dee normally comes in at this time.
“This is different,” I said, treading on unknown territory, but eager to explore. “What’s all this about?”
“Oh, nothing. But I may have found a place for me to move into… I thought I’d finally get out of your hair.”
Yes! Oh, Lord, this was fantastic! “Oh no, Dee. You know you can stay here as long as you want.” I tried to hide my enthusiasm, but I felt I did a poor job.
“Oh, shut up. We both know I’ve been here for a little too long, and I thought since today is my last day here, I might as well do something nice and make you breakfast!”
“Today? You’re leaving today?” I threw the covers off and walked to the kitchen.
“Yeah,” she didn’t turn to me as she spoke, “I sort of have known about this for a while now.” Her voice trailed off as she stuffed the last waffle taco.
I sat down at the table and watched her put the finishing touch of blueberries on the tacos. “Where’s the place?”
“No. You mean you’re back in the condo with you know who?” I could feel my face reddening with anger.
“No! God no! Oh wow no!” She laughed as she set down my plate in front of me. She plopped down in the seat across from me and began to eat her waffle. She refused to make eye contact with me. I didn’t touch my waffle until she explained. "...I just think it's time I get myself together."
"Dee that’s amazing; I’m so happy for you. This is awesome.” I hugged her tightly. This was what she needed.
“I know! I know.” I let go, picked up my chair and sat back down.
“I just am so happy for you. I’ll help you pack everything up!”
“Sure just let me shower first.” She stuffed the last bite of her taco into her mouth, put her dishes in the sink, and skipped all the way to the bathroom humming between chews.
After I finished my tacos, I filled up my watering can to feel my plant. I got the watering can at a flee market in the West Village. It’s wooden with yellow daisies on it. I always said how I needed to get daisies to water with my daisy watering can, but I never got them. I walked over to the window and began to water my plant. Yes, singular. It's a puny thing, but it's my plant.
“What the…” I dropped the can as I stared at the picture taped to my window. My feet were soaked and the water began to run all over the floor.
“Are you okay?” Dee shouted from the shower. I couldn’t answer, though. What the heck is this? I didn’t even realize Darci come up behind me still in a towel on and shampoo in her hair.
“Oh my God! What is that? Who took that?” Her feet clapped in the water as she walked closer to get a better look.
“I… I don’t know.” I reached forward and opened the window. A gust of hot air blew in and my bangs fell in my face. I crawled under the window and ripped the picture off the glass. I stood on the fire escape studying. I looked around and no one seemed to notice me on the streets below. I could feel Darci looking at me, waiting for me to speak, but I didn’t know what to say to her. Who could have possibly taken this picture of me in front of the window last night?
I handed Darci the picture underneath the window and climbed back under. She stared at the picture as I closed the window. “Well, at least your tits look great in that bra!” I turned around and snatched the picture rolling my eyes.
“Oh shut up!” I giggled as she walked back to the shower, leaving a trail of water and soap behind her. I fanned myself with the picture as I paced the living room. Who could’ve taken this? Why did they take this? I know I wanted my own Rich, but this? This was definitely NOT my kind of Rich. I walked over to my bed and put the picture underneath my pillow. Maybe if I just left this alone, maybe if I just ignored it, it would go away.
I bit my lip and hoped for this to be the case. I heard the shower turn off, and I shook away my nerves ready to dismiss all of Darci’s questions. Not because I didn’t know them, but because I realized in that moment, I didn’t want to be anything like Darci. I didn’t want her Rich. I didn’t want her beauty. I didn’t want any of it.
“So where should we start packing,” I asked as she emerged from the bathroom, tying her hair up in a wet messy bun.
**Disclaimer: This a work of fiction.