I shivered. It was freezing in this apartment... Fucking Benny! I gave myself a little hug, rubbing my hands everywhere to keep warm. No luck. I was still freezing. How could I keep warm?...
I tried running in place for a bit. That didn't help, as my vision began to blur on me. The room began to spin. I quickly sat down. Great, that just made things worse. Stupid Benny! It makes me wonder why I even dated him... Asshole could have at least told me he was married... Instead he uses me, has an affair with me and cheats on his poor wife out of boredom. He makes me so mad...
Why did I even decide to run to New York? Stupid dancing. I wish I didn't leave Spain. In Spain, I'd be warm as hell, not dizzy on my apartment floor, struggling to retain my blurry vision. I'm starving. But no, I had to run away from home, pursue my lifelong dream as a ballerina dancer. I didn't even get to be a ballerina. Or even a lousy Rockette. No, I was dancing at some lousy club, struggling to pay my rent. I mentally scold myself. 'Look where you've gotten yourself, hungry and freezing on Christmas Eve with no money, no food, and certainly no heat...' I'd kill just to have heat and food...
Out in the distance, a faint tune plays. 'Great, Mimi. Now you're starving, dizzy, and delusional. You're hearing things that aren't even there...' No, wait, I'm not crazy. It must be that boy, upstairs. The rocker. The blonde one. Come to think of it, isn't his roommate blonde too? Yes, they're both blonde.
And the rocker one's cute. Very cute. Why don't I ever see him leave the house? It's weird. Don't worry about that right now, Mimi. Worry about how you're going to spend Christmas Eve tired and hungry...
The sun set slowly, basking the apartment in eventual darkness. Meanwhile, I ransacked the house for something to do. I glance at the discarded pile of playing cards. Another game of solitaire? Hell no.
With nothing left to do, I simply lie down. Maybe I can sleep through the bitter cold and total starvation. I drift off into an uneasy sleep. And I dream. I dream of pigs? Lots of pigs. A whole big piggly army, invading Manhattan. And the army was led by, by... the rocker's roomate!? I think his name was Mark? Mario? Marcello? I run away from the army of pigs, into an abandoned building. I slam the door and run into... the rocker... He's sitting there, playing a guitar... The sound is beautiful, playing a tune I've heard of and yet can't recognize...
I jolt awake. My heart is beating like crazy, and I'm in a cold sweat. Damn. Fucking nightmares. Great, just another thing going wrong with this absolutely perfect Christmas Eve. I need something to do... Something to get my mind off of all of this...
My stash! That will perk me up in no time. I search my apartment, Where the hell was it? I need it... I found it, in its little baggie, under my bed. Now all I need to do is get some fire, then I can light it and...
My thoughts were interrupted by some more guitar playing. It sounded sad. Low in pitch, and quier. It's rocker boy. I wonder what he's up to? Doesn't he have relatives he could be visiting? Maybe he could use some company... But that would be kinda weird, me randomly knocking on the door. I could just picture the conversation in my head. He answers the door and, “Excuse me, sexy rocker boy, I live downstairs from you, heard your sad music playing, and I thought you might be lonely, so I'd thought I'd just pop in and say hi. Merry Christmas and all that.” I can't say that, what if he's Jewish? “Happy Hannakuh?” Maybe I should just stick with Happy Holidays? Yes. That would do. “Happy Holidays! Oh, no, I'm no stalker... I just...” I stopped daydreaming. That sounded so stupid. I can't just go up and randomly talk to him, that sounded way too crazy... I need a conversation piece.
I shivered once more. Maybe I should talk with him after I get my fix? Yes, I'll just have fix first. I searched around the house for my candle. I found it on my bed. Now all I needed was some matches...
No matches in my house. Damn. Just my luck. Maybe rocker boy had a light...
I knocked lightly on his door. 'Knock, knock, knock'. No answer. Was he even home? Great, the one night I decide to stop by, he's not home. I try knocking once more. 'Knock knock knock'
I jump as I hear footsteps advancing towards the door. Somebody's home! Please don't be Marcello, or Mark, or whatever his name is.
“What'd you forget?” a voice asked me as a figure answered the door. In the darkness, it was hard to see the figure, but I knew it was rocker boy. You could tell by the long, blonde hair. Was he expecting someone else? I didn't forget anything... Maybe he thought I was his roommate?
“Got a light?” I questioned, holding the candle out to him.
“I know you!” he said, his face slowly dawning with realization. “You're-” he suddenly paused. Was something wrong? Maybe he didn't recognize me after all.
“You're shivering” he said. Wow. He was right. I didn't even notice that my body was shaking. Damn withdrawal symptoms. I need a fix, fast. He moved closer to me, so I quickly backed away.
“It's nothing, they turned off my heat.” I said. My mind wandered back to Benny. God I hate him. “And I'm just a little weak on my feet” I added. “Would you light my candle?” I questioned, holding the candle once more.
