Shania, Pt. 2


I unlocked the door for her and pushed it open. Shania strode in as if she owned the place. She walked straight to the window, placed her clutch on the sill next to the two glasses left from earlier in the day. Without a word, I grabbed the glasses and carried them to the kitchen. I rinsed them under cold running water, swiped them out with paper towels and grabbed the bottle. I returned to the living room to find Shania standing as I had left her, looking out the window into the street. I uncorked the bottle and poured two fingers into a glass for her and held it out. Her delicate fingers wrapped around it. She held it, waiting for me to pour my own portion. When I completed that task, I set the bottle on the low coffee table. “To new beginnings,” she said, in a voice barely above a whisper. I held up my glass. “To new beginnings.” Shania seemed to magically shrink three inches right in front of my eyes. Then I realized she had stepped out of her heels and stood flat-footed on my floor. She actually smiled at me, a half-sad, half-brave smile, then tilted her glass and drank half the contents in one gulp. She looked at the amber liquid remaining. “I hope you’ve got another bottle of this.” “Actually, I don’t. If you want more than what remains in this bottle we’ll have to go out to get some.” “Let’s finish this one,” she suggested. “Then we’ll see if we need another.” “You were marvelous today,” I said, taking a seat on the sofa behind the coffee table. “I couldn’t have been prouder of you than if I were your Uncle Eric.” “I don’t have an Uncle Eric, you know.” “Well, then,” I smiled gently, “I’d be pleased to Göztepe escort fill the bill.” Shania stepped back to the sofa and sat next to me. “I neither need nor want an Uncle Eric from this point forward. You’re just Eric.” She took another sip from her drink. “So tell me,” she said, leaning back against the sofa, “what did you think of Jerry’s pals?” I waved my glass noncommittally. “An eclectic bunch. Some better than others.” “How about the one who wanted me to be his bitch?” I chuckled. “Him I wanted to clock,” I admitted. “Were you jealous?” My guts twisted. Presented that way, I realized that jealousy had been among the various emotions I was experiencing. “Pissed off,” I nodded. “Offended, mostly for you.” “And jealous,” she said, emptying her glass and holding it out for a refill. “Maybe some,” I admitted, pouring a generous helping from the bottle. “You want me to be your bitch?” she asked, in more of a statement than a question. I shook my head. “No, sweetheart. I don’t think you need to be anybody’s bitch.” Shania took a long pull at her refreshed drink. “You’re right, Eric. I’m never going to be anybody’s bitch.” She held up her glass and examined the liquid remaining. “I like this. I don’t usually drink, but this I like.” “You better go slow,” I warned her. “You’re going to have a hell of a headache tomorrow, or maybe even tonight.” She stuck her nose in the glass and inhaled deeply. She tilted it up and took a taste. “Won’t be tonight,” she said assuredly. “I don’t intend to stop tonight.” I looked at the blond beauty on my sofa, her legs encased in the black stockings Caddebostan escort bayan tucked neatly under her. The desire of my heart was to gather her in my arms and simply hold her until all the hurt had gone away. I wanted to let it all flow into me and out of her so that the pure beauty of her would simply explode, engulfing and surrounding us both. Yet, as I studied her, I recognize that the aching was mine. It wasn’t apparent in her appearance. Surely, it was there, I reasoned. My own pain for her, my empathetic reaction to her nearness testified to its presence. Yet, perhaps my agony came from a different source. Surely not, old man, I argued internally. “What do you intend to do?” I asked, half afraid of the answer she would give. She picked up the bottle from the table. “I intend,” she said, with just the tiniest bit of a slur beginning to affect her speech, “to finish off this bottle of your very fine whiskey. Then I shall either accompany you to the nearest package store to replenish our supply, or root around in your cabinets for another source of numbness.” I chuckled, not at her desire for numbness, but at the image of her rooting around in my cabinets. “There’s a bit of gin.” “Uck,” she replied quickly. “Some rum, a little vodka, and an untouched bottle of tequila,” I completed the inventory. “Tequila, huh?” she said, smiling slyly over the top of her glass. “I’ve done some pretty bizarre things under the influence of tequila.” “Shania, while you have every right, I’m quite sure bizarre behavior would lead to regrets tomorrow.” Her eyes grew Escort Bağdat Caddesi wide and she looked square at me. “Say my name again,” she commanded. “I’m sorry? What?” “Say my name, Eric. Say it.” “Okay, okay.” I looked at the table where the now-empty bottle of bourbon sat. “Shania.” “No, dammit,” she said vehemently. “Look me in the eyes and say my name,” she demanded. I looked at her. “Shania,” I nearly pleaded. She stared at me. “Holy shit!” she said, finally. “No.” She took a sip from her glass. “That’s not…that can’t…” She stopped. “What is it? “What can’t?” “I have to go,” she said suddenly. She unloosed her legs and planted her feet on the floor. “I’ve imposed on you all day. I can’t continue…” She cast around for her shoes, akimbo on the floor next to the window. “Stop,” I said as firmly as I could without sounding mean, standing up next to her. “My time is my own. I set this day aside for you. You may have as much or as little of it as you want. Sit down. I want you here. You need the presence of another human right now, especially another human who will make no demands of you.” The raw bourbon was starting to affect her reasoning abilities, I could tell. She stood there between the sofa and coffee table in her stocking feet, looking up at me. The processing of thoughts was inhibited by the effects of alcohol. Finally, she sat back down. I sat back down on the sofa next to her. “You’re not my Uncle Eric, are you?” “I’m not,” I admitted. “You’re just Eric. You’re the guy who lives in 2B, the quiet one; the nice one.” “I’d like to think so.” “I buried my husband today and you were there to help me get through it.” “Yes.” “If I hadn’t buried him I would have divorced him.” “You told me that,” I admitted. “He was a selfish, hateful son-of-a-bitch.” I sat silent, realizing that confirming her statement would be callous, especially in view of his youthful and tragic passing. “So, I was going to leave him and be all alone.

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