A little before midnight as his car’s headlights swept the driveway, Ethan saw a large dark sedan parked close to the walk. He pulled the cruiser in behind it noting the New York tags and the small airport car rental sticker on the bumper. He walked around to the kitchen door and felt, even before he heard the deep base of the stereo blasting from inside the house. He had to knock four or five times before the music died down and he saw someone peeking through the closed blinds.
The door opened and Brittany stood there, her hair still wet from a shower, she seemed surprised to see him. Before he could say anything she blurted out that Lesa was there.
Ethan did not know what to say, just about that time Lesa Sanchez walked into the kitchen. He had of course seen dozens of pictures of the Hip-Hop diva; you couldn’t walk past a newsstand, or checkout at the supermarket without seeing a headline tag with her name in it. What surprised him though, was that without all the make-up and the glaring lights, she looked remarkably ordinary. She was barefoot and wearing a pair of Brittany’s red, silk pajama bottoms, and a white, ribbed, tank top undershirt, which the kids liked to call wife beaters, he remembered. He also noted that Brittany was wearing the matching red, button front top.
When Lesa saw him standing there in his uniform a momentary expression of fear crossed her features. It quickly changed to bravado as Brittany announced without turning. “This is Ethan.”
“For a minute I thought we were playing the stereo too loud,” Lesa said, walking over and boldly putting an arm around Brittany’s waist and pulling her hip in close to hers.
Ethan was struck with how much the two women resembled each other. They were the same height, and with her hair wet Brittany’s hair looked darker, almost matching Lesa’s dark brown. Brittany’s features where softer than Lesa’s, but they were both very attractive and could have passed for sisters in the right light. It was the eyes that made the difference, however. There was something pleading in Brittany’s. All Ethan saw in Lesa’s was challenge.
“Why don’t you come in and join us?” Lesa offered.
“Not now Lesa,” Brittany said, shrugging out of her embrace. As she did her pajama top rose up and Ethan saw that she was nude from the waist down. He turned on his heel and headed back to his car. Brittany ran after him.
“Ethan wait,” she called. She caught up with him in the drive and grabbed his arm swinging him around.
Ethan looked down at her and noticed that her eyes had welled up with tears and that she was shivering from the cold. “It’s freezing out here for God’s sake Brittany, get inside,” was all he said to her.
“Lets sit in the car,” she said, walking over and trying to open the locked passenger side door.
Ethan waited a moment before unlocking the door and opening it for her. The passenger seat was full of crap, paperwork, his flashlight; she slid in anyway moving the stuff out of the way. Ethan walked around to his side, slid in and started the engine. Brittany sat with her bare feet on the seat, her knees pulled up to her chest hugging them. Ethan sat staring forward, not saying anything.
“Ethan,” she began, “I didn’t know she was coming until she knocked on the door early this morning.”
“She’s been here all day then?” He asked without turning.
“And you slept with her,” he said this more of statement than a question.
She didn’t answer him but put her chin on her knees and closed her eyes. He had his answer though.
“Ethan,” she finally said. “You know she and I have a history, I told you all about her.”
“I thought we had something,” he said, “Something special, or at least,” he paused. “Oh hell I don’t know what I thought, obviously not the same thing you did.”
“Ethan we did, we do,” she told him. “The last few days have been wonderful, trust me.” When he didn’t say anything she continued, “I can’t explain what happens when Lesa and I get together, it’s a force, a drug,” she tried to explain. “Hell I came here to try to get away from her, from it all. You saw the way I was that night, I would have died if you had not come along, and you know what?” Ethan turned to look at her. “I think that’s what I wanted, I did not care, do understand?” She asked him.
“I can’t compete with this,” was all he said.
“Compete with what?” She asked, getting mad.
“With all of this,” he said, waving his hand toward the house, “This Hollywood shit, this lifestyle or whatever you call it.”
“With a girl you mean?” She asked, “Is that all that’s bothering you, that you think you have to compete with my gay, girl! Lover?” She yelled at him.
“Get out,” he told her.
She started to say something.
“Get out,” he told her again.
She opened the door, slid out and slammed it. He backed out and drove away as she stood there in the cold and watched him leave.