He simply looked at me. I took in his features. He had blonde hair, it clung to his head in a mess of hair. Very disheveled looking. I had to admit, it was kinda sexy.. He was wearing a green, hooded sweater, with red plaid flannel pajama bottoms. He obviously had no wasted anytime in getting dressed today.
I watched him looking at me. His gaze didn't drift from me at all. He gave me a once over, looking at every curve. I wondered if he liked what he saw. I watched his eyes, a nice light blue color. Very attractive. His gaze met mine.
“What are you staring at?” I asked, playfully smiling at him. He quickly looked away. Aww. He was embarrassed. How cute.
“Nothing” he quickly said. Almost too quickly. I could tell he was lying. He pulled out a book of matches from his pocket and lit my candle. The warm light filled the dark loft, and I got a better look at his face. Smooth, not a blemish in sight.
He was quick on his feet, and he came up with an answer. “Your hair... in the moonlight”
“You look familiar” he told me, determined to change the subject. I glanced around his loft. A metal table was directly behind him, a few folding chairs were by the table. A guitar lie on top of the table. His guitar. The one I heard earlier. I haven't heard his guitar playing for a while now. I hadn't heard it in at least 6 months.
I walked around the loft for a bit, out of the entryway, and stumbled a bit. Damn, I could barely walk straight. I need a fix, fast. I caught myself, using the wall as leverage.
“Can you make it?” he asked, concerned.
“Just haven't eaten much today.” I lied. I had eaten, but it had been a while ago. I wasn't even hungry, right now all I wanted was my stash. “At least the room stopped spinning, anyway” I told him, smiling. He was staring at me again.
“What?” I questioned, curiously.
“Nothing” he lied again. “Your smile, reminded me of...” he said, drifting off. God, that again? Why do I always remind people of other people. Oh np. What if I remind him of one of his ex-girlfriends? What if I remind him OF his girlfriend?
“I always remind people of... Who is she?” I questioned walking around. I just HAD to know. Please tell me rocker boy's single. Please...
“She died.” he muttered, and I froze. Poor guy... “Her name was April” he told me. I had to do something to distract him. Something to make him stop thinking of April.
I quickly blew out the candle “It's out again” I said, holding the candle out towards him. Yes. That would work. I turned to face him. He looked at me. Wait, that makes me look insensitive. I wasn't trying to be insensitive. I just didn't want to upset him “Sorry bout your friend” I added,
“Would you light my candle?” I asked, moving closer to him. He moved closer to me, and he obliged, pulling out the matchbook. He stuck another match, and set it to the candle, lighting it.
We stared at one another in the candle lit glow. God, was he handsome. And he was single too. And he plays THE GUITAR! I'm a sucker for artists.
“Well...” he said, drifting off.
“Yeah?” I answered, expecting him to continue. “OWW!” I muttered, holding my finger to my mouth. The candle was dripping hot wax, and I had accidentally burnt myself. Stupid candle.
He suddenly grabbed my hand and looked at it, examining to see if I was hurt. He's so sweet! “Oh, the wax...” he commented, stating the obvious. “It's...”
“Dripping. I interrupted. “I like it between my...” I started to say, joking. I moved closer to him as I said this, flashing him a coyful smile.
“Fingers” he said, finishing my sentence. He turned beet red, and let go off my hand. “I figured. Oh well, goodnight” he said as he moved away from me, awkwardly. He put his matches in his pocket.
Oh well, I supposed I've overstayed my welcome. He watched me as I walked to the door. I reached the hallway, and I blew out the candle. I wouldn't need the light anymore. I did what I needed to do, I let rocker boy know I exist. That would be good enough for now. All I needed to do now was to take my stash and...
I reached into my pocket. My stash was missing! Where is it? I searched my pockets. Nothing. I must have dropped it. I turned around, and knocked on rocker boy's door.
“It blew out again?” Rocker Boy answered as he opened the door. No, Well yes, technically, I blew it out. But that wasn't the problem right now.
“No. I think that I dropped my stash” I said. I walked back inside and began looking around.
“I know I seen you out and about, when I used to go out” he said. Was he still on that subject? I thought the problem was me losing my stash. “You're candle's out” he said, playing Captain Obvious. No shit, Sherlock. Where was it? It had to be around here somewhere. I'm not crazy. It had to be here.
“I'm illin'. I had it when I walked in the door. It was pure! Is it on the floor?” I asked. I got on my hands and knees and began to comb the floor for it. Where was it?
“The floor...” Yes, the floor. Speaking of floors, this one was REALLY dirty. When was the last time it was cleaned? I began to search for the stash underneath the table
He was staring at me again. Okay Mimi, time for you to put your flirty face. “They say that I have the best ass, below 14th street.” I told him. I backed up, closer to him, giving him a better view. “Is it true?” I asked, turning around to face him.
“What?” he asked, turning red. He was embarrassed again. Who knew embarrassment could be so adorable?
“You're staring again” I told him, flashing him a smile.
“Oh no. I mean, you do, have a nice... I mean...”he said turning red. “You look familiar.” he told me again, determined once more to change the subject.
