But I'm in Love With You

If I could burn my memories, I would. If I could take a lighter to a series of photographs and words and music and everything I associate with him, I would. And if I could show you everything I’ve seen, you’d burn them too.

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9. #9

 

Scarlett

I knock twice – softly-softly. Then a third time.

The door opens on the fifth knock, and Maddy stands damp, a towel wrapped around her skinny form as she peers at me over steamed-up glasses. Glare, would perhaps be a better word.

‘Yes, Scarlett?’ she asks, a little irritated. She shifts on her feet. ‘What is it?’

Silently, without a word, I produce a white envelope from the pocket of my jeans and place it in her pruned fingertips. Her nail varnish was chipped. Her eyes flitter across the front of the envelope before flipping it over and slicing it open with her long yet chipped nails. They widen ever so slightly, and that only increased my doubt for after three years in working with her, I had not once seen her so surprised as she now stood.

‘It’s my resignation,’ I say after a sufficient moment of silence.

‘I can see that,’ she says brusquely. Another moment of silence passes. She meets my eye finally, and a slight frown ripples her forehead. ‘He’s going to be bloody heartbroken, you know that?’

 ‘Yes, I know that,’ I lie – for I didn’t really know – and Maddy saying it did not clarify that he would be. After all, that could just be a ploy of hers: to get me to stay. Constant on-the-road make-up artists were hard to find. Besides, he had Eugenia, right?

‘And yet you’re still going through with it?’ she says.

I drag in a silent breath. ‘My mother is sick.’

She is silent a moment. ‘Of course,’ she finally manages, before her shoulders seem to lapse into actual understanding, ‘of course.’

I shuffle on my feet. ‘I can stay for the next month,’ I say, ‘for the rest of the U.S leg. But I can’t stay after that – after we land back home, I’m not coming back.’

‘Right.’

She nods and I turn to go – before turning back. She is staring at the paper again. ‘I don’t want them to know,’ I say quietly, ‘I don’t want anyone to know.’

Her eyes meet mine once more: they are narrowed. ‘And just how do you plan to pull that one off?’

I close my eyes for a brief moment before uttering, ever so quietly, ‘I don’t know.’

‘You can’t just get up and leave,’ she says softly, leaning toward me slightly, ‘not without telling them...’

‘Well, what else am I supposed to do?’ I say, a little sharper now. ‘I’m leaving to save my own skin and yeah, I don’t want to hurt him – but that’s going to happen anyway.’ I exhale suddenly, and my voice melts into softness. ‘So why do I have to watch?’

She sighs heavily and there is a long stretch of silence besides the rushing of blood in my ears. Perhaps I was doing the wrong thing; perhaps I should stay. Maddy seemed to think so, and Maddy was rarely wrong in her judgements. ‘I won’t tell them,’ she says finally, ‘so go. Go.’

And so I do.

 

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