|The smell of fresh coffee filled the air within the apartment as it did every evening. It was the traditional way both of the apartment’s residents woke up from their slumber; however, on this particular evening, both were awake … wide awake.
The usual quiet was being broken by the sounds of dresser drawers and closets opening then closing. Occasional mumbling was heard from one of the two occupants, either asking themselves on where a particular item was or just continuing with the ranting from the prior night.
A loud yell came from within the bathroom.
“Hey! Do you happen to know where my toothbrush is?”
The caller waited for a moment, giving what she felt was a proper amount of time for a response. When none was returned, she yelled again.
“I asked if you knew where my toothbrush was.”
“How should I know? It’s not my toothbrush. Maybe if you kept tabs on its whereabouts, you wouldn’t go through this.”
The inquirer walked out of the bathroom with heavy footsteps to the bedroom. Myko was standing in the darkness hunched over a carry-on suitcase, trying to zipper it closed though it was proving to be a difficult task. She looked up at the doorway and saw the shadowy figure standing there.
“You know,” she said with a tinge of disgust in her voice, “instead of just standing there and watching me, you could come over here and help.”
The woman shook her head and smirked.
“Nah. If I did that I would be intervening in your life and not letting you be you.”
Letting out a low growling noise at the flippant response, Myko pushed down on top of the carry-on bag and pulled hard on the zipper, finally getting it to close. She stood up straight and flipped her hair back while wiping the trace amount of sweat from her forehead.
“Wow, Maidy. That was really typical of you.”
With a tug of the handle, she pulled the suitcase off of the bed on to the floor, extending the handle and rolling it as she walked towards the door. She twisted her body around Maidy as she passed, making sure neither body accidentally, or purposely, touched.
She rolled the case down the low-lit beige hallway, being careful not to bump into the flat paint, easily markable walls. The wheels of the bag created grooves in the carpeting as she went. Myko’s OCD kicked in as she stared at them. She wanted to dash off to the supply closet next to the washroom to get her Shark vacuum and erase the unsightly markings. Sure she knew they were only grooves, but they annoyed her just the same. From the top of her peripheral vision, she saw Maidy’s foot sweeping across the carpet, essentially erasing the grooves. Without looking up at Maidy, she turned around and continued down the hall.
She walked into the living room by the entertainment center that was home to their two gaming consoles, a home theatre system, and their pet turtle. Above the center was a plasma TV, one of the first items they purchased as a couple. Myko stared at it with her sleepy eyes and felt her vision fade to a time not all that long ago.
“Our first major investment together. This is so big time.”
Maidy stood behind Myko in the electronics store with her arms around her waist, nuzzling her neck. The store clerk who was completing their purchase tried to ignore the two women and their outward display of affection, but it was like trying not to watch a risqué movie for free. Myko slid her arms over Maidy’s and leaned back slightly against Maidy’s body, enjoying the warmth of emotions between them.
“Nah. Big time will be when we open a joint checking account.”
Both of them laughed and smiled at the lame humor they shared. Maidy swayed Myko’s body ever so slightly and rested her head upon her shoulder and whispered in Myko’s ear.
“I adore you, sweety. Promise it will always be like this?”
“Buying big ticket items and freaking out the general public around us? Sure!”
A chill ran down Myko’s spine causing her to shudder as she recalled the warm breath of Maidy’s light kiss on her ear. She stood there in the dark and wrapped her arms around her own waist, missing her wife’s touch.
Through her melancholy haze, she heard the door to the bedroom shut and Maidy’s heavy footsteps head down the hall. Myko side glanced and watched Maidy as she adjusted her backpack over her left shoulder. The slight breeze as she passed Myko was laced with Burberry Brit and Ocean scented body wash. The scents brought a flood of emotions and memories to Myko; most were wonderful and romantic while others were heartbreaking. Remembering what once was, Myko found herself wanting to reach out and grab Maidy and hold her close.
However, after their last fight, she knew that could never happen, at least not for a while.
Maidy walked by the dining room table and dropped a small stack of papers on it. They landed with a slap and slight slide against the rustic finished oak.
“There’s the papers. I refuse to sign them.”
She reached and grabbed a blood orange out of the fruit bowl in the table’s center. Myko watched as Maidy’s hands reached for the bowl. She noticed her wedding band was still adorning her left ring finger. Myko silently turned her matching band with her thumb.
