In The Future (Tense)
by tahlia

It will be months after you have called it quits, and the temperature will be rising, rising, rising; well into the hundreds, everyone says, even if it's just hovering around ninety and the sheer force of talking about it makes it more. And California will come to the East Coast and the power outages will be rolling, with the lights dimmed and the air conditioners turned down low. You won't be able to work this way. You'll walk however many blocks in those god damn strappy shoes you insisted on wearing. Your hair will be matted to your neck as you climb the stairs (no power, no elevators; exercise) and sweat will be falling off the tip of your nose when you knock on the door. It will taste salty on your tongue, and for a split second, you'll wonder if he will, too.

"I came by to," but you won't finish your sentence; you'll just push into the hotel room masquerading as an apartment, and he won't kick you out. You'll turn to him, to say, I didn't come here for that, because you didn't, not rationally at least, but it won't come out that way. You'll just see the glass filled with scotch and ask if you can have it. (Which is moot, because the glass is to your lips as you sat it. And it's hot, burning actually: the glass, the liquid, the melting remains of ice cubes-- where did he get ice cubes?) You'll hate to think about his wife, sitting there in silence, watch as her children are entertained by, among others, her husband's former mistress, but you won't be able to help it. You drink the whole god damn glass, though, and wince as it burns your throat, just so that you can forget.

You'll know why she came, you'll know why he left early, but you won't know why you followed him here. (It's the heat, you'll claim, but it's not. Really. It's not.) He will stand there, though, watching you drink his scotch, and he will know. You will hate that he can do this. To hide this, you will open the mini bar and take out the first thing your fingers touch and you will drink it. You will do this again, and again, and again; eventually, he will join you.

And you will get drunk, horribly so, and you will stumble over something small and invisible and you will fall. You will laugh. You will laugh: at yourself, at him (for the way he's looking at you), at the heat, at the weather man, at Mother Nature, at nothing at all. You will be leaning against his bed, on the floor, and he cover you with himself and he will kiss you. It will be primodorial, there will be scotch and guilt and the maybe-we-shouldn't's on his tongue and you will savor it all because you are drunk and this is your excuse. You will fuck him, right there on the floor, pressed up against his bed and never in it, because it's not likely you're going to remember this tomorrow anyway, so what's the point?


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