Sunday, May 15, 2011
the end before the beginning
Penelope was chewing her fingernails again. She hadn't chewed her fingernails to the quick.... since...high school.
She was waiting for Olivia. They'd settled on Sunday's for something kind of like brunch at the coffee shop, not so far from Penelope's place. She never had people over. As it was, it was a small apartment above the coffee shop. She just hadn't told Olivia this.
Perhaps, it was the threat that Olivia would find that she had no taste. Her place was full of used furniture. The walls were plain, and it sometimes looked more like an old office than anything else. It wasn't very big and it was old. Maybe even ancient.
"So how's the new job?" Olivia said unraveling the crocheted wrap she was in. As it was, she looked as if she were ready for a romantic foreign film adventure. Somehow, Olivia made everything so carefree. Penelope was in her ARMY T-shirt with an old cardigan over it. She'd worn her comfy black sweat pants.
"I hate it." Penelope said quickly enough. The waitress poured them coffee. "Its so not me." She was certain she was not herself around that teacher she met. She wanted to stop thinking about him, but she hadn't.
"Well, can you get out of it?" Olivia looked concerned.
"I saw Mom." Olivia sighed.
Penelope stared at her coffee. It was still a sore subject with her. It was probably her Mom that made her crazy, anyhow. They said Penelope was just too trigger happy at work. They, wanted her to put a stop to it, before something major happened. Weren't police people suppose to shoot? The question kept haunting her mind. Because, she'd came very close to shooting her partner.
"And?" Penelope looked up at her. Keeping her edge focus now, not the worries that troubled her. Trying not to think about the one little things that could have been worse than it was.
"Did you know she..she worked as a seamstress?" Olivia asked as she took a sip of her coffee.
"What do I care?" Penelope kept straight lipped. It was time to order breakfast. So they did.
"Well, I- I guess that was the last thing I ever expected." Olivia seemed happy about it, as she told her how their Mom was going to help with somebody's wedding dress.
"Great. Just great." Penelope was quick to say.
"Are you sure, you're..OK ..with..with the new job?" Olivia just wouldn't give up with her concern. Penelope wanted to push her away. But she could see Olivia was trying to be the sister she never had.
"OK." She said after she'd made a mad dash at her waffles and sausage. "There's this guy."
"A guy?" Olivia looked at her startled.
"Yeah, a guy." Penelope glared at Olivia. "What, you thought I was a lesbian, didn't you?"
"I didn't know." Olivia kind of laughed.
"Shit." Penelope rolled her eyes as if it was not a good idea to even bring this up.
"No, go on." Olivia was serious.
"It nothing. Really." She gritted. "Its just..well, he ..just makes me feel so..crazy."
"Really?" Olivia winced.
"Is that good or bad?" Penelope wanted to know.
"Well, you haven't tried to crawl threw his bathroom window, I guess." Olivia shrugged.
"I can't even remember his name. I think its Eli. Something with an E." Penelope fretted. She wanted to pull her hair out for not remembering his name. "He's a teacher at one of the schools."
"I guess you'll make a point of finding out, won't you?" Olivia smiled.
"I'm just not good at this." Penelope frowned. She was good at stepping on toes and backing in to people when she wasn't focused on work. It was the work that made her who she was.
"When's the last time you had a boyfriend?" Olivia wanted to know.
Penelope shook her head, no. She'd been in some tricky situations before. Even in the Army. But no one had really got to her. Not like that guy she couldn't remember the name of.