Chapter Thirty-four

The dream has kept me up almost every night and on nights my body wants to fall asleep, I force myself to stay awake.

It is now Saturday morning. I haven’t had a decent nights sleep in almost a month. I’m scared to sleep, I’m scared of my regrets.

I got out of bed and made breakfast with a fleeting appetite. Ralph still was not home. The two of us have not been in the same room in two weeks; my three closest friends in a month.

I still attempt a regular schedule as far as a social life is concerned but I can’t touch Sofia, and I know we’re going to be forced into a discussion about this.

I’ve seen Daisy, but, I think my mind is holding back on her because of the dream.

I’m scared to sleep. I’m scared of my regrets.

I couldn’t take to Ralph’s stern and harsh disapproving stare despite knowing it was coming from a place deep within himself that holds the comradeship we have shared for so long in the highest respect.

Melina is not aware of this debacle, and Freddy has his own issues with women- getting mixed up in my affairs would confuse him.

I showered but didn’t shave. Wardrobe choice was a pair of grey slim straight jeans, purple plaid shirt, and Converse.

I left home and headed for the office.

There was no real reason to be there- all of that work was done and the movie was now in the hands of the Sundance committee. All of the sweat and tears will be decided by a panel of men and women if our work is good enough for their stage.

I wasn’t worried at all.

There, I just lied to myself once again.

The bus pulled up in ten minutes. Three minutes later a passenger boarded and immediately sat down to eat his breakfast; a bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll. The smell traveled to me despite him sitting on the other end. My stomach growled. I could feel my appetite coming back in an uncontrollable wave.

I’m not accustomed to eating around work very often nor do I know the area well for breakfast choices so upon reaching the office I walked up to the desk to ask the security guard for a recommendation.

“Robbie, how are you? I thought you worked weekdays.”
We shook hands.
“Today is overtime, Mr. Wexler. Same for you?”
“No I just couldn’t sleep so I figured work might help. Do you by any chance buy breakfast around here?”
“I do, actually. There’s a diner three blocks to your right that’s excellent. They deliver, too.”
“Its pretty nice out I think I’ll walk. Have you eaten?”
“Not yet. I’m working a double today so I was going to wait another hour.”
“Saving up for something special?”
“Something like that. If you’re heading there now I suggest an order of flap jacks. It comes with sausage and home fries.”
“Do they make bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches?”
“Of course.” He said with a widening grin.
“Would you like one? My treat.”
“Oh I couldn’t let you do that.”
“I insist.”

After a moment of apprehension he said yes. I left and came back in almost an hour.

“I forgot to ask if you wanted coffee or OJ so I got you both.” I said, removing his food from the bag.
“That’s very generous, Mr. Wexler. Thank you.”
“Call me Johnathan. We’re the same age, I’m sure.”
“I’m used to it since we go by last names. ”
“Speaking of work what exactly are you saving up for?”
“My girlfriend is pregnant. She’ll be giving birth in about three months.”
“That must be difficult to deal with.”
“It was, at first. I think what bothers me the most is…oh I don’t wanna bore you with details.”
“No, no its fine. Please.”

He took a gulp of coffee and sloshed it around in his mouth. I took a bite of my sandwich which melted in my mouth.

It was the most curious thing- a fleeting appetite that suddenly awakens at the smell of something.

“Well,” Robbie said, “my girlfriend and I were dating nine months prior to the pregnancy and had she not gotten pregnant, I would have broken things off with her.”
“What’s stopping you from still breaking things off?”
“She wouldn’t let me see the kid. She’s kind of old fashioned. Its already stressful on her that she got pregnant out of wedlock. So if I broke up with her now…”

That is a tough situation to be in.

It got me thinking about Wendy and what life would presently be like if I had gotten her pregnant. It might be similar to Robbie’s.

I ate in silence for a moment.

“What made you decide you wanted to break up with her?”
“I lost the ability to love her. She didn’t interest me anymore. Now, I’m stuck with her.”
“Were you going on dates while you were looking for the right time to deliver this decision to her?”
“I went on some dates, yes. I found someone great. But I had to tell her about my girlfriend once I found out she was pregnant.”
“I’m sorry?”
“Why’d you tell her? You could have kept it to yourself and retained some of your happiness.”
“You mean lie to both of them?”
“You already had been to that point. Had the baby not entered the equation would you have still saw the both of them?”

He thought about this for a minute.

“I guess…yes. Yea, I would have. But women have ways of finding out about these things.”
“There are ways around it.”
“Tell that to a buddy of mine. He thought he had these two women, who had no chance of ever running into each other, wrapped around his finger.”

I stopped eating, setting aside the food.

“What happened?”
“One girl worked on Wall Street. The other, a school teacher. Guess how they met.”
“My mind is drawing a blank.”
“Remember that group of radicals that were arrested for attempting to bomb the Stock Exchange?”

Last year there was a group of newly unemployed people who got hit hard when the government had to bail out some of the major banks. One of them were teachers.

“Had she been part of the group doing the bombing?”

He shook his head yes.

“Both had been injured and sent to the same hospital. During the chaos nobody knew she had even been part of the group till much later. But when my friend went to visit one of them, he ran into both. He had no choice but to come clean.”
“But they found out under extenuating circumstances, not from investigation.”

A smile widened on Robbie’s face. “I’m not quite done.”

The plot thickens.

“The woman on Wall St suspected infidelity so she hired a PI. The day of the bombing she was going to confront him. He had no choice but to come clean because she told the teacher everything as they laid in the hospital together.”
“In the same room?”
“No, but they were on the same floor. She heard her name being called as everyone waited in triage.

Cheating is messy stuff. It may seem fun in the beginning but it gets overwhelming after a period. Bottom line, either don’t do it or end it before that happens. If you’re caught in a pickle, come clean. You’ll feel better about it.”

Is that what I should do? Is that what the dream was telling me to do?

I left Robbie to eat and enjoy the silence of the lobby as I headed to my desk to begin new work and contemplate the possibility.


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