Reggie’s Love

Reggie and Diane walked down the country road, meadows on either side, the sinking sun making the grasses glow. Diane, blonde hair dyed almost white, took a drag on a cigarette, sucking as much of the poison out of it that she could. Reggie stared out at the blinding sun. They walked a full mile without saying anything to each other. “I need to go to the store,” she said, finally. “The store?” he asked. She nodded. “Why?”

“I need to buy some cigarettes.” She looked at him. Then looked away. “Why?” he asked again.

“I need my fucking cigarettes. Get off my back,” she answered.

He waited in the lobby while she went to the hotel store. The hotel patrons wheeled their luggage back and forth. After a while he got impatient. He glanced over at the store entrance. “Come on,” he said under his breath. Then he got up and went into the store but she wasn’t there. The store had another exit that led back to the street. He went out there but she was nowhere to be found. Did she get picked up? He slammed his fist against the hotel wall and swore. He stormed back into the hotel lobby and sat down again. He pulled out his cell phone. “Where are you Diane?” he growled to her voicemail but he knew her phone was back at the beach house. He dropped his head into his hands. Time passed. “Are you waiting for someone?” A woman asked him. She sat in the leather chair opposite him in a skirt that was a little too short and way too tight.

Minutes later they were in the elevator together going up. Reggie avoided looking at her face. But at the door to their room he turned around. “You know, I gotta go,” he said.

“But you paid for the room,” the woman said. They stood there in the hallway. Then he pulled out the key-card and it inserted it into the slot, causing the green light to illuminate. The woman smiled and followed him into the room.

As soon as he reached the end of the short hall he felt a powerful blow to the back of his head with a blunt object and he collapsed to the carpet. He grabbed at his attacker’s boots but there was another blow and he was out.

When he woke up there was dried blood on the carpet in front of his face. Without moving his body, he looked up and saw what looked like an empty room- window open, curtains blowing, TV on. The lights were off but everything was blue from the TV. He got to his knees and then stumbled over to the table by the window. He touched the back of his head. “Ow!” He fumbled for the remote and turned off the TV. Looking around the empty room he burst out laughing. He laughed and laughed for maybe twenty minutes. Then he went and took a shower.

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