Snow Globe Romance: Second Thoughts

by Anna Chan

[ read the suite in correct order ]


Second Thoughts

The two men grappling are my ex-boyfriend Darrin, and a man who seems to share something of a history with him.  That man Tommy is also my dinner date.  It occurs to me that I should feel embarrassed, or upset, or even distressed.  Where my faint detachment spawns from, I have no idea. 

I turn to Darrin’s new girlfriend, Carli.  Her face delineates a picture of dismay and shock that I should be sharing.  I extend my hand, wondering if she’ll shake it.  “Hi, I’m Marlissa, Darrin’s ex.”  I refrained from adding, “I’m the one he dumped for you.”

Carli turns to me and mechanically shakes my hand.  “Oh.”  The writhing wrestlers are overloading her capacity to process reality.  Her eyes remain on me but without focus, and she forgets to close her mouth.

The pity I feel for her confirms to me that I have purged Darrin and Bitterness from my system, and I am whole again.  Now, with perverse timing, I almost feel cheerful. 

Darrin and Tommy have sweat beads forming on their faces.  I don’t know much about wrestling, but apparently neither of them is gaining any significant ground over the other. 

After being knocked down twice, Signor Martinelli and another man have both disengaged from attempting to intervene.  Signor Marintelli, swearing heartily in Sicilian and Yiddish, shouts into his cell phone.  I know he’s not on the phone with the cops – things aren’t handled that way in this part of town.  However, when his friend runs to the kitchen, I do feel some urgency.

The guys go for another roll, and Darrin’s cell phone hops free from his pocket.  I watch Carli regain enough wherewithal to retrieve it. 

“Give me that!”  Darrin’s face betrays his panic.  Reclaiming his property clearly takes priority over debating his machismo with Tommy.  His struggles shift to breaking away from the fight.  “Carli, give me my phone!”

I walk up beside her.  She and I read the text that just came through.  Carli’s evening is dissolving into a tragedy, and by now, I really feel bad for her.  Her relationship with Darrin is following a runaway train off the tracks.  When she turns her attention from phone to Darrin, I recognize signs of an imminent derailment.  Carli doesn’t speak to him.  Emotional paralysis accounts for her delayed reaction, but the stormy rage of betrayal is brewing.  It occurs to me that Mt. Carli will display a most awesome eruption. 

Darrin breaks away from Tommy and rushes at Carli.

Carli hauls back and hurls the phone forward.

It streaks over Darrin’s head.

The thin stained glass window barring its flight shatters.

The sounds at impact assure us that Darrin will have to get a replacement. 

Signor Martinelli is livid, and fixates on Darrin as the sole vandal.

Darrin is embroiled in a fresh altercation with kitchen staff-turned-crime fighters.

Tommy grabs me.  “Let’s go have that drink!”

I tug at Carli’s coat.  “Let’s go have a drink.”



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