By Mike Muthaka
A guy walks into a bar. He’s spotting a blue sweater –a gift from his ex-girlfriend. She said that it brought out his eyes, whatever that meant. The fabric was comfortable, though. It kept him warm. Frank didn’t care much about style and much less about how it modified his facial features.
She liked to call him Frankie, especially when they were tangled up in bed. Sometimes on his lonely nights, he could still hear her sweet voice, “Oh Frankie, you’re so good.”
She really knew how to work him. His mind would flood with light and images of her –standing by the bedroom door, bare-legged and heavy bottomed, blouse undone and mouth slightly open.
But those days were gone now, days when they’d hang out on weekends and drink and eat and have untamed sex. Days when they’d get high on each other’s peculiarities like opium smoke.
She left him two years before. And every time he thought about it he remembered the day she found a packet of condoms in his jeans pocket.
Why did he have them in the first place? She accosted him on a warm Sunday afternoon.
“Frankie, please explain this to me,” holding up the packet, her gaze fixed upon him.”Is there anything I should know?”
Frankie stuttered. A second’s pause. Cold feet. It would forever be a mystery that the girl –ever so watchful- didn’t notice. Or maybe she did.
“Are you cheating on me?”
“What? No. I’m not cheating on you. It’s just, you’re the first person I’ve ever slept with. And I’ve never known how to use a condom so…”
“What, you bought them for practice?”
“Yeah, something like that.”
“There are Youtube videos for that you know.”
Then she walked away, and Frank was left with his heart beating in his throat. She didn’t mention it again.
Two years ago he was unemployed. The girl housed him, just until he could get his feet on the ground. She went to work and he stayed home –sending Emails and rummaging through the fridge. She was patient for only three years.
Now he had a job at a top PR firm. He stopped worrying about what could have been. He bought the bike that he always wanted and he could afford a sexy loft uptown. He was on the up and up, but he didn’t have friends to share his fortunes. He cut off his social networks after she left. He immersed himself in his job. His bank account was swelling marvelously. His heart was hollow.
But the bar was his friend now.
He moved to the counter and ordered a whiskey. Double. Neat. He knocked it back in a flash and ordered another. The music was loud and strobe lights swam on the low ceiling and waitresses floated behind him. Frankie cared little about the world going on behind him.
It had been months since he’d been with a woman. It would only be a few minutes before a hooker walked over. The urge shook him grandly, the sore yearning of an isolated soul, the hot itch of anticipation.
He signaled the barman for another round. And, predictably, a girl in a tight red dress appeared on the stool next to him
“You look really sad. Are you looking for a good time?
“What, no foreplay?” he asked.
“Only if you pay premium.”
Geez! She was going straight for the jugular. They had premiums now?
Frank’s moral hinges were loose. He was adrift in the ether of alcohol and he quickly suggested they go back to his place. There was no way she could say no, really. But as he called for a cab he couldn’t help but think that maybe it was too soon to say.
Frank couldn’t wait to see her reaction when she saw it.
Back at the loft he poured her a drink and switched on the radio. Setting the mood wasn’t necessary but old Frank liked to make an event of everything. She took a few sips and placed the glass down. Then she walked up to him and put her hands on his chest, running them up and down. She had the most seductive eyes Frank had ever seen.
“I like how your sweater feels.”
She undressed him with the swiftness of a professional. She lowered his pants and Frank noticed how she looked at the bulge in his underwear. And the moment she saw it –in all its meaty glory- she stepped back and said, “Oh my.”
She looked at him, almost incredulous, and Frank shrugged –a silly grin coming over his face. He led her to bed. She gave a yelp on the first thrust.
“You’re going to put me out of business.”
Frank -out of some dark pride- laughed. A hard genuine laughter. He laughed so hard in fact, that he let out a fart. A loud fart. The sound of the fart reverberated off the walls and the smell was foul as hell.
He tried to ignore it, and he hoped she’d ignore it too. He could see the way she unsuccessfully tried to play it down. But the smell just wasn’t wafting away. For a moment he thought he saw a slight cringe on her face. Still, Frank didn’t stop. He lasted all of seven minutes. He rolled over and went to sleep almost immediately.
The next morning he found the girl’s body had turned cold. The autopsy said death by suffocation.