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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1840058-Poles-Apart
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Romance/Love · #1840058
A neurotically depressed British Art professor finds himself falling for his new co-worker
The Professor's Preface

“Ok, everyone,” Jonathan said as he finished erasing the blackboard. “I’ll see you all on Monday. Class dismissed.”

Professor Jonathan Thomas’ students shuffled out of his classroom, like playing cards.

“Good luck, tonight, Professor Thomas,” one winked while the Professor waved.

When all of his students had made their way out, Jonathan reached into his pocket and pulled out a small dark blue velvet box. He’d been carrying it around in his coat pocket for weeks. Today would finally be the day.

Welcome Home, Jonny

When he’d arrived at his flat, the door was unlocked. He’d thought this was strange, but left it at that. He opened the door and went inside. There right next to the door laid suitcases. And not just any suitcases; his girlfriend, Melanie’s.

“Mel?” he called out. “Melanie, darling?”

Melanie walked out from their bedroom with a pile of folded clothes.

“I was hoping I’d be done, before you came home.”

“What?” Jonathan asked somewhat oblivious to what was befalling him.

Melanie walked over to a brown suitcase that lay open on the couch.

“I’m leaving, Jonny,” Melanie said as she placed the folded clothes inside of the suitcase.

“What?”

“I said that I’m leaving. I’ve packed my things and I’m leaving.”

Jonathan reached into his coat pocket and clutched the small box that lay inside.

"But Melanie, darling. Why now?" he asked as he paced around the main room of his flat. "Why leave me now? I mean we've come this far, haven't we?"

"That's just the problem, Jonny. Isn't it?"

“What? I don’t understand. As daft as this may seem to you, I'm still failing to see the problem here? Because you know, from where I'm standing, I thought we were happy."

Melanie laid her suitcase down on the floor, "Happy, Jonny? Really?"

"Yes, Mel. Happy."

Melanie walked closer to Jonathan, "Happiness my darling is to feel pleasure, contentment, or even joy. Happiness is feeling satisfied that something is right or has been done right. Jonny," she said as she touched his face. "When can you with all honesty tell me that you've felt for me even the slightest one of those things that I just described? Hmm? No, Jonny, my dear. What you feel is comfortable. Familiarity."

"Comfortable. Yet another synonym for contentment."

"Jonny you know what I mean. I can't carry on with you like this," Melanie said as she walked back over to her bags. "I'm sorry, I ever let it drag out this long."

Jonathan picked up a large blue dictionary that lay on the shelf of his computer desk.

"Familiarity," he said as he muttered to himself while turning the pages. "Ah, here we are. Familiarity. Closeness and friendliness in a personal relationship."

Melanie picked up her bags, "Exactly, Jonny. We're not close."

"Not close?"

"No. And we haven't been for a long time. Come on, Jonny. You must know this as well as I do."

"Tell me the truth, Mel. What‘s this really about? Why now? Today?"

Melanie dropped her bags, "I've been meaning to do this for the longest time now and I just haven't had the courage to."

"Oh, well in that case..."

"Listen, Jonny. It's better this way, you know? It's better me to leave now than risk doing something later that would hurt you even more.”

"Hurt me? Even more? I don't know, Mel. I'd say right now I'm just about as gutted as gutted could possibly get."

"And I know that," Melanie said as she opened the door. "And I'm so sorry, for all of this. But just trust me on this one, Jonny. You're going to be far better off."

Suddenly Melanie’s mobile rang.

"Yes," she said. "Here already? Well just hold on. I should be down in just a bit."

"Who was that?" Jonny asked.

"Just a friend of mine, who's been helping me gather all of my things from here."

"I can't believe this," Jonathan said as he began pacing again. "I can't believe this is happening to me right now. How could you just spring something like this on me, Mel? Huh? After all we’ve been through together?”

Melanie picked up her bags and headed for the door.

“Look, Jonny. I could probably apologize all evening, but it wouldn’t make a difference. I’ve got to get on with my life and now, so do you.”

“So do I? Well from the looks of it, I’ve got no other bloody choice, now have I?”

“No, I guess not.”

Melanie’s mobile rang, again.

“I said I’d be down in just a bit,” she said before hanging up.

“Well, Jonny. I’ve got to go now,” she said as she looked towards him. She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, “Goodbye, darling.”

