Home > True Abandon(2)

True Abandon(2)
Author: Jeannine Colette

I rub a finger over my temple and push in on the pressure point.

Kevin and I have been together for two years, and he’s been nothing short of dedicated to our relationship. It’s just that, recently, things have been moving in the wrong direction. He has a growing desire for me to share his address, but I’m not ready. It’s not that I don’t want to live with him, per say. He’s amazing. It’s the steps that follow that make me nervous and send caution flags flying.

A picture of us at our company holiday party is on the nightstand next to my bed. He has on a CBGBs t-shirt and a huge grin on his face. His arm is slung around my shoulder as I look into the camera with a bashful, closemouthed smile.

If there’s anyone who’s going to take care of me tonight, it’s Kevin. And that's why I need to make sure he’s safe as well.

“If the weather is that bad then neither of us should be traveling. If you got hurt on the way over here, I’d never forgive myself.”

He lets out an irritated breath on the other end. “Fine. Will you at least check in with me? Let me know you’re okay?”

I shake my head. “You’re too sweet for me.”

“And you’re too independent for me. You know that?”

His comment makes me laugh lightly as we say our goodbyes.

I hang up the phone and let it roll from my hand onto the nightstand, my chest still pounding. I close my eyes and try to tame my erratic heartbeat.

Kevin’s right. I should want to spend tonight with him, probably having crazy hurricane sex or something. But the thought of being trapped in his apartment during a horrific storm with nowhere to go makes me feel…caged.

“Trish, you awake?” Kelli’s voice comes from the living room.

“Yeah,” I call as I run my fingers through my hair and twist into a standard braid.

Wearing only boy shorts and a tank top, I walk into the living room. Instantly, I raise my arms to cover my chest at the sight of Vince, the guy who lives in 3C. “Dammit, Kel. You didn’t tell me we had company!”

“Don’t worry, no one’s lookin’ at your itty, bitty titties,” Vince chides with his eyes staring at the TV. The two are watching the news, which is completely out of character for them.

I snap my fingers making Kelli turn around. I give her a bug-eyed expression and raise my brows in Vince’s direction—she knows I can’t stand him. He’s always hanging around, eating our food, and using our Wi-Fi. Not to mention he’s a misogynist who consistently makes inappropriate comments about our bodies.

I take an afghan off the back of the sofa and wrap it around my shoulders.

Kelli ignores my qualms about our neighbor and her sometimes boy toy. Her short, dark hair whips around her cheeks with the turn of her head. “Get dressed. We’re going to a hurricane party on the fourth floor.” She rises from her seat and runs her hands down the sequins of her silver mini-dress. The shiny metallic acts as little plastic mirrors I can just barely see my reflection in. “Cute, right?”

“Adorable,” I deadpan as I look over at the flat screen TV that’s mounted to the wall.

Lonnie Quinn, the local weatherman, has his sleeves rolled up as he points to the wall behind him showing a graphic of the city. The red hurricane icon glows over the Atlantic Ocean. The island of Manhattan and the areas around it are highlighted in yellow to illustrate the danger while Lonnie continues to make circular motions around our area. He uses rhetoric like “tidal surge” and “gale-force winds” to depict the severity of the situation—you know it’s serious when the meteorologist has removed his jacket and tie.

“What’s that thumping sound?” Vince asks, his eyes glaring around the room.

“That’s Trish. She does that when she gets nervous,” Kelli responds.

I glance down and see my right leg is, indeed, shaking so I walk over to the kitchen and where the bags from my trip to the store are sitting on the counter. I reach inside and pull out a box of candles.

“Are you expecting company tonight?” Kelli asks, wiggling her eyebrows.

“I got them in case we lose power. I also have batteries, non-perishable food and two gallons of water.”

She rolls her eyes at my purchases as she skims through the plastic bags. “You’re such a worry wart. Surprised you don’t have one of those hand crank radio thingies.”

I raise a finger in the air at her reminder, while making an “aha” face.

Turning on my heel, I go down the hall of our small apartment and get the red and black toolbox from the top shelf of my closet. Manhattan has seen everything from September eleventh terrorist attacks to Super Storm Sandy. One can never be too prepared.

“What the hell is that?” she asks when I return.

“Our survival kit.” I flip open the lid. Inside are my flashlight, more batteries, first aid kit, whistle, moist towelettes, and my battery-powered radio.

“It’s just a little rain.” She glares out the window and back to me. “Besides, what can happen to us all the way up here?”

Her question makes the hair on the back of my neck stand at attention. “The power could go out for days. We’d be stuck here with no food, water, or supplies.”

Kelli saunters into the kitchen and opens one of the cabinets where I’ve stocked more water, cans, and boxed food. She’s giving me a questioning glare.

I continue, “The water might get turned off, meaning sanitary conditions can get pretty rancid.”

She twists her face. “That’s beyond gross.”'

“Looting. Flooding. We could be here for days. Two girls on their own…” I jolt, and start to make my way back to my room. “That reminds me. I have a Swiss Army knife under my bed—”

“Trish!” she cuts me off and I freeze. “Calm down. You’re doing that thing again.”

“What thing?”

“Man, I knew you had issues, but I didn’t realize you were so uptight,” Vince chimes in as he moves from the couch to the kitchen. “Must be a red-head thing. You’re all a little crazy,” he jokes as he picks up the small chainsaw and duct tape I placed on the counter. “You’re also a little kinky.”

He takes me in with beady, little eyes that are trying to see what’s beneath my afghan. I pull the blanket tighter around my chest, and my stomach rolls at the same time my toes start dancing inside my sock.

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