Slight blush, smile widens, eyes shine as she says 'Not really, but I have modelled'
Then she laughs and he laughs and the bond is sealed.
Tonight, just for tonight, she's going to model just for him.
Both of their pretenses, set on a collision course from days before when they, both in furtherance of the illusion that they were future superstars, spent their weekly paycheck on the trappings of lust disguised as fashion and sold as popularity.
"She's crying again, the baby's crying again, how did this become my life? "
He hits the wall as hard as he could to demonstrate both his strength and his restraint, then he grabs the doorhandle and pulls the door violently wide before stepping out in a big stride and slams the door behind him.
She was supposed to get his message, and the slamming of the door was the punctuation.
Engine roars, tires squeal, underscores the violence of the leaving.
He turns up the music to drown out his thinking, needing to go back to being young wild and free.
The wind blowing though the open window smelled like freedom and calmed him.
He was heading to the club, the ones the girls in the office were talking about, the cute red one, who said she was a model.
She stood up from her seat on the sofa where she sat and endured another one of his immature, impatient tirades; she used the outside palms of her hands to dry her face as she made her way to her crying baby, replacing her sniffles with cooing, soothing sounds; calm the baby, bide your time, the night grew quiet and the baby, nestled safely in the quiet of mummy's arms, drifted into peaceful sleep.
Rocking her gently in her arms she stares off into space, thinking back to a time when she was sure about how her life was going to turn out, before she met him, before the pregnancy, a happier time when she knew she was going to be a model.
She stares her now practiced thousand yard stare that passes the hours until sweet oblivion.
The doorman see him coming from the corner and begins the grinning greeting spent on those familiar; arm outstreched in urban handshake before he is even close enough to touch, his own arm stretches out to meet it, his legs closing the distance to complete the transaction.
"Wayyys, look at you bro, ent see you in like forever, how yuh get that visa stamp?"
He looks back with an impish, conspiratorial smile that seems to say "you know the damn thing self"
Greeting accomplished he walks through the door charged up by the anger of tonight's explosion, scans the room for companions and talent, making eye contact and small talk with anyone of his fashion sense.
Clothes makes the man, and men of a feather hunt together.
The place was rocking and as he pressed his lips to the rim of the glass and let the smooth draft of icy alcohol wash the memory of the day away, he embraced the fantasy once again and got fully into character as a pretty young thing with smiling eyes approached.
"Hey baby, are you a model?"
He sent her a text tonight, as she knew he would, as he had every night to find out if the coast was clear.
The baby was asleep and the bear was out of the cave.
She was alone, she was lonely, and another man wanted her, said he thought she looked like a model.
Mobile in hand she toyed with the idea of returning the text, telling him to come over.
God she felt like a broken person, how she needed someone just to make her feel normal, special, wanted.
The sound of the night beyond the walls gave her comfort and made her safe, but she felt so hurt and alone, and he did have a way of making her smile.
The message said one word, "come"
She hit the send button.
Engine purring he pulled up to the curb. He spent so much of his value on this car, it made a statement that he couldn't make. Made him taller, made him richer, made him more desirable.
A fine car to a man is ego on wheels, the finer the car the shallower the ego it propped up. His car was mighty fine, and the thought that it was his made him feel better about himself.
Installment payments, insurance payments, accessories and detailing payments were parts of the language of the new jungle, and he was on the hunt.
He looked at his phone again, heart beating, thinking of that way she walked, her legs reminded him of a model, reads the screen, bright in the dark interior in the dark night; "come"
The flashing red revolving lights of the ambulance disturbs the stillness of the otherwise quiet street, and the police car turning the corner, lends its revolving blue to the red strobe of the crime scene.
Neighbors in night clothes stand in doorways and driveways, trying to catch a glimpse of the endgame.
There was screaming tonight, but there was always screaming and then the slamming door meant the screaming was over for tonight.
The routine had become regular, expected and timed, endured because at some point they knew it would end.
No one expected the screaming to begin again, it never happened twice in one night and then it was louder in the still of the small hours and that sound that shattered the silence and echoed into silence for a long while after.
Red lights and blue lights played in the darkness, hushed tones and quiet questions.
It was always going to end, so tonight became always.
Such a tragic end for one so young and beautiful, everyone thought she was going to be a model.