Part VIII

Kevin wanted nothing more than high tail it out of there now. But he knew there might be a delay at the bank. Those damn banks were always putting the screws to people because they could. He’d have to keep a cool head for one more day. Hopefully she’d wake up with a huge hangover and he could escape for a few hours. He might as well get a good sleep while he could. The couch was making it easy for him as he leaned his head back.

As predicted, she was fast asleep when he crept into the room in the wee hours. She was snoring softly as he slid into bed beside her and carefully got under the covers. After an hour of lying quietly and enjoying the silence he slowly rolled over and nuzzled her ear. She mumbled and groggily turned over. He took the cue and got up. Might as well do a coffee run and grab the paper. As soon as the bank opened he’d be in the door. Coffee hit the spot and brought him back into focus. After a quick shower he hastily jotted a note. See you soon; running errands. Sleep well xo. Leaving the note on her side table under a fresh can of Diet Coke.

His trip to the bank was better than expected. It so happened that the draft was drawn on account from the same branch. What were the odds? So without a huge hassle he was able to deposit the funds and get away with a one day hold instead of the usual 5 to 7. What a scam those banks fad going on keeping everyone’s money in limbo for days while they manipulated it to score points for themselves. And charge you for the privilege to boot. Legalized theft. He hated banks. They knew how to kick a guy hard when he was down. After the hold came off he’d be able to wire transfer the balance to his other accounts and start the unwinding process. He had a few people to piece off and the rest was all his. He started the calls to settle some scores first thing tomorrow. One more day. 25 hours. He could taste the ocean breeze.

She woke with a pounding headache and a mouth full of cotton balls. What was she thinking?? He might just be repulsed enough to kick her to the curb. Why did she have to guzzle so much wine? She was on top of the world and her life was looking peachy. Just happy and relaxed enough to enjoy the vino. Ugh. She peeked out through hesitant slits to eye the clock. Oh my god. It’s almost noon? And no Kevin. She notices the soda at her bedside and gratefully inhales a few giant gulps. And there’s a note. Squinting she reads it feeling hangover bile rising. Oh. He’s out for a bit. Thank god. She had some time to get herself together. She felt like hell. Great start to the rest of her life.

Kevin picked up hangover helper. Nothing like a McDonald’s fix to quench a headache. He returned with the goods to find her hunched over a re-heated coffee in the kitchen. Hey, he says, rubbing her back. Here’s a cure for you. He hands her the fast food bag and drink. She glances up at him looking like a cross between a teenager waiting their punishment and an eager puppy. Pathetic. Kevin kisses the top of her head and tells her he enjoyed meeting her friends and hoped he fit in and passed their screening tests. She tries to laugh but pain stops it short in her throat so she nods. Wow. She’s really hung. He tells her he has to make a few more calls but by the time she’s done eating he will be back and they can play hooky. Cuddle up and watch some of her shows. Her pick. He’s prepared to stomach some bad tv to get the job done.

She’s relieved and exhausted. How could she be so stupid? As she wolfed down the burger like she hadn’t eaten in a week, she started to get emotional thinking how great Kevin was. So understanding and kind. He even knew how to treat her hangover. She must have blurred that out during one of their talks? She couldn’t remember. Who cares anyway. The burger was doing the trick and they could spend the afternoon lounging. No better way to pamper yourself. Hair of the dog. Without more booze. She scolded herself again and swore off wine for ever! Well. Ok. Maybe a few days.

The afternoon was leisurely. TV and junk food and napping. Kevin’s phone was vibrating nonstop in his pocket. No doubt some of the calls coming back from messages he’s left earlier. He didn’t want to keep checking but the thought that the bank could still manage to mess up his plans was in the back of his mind. Like a nagging voice hitting a nerve. A couple of washroom breaks and kitchen replenishing trips were his cover. Not that wino would notice. Clearly her hangover was evaporating by the way she was laughing and talking to the tv. Like she was alone and had split personalities. She was a piece of work.

They agreed that Chinese take out for dinner and an early night would be the game plan. Both wanting to get through this day unscathed and gave a fresh start. Kevin had told her he cancelled his meetings so he could spend the day with her while she recuperated (awwww, how totally sweet and thoughtful) but he’d have to make up for it the next couple of days. He would jam his schedule for three days out of town and he back for the weekend totally at her service. What would she like to do? Her wish was his command. They both nod off to sleep with pleasant thoughts.

Kevin is up first as usual and gets ready in record time. He almost feels sorry for her as she sleeps in bliss. By the time the weekend comes and she’s wondering where he is, he will be long gone. Hasta la vista, baby. One of his calls yesterday was confirmation of his flight. All he needed to do was free up the cash to pay off his credit card. The bank froze his card months ago and allowed him to keep it as a prepaid visa. Of course getting extra interest and service fees. Bastards. He’d sort that out then make a few pit stops to pay the pipers. Keep everyone happy and hoping for more. He was good for it right? Then take the car back to his buddy’s lot. Then sayonara. His plan was set time to put the wheels in motion.

He leans over sleeping beauty and kisses her ear. Softly whispering that he loves her and will see her as soon as possible. Enjoy the day and he will call later. She murmurs acknowledgment and air kisses back. She rolls over as he slips out the room. Out of the house. Out of her life.

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