Jonathan looked out of the window as Melanie walked outside. He watched as she made her way towards a small red car. A man got out of the car and began helping Melanie place her things inside. After they had finished placing everything inside, the man shut the car’s trunk, walked over to the left side of the car and opened the door for Melanie. Melanie hugged the man, then looked around as if to make sure no one was looking. When she was sure that the two were out of sight, she kissed the man, then got inside of the car.

Drinking It All Out

“She left me, Pete,” said Jonathan, after he’d taken his umpteenth drink.

“Yes, Jon. I know. Now how ‘bout I take you home now?”

“No, no, no. I wanna stay here. Everyone loves me here. Right, guy?” Jonathan asked as he raised his glass to the man behind the bar.

The man nodded hesitantly, “Look,” the man said. “I don’t want any trouble. So why don’t you take your mate here, home.”

“Sure,” Pete said. “Come on now, Jon. We’ll go to my house, then.”

“Alright,” Jonathan nodded. He stumbled off of the bar stool, “Alright, Pete alright. Just as long as we don’t have to go back to my house. I don‘t want to go back to my house, Pete. I can‘t go back to my house.”

Jonathan walked up the stairs to Peter’s apartment with his arms around Peter’s shoulder.

“Alright, mate. We’re almost there.”

An attractive young woman walked past them, “Hello, Pete.”

“Oh, hello, Ilene.”

“Hey!” Jonathan drunkenly shouted. “Hey, you. Ilene! Do you know Melanie Davies?"

Ilene shook her head, “No. Should I?”

“No, Ilene. You shouldn’t. And it’s a good thing you don’t. Because Melanie Davies is a terrible person! A terrible person! She’s a cheater! She cheated on me as a matter of fact! Left me for another bloke. And I was gonna give her this,” Jonathan slurred as he pulled out the ring in his pocket and showed it to Ilene.

“Oh,” Ilene said awkwardly. “I’m sorry.”

“You’re sorry, I’m sorry, Pete’s sorry. You want to know who’s not sorry, Ilene?”

“Melanie,” Ilene answered somewhat confusedly.

“Exactly,” Jonathan drunkenly shouted. “Of course she said she was, but she was probably lying. Again!”

“Well then, it was nice talking with you…”

“Jon, his names Jonathan,” Pete said.

“Yes, well again I’m sorry about your recent troubles, Jonathan and it was lovely meeting you. A real experience.”

“You’re lovely, Ilene. Such a pretty name, Ilene. Don’t you think Pete?”

“Yes, Jon. It’s a very lovely name.”

“Not like Melanie. I mean who does she think she is, the sixth bloody spice girl or something?”

“Alright now, Jon. I think you might be starting to embarrass us a bit.”

“Embarrass us? Me,” Jonathan guffawed. “Ilene doesn’t find us embarrassing, Pete. Do you Ilene?”

“Me? Of course not, but I’m afraid I’ve got to be going or else my Nan will be rather sore at me.”

“Well in that case we’d better not keep you any longer than we already have,” said Pete as he readjusted his friend’s arm on his shoulder.

“Alright, well I guess I’ll be seeing you then. Bye Pete,” Ilene said as she made her way further down the stairs.

“See you, Ilene,” Jonathan yelled loudly.

“Yeah, see you.”

“Oh and good luck to you, Jonathan. I hope everything turns out for the best,” Ilene said as she disappeared from both Jonathan and Pete’s view.

“Nice girl, that one,” Jonathan said as the two continued making their way up the staircase. “You know her?”

“Yeah, Jon," Pete said annoyedly. "As a matter of fact, I do.”

“Oh? Really, well that‘s lucky. Maybe I should consider moving over here, you think?”

“Whatever you want, Jon.”

“Pete?”

“Yeah, Jon?”

“Why on earth, do you have to live at the top of the bloody building,” Jonathan complained.

When they’d finally arrived at Peter’s door, Peter unlocked the door and carried his friend over to the couch.

“Ah, there we go,” Pete sighed.

Peter walked to the kitchen, “You want anything, Jon?” he asked. “Jon?”

Pete walked back into the front room and watched as Jonathan snored loudly. He then grabbed a blanket that was laying on the back of the couch and placed it on top of Jonathan.

“Sleep it off, mate. Sleep it off.”
© Copyright 2012 K.A. Franks (kt_frankie at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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