Nail polish and coffee.

I crack my jaw, rolling it around in its socket. I use my forefinger and thumb to help, the stumble on my chin seems as sharp as razor wire. I feel the need to clean myself up. I wipe away the crust from my eyes as Yumi comes walking from the shower with a towel wrapping her hair tight. I still didn’t understand it but watch her walk into the kitchen, almost juvenile I want to pull the towel that covers her body, but I don’t I just watch her disappear into the other room. As I followed her my eyes catch a glimpse of the ring on the nightstand. My face meets my palm as I remember the proceedings of the night before. I sit up and let the sheets slide off of me. Volleys of curse words come from the kitchen as I walk to the bathroom. I didn’t realize my bareness until I try to start the routine of undressing, noticing then there was nothing to undress. I take a shower trying to absorb all the water I could.

I sit naked on her bed still dripping wet as I put my underwear and pants on, the rest it seemed too difficult at the time. I fight the yearn to crawl under the covers and instead go into the kitchen. Yumi sits at the kitchen table with her foot up painting her toenails. I clink two cups out of the cabinet and pour us both some coffee. The coffee maker sizzles as I return the pot. One creamer additive and two cubes of sugar for her, one sugar cube for me. Not wanting to reach for the spoons I stir them with my finger. I bring the coffee cups to the table. I spill a little of hers as I set it down, she doesn’t notice or doesn’t care as she continues to paint her nails. As she reaches her little toe I decide to say something. “I want to say I fell in love once, or something to that nature, but it appears that isn’t the case. Every time I see you I fall in love all over again, it must be in the millions by now.” she stops for a second then giggles at my weak romanticism. I kind of turtle myself, if that I was capable of pulling my limbs and head inside of my torso I would, that doesn’t say I didn’t try.  She finishes her toe and slides her coffee over to herself, making a line from the spot it once was and to where it was now. Flexing her toes, stretching them as far out as she can. I stare at them, then her face. She blows on them then looks at me. “Are you expecting me to say something now?” she asks, then takes a sip of her coffee. “I don’t expect much really, or well anymore, I guess I was hoping to hear something.” I say. She looks at me then turns to blow on her toes some more. Out of breath she slides in her chair and relaxes. “I have to go to work.” she says. With her toes still spread apart and arched skywards she walks away.

I cannot say I will ever understand the complexities of human nature. I don’t know when I do figure it out it will make things hurt more or less. She slips on high heels balancing in some mystical ground where gravity didn’t seem to care as much. “You can stay here if you want.” she says as she places her other foot to the ground 5 inches taller. First with her motion, then with her steps she makes her way to the door. Before I could tell her goodbye the door is closed.

I like to say I find myself somewhere, it isn’t to imply that I really find myself. It’s more like I realize I am on the floor gripping an expensive ring in my hands. I lie there moving the ring about as it  reflects the contents of the room and distorts them, like myself. I lay there doing this for an hour and on that realization, I feel the need to find my shirt and go home. As I sit up the phone rings, but not a phone. The old bell tone plays then stops, perfectly pitched every time. I look around the room to find the source, but its noise seems to flow through the apartment. I am standing, spinning on my heels when it stops. Dizzy, I pick my t-shirt off of the floor and poke my hands through. As it slips over my head the phone begins to ring again. I try to turn with the shirt over my eyes but fall onto the bed. I struggle to free myself from the grasp of the shirt. My head pokes out as the phone stops again. I begin to search her apartment for what may be the phone. As I chaotically throw clothes and magazines in the air it rings again. I stop, like a bird of prey, I stalk the sound with my head. “The computer!” I shout as I hurry over to the black box. It rings as I poke and prod it, trying to turn it on. About to slam my fist down when the ringing stops and the door slams. I turn around to find Yumi with a cut under her right eye. “My answer is yes.” she says as she falls to the bed.

I ring the excess water out of the washcloth then return to her as she sits on the edge of the bed. I kneel in front of her and dab lightly at the wound, she was going to have a scar “Tell me who did this, I swear…” I stop as she slowly places her hand on mine. “It’s not worth it, they’re not worth it.” She squeezes my hand, water and blood drip down our arms.”I’ll cut them twice as deep, I’ll teach them, I’ll tea…” She kisses me softly and with the whisper says “They won’t learn, and you’re done doing that now. I mean, how else am I supposed to make an honest man out of you?” My tongue in knots I just look down as the bead of liquid drips to the floor.