“Oh my God! I can’t believe you got them for us.”
They were walking through Central Park when Maidy surprised her with the wedding bands. They were platinum bands with two .25 carat round diamonds each set in a square setting and rope twists accenting the edges. They had seen them weeks earlier the day after Myko produced an engagement ring from the back pocket of her Lucky jeans.
“You liked them and I figured why not.”
“Besides,” Maidy said while reaching for Myko’s left hand, sliding the one band on her ring finger, “our relationship is worth it.”
Myko eyed her wedding band and smiled. The happiest days in her life were the day she and Maidy got engaged and the day they officially married. On the day of their wedding, they used cigar rings from two cigars they had received at a reception they had crashed in Las Vegas. It was at that reception when they decided to get married.
“You’re kidding. Get married now?” Myko downed her second vodka and tonic and stared at Maidy’s huge smile. She felt her heart begin to melt and it wasn’t from the vodka. Something about Maidy’s smile always made her knees go weak. If Maidy were a drinker, she would have sworn it was alcohol talking.
“I’m totally serious! I don’t know if it’s the excitement of Vegas or the weirdness of this sci-fi themed reception, but I really want to get married … now.”
Maidy lanced one of the hors d’oeuvre on her paper plate with a plastic lime green light saber toothpick and popped it her mouth. Myko stared in disbelief at what her lover was saying.
“But we don’t have any rings.”
Maidy reached into one of the pockets of her hoodie, pulled out two cigars, unwrapped them, and slid the bands off, handing one to Myko.
“They were passing these around when you were getting another vodka. So what do you say? Let’s do it.”
After a few more drinks and a quick trip to the A Elvis Chapel with cigar rings in their pockets, they were officially married. Myko recalled how she held her arms around Maidy’s neck after their official kiss, a small tear of joy sliding down her cheek as she gazed into Maidy’s eyes.
“You have made me the happiest woman in the world, babe. I love you so much.”
She raised her hand to her face, wiping away the tears that were now sliding down her cheek as she stared at the legal papers on the table. Her lower lip trembled as heart sank deeper into chest, leaving behind an empty hollow feeling. Her worst fear, her worst nightmare, was near to reality and the only thing she wanted to do was run and pretend it didn’t exist.
Maidy walked into the kitchen and poured two cups of coffee, one in her Gamera mug Myko got for her from her trip to Tokyo and one in Myko’s Starbucks mug Maidy picked up when they first started dating. Myko turned the corner and watched as Maidy fixed the coffees. After replacing the carafe in the special maker, Maidy placed both of her hands on the kitchen counter and hung her head shaking it. She lifted it up and stared out the window at the view of Central Park.
“What happened to us, Myko? Where did it all go wrong?”
Myko kept silent. She really didn’t have an answer and every time they decided to address the issue, it ended up in a fight. Last night was the worst of them all. It all started with a discussion of Myko’s latest trip for work and ended up with them screaming at each other. She didn’t even remember what they were yelling. All she knew was that neither was listening and that’s what brought them to this moment. Two things Myko hated most in life were anger and confrontation and it seemed that lately that’s all she and her wife shared.
Avoiding yet another fight, she wheeled her bag to the couch where the matching garment bag and larger suitcase were waiting for her. Fighting back her tears, she tried to calm her voice.
“I’m leaving for the airport now. While I’m gone, I think it’s best we don’t talk to each other.”
It was now Maidy who remained silent. She neither acknowledged hearing Myko nor responded to the suggestion of three weeks of silence between them.
“If I come back,” she continued, trying to quell the shaking in her voice while ignoring the tears that were now streaming down her face, “and you’re gone … and the papers are gone, then I’ll know what happened and what you decided.”
She walked over to the front door and propped it open, dragging her larger suitcase while carrying the garment bag and leaving them both in the hallway. Turning back one last time, she walked partly across the off-white carpeting of the living room towards the black leather couch where her Coach bag, laptop bag, and carry-on remained. Craning her neck, she peeked into the open area kitchen. Maidy still stood there, staring out at the window. Figuring that silence was better than fighting, Myko grabbed the last of her belongings and walked out the apartment, closing the door on both her home and, very possibly, her relationship.