“Like your dead girlfriend?” I asked him. Crap. I didn't mean for it to come out that way. Now he's probably going to hate me. That sounded really bitchy. I was disgusted with myself/
He ignored it. “Only when you smile. But I'm sure I've seen you somewhere else” He was still on that? He seemed pretty sure that we had met before. Which means we probably did. Where could we have met? My job?
“Do you go to the Catscratch Club? That's where I work, I dance” I told him. This was true. I worked there almost every night, dancing for the drunken businessmen who would rather see me in skimpy outfits than go home to their wives and families. It disgusted me, but I needed a way to make some money.
He sat there, on the table watching me crawl on the floor. “Help me look!” I ordered.
Suddenly realization dawned on his face. “Yes! They used to tie you up...” he told me, a grin on his face. I tried not to turn red.
“It's a living” I said, looking up at him from my spot on the floor.
“I didn't recognize you without the handcuffs” he joked, putting his hands over his head in a mock handcuffed position. So he had seen me at work. The handcuffs were part of this bit I did where I... Never mind... I supposed that was karma for the dead girlfriend comment. Either way, rocker boy knew how to play dirty.
My eyes turned to the candle. “We could light the candle” I said, moving up off the floor and right in front of him. “Oh won't you light my candle?” I asked, extending the candle to him as he pulled out his matchbook. He complied, lighting the candle.
“Why don't you forget that stuff?” he asked me. He must have been referring to the stash. I couldn't help it. I wanted to quit, and I've tried quitting but... It just didn't happen...
“You look like you're sixteen” he added. Did I really look that young? Damn, no wonder why they asked for my ID whenever I went clubbing.
“I'm nineteen” I answered. Relax, rocker boy. You weren't going to jail for pedophilia. I'm of legal age. He gave me a look of surprise. “But I'm old for my age, I'm just born to be bad” I said, walking away from him. I crouched down on the floor and continued searching for the stash.
“I once was born to be bad.” he answered. Ooh, did rocker boy have a bad streak as well? “I used to shiver like that” he said.
“I have no heat I told you!” I snapped at him. I turned around and looked up at him. He was watching me.
“I used to sweat...” he said.
“I have a cold!” I lied. I could not let him know I was going through withdrawal symptoms. He might be one of those people who will want to help me, and put me through rehab. And I couldn't let him. No matter how cute he was.
“Uh huh. I used to be a junkie” he said. I rose to my feet. So he knew what I was going through.
“But now and then, I like to feel good.” I answered as I rose to my feet. I didn't need to give him an explanation.
“Uh huh.” he said, ignoring my explanations. I turned around and continued looking.
“Oh here it-” he muttered.
“What's that?” I asked excitedly, spinning around to face him. Had he found it? Had he found my stash?
“It's a candy bar wrapper” he muttered, shoving it quickly in his back pocket. Yeah, a candy bar wrapper. That's awfully convenient. I rose and faced him.
“We could light the candle” I said once more, smiling. I moved closer to him. He and I looked at each other in the warm glow. Suddenly, rocker boy quickly blew out the candle.
“Oh what'd you do to my candle!?” I asked, as he playfully smiled. He hurriedly sat down on the table.
I pursued, joining him. We looked at each other in the darkness. I held out my candle again. “That was my last match.” he told me. Oh well.
“Our eyes will adjust, thank God for the moon” I said optimistically. I always loved the moon. It looked so nice in the sky.
“Maybe it's not the moon at all. I hear Spike Lee's shooting down the street” he told me, pointing to the window. Spike Lee? Bullshit. If it was Spike Lee, maybe he'd come to the Catscratch, notice me, and whisk me off to Hollywood... Okay, so it would never happen. But I can dream, right?
I doubted Spike Lee was making a movie. “Bah humbug, bah humbug” I said, brushing off what he said.
“Cold hands” he muttered. I looked down. Without even realizing it, I had grabbed rocker boy's hands and was playing with them, I guess my flirtatious tendancies got the better of me. Not like rocker boy minded. He didn't pull away or anything.
“Yours too. Big.” I muttered. Rocker boy's hands very pretty big, and very rough. I guess years of guitar playing would do that to them. They reminded me of my dad's hands.
“Like my father's” I told him. My father was a big man with an even bigger heart. I missed my dad. I wondered what he was up to/
We sat there in silence for a while, me playing with his hands. This was getting boring. And I still needed my stash. Suddenly, inspiration came to me.
“Do you wanna dance?” I asked him excitedly. I rose to my feet.
“With you?” he questioned as I grabbed his hands and pulled him of the table.
“No. With my father” I joked, pulling him closer to me.
“I'm Roger.” he whispered in my ear. It sent tingles through my entire body. I began to sway, bringing him with me. We swayed together.
“They call me, they call me...” I whispered back, my hand creeping towards his back pocket. I managed to grab my stash!
“Mimi” I said, as I lightly pushed him away, waving my stash over my head.
I walked away with stash in hand. I hoped I made a good